Elope in Rocky Mountain National Park
Rocky Mountain National Park is one of our most requested elopement sites. It’s not surprising, given its reputation for offering the most spectacular mountain vistas in all of Colorado. Rocky Mountain National Park offers a variety of predesignated elopement wedding sites; these are the only sites where elopements are allowed within the park.
Elopements sites at Rocky Mountain National Park include backdrops of lakes, rocky outcroppings, waterfalls and or course our fabulous Rocky Mountains. Most sites require only minimal walking, so they’re perfect if you have any guests who aren’t able (or interested!) in hiking for any length of time in order to witness your wedding vows.
How to elope in Rocky Mountain National Park
All elopements at Rocky Mountain National Park require a permit. Currently, these are priced at $300. We will add the cost of the park permit to your elopement package fee and obtain the permit for you.
The maximum amount of guests for a wedding in Rocky Mountain National Park is 30, and this includes the couple and vendors. So if you have a photographer and an officiant, you’d be capped at 26 guests. Since the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic, Rocky Mountain National Park limits the number of permits they will issue in a calendar year (and they sell out quickly). Permits, if available, can be obtained up to 12 months prior to your wedding. Permits are issued on a first-come, first-served basis based on the date applications are received by the park.
Note that even though we obtain a permit for your Rocky Mountain National Park elopement, you and your guests will still need to pay the park entrance fee on the day of the wedding. Currently, that fee is $25 per vehicle.
General liability insurance is required for all elopements held at Rocky Mountain National Park. Blue Sky Elopements carries this policy and will cover your elopement under our policy at no additional charge to you.
Rocky Mountain National Park is open for weddings 365 days of the year.
Places to elope in Rocky Mountain National Park
Blue Sky Elopements serves the following elopement sites in Rocky Mountain National Park:
- 3-M Curve
- Copeland Lake
- Lily Lake
- Upper Beaver Meadow
- Sprague Lake
Rocky Mountain National Park does have other elopement sites available (see the full list here), but we choose not to serve some sites because they are too busy and crowded (like Bear Lake) or they are more suited to larger weddings (like Moraine Park Amphitheater).
Reasons NOT to elope in Rocky Mountain National Park
Yes, you read that right. Eloping in Rocky Mountain National Park is not for everyone. We believe in giving you all the facts and allowing you to make your own (fully informed!) decision. There are some definite disadvantages to getting married in Rocky Mountain National Park.
- Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the busiest national parks in the country, and parking and access may be challenging for some sites–especially in summer. Park attendance was already at an all-time high in 2019, and once Covid hit, visits to Rocky Mountain National Park soared off the charts. Not only can this make parking a challenge, but it will undoubtedly give you a less-than-secluded experience for your ceremony if you choose to get married during a busier time of year. It can also substantially increase the time you, your guests and your vendors may wait in line at the entrance to the park.
- Rocky Mountain National Park does not allow dogs at any of its elopement wedding sites. If it’s important to you to have your dog at your wedding, we’ll need to suggest an alternate site.
- The permit cost of $300 plus $25 per vehicle might be out of your budget–especially since there are other equally beautiful sites outside of the park that are less expensive.
- Post-Covid, Rocky Mountain National Park is limiting the number of wedding permits it issues. Your preferred date might not be available.
- Drones are not permitted in Rocky Mountain National Park, so if you choose to add videography to your elopement package with us, you will not be able to have any drone footage.
- Elopement sites in Rocky Mountain National Park cannot be reserved for the exclusive use of your event. Scheduled park programs and activities may be taking place at the same time and in the same general area.
- Construction may take place unexpectedly at any time or location throughout Rocky Mountain National Park. According to the RMNP website, construction is considered a critical need and may impact areas within the ceremony site locations. They do not offer refunds for weddings that are impacted by this.
- The fine print on the permit states, “This permit may be revoked at the discretion of the Superintendent upon 24 hours notice.” Yikes!
- Rocky Mountain National Park does not accept permit applications more than 12 months before the date of the wedding. If you’re planning in advance, you won’t be able to secure a permit until the one-year-to-go mark.
- You are not allowed to have chairs, arches or signage for an elopement in Rocky Mountain National Park. The permit states, “No banners, streamers, or hanging objects will be allowed for the event. Nothing shall be attached to any natural or historic object or any National Park Service sign, bench, post, building, or facility. Equipment such as tables, chairs, carpets, tents, floral displays, and generators cannot be used in the Park due to fragile ecosystems. A few portable chairs under special circumstances, such as elderly or handicapped guests, are permitted.”
The bottom line is that eloping in Rocky Mountain National Park is not without its challenges. If you want a Colorado elopement venue that is more secluded–or has fewer overall restrictions–we can make recommendations. Please check out our Breckenridge page for similar mountain backdrops without the crowds or permit fees.
We’re husband and wife team Maureen Thomson & Jeremy Myers and we love elopement weddings. (We had one ourselves!) We and our crew of talented local wedding professionals have been putting together elopement weddings filled with laughter and happy tears at Rocky Mountain National Park since 2002.