Are you dreaming of a stunning adventure elopement in one of the most gorgeous areas of Colorado? If so, Lake Isabelle is the place for it! I’ll share all the details you need to know in this Lake Isabelle elopement guide.
I’ll answer all your questions – from what you can expect when you tie the knot at Lake Isabelle and all the reasons it’s the best location to permit information and where to stay nearby.
As a Colorado elopement photographer, Lake Isabelle is one of my favorite locations. It’s in the Indian Peaks Wilderness, which offers stunning views, incredible hiking, and the perfect honeymoon location. You really can’t go wrong here!
Lake Isabelle is a clear mountain alpine lake surrounded by picture-perfect scenery. It’s one of the best places to elope for stunning backdrops of rocky peaks and pine forests. During spring, Lake Isabelle is also surrounded by beautiful wildflowers.
A Lake Isabelle elopement is PERFECT if you and your love enjoy hiking.
The Long Lake Trail takes you to Lake Isabelle, and the hike is amazing. As mentioned above, it’s easily one of Colorado’s most incredible hikes with gorgeous scenery!
The hike to Lake Isabelle is moderate – ideal for an adventurous and memorable elopement experience.
Not only is Lake Isabelle an epic location for your elopement ceremony, but the area is also fantastic for an unforgettable honeymoon.
Lake Isabelle is less than an hour from Boulder and about an hour and a half from Denver. There’s also camping in the Brainard Lake Recreation Area.
With so many nature areas and charming towns nearby, there are endless activities for couples to enjoy during their Colorado elopement and honeymoon.
The best time for your Lake Isabelle elopement is summer or fall.
Not only are these times of year beautiful, but the winter and spring make it difficult due to heavy snowfall. Eloping in this area when there’s snow makes the hike extra long and requires snowshoeing.
As for the time of day, Lake Isabelle is incredible any time! That said, sunrise is gorgeous and secluded. Sunset is also pretty and less crowded.
Tip: Elope during the week for fewer crowds.
Aside from the $16 parking fee, couples can elope at Lake Isabelle at no cost. If you have the annual national park pass, you can park for $2. These are parking rates as of August 2023.
Many places in Colorado, including the Brainard Lake Recreation Area, require a photography permit. However, I take care of permits for my couples, so you’re in the clear!
You need to book a timed parking reservation for Long Lake trailhead’s parking lot to start your hike closer and have a shorter walk.
As I mentioned earlier in this article, there are so many wonderful areas to stay near Lake Isabelle.
Whether you’re looking for a cute mountain town, a camping adventure, or accommodation in the city, there are tons of options.
If you enjoy sleeping under the stars and want to be directly next to Lake Isabelle, consider camping at Pawnee Campground.
This is the ideal location for adventurous couples who love nature, with lakes and hiking trails surrounding the campground.
There are various campsites for tents, campers, and RVs. Some sites are also walk-ins for extra privacy.
Boulder is just under an hour from Lake Isabelle, and it’s a great spot to stay to enjoy a vibrant downtown area and outdoor activities. Located in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Boulder is also surrounded by gorgeous views.
If you want to stay in a secluded, charming mountain town, Nederland is the place to go. It’s close to Boulder and about 20 minutes from Lake Isabelle. Nederland is a fun place to enjoy nature, hiking, and local breweries.
If a city (with a side of nature!) is more up your alley, Denver is another excellent option for booking accommodation near Lake Isabelle. I’m based in Denver and love that it has something to offer for everyone!
Whether you’re into going out late or staying in for the night – there’s a local restaurant, bar, or epic boutique hotel that fits the vibe of what you’re looking for. I personally really love The Ramble Hotel for a romantic stay, as well as visiting Barcelona Wine Bar down the street for the most fun dinner experience!
Prepare for and execute the most perfect elopement day ever with these helpful tips for your Lake Isabelle elopement.
One reason people love Lake Isabelle so much is because of its untouched beauty.
To keep it this way, it’s important we follow Leave No Trace principles:
As a Leave No Trace Aware Photographer, I love working with couples who appreciate and respect nature just as much as I do!
Don’t forget your hiking shoes for the Long Lake Trail to Lake Isabelle! I’ve done many hiking elopements, and the couples rock their comfortable trail shoes. You can also bring another pair if you want to change for your ceremony.
If you want to invite loved ones to your elopement, I recommend limiting your guest list to just a few people.
Lake Isabelle isn’t the best location for a large crowd for several reasons. Too many people can lead to trampling fragile vegetation, parking overflow, and an overcrowded trail.
Don’t forget elopements are meant to be special between you and your love!
I recommend keeping your elopement ceremony intimate, then including loved ones at a celebration afterward. In this article, I share other ways you celebrate your elopement with family and friends.
I love it when couples bring their pet along to their elopement! Lake Isabelle allows dogs kept on a leash at all times.
The area is also known for the moose you might spot throughout your hike. So it’s especially important to keep your dogs close to prevent unwanted meet-and-greets and to observe wildlife without interruption.
And since there’s hiking involved, you’ll want to ensure your dog enjoys adventures too.
As with any outdoor or hiking elopement, it’s important to be flexible. You never know what may happen with the weather and crowds, so being open-minded is the best way to enjoy your experience no matter what happens.
I always help couples I work with have an unforgettable experience no matter what the day throws at us!
“Brooke is hands down the most talented photographer I have ever met in my entire life. I gave her my inspiration and she took it and made it into something entirely unique and beautiful. The day of never goes as planned, she was thrown curveball after curveball and dodged them all with ease. The photos we received memorialized the best day of our lives and we are forever grateful for the beautiful artwork she created.”– Emily & Nick
As a Colorado elopement photographer, I help couples through the entire planning process and the day of, including capturing all the special moments of your big day!
My elopement packages include:
Are you ready to plan your dream elopement? I’ve got you!
I’m a Colorado elopement photographer who loves helping adventurous couples plan and execute the perfect wedding day.
I’ll help you every step of the way and be there to capture your big day.
CHLOE + CONNER
Brooke is professional, prepared, and provides all the peace of mind that a bride needs on her wedding day. Because of our conversations leading up to the day, I had no doubt that she would capture every important moment and more. Throughout the day, she was present and helpful, but never overbearing or controlling. She beautifully captured the moments that happened naturally & her experience allowed for insight and ideas that I wouldn't have thought to ask for but that I'll now cherish forever! She is flexible, understanding, and patient, and looking back, we can't imagine our day without her. If you are looking for someone to capture your wedding day, or just any day, Brooke is your girl. She goes above and beyond to serve her clients, and she is absolutely gifted at what she does.
"SHE GOES ABOVE AND BEYOND TO SERVE HER CLIENTS, and she is absolutely gifted at what she does."
Linden + Brent
In the end, her creativity and our happiness totally shine through in every single photo. Brooke made both of us feel so at ease, from our individual sessions before we had our first look, to strolling through downtown Ouray, to our ceremony and in the scenic spots we visited afterwards. Her talent is beyond compare and we are absolutely thrilled with our gallery of photos we will treasure forever. We give Brooke our highest recommendation and can’t wait to work with her again!
"Throughout the entire planning process, Brooke was honest and flexible, and made it clear that her goal was for us to be 100% happy."
Emily + Nick
Brooke is hands down the most talented photographer I have ever met in my entire life. I gave her my inspiration and she took it and made it into something entirely unique and beautiful. Brooke was able to work with my budget and offer me options. Along with all of this, she was always there to communicate with me from ideas to concerns. The day of never goes as planned, she was thrown curveball after curveball and dodged them all with ease. The photos we received memorialized the best day of our lives and we are forever grateful for the beautiful artwork she created.
"we are forever grateful for the beautiful artwork she created."
ERICA & ZACH
Brooke was booked to do our wedding June 6th. However, the virus hit and we were afraid we wouldn’t be able to have our wedding in June so we decided to go ahead and get married with just our parents there. I called Brooke and told her our plans and literally we were getting married in a week and she was so quick to say yes and capture our day for us. She helped make our day very special. She was super fun and made Zach and I feel very comfortable. I got my pictures back and I felt so overjoyed to see the happiness and love I felt on that day. Even though we didn’t have our wedding like we planned, it was still very special and Brooke was a big hand in that. She truly captured some very special memories that I will have for the rest of my life.
"SHE TRULY CAPTURED SOME VERY SPECIAL MEMORIES THAT I WILL HAVE FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE."
Our wedding was in Kentucky in September. Brooke not only traveled for us but made a custom package for us because we had a unique situation. She took pictures the day before, and just seemed to be in the right place at the right time. She met with me before the wedding and we communicated a few times up to the wedding about my specific requests, and she hit the nail on the head. I am so very thankful for Brooke's story-telling, organic nature. She captured our wedding for exactly what it was and what I will remember it to be...full of joy, laughter, love and hope for the future!
"I AM SO VERY THANKFUL FOR BROOKE'S storytelling, organic nature."
JENNA + JOSH
KRYSTAL & BRANDON
She’s professional, creative, organized, kind, and just a blast to be around. She made my husband comfortable instantly in front of a camera so she’s a miracle worker too. We can’t stop staring at our photos! So many people keep telling us how amazing they are!
"YOU WON'T FIND A PHOTOGRAPHER BETTER rounded than brooke!"
Jessica & Robby
Brooke has a true talent. She is able to tap into and capture moments you didn’t even realize were happening. Absolutely 100% recommend Brooke and her beautiful pictures. We booked her services for our engagement pictures and then immediately realized we needed to have her for our wedding also. I’m already preemptively dreaming of the anniversary shoot I want!
"Brooke will make you feel comfortable and like a friend - she will take your ideas and inspiration and produce something better than you thought."
Rori + Eli
Brooke truly listened to what we wanted as a couple, our hopes, and took time to understand our "vibe," which came through in her work she delivered.
I can't thank Brooke enough for her amazing work - seriously the BEST decision we made and brings me to tears each time I look at these beautiful, photographic memories we'll have forever.
ALYSSA & HUNTER
Not only is Brooke an amazing photographer, but she is so fun and easy to work with! She made the whole process feel natural and comfortable for someone who typically feels awkward and weird while getting pictures taken! I love all of the pictures and I highly recommend Brooke as a photographer!
"SHE MADE THE WHOLE PROCESS FEEL natural & Comfortable."
ALI & KYLE
That's exactly what Brooke does, she captures a story. No words needed. You can see it and feel it. You can remember the exact moment and how you feel for that person and see how they feel about you. Her intuitive eye has only gotten sharper. I can’t wait to see what other adventures await for her to capture.
"SHE CAPTURES A STORY, NO WORDS NEEDED. you can see it and feel it."
Christy + Austin
Brooke is the absolute best. She truly went above and beyond for my fiancé and I to be able to get our engagement photos taken with the fall colors. Our engagement session with Brooke was such a special experience and a memory we will cherish forever.
Brooke is so sweet, fun, personable and incredibly talented. We could not be more in love with our engagement photos!