As a Colorado elopement photographer and local, Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) is one of my favorite elopement locations. It’s absolutely gorgeous, and there are many incredible places to take photos.

couple posing and kissing for a snowy Rocky Mountain National Park elopement
Among the Pines Photography

In this article, I’ll share everything you need to know about having a Rocky Mountain National Park elopement. I’ll discuss the best locations for a ceremony, how much it costs, and helpful tips. I’ll also answer common questions about eloping at RMNP.

Can you elope in Rocky Mountain National Park?

While Rocky Mountain National Park has strict guidelines around eloping, you can elope at the park. You can also skip the ceremony and explore RMNP to take elopement pictures at your leisure.

elopement couple looking at eachother in the dark with headlamps on
Among the Pines Photography

Here are some important guidelines about having an elopement ceremony at RMNP:

  • There are specific public park spaces that can be used as ceremony sites.
  • You can’t reserve spots exclusively for your elopement.
  • Ceremonies are limited to a maximum of two hours.
  • You need a ceremony permit for your elopement.
  • RMNP only schedules six weddings daily and two at a specific location.
couple hugging and posing for Rocky Mountain National Park elopement photos with mountain backdrop
Among the Pines Photography

Why Elope at Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the most beautiful places I’ve done elopement shoots. It spans over 400 square miles and boasts picture-perfect scenery, including lakes, waterfalls, and mountain peaks. The photo ops are endless!

If you and your love enjoy hiking, RMNP is an incredible place to explore, with more than 300 miles of hiking trails.

How much does it cost to elope in Rocky Mountain National Park?

It costs $300 to obtain The Special Use Permit for an elopement ceremony at Rocky Mountain National Park. If you prefer to do the legalities and ceremony elsewhere, you can explore the park and take elopement portraits with a $50 photo permit.

Note: I take care of the photo permit cost for couples I work with.

Rocky Mountain National Park Elopement Locations

If you want to reserve a ceremony location at that park, there are several stunning wedding sites to choose from!

couple looking at sunset for Rocky Mountain National Park elopement
Among the Pines Photography

3M Curve

Take a short hike down a rocky trail to 3M Curve, a large rock overlook, for an elopement surrounded by meadows and mountain scenery. If you have guests, there’s standing room that offers stunning views.

Max people: 15

Accessibility: moderate

Alluvial Fan Bridge

Alluvial Fan Bridge is one of the park’s most popular areas, especially during summer. There’s a large river with boulders, a waterfall, a wooden footbridge, and aspen trees. Share your vows and enjoy gorgeous views of the Mummy Range, Horseshoe Falls, and Endovalley.

Max people: 20

Accessibility: easy

Bear Lake Nature Trail

If you’re planning a weekday Rocky Mountain National Park elopement between Columbus Day and Memorial Day, Bear Lake Nature Trail is an excellent option. It’s a busy area, which is why there are timing restrictions, but the area is breathtaking, with mountain scenery and aspen trees.

Max people: 20

Accessibility: easy

Copeland Lake (Wild Basin Area)

This is one of the most magical areas in RMNP, where you can elope in a large meadow surrounded by sweeping mountain views. The road to the lake leads to a parking lot, which is easily accessible for any car.

Max people: 30

Accessibility: easy

Harbison Meadow Picnic Area

West Side near Grand Lake

Another large meadow to tie the knot in RMNP is Harbison Meadow Picnic Area, where you can enjoy a beautiful mountain backdrop and possibly unique wildlife. There are also four picnic tables at this location.

Max people: 30

Accessibility: easy

elopement couple standing together with groom holding flowers
Among the Pines Photography

Hidden Valley

Hidden Valley is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a more secluded Rocky Mountain National Park elopement location. Aspens and pines surround it, and there’s a unique wooden footbridge. During summer, the meadow is filled with wildflowers.

Max people: 30

Accessibility: easy and wheelchair accessible

Lily Lake Dock

With 360° mountain views, Lily Lake Dock is one of the best Colorado mountain elopement locations. There’s a dock over the lake to stand and exchange your vows, with the nearby walking trail to add to the adventure.

Max people: 10

Accessibility: easy and wheelchair accessible

couple walking on bridge for Rocky Mountain National Park elopement surrounded by trees, mountains, and snow
Among the Pines Photography

Lily Lake Trail

The Lily Lake Trail also has beautiful mountain and lake views. Unlike the dock, you’ll have your ceremony in the grassy area by the lake. This ceremony site is a short walk from the parking lot and takes you off the trail, so you aren’t too close to other hikers. 

Max people: 20

Accessibility: moderately easy

Lily Lake Southside Picnic Area

Lily Lake Southside Picnic Area is a good option if you’re considering having more guests for an intimate wedding. While this area is more tucked away from the views, it’s quiet, and you have the lake, peaks, and aspen trees around you. There are also picnic tables at this ceremony location.

Max people: 30

Accessibility: moderately easy

Moraine Park Discovery Center Amphitheater

Moraine Park Discovery Center Amphitheater is the best option if you want guests and decorations at your RMNP elopement. It’s easily accessible, and wooden benches offer ample seating. You can also bring decor to this area. 

Max people: 30

Accessibility: easy

Sprague Lake

Sprague Lake is a busy area, and for great reason. It offers dramatic views of the mountains and lake. There’s also a wooden footbridge, and the trail to the site is easy to navigate. 

Max people: 15 during summer and 30 during winter

Accessibility: easy and wheelchair accessible

Timber Creek Campground Amphitheater

Timber Creek Campground Amphitheater is one of the best RMNP wedding sites for convenience. The trail is easily accessible, and there’s bench seating for guests and a nearby campground to stay at. The only issue with this location is the structure on the ceremony stage, which blocks some of the scenery.

Max people: 20

Accessibility: easy and wheelchair accessible

Upper Beaver Meadows

Upper Beaver Meadows is perfect for a secluded elopement. There are also various places to have your ceremony, depending on which backdrop you prefer. This area has an open meadow and rocky hills. You can also see views of the Continental Divide.

Upper Beaver Meadows is closed during winter, so you can only elope here from mid-May to mid-October.

Max people: 30

Accessibility: moderately easy

Tips for Rocky Mountain National Park Elopement

Here are some tips to help you have the perfect Rocky Mountain National Park wedding!

Getting a Permit

If you plan to have a proper elopement ceremony at RMNP, you’ll need to apply for a permit. It’s important to plan in advance because there are limited permits.

The park accepts permit applications a year in advance. For example, if you want to get married in March 2025, you can apply as soon as March 2024.

If you don’t want to apply for a RMNP wedding permit, you can have your ceremony elsewhere and enjoy an elopement adventure with pictures at the park.

Enjoy the Experience 

One of the best parts about eloping is not worrying about the stress of a traditional wedding.

To have an authentic and memorable RMNP elopement, live in the moment and enjoy your experience. Sometimes, this requires flexibility, especially since weather and crowds can be unpredictable.

I always recommend couples I work with include a few fun elopement ideas into their elopement day. This might be stopping at a coffee shop or having a picnic together. The opportunities are endless!

 couple skiing at Rocky Mountain National Park
Among the Pines Photography

When to Elope

You can have your Rocky Mountain National Park elopement any time of year. All seasons offer a unique vibe with different landscapes. 

The park is stunning year-round, from a winter wonderland or spring wildflower portraits to sunny summer or fall foliage. 

Personally, taking elopement photos at Rocky Mountain National Park during late May or June is my favorite because of the pleasant weather, fewer crowds, and vibrant green mountains. 

It’s also best to have your elopement at RMNP during the week. Weekends can get very busy, especially during summer. For the fewest crowds, aim for a sunrise or sunset elopement.

What to Wear

Most couples I work with wear hiking shoes for an adventure elopement. You can always dress for comfort, especially if you plan to hike and explore the park, then change for your ceremony.

When I work with couples, I offer help deciding what to wear and share an Elopement Guide that offers wedding attire inspiration and recommendations

elopement couple sitting at table set up for a picnic at Rocky Mountain National Park
Among the Pines Photography

Bringing Pets

I love it when couples have their dog join them for their special day! Unfortunately, there are limited options for pet owners at RMNP.

If you’re having a ceremony, dogs are only permitted at Moraine Park Discovery Center Amphitheater and Timber Creek Campground Amphitheater. 

Dogs aren’t allowed at other ceremony sites or on trails. However, they’re allowed on roads and in paved parking lots of the park.

Let’s Plan Your Rocky Mountain National Park Elopement

I hope you found this guide helpful and are excited to plan your perfect elopement experience. I love working with couples to help make their wedding day dreams a reality!

Not only do I capture all the special moments on your elopement day, but I also help with the entire planning process to make your experience as stress-free and fun as possible.

Client Praise


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."


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. 


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."



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!


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.


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."


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!

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