Best Mountain Colorado Elopement + Couple Locations Part 1 | Denver, Colorado Mountain Wedding Photographer | Couple Photographer
Colorado is such a diverse beautiful state, we have 14,000 ft mountains, desert sand dunes, red rocks, alpine lakes, rivers, hot springs, cute little mountain towns and a bustling city. I think the only thing we don't truly have is the ocean, but we do have a few alpine lakes and reservoirs that can help all you water lovers enjoy that aspect as well. Not only that, but we have, on average, 300 days of sunshine per yer! Okay, that may include days that have a random rain storm for two seconds, but it usually just means we see the sun that many days per year, which is amazing!
So, when people know they want to elope, get married or plan an adventurous photo shoot here in Colorado, it can be a bit overwhelming to know where to begin to narrow down locations. So, I present to you a handful of my favorite "Best of Colorado" locations. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but includes some of my personal favorites. Some places are only accessible during certain seasons, so keep that in mind when looking through this list!
The bonus element is that all of these locations are accessible even if you're not a hardcore hiker, meaning they are less than a mile walk or hike from a parking area to the location itself. So, if you're planning even an adventurous Colorado mountain wedding with someone who cannot hike for miles or who is subject to the very real hindrance of altitude sickness, these are great ideas!
And if you're looking for a Colorado elopement photographer, a Colorado intimate wedding photographer, a Mountain wedding photographer or just someone to capture your love story, we are your gals!
Best Mountain Locations for Elopements, Intimate Weddings or Colorado Anniversary Celebrations.
Distance from Denver, Colorado: 1.5 hours
I LOVE the Mount Evans area. Not only because it's one of the national parks that many Colorado visitors don't know about. Yes, Rocky Mountain National Park is amazing, but it is often SO busy and crowded. Mount Evans is a bit of a hidden gem in Colorado and is one of my personal favorites.
Distance from Denver, Colorado: 30-40 minutes
There are SO many amazing diverse locations around the Golden area. Cute little river areas with bridges, LOTS of rock climbing, and many sweeping mountaintop views. It's actually one of my favorite spots to go visit with my daughter during the summer. It's our little mountain "beach area." Downtown Golden is also super cute and home to Coors Brewing!
Golden is also a great place in the fall because there are great groves of aspens all around.
Distance from Denver, Colorado: 1-1.5 hours
Boulder, like Golden, has so many amazing locations, again with cool streams, sweeping mountain vistas and more. Additionally, Boulder is such a fun town to hang in, although it is a lot more touristy and busy so its not my suggested place if you want something super intimate.
Telluride, Colorado or Ouray, Colorado
Distance from Denver, Colorado: 5-6 hours
If you want to visit some of the most breathtaking spots in Colorado, Telluride or Ouray is your spot. Waterfalls, four-wheel riding, kayaking, white water river rafting, hot springs, epic hikes. These places are just a gem for these activities and more! I'd LOVE to work with a couple four wheeling to one of the epic trails around Ouray!
The only downfall of these two locations is that they are somewhat difficult, or at least time-consuming, to get to. Flights into Montorose, Colorado or Durango, Colorado are the closest airports and are usually pretty expensive. Both towns are a 5/6 hour drive away from Denver, Colorado if you have the time! Which I certainly think is worth the trip. If you're on a tighter budget, visit these places in April/May or late August/September. Keep in mind that some of the shops in town may be shut down during these times, but prices will also tend to be lower. This is commonly known as "mud season" since it's not quite winter or summer and you're not able to do a lot of the adventures. But if you MUST go there even just for hiking and to see the place to get married or celebrate it's a great option.
Mount Princeton Hot Springs
Distance from Denver, Colorado: 2.5 hours
This place is another little hidden gem of Colorado. It's actually a venue, so if you're looking for a full wedding or intimate wedding you'll want to plan in advance. But if you're eloping or celebrating your marriage on the middle of the week this is a great spot! Its personally one of my favorite wedding venues, because of their little stream + amazing mountain views + and it's a little off the beaten path.
Distance from Denver, Colorado: 45 minutes
Evergreen is another little hidden gem in Colorado. Most people aspire to live here if they work in Denver, because its not too far from Denver to commute but is also a truly "in the mountains" town. And near Evergreen are some amazing back roads to Mount Evans with epic photo spots, that way you'll have to book me to know exactly where they are. ;)
Close to Denver Secret Spot
Distance from Denver, Colorado: 30 minutes
Ok, so this spot is another one of my favorites because of all the wild life running around and for the fact that NO ONE is ever there. They actually have a little picnic pavilion so even if you have a larger crowd for your wedding or elopements it's worth looking into. But again, you'll have to hire me to spill the beans.
Why the big secret? Well, if you haven't noticed EVERYONE is flocking to Denver lately. And a true artist doesn't reveal ALL their secrets. Some of mine include the time I've taken to explore this beautiful state, so I want to protect that! ;)
Other Mountain Locations
I haven't photographed at these places but they are on my bucket list!
Steamboat Springs, Colorado 3hrs from Denver
Crested Butte, Colorado 4.5hrs from Denver
Aspen, Colorado 3.5hrs from Denver
Marron Bells (Ok but this must be done on a week day and off season because its SO overcrowded) 3.5hrs from Denver plus bus ride in.
Loveland Pass 1hr from Denver
Julia's Deck 1.5hrs from Denver
Sapphire Point Overlook Trail 2hrs from Denver
Mitchel Lake 1.5hrs from Denver
Things to know about Mountain wedding, elopement or anniversary photography locations:
All outdoor weddings/events still require a permit with most areas. So once you do your research of where you want to go make sure you know the rules of the area. No one wants to get a fine on their wedding or celebration day.
Altitude sickness is a true reality at these (as we Coloradans call "14ers") or high altitude so research it and make sure to pack the right supplies or have alternative plans.
Weather is variable up in the mountains, but the great part of Colorado is that it could down pour for an hour and one hour later be sunshine with not a cloud in sight.
Afternoon thunder storms are a true reality. Consider an am celebration to capture the morning alpine glow or have a plan B for the afternoon. While you can wait out rain, thunderstorms especially at high altitudes shouldn't be mess with.