The Best Places to Elope in Utah
I live right along the Colorado/Utah border & absolutely love everything about Utah! The small towns, diversity of landscapes, expansive red rock deserts, & mild weather are just some of the great things about Utah. If you’re looking for the best Utah elopement locations & unique places to elope in Utah, you’ve come to the right photographer! I’ve explored, backpacked, camped, & off-roaded almost every inch of the state & love sharing these Utah elopement locations with couples. Where will you choose? Most couples have never been to the area they want to elope in. Doing some research upfront about what you want in a location & hiring a specialized elopement photographer are some great first steps toward planning your elopement in Utah.
Eloping in Utah
Utah is a state that is well known for its beautiful natural landscapes, which include majestic mountains, expansive deserts, & some of my favorite national parks. With so much to offer, it’s no wonder that couples who want to get married in the great outdoors are headed to Utah for all the variety in natural scenery. If you’re considering a Utah elopement, there are plenty of amazing elopement locations to choose from, each with its own unique beauty.
One of the things I love about the elopement locations in Utah is the amazing variety of natural landscapes that you have to choose from! Whether you want to exchange vows in a narrow slot canyon, under a natural stone arch, overlooking vast desert cliffs, or on top of a rugged mountain peak, let me tell your that there’s a location in Utah that can make your dream elopement locations a reality! With five national parks, 43 state parks, & countless other natural wonders, Utah truly has something for everyone. While Utah may get a lot of attention for the deserts, there’s more than just desert elopement locations in Utah.
When it comes to the different elopement locations in Utah, there are a few that stand out as particularly popular. These include national parks like Zion, Bryce Canyon, & Arches, which offer a wealth of natural beauty and stunning vistas. State parks like Dead Horse Point, Antelope Island, & Snow Canyon are also great options for couples who want to get married in beautiful & unique natural settings. And for those who want a more secluded and intimate experience, there are plenty of hidden gems to discover, like the BLM LNands of Moab or the La Sal Mountains.
Of course, eloping in Utah isn’t just about the location (although that is a big part!). There are also more practical & logistical considerations to take into account, such as obtaining permits for getting married on public lands, finding vendors to help you with your dream wedding day in the great outdoors, & making sure you have everything you need to make your day everything you want it to be! But with a little bit of planning & preparation, you can have a magical and unforgettable wedding experience in one of the most beautiful states in the country. And I’m here to help with all of it!
National Parks of Utah
Utah has five national parks: Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, and Zion. Each of Utah’s national parks contains unique geological formations & natural wonders, such as arches, canyons, hoodoos, & natural bridges. These places are some of the darkest places in the U.S. which makes them ideal for stargazing.
Utah’s State Parks
Utah has 43 state parks, each with its own natural beauty & recreational opportunities. Some of Utah’s most popular state parks for weddings include Dead Horse Point, Antelope Island, & Snow Canyon. Many of Utah’s state parks also offer various facilities & amenities for weddings, including pavilions, event spaces, & lodging.
Mountains in Utah
Utah is home to the Wasatch Range, which runs north-south through the center of the state & includes peaks over 11,000 feet tall. The Wasatch Range is a popular destination for snow sports, with world-class ski resorts like Park City, Deer Valley, & Alta. Many of Utah’s mountain ranges are protected as national forests or wilderness areas, which offer great opportunities for hiking elopements & adventure weddings.
Other Natural Features of Utah
Utah has a number of unique natural landmarks, including the Bonneville Salt Flats, the Great Salt Lake, & the San Rafael Swell. The Great Basin Desert covers most of western Utah & is the largest desert in the United States. The Colorado Plateau covers the southeastern corner of Utah and is known for its stunning red rock formations, canyons, & mesas.
Keep on reading for all the details about various elopement locations in Utah!
Eloping in Arches National Park
Arches National Park is definitely one of the top places to elope in Utah. The park’s unique geological formations, including over 2,000 natural sandstone arches, create an otherworldly landscape that is sure to be impressive. With the sun setting or rising behind the red rocks, the natural light creates a warm & inviting glow that is perfect for capturing stunning photos. Couples always love the symbolism of the natural stone arches since at traditional weddings couples many times get married under arches.
Photos from elopement locations in Arches National Park
One of the best things about Arches National Park is the variety of locations that are available for elopements. Whether you want to exchange vows under the iconic Delicate Arch, with its stunning natural amphitheater setting, or take elopement photos in a more secluded & intimate location like Tower Arch, the park offers a lot of possibilities. The park’s trails & overlooks also provide vantage points for other photos besides just under arches, whether you’re looking for sweeping views of the park’s canyons or a secluded spot for a romantic picnic.
Pros of eloping in Arches National Park: The natural stone arches are just so unique, you don’t need to set up a wedding arch with these natural arches! There are a lot of easy to access ceremony locations that are beautiful. If you plan for the right time of day & year, & go to the right locations, you can find some privacy here.
Cons of eloping in Arches National Park: Recently permits in Arches have become more expensive. The park also asks us to spend no more than 10 minutes directly under an arch. There can be A LOT of people around, especially in the more scenic designated ceremony spots.
Planning a Canyonlands National Park Elopement
Canyonlands National Park is another stunning national park elopement location in Utah that offers the perfect backdrop for a unique & unforgettable elopement experience. The park’s dramatic landscapes, towering spires, & breathtaking canyons that go on for miles upon miles create such a beautiful setting. With its vast expanse of wilderness & endless opportunities for adventure (multi-day road trip elopement along the White Rim anyone?!), Canyonlands National Park is a great location for couples looking to create a more intimate experience with fewer people than Arches National Park.
The park offers a variety of locations for couples to exchange vows, from the wide open views of Island in the Sky to the more secluded areas of the Needles & Maze Districts. With its rugged terrain, beautiful red cliff sides, & remote wilderness areas, the park offers a lot of possibilities for elopements. Canyonlands is also the least visited national park in Utah, making it one of the more secluded places to elope in Utah if you want a national park. The park also offers a variety of easy to hike trails & easy to access overlooks that provide incredible vantage points for your elopement photos, making it easy to capture the beauty of the park even if you don’t want a huge adventure. And don’t forget about the amazing night skies in Canyonlands National Park! If you like the look of Canyonlands, be sure to also check out Colorado National Monument just over the Colorado/Utah border as well.
Pros of eloping in Canyonlands: This park is the least visited national park in Utah, so you can find a bit more privacy here. Canyonlands has great views that you can drive right up to, making places easy to access for guests. It can also accommodate larger groups in certain spots.
Cons of eloping in Canyonlands: All of the designated ceremony locations are in the Island in the Sky District which is the most popular & congested area of the park. While Canyonlands is beautiful, it is best right at sunset or right at sunrise due to there being almost no shade to make for better photography lighting during the middle of the day.
Other Moab, Utah Elopement Locations
Moab, Utah offers a variety of other amazing locations for couples looking to elope in Utah besides the national parks in Moab. Dead Horse Point State Park offers great views of the Colorado River below & you can even see Canyonlands from the towering cliffsides. This state park is known for its stunning sunsets & sunrises, & dramatic red rock landscapes. From many places in Moab, you can see the Manti La-Sal Mountains. Whether you want mountains in the background of your photos or you actually want to be in the mountains, Moab has some great mountainous locations that include alpine lakes, aspen trees, wildflowers, & snow! You can get both deserts & mountains in your elopement photos in Moab if you can’t decide between the two. The Red Earth Venue is also an amazing gem of a venue location in Utah if you want a place to celebrate with friends & family!
Other places to elope around Moab, Utah
In addition to state parks & national parks, Moab is also home to a vast expanse of BLM land that stretches for hundreds of miles in every direction from Moab. These BLM lands provide endless opportunities for couples to explore & find the perfect place to elope in Utah. Whether you choose to elope in a national park, state park, or on BLM land, Moab offers all sorts of adventure. Whether you want something chill or are ready to send it with a rock climbing wedding, this little desert town has a lot to offer!
Pros of eloping in Moab: If you want any sort of adventure in your wedding day, Moab is for you, from mild to wild! Moab is THE place to go if you want extreme adventures such as amazing climbing routes & rad off-roading. Moab also has more than just deserts such as waterfalls, lakes, & mountains.
Cons of eloping in Moab: Moab gets HOT in the summer so definitely avoid July & August if you can. There can also be a ton of people at certain trails or landscape features, so working with a local Moab photographer can help you plan to avoid crowded areas.
Elopement Locations Around Zion National Park
Zion National Park in the southwestern corner of the state is the second most visited national park in the United States & in 2021 had over 5 million visitors. Zion is a little more restrictive when it comes to the places it allows elopement ceremonies to take places & the approved ceremony locations aren’t in the most scenic areas, however, we can always adventure to other places in the park for those epic elopement photos you want! Because of the high visitation rates in Zion National Park, shuttle systems, road closures, & other factors, I highly recommend eloping in Zion National Park in the off season & working with a photographer/planner that knows the ins & outs of eloping in Zion.
While Zion is a very very busy park, if you know where to go & when, you can still have a more intimate experience for your elopement day in Zion. So many people don’t leave the main roads in the parks or only do the most iconic hikes or the shorter hikes or only go during the middle of the day. Weekdays, at sunrise, in more remote areas of the park will still get you those epic Zion views (plus an amazing sunrise) but without having to navigate the traffic & crowds as much.
Pros of eloping in Zion: If you choose Zion as the place to elope in Utah, you’re going to get those iconic views of one of the most popular national parks. The sunsets, sunrises, stars, & steep red rock formations make for such a beautiful elopement location in Utah. If you want to elope in the Zion area but with less people, you can choose to elope at places outside of the park or even go canyoneering for a fun adventure elopement.
Cons of eloping in Zion: The cons of eloping in Zion are the restrictive locations they allow ceremonies at, the sheer amount of people that contribute to crowds & traffic, & also the shuttle system is required to access certain parts of the park.
Bryce Canyon National Park Elopements
Bryce Canyon National Park is most famous for its distinctive geological formations, known as “hoodoos,” which are tall, thin spires of rock that have been eroded over time by wind & water. In addition to the hoodoos, Bryce Canyon is also home to a number of other interesting geological formations, including natural bridges & arches, along with some of the darkest skies in the United States.
The hoodoos of Bryce Canyon are particularly unique because of the colorful layers of rock that make up the formations. These layers, known as “hoodoo bands,” vary in color from red and orange to white and pink, creating a vibrant & colorful landscape that is unlike anything else. My photography style shines well here because I just love to photograph vibrant colors! If I had to pick a favorite desert location to see in the snow, it would definitely be Bryce Canyon due to the contrast in the colorful rocks & pure white snow.
Pros of eloping in Bryce Canyon: If you want a colorful desert, Bryce is the place to be for your elopement in Utah! The hoodoos make for some unique elopement photos & you really can’t mistake Bryce Canyon for anywhere else.
Cons of eloping in Bryce Canyon: From mid spring to early fall, this is a relatively popular location & it’s not a huge park. There are easy to access areas, but you’ll want to get out on the trails if you want some more privacy.
Places to Elope in the Wasatch Mountains & Park City, Utah
The Wasatch Mountains & Park City offer a variety of mountainous Utah elopement locations for couples. In the winter, Park City is a popular destination for skiing & snowboarding, several of the ski resorts in the area offer wedding packages. One popular option is Deer Valley Resort, which offers a picturesque mountain backdrop & a variety of event spaces for both indoor & outdoor weddings. Another option is the Canyons Resort, which offers great views of the surrounding mountains & a range of customizable wedding packages.
In the summer, the Wasatch Mountains offer a different kind of beauty, with lush green forests, wildflower meadows, & mountain vistas. Park City has many venues for couples looking to elope in the summer months, including the Montage Deer Valley Resort & the Stein Eriksen Lodge.
Pros of eloping in the Wasatch Mountains: Utah is not often thought about for its mountainous places to elope. But there are some truly stunning places to elope in these Utah mountains! Ski resorts & wedding venues also offer more options if you want to include more guests or have a reception.
Cons of eloping in the Wasatch Mountains: Due to the mountainous nature of the locations in the Wasatch Range, some locations may not be fully accessible from late fall into early summer. Remember that spring isn’t really “spring” in the mountains! Most wildflowers start blooming in July. If you want to fully access higher elevations in the mountains, the best times of year are from July through October.
Lake Powell Elopement Locations in Utah
Lake Powell is a large reservoir located in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area in southern Utah, offering a backdrop with water for couples looking to elope in Utah. The lake is surrounded by towering red rock cliffs & canyons. Some of the canyons & locations are easy to access, but you can definitely get off the beaten path with hiking, off-roading, & even canyoneering into some of the more technical slot canyons.
Antelope Canyon is one of the most well-known & easily accessible slot canyons in the area near Page, Arizona, but there are many other options for couples looking to explore this beautiful part of the state. You can explore the lake itself by boat or kayak, you could even plan a multi-day elopement on a houseboat, plan for a day in the canyons & a day near the lake, & there are so many options here that you may not have thought of.
Pros of eloping near Lake Powell: There are sooo many fun locations to choose from around the Utah/Arizona border near Lake Powell. You can even make a summer elopement work here in the desert due to being able to find shade in some of the rocky formations & being able to cool off near the lake. Even get in the water if you want!
Cons of eloping near Lake Powell: It does get hot here in the summer & winters can be a toss-up of whether they are mild or bitter cold. Some locations like Antelope Canyon or Horseshoe Bend are crawling with tourists but other areas are completely void of people at all.
Salt Flats Elopements near Salt Lake City
The Salt Flats in Utah are a unique natural wonder. The Salt Flats in Utah are known for their vast expanses of white salt crusts that stretch as far as the eye can see. The landscape is completely flat, creating a surreal and otherworldly environment that is unlike anything else in the world. One of the best times to visit the Salt Flats in Utah is at sunrise, when the sky turns shades of pink, purple, & orange, casting a warm glow over the white salt flats.
You can take a walk on the flats themselves, feeling the crunch of salt crystals underfoot, or explore nearby rock formations & hot springs. The nearby town of Wendover also offers a range of accommodations & dining. The Salt Flats can also become shallowly flooded at times which makes for STUNNING reflections! If they are wet, you may be limited to wear you can drive on the flats, & you should be prepared to get your wedding attire a bit dirty & waterproof boots are definitely helpful.
Pros of eloping on the Salt Flats: If you want to have a simple setup (that is Leave No Trace friendly) such as some florals or an arch, the Salt Flats are a place to do that. Always be sure to double check with the permit & ranger offices though. You can get some stunning reflections with the water as well.
Cons of eloping on the Salt Flats: This is more of a simple location, so be sure to hire a photographer who can get creative without a lot of landscapes, or you can also go to other locations. The water can make for gorgeous photos, but you have to be prepared for it & you’re going to get dirty.
Kanab, Utah Places to Elope with Slot Canyons & Sand Dunes
Do you want sand dunes, slot canyons, off-roading, & something more than just red rocks? Kanab has some unique locations that you NEED to check out for your elopement. Some of my favorite slot canyons are around Kanab. The town itself is a cute place to stay & explore, there are lots of adventurous activities to do, & the rocks are so red here. Not to mention the uniqueness of the landscapes you can find around Kanab. Kanab was a popular place for filming westerns & other movies.
Kanab definitely has a bit more of a peaceful vibe & is generally less touristy than other places such as Saint George, Moab, & Park City. Kanab also isn’t terribly far from Zion, Page, or Bryce Canyon at just 1 to 1.5 hours from each of those locations.
Pros of eloping in Kanab: Kanab is close to many of the other scenic areas in southern Utah & northern Arizona. It’s also remote & there are so many opportunities for getting away from it all & having lots of privacy. Tons of opportunities for unique adventures like sledding down sand dunes!
Cons of eloping in Kanab: Because it is a bit more remote & it is a small town, there are limited places to stay & not as many amenities. I also definitely recommend avoiding this area during the heat of summer!
Eloping in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah
Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument holds spectacular landscapes located in southern Utah. The monument spans over one million acres & is home to a variety of geological formations, including towering cliffs, winding canyons, & unique rock formations. The area is also home to a diverse range of plant and animal life, making it a haven for nature enthusiasts & outdoor adventurers alike.
What makes Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument truly unique is its geological history. The monument is made up of a series of massive steps or “stairs,” each representing a different geologic time period. From the ancient rocks of the Grand Canyon at the bottom step to the younger, more recent formations at the top, the monument provides a glimpse into the earth’s geological history. It is also home to a number of archaeological sites & cultural sites, including rock art, ancient ruins, & artifacts from the Ancestral Puebloan people who inhabited the area.
Pros of eloping in Grand Staircase-Escalante: There are sooo many locations to choose from that you can go to here, it can almost be overwhelming. If you want weird, unique, or cool rocky desert locations, Grand Staircase-Escalante likely has something for you. There’s deserts & even unique water features here.
Cons of eloping in Grand Staircase-Escalante: This national monument is HUGE, so some parts of it are close to towns, other parts of it are very very remote. And it can be hard to choose where to go because this place is just massive. Again, avoid this desert area during the peak of summer.
Valley of the Gods, a Hidden Gem of an Elopement Location
For how beautiful this area is along with the unique landscapes & formations, I’m surprised about how many people haven’t heard of this elopement location in Utah! But it is quite remote. Valley of the Gods is located close to the Utah/Arizona border & isn’t too far from Monument Valley. Monument Valley has permits that can be harder to navigate, but Valley of the Gods is located on BLM land with easier permits to navigate.
Valley of the Gods is about 2.5 hours south of Moab & is located just outside of the tiny town of Mexican Hat, Utah. The valley has a loop road that is easy for almost any vehicle to navigate, there are a number of easier hiking trails in the area, & nearby, there are also some absolutely incredible cliffside locations. Because it is so remote, I’d definitely recommend stargazing for your elopement day in Utah!
Pros of eloping in Valley of the Gods: The valley has many easy to access locations but even though these places are easy to get to, they aren’t crowded with people! There are also a lot of classic 5.9 climbs in Valley of the Gods if you want to climb for your elopement.
Cons of eloping in Valley of the Gods: There are not a ton of hikes right around this area if you want to plan a hiking elopement, but there are a few depending on how far you want to travel. This place is also waaaay out in the middle of nowhere with very little amenities in the small towns around.
How to Choose Your Own Utah Elopement Location
When planning your elopement in Utah, your choice of location will play a significant role in the overall experience of your day. As an experienced elopement photographer & self-proclaimed “experience creator,” I understand the importance of selecting the perfect location to provide you with the experience you desire for your Utah elopement. You may have seen popular “Instagram famous” locations in various national parks & other settings, but it’s crucial to understand the crowds & editing that may be required to achieve that perfect shot. As your elopement photographer, I work hard to uncover hidden gems of locations & plan for times with fewer people to ensure that you have a unique & intimate experience. If you trust in my expertise & advice, it’ll make your Utah elopement even better!
Utah is a land of stunning natural beauty & when it comes to choosing the perfect location for your elopement in Utah, the possibilities are endless. Start by thinking about the types of locations that hold a special place in your heart, whether it’s the rugged beauty of the mountains or the serene stillness of the desert. Don’t limit yourself to a specific region, Utah has so many unexpected & off-the-beaten-path locations that are sure to make beautiful places to elope in Utah.
It’s also essential to consider weather and seasons when choosing a location for your Utah elopement. Each region of the state has its unique weather patterns, which can greatly affect the overall experience & accessibility of places to elope in Utah. By doing your research & taking advantage of my local knowledge, you can find the perfect time & location that will provide you with the best experience. Rains in the deserts of Moab or Zion can cause flash flooding & and be quite dangerous. Snow can block access to mountains & other high elevation locations in the Wasatch Range until summer. Even if you do encounter less than ideal weather during your elopement day, remember that as long as you focus on having a great time with each other, your elopement day is going to be amazing no matter what!
When it comes to places to elope in Utah, you can’t always just go anywhere & do anything. My rule is to always assume a permit is needed until you hear otherwise. Some locations have restrictions as to where you can go & many permits have stipulations that you follow leave no trace.
When it comes to planning out locations, you can plan on going to multiple different areas & doing multiple activities. You can even plan a multi-day elopement for tons of epic adventures & exploring!
Utah Elopement Packages
Mini Elopement Package
The Full Day Experience
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FAQs About Eloping in Utah
Meet Your Utah Elopement Expert
Bold + Colorful Photos
My style takes inspiration from National Geographic & Ektar film photography.
Adventurer at Heart
I’m down for whatever adventure you want! Climbing, hiking, or just a scenic drive.
I live right on the Utah border with local knowledge of all the unique landscapes.
Personal Hype Man
My photos will make you look great but I want to help you feel great too!