Two Day Backpacking & Packrafting Elopement in Colorado

Brittany & Chad had a truly EPIC adventure backpacking elopement in Colorado! We got a little bit of everything with the crazy mountain weather including rain, ice pellets, snow, & finally some amazing sunshine. They had a two day backpacking elopement in a more remote area of western Colorado. There are soooo many reasons I always highly recommend western Colorado over the front range or the greater Denver area, just look at these elopement photos & you’ll begin to see why!

Brittany & Chad wanted to have a more intimate vow reading & a fun adventure before their bigger wedding day. The thing about elopements is there are sooo many ways to make the day yours & you kinda just throw out the rules & do what you want! Pro tip: that “dream wedding” you’ve always thought about might actually be a dream elopement!

Backpacking Up in the Rain

We started the first day by backpacking up in the early afternoon into the mountains. We hiked a good 5 hours or so in the rain. There’s a reason I don’t recommend afternoon elopements in the mountains of Colorado during the summer– it can rain almost every day, every afternoon like clockwork during the summer months. You also have to be prepared for cold temperatures even in the summer! It snowed on us just a bit, the rain was cold, & we took shelter in the trees from some ice pellets for a bit.

As we got closer to the lake it finally cleared out a bit more & the dramatic lighting was just so beautiful with the darker clouds in the distance. WE also hit up this area in time for prime wildflowers. Brittany had a wildflower inspired bouquet from Alpenglow Growers. This locally grown, freshly cut bouquet really did make a huge difference for this backpacking elopement! It went through rain, snow, backingpacking, & lasted overnight in cold conditions up in the mountains & still looked great for their elopement ceremony the next day!

It was really neat to take Brittany & Chad up to the lake & see their reaction to seeing it for the first time. The lake is just so blue, it’s big, it’s deep, & it is just impressive to see it in person. The hiking & backpacking up to this spot was a lot of work, especially with all of our gear & the packrafts, but it was definitely worth the hard hike to get up to this amazing elopement location in Colorado! I also have to give a huge shoutout to Holden & Kaylyn of Backcountry Vows! They are amazing adventure elopement videographers in Colorado who came along with us. They helped so much with gear & are seriously the best video team for more adventurous elopements!

Getting Ready Around Sunrise

After getting a good nights sleep & some backpacking meals, we all started to get ready for sunrise. Brittany used my tent to get ready a little before sunrise. She brought along a battery powered curling iron & just some simple hair & makeup really made her look amazing for her ceremony & photos! Chad helped her finish getting ready. We had an AMAZING sunrise & something I’ve loved doing recently if the location is right is some silhouette photos a little before the actual sunrise time. We adventured around, caught the sunrise on the mountains, & they were just having so much fun in this amazing place. This is a less popular place & we had it all to ourselves for most of the time. The most beautiful & more private elopement locations are not always the easiest to access, but when you can have beauty & privacy like this, I say it is always worth the effort.

Ceremony at a Mountain Overlook

A little after sunrise, we took a little break so Brittany & Chad could freshen up & get ready for their ceremony. There are literally endless possibilities for beautiful ceremony locations around this area but Chad hiked around & found an amazing overlook with the green valley behind them. As you can see, the florals still looked amazing, even going through all the weather & having to sit overnight.

Brittany & Chad each wrote personal vows that they said to each other. With saying your vows, you’re so focused on the person you love, but the location can be important too. Now they have these incredible images to bring back memories of their special day forever. Chad actual threw his vow book down! He wanted to say what he felt like in that moment. However you choose to have your ceremony, personal vows are one of the best ways to make your elopement special & memorable, you can keep your vow books or even include your written vows in something like a photo album or frame them for your bedroom.

Packrafting on the High Alpine Lake

After their ceremony, Brittany & Chad took some time to cook up some backpacking meals & make some coffee. Chad even brought a hand coffee grinder for fresh ground coffee! I even got to bring my dog Bunji with me! He’s a pretty chill dude but he also has a ton of energy & is a very fit boy! So backpacking adventure elopements are no problem for him!

With such an amazing lake, we had to take advantage of it! I’ve been loving using my packraft at various places throughout Colorado & suggested packrafting to Brittany & Chad, they were pretty excited for it! I want couples to know that elopements in Colorado can be so much more than just a ceremony & a pretty photoshoot in the mountains. Think about fun things you love to do or things that you’ve love to try & include them on your elopement day! It can definitely make for some fun memories & a great way to breakup your day. I was able to continue with photos & really didn’t have to direct at all. They just had fun exploring this amazing lake. It gave them some space & their own private time & I was able to continue photographing their day kind of just as a fly on the wall. To get some of these photos, I brought along a waterproof camera case & swam out into the freezing cold water!

Hiking Back Down from the Mountains

After Brittany & Chad hiked all around the mountains, watched the sun rise, had a beautiful ceremony, & went packrafting on the lake, it was getting time to hike back down. Before we went back down, Chad had to jump into the lake! The flowers started to look a little more tired but honestly still looked pretty great for everything we put the flowers through. On the way back down it wasn’t raining on us until we were close to our cars. We got to see the whole hike down in a whole new light (literally) & took in the views & amazing wildflowers of the mountains. This backpacking elopement in Colorado was definitely one for the books!

Malachi was amazing from the start! I can’t thank him enough for the outstanding vow ceremony! Never thought we could find a place that had everything we wanted: mountains, wild flowers, & a lake! He came threw with all three in one amazing place!! Malachi took us to a remote place, which intimacy & privacy was very important to us. We were the only soul there saying our vows, it was heavenly. Took us on a grand adventure, hiked up to 13,500’, camped, & even jumped in a freezing cold lake for underwater photos. He brought along pack rafts for some fun photos, & even let me get ready in his tent. Took photos of us all the way up AND down! Oh and the photos are insane!!!!! – Brittany & Chad

Does this look like a fun adventure? Let’s plan an adventure of your own! I’m always down for some crazy ideas & extreme adventures! Contact me & let’s talk about some ideas for your day!

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