October 21, 2019

Moab Elopement Locations | How to Elope in Moab


Moab, Utah is a beautiful desert oasis for those who enjoy mountain biking, canyoneering, hiking, off-roading, climbing, base jumping and/or visiting National Parks. Moab is home of a lot of BLM land, several National Parks, a state park and more. The cute downtown area is perfect for dining and entertaining guests. There are some awesome places to stay from camping, glamping, Airbnbs and endless hotels. If you are open to the desert, being in a remote area and going full on adventure then Moab is the perfect places for your elopement! In this blog we will cover several of the awesome elopement locations Moab has to offer, the permitting process, how to Leave No Trace in the desert and more! Moab truly holds a special place in our heart because it's where we got our dog Tucker (named after a mountain in the La Sal range), have done a many of nights camping with friends and gone on some epic canyoneering trips with the cat. We know how special this place can be and we are so excited to share with you for your potential wedding location!

Dead Horse Point State Park

This state park is just about 9 miles out of Moab and has so many miles of hiking and dirt biking trails. A lot of their trails are pet friendly which is great if you want to bring your pup along for your elopement! It is best to plan your elopement or small wedding at this location at least 30 days in advance so you can properly apply for the permit. At this location through the state park you will need to apply for a special use permit to get married on location. This is one of the few locations within the Moab area that you can include a set up for your ceremony like an arch or other ideas. This location is also a great family location option since the parking areas are very close to the elopement ceremony options. The entire state park for the most part is a flat plateau overlooking the East and West side of the valley of red rocks. While most people think sunset is the very best time to elope here you can also go for sunrise and blue hour for more privacy. For complete information on getting married at Dead Horse Point State park you will want to read this guide.

A couple holds each other close on their wedding day in Arches.

Arches National Park

What a gold mine this place is for all desert lovers! The 2,000+ red rock arches are so beautiful and it is just out of town center. Eloping here would mean getting married at a staple location of the America Southwest. Since this location is a National Park there are regulations that need to be followed and permits that need to be applied for in advance for specific locations you are allowed to hold a ceremony at within the park. The National Park put everything you need to know and actions to follow here. This is one of the most popular National Park's in Utah. It is important to make sure you are tracking closures due to high visitor volume and understand your privacy will be limited. To elope here with privacy my suggestion would be to elope in one of the non-popular locations in the park, to elope at sunrise and or during the off season. Some of the most iconic shots you have seen of elopements in Moab are 100% at Arches. If you can plan it properly to be a good fit for the experience of your day it is worth it!

Canyon lands National Park

This national park is just past Dead Horse Point State Park, but is vast. You may know this park best for the Island in the Sky region which is where all three of the locations the parks allows weddings to take place. If you’re interested in eloping at this mind blowing national park you will need to apply for a permit and make sure your event falls into place with the parks restrictions. Note that this is one of the furthest areas from town.

Castle Valley + more BLM Elopement Locations in Moab

Well you guessed it! This small town just North East of Moab got its name from the castle like rock formations that surround the area. There are many great trails for hiking, mountain biking and horse back riding in this area. Or you can spend part of your elopement day floating the Colorado River! Not too far out of Castle Valley you will also find Mary Jane Slot Canyon which would be so dreamy for an elopement and (bonus!) it is dog friendly and currently no permits are required!!

This is just one of the areas laid out by BLM (Better Land Management Bureau) that are per-approved elopement locations for photographers already holding a permit with the Moab BLM. Several areas on the list include places you can hike to, off road to, climb at or even mountain bike or kayak. If you find a location that is on BLM and sustainable to hold your even there is the possibility of applying for it through your photographer to still get married there. As permit holders we are provided an entire list of locations you can elope at. Some of which we have already scouted and we keep scouting every time we go to Moab to know if this is a good location experience and photo wise for our couples. For the sake of Leave No Trace we will not lay all of these locations out publicly, but we do share with each of our couples eloping in the area so they know all of their options!

With all of the red rocks around it is easy to forget about the beautiful mountain range right outside of Moab. The La Sal Mountains are stunning, full of Aspen trees, a few lakes here and there and vista points. Not to mention, surprise visits from the local free range cattle. If you are eloping in the Moab area in the Fall you do not want to miss the yellow explosion of color that will be along the mountain range. I think that this is a component that makes Moab super special, because you get the easy diversity of desert and mountains all in one place.

Moab Elopement in the La Sal Mountains by Adventure and Vow

How to follow Leave No Trace while eloping in Moab

Leave No Trace is 7 principals laid out by LNT.org and that the public land systems uphold for people recreating in on the land. It is so important important to follow LNT when you are eloping on the land for several reasons like preserving the land, keeping the ability to get married on public lands available for other couples, protecting animals, allowing others visiting the area to still enjoy their visit if you are eloping while theyre visiting and more! The seven principals are:

One of the very most important and special things about Moab is that there is a lot of cryaotic soil. This soil is what helps keep animals and plant life alive in the desert. It takes endless like millions of years to grow and form and one step can kill it. This is one of the reasons it is SO important to stay on trail in Moab and other desert regions. Cryaotic soil comes in a few different forms so it is important to look it up before you go to know what to look out for, but in doubt stay on trail.

Best Places to Stay in Moab for your Elopement:

Moab has sooooo many hotels in town center there are literally endless options of just hotels. However, there is lots of "dirt bag" camping options on BLM land, paid campsites, glamping and of course VRBOs + Airbnbs. Below is a list of locations to stay that we recommend based on having an epic experience and places that would photograph super well.

Other Things you should know about eloping in Moab:

A couple off roads in Moab.

Book your Moab Elopement Photographer now!

When booking an elopement photographer in Moab, it is important to book someone that already holds a photographer permit with the BLM office or has enough time to obtain a new one (recommended early or late in the year with at least 60 days in advance). We already have a BLM permit with the Moab office and we are familiar with the State and National Parks. While there are plenty of places to elope in Moab outside of BLM land those locations tend to be busier and you can get more options with someone permitted. Also, there are only certain times of year this permit can become obtained.

We love adventuring in Moab and would love to help you plan your epic adventure and capture all the memories. Moab holds a special place in our heart as we have many memories of taking our cat canyoneering there, adopting our dog Tucker from Under Dog, friends-giving, hosting workshops, climbing and more! We would love the chance to get to know you and help you create special memories here on your big day together! <3

This Moab Elopement session was featured on Trends Magazine!


Save these Top Five Places to Elope in Moab locations to your pinterest board!

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46 comments on “Moab Elopement Locations | How to Elope in Moab”

  1. Holy heck this list absolutely rocks!! I've been wanting to visit Moab so badly, I've always loved the desert. The images and that light are absolutely gorgeous!

    1. They were super cute and committed to drive there and back on a weekday night! Had the view to ourselves though!

    1. Congrats Sarah! That is awesome, if you are still looking for a photographer I would love to chat with you!

  2. That's such an amazing place for pictures out there. I know Arizona has the look in some places, but it really reminds me I need to make a trip out to Utah in the near future.

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