Fully updated for 2023.
Why elope in Utah?
Utah – what do you think of? For us, we think adventure and amazing views. Utah is like a large play ground if you are into hiking, canyoneering, soaking in hot springs, climbing, mountain biking, off roading, camping, backpacking, base jumping, sight seeing, road trips and the list could just go on and on. Utah is largely known for the “Big 5” referencing the five National Parks: Arches, Canyonlands, Zion, Bryce and Capital Reef. All five of these parks are absolutely incredible, but Utah also has so much more to offer than just these five places.
Utah is diverse. It is full of opportunity for your dream adventure wedding day. Let’s chat about some of the very best of the best elopement locations in Utah!
- Where to Elope in Utah?
- How Can I Legally Elope in Utah?
- Utah Elopement Packages
- Tips for Eloping in Utah
- Your Utah Elopement Photographer Team!
Where to Elope in Utah?
Lake Powell has 2000 miles of shoreline and over 80 slot canyons stemming from the lake, making it a remarkable place to elope! Along Lake Powell you can elope on the rocky or sandy shores, you can elope on the water, in a slot canyon, or even on an overlook. Lake Powell makes for a perfect location for a multi-day elopement with just you two or you two and some friends or family.
Lake Powell spans over Utah and Arizona. Some of our favorite access points are near Kanab, Page (AZ), Escalante and Bullfrog. This place is so unique and if you are there during off season, it can be pretty quiet too!
You will need a special use permit to legally get married on most of the land in and around Lake Powell as it is apart of Glen Canyon NP Recreation area.
Favorite things to do for a Lake Powell Elopement:
- Kayak/Paddle board
- Boat (speed and/or house boat)
- Back pack to incredible overlooking views
- Off road to other incredible views
- Hike to natural arches
- Explore slot canyons by foot
Best Time to elope at Lake Powell:
- Spring – March and April really are amazing times to elope in this area, the perfect temperatures. It can be windy in the desert in the spring more so than other months.
- Summer – While traditionally we do not recommend eloping in the Summer in the desert, Lake Powell is a great summer option because you can hop in the water to cool off and do more activies like skiing! (NOTE: keep in mind Lake Powell is a very dangerous places to be during a storm or moonsoon and canyons flood. Do not go during a storm. )
- Fall – This is one of our favorite times in the area! The temperatures are perfect again, the crowds are gone from the summer and the milky way will be showing off!
- Winter – This is a fantastic elopement location in the winter! Privacy will for sure be on your side! The temperatures are mild compared to other parts of the US in the winter, but you still might be chilly.
If you are looking for a luxurious, but adventurous elopement location Amangiri is it. This accommodation will blow you away. The resort itself has stunning places to stay that blend right in with the environment, horse back riding, a swinging bridge across the canyons, climbing routes, hiking trails, private flight tours and more private access to the stunning Navajo mountains and rock formations. The resort offers a beautiful space for a small wedding dinner and celebration. To elope here you have to stay at the resort. Last I checked with the events manager a 2 night stay was required. You can expect to spend at around 7-12k on your stay and accommodations here, but it would be well worth the experience! Amangiri is located in Utah just a mile past the Arizona border, it is a great place to stay and elope all together, but you can also do other things during your stay here like visit Lake Powell or Kanab hiking/off roading areas.
Favorite things to do for an Amangiri Elopement:
- Horseback ride
- Swinging bridge
- Private tours
- Cultural experience
Best time to Elope in Amangiri:
- I would recommend eloping here during their slower season so that way you can get a more private experience. Thier booking rates are also cheaper during this time which is Jan – March.
Kanab is a very cute quaint town surrounded by adventure. The best way to get here is by flying into Vegas and then driving East towards the town. Kanab basically shuts down in the Winter for the most part, but it is so stunning in the Fall with changing leaves and a slight chill in the air making it a perfect place to elope. In this region you will find a ton of off roading and slot canyons to explore within the region or just south of it back towards Arizona. There is also a beautiful state park called Coral Pink Sand Dunes that makes for a playful + fun elopement location. You want to be careful or you might leave here with a new furry family member! The Animal sanctuary is home to many dogs, cats, horses and more bringing in many visitors to the area to adopt from here. With an adorable downtown to eat, grab ice cream or coffee we highly recommend stopping by Rocking V Cafe for dinner on your elopement evening. Kanab is a wonder place for a quiet elopement in the wilderness, it is also a gate way for Zion and Bryce National Park.
Our Favorite things about eloping in Kanab:
- Off roading
- Sand = fun!
- Cute town
- Starry skies
Best time to Elope in Kanab:
- We for sure recommend Spring or Fall for the best weather.
Zion National Park
Zion National Park is a great elopement location with the whole family or just you two. There are accessible places to stay right outside the park or in nearby towns like Kanab or Hurricane. Zion is probably most known for its hikes Angel’s Landing and The Narrows. While these are not trails you can elope on, you can for sure explore them during your travels for your elopement. Within Zion there are a few places you can hold a ceremony in the valley of the park and then you can take your portraits almost anywhere within the park. Stunning overview trails of the beautiful rock canyons range from 1 mile to 10 miles. Oh, and did I mention so many more slot canyons with technical rappelling as well as friendly walk in ones. We highly recommend checking out Under Canvas to stay at or one of the many Airbnb or Hipcamps. Zion is also a pretty good location to be able to see the Milky way in the evening! You will need a permit through the park system to get married within the park so be sure to apply for that at least 45 days in advance. Zion National Park is super busy and has a public transportation system to many trails, due to this we recommend eloping in the off season of late fall, winter or early spring and sticking to a weekday.
Our favorite things about eloping in Zion National Park:
- Horseback rides
- Chef provided dinners
Best time to Elope in Zion?
- In our opinion the best time to elope here is late September or early October. Temperatures here can be quite chilly by late October!
Hurricane + St George, Utah
Ah, another beautiful small town outside of Zion! Hurricane is located on the West side of the National Park, putting it closer to Las Vegas. Surrounding this town though is not just the National Park, but many beautiful State Parks. For example, Sand Hallow State Park has beautiful blue water surrounded by orange rock walls with lovely sand shores, rock cliffs, boating and kayaking! It is a great place to elope with family, kids or just you two! Also near by is the Red Cliffs Recreation area home of many hiking trails, climbing and more. Even outside of these two recreational areas you will find trails, off roading, waterfalls and more. It is a lovely place for a quiet get away. This is great if you want to be close to accomodations and a town, but also play in the desert.
Favorite things about eloping in this town?
- Kayaking/paddle boarding
- Off roading
- Yummy food
- Close to forest + desert
Best time to elope in St George?
- Spring or Fall! Check the events calendar on the state parks websites before you book because they often hold very large events that can shut down many main roads in town.
Bryce Canyon National Park
Going back through Zion and heading more North East you will find Bryce Canyon National Park. While this location is a bit more remote than the others listed above, it is beautiful with very unique rock formations. There are several easy day hikes, a few back packing trails and horseback riding options. It being a National Park you need to obtain a permit to get married in the park and there are very specific areas you are allowed to get married. There are many unique glamping stays to consider in this are that can be found on Hipcamp, Airbnb and more.
You do need a permit to elope in the National Park.
Things we love about eloping in Bryce:
- Less busy thank Zion and other areas in this region of Utah.
- Colorful sunrises + sunsets
- In the snow its so beautiful!
- ATV tours
- Horseback rides
Best time to elope in Bryce Canyon?
- The best time is April to October, unless you want the snow. However, keep in mind in the Winter most things surrounding the area is completely closed. Summer will be busy.
Grand Staircase Region
1.87 million acres. Can you imagine the possibilites for your elopement here?! This region is pretty remote so if you are looking for an elopement location that will allow you to disconnect from the rest of the world and experience the desert together all the while getting married, this is it. This chunk of land actually spans all the way through parts of Kanab and down to Lake Powell. An area we haven’t chatted about is Escalante, another close town and access point to a lot of the cool areas here. There are some super cool places to stay in this area from yurts, tiny cabins, to more modern stays. Grand Staircase grants you access to some stunning overviews of Lake Powell in the Utah region, wild arch formations and awesome backpacking trails through canyons and gulches. In this area you do not want to shy away from spending some time deep in the wilderness. Don’t worry we’re here to help you with all the epic trails and locations within this land region.
Favorite things about eloping in Grand Staircase:
- Off roading
- Endless slot canyons
- Hunting down arches + waterfalls
Best time to elope in Grand Staircase
- You do not want to be here when it is too cold or too hot, we recommend September, October and April.
Going to the almost complete East side of Southern Utah you will find Moab. Home of many rock climbing adventures, some serious off roading, slack lining, base jumping and more. Moab is also known for Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park. While these are two iconic places to adventure and elope you also do not want to forget about Dead horse state park (perfect for ceremonies with guests), the La Sal Mountain range and a ton of BLM land granting access to more arches, slot canyons, river access and more! Moab is a fantastic place for an adventure elopement + to have an epic honeymoon afterwards!
Favorite things about an elopement in Moab:
- Rock climbing/canyoneering
- Watching Base jumpers
- Hot Air Balloons
- Natural Arches
- Starry skies
- Off roading
- BIG CANYONS
- Diversity in landscape
Best time to Elope in Moab
- Moab’s busy season is Summer, we actually tell folks to fully avoid this time of year there. In our opinion the best time to elope in Moab is April, early May, October and November.
Bonneville Salt Flats
The Salt Flats span 30,000 acres of land. It is unlike anything you have ever seen really, unless you have been to the flats in Death Valley National Park. Located only 1.5 hours from Salt Lake City. This elopement location is the closest one in Utah on the list to a major city/airport. This location is perfect if you want to involve a lot of creativity into your day, a ton of fun and have a completely stress free experience.
What we love about eloping at the Salt Flats:
- the vastness
- beautiful sunsets
- SPEED – if you are into cars, dirt bikes, atvs etc this is the place to go to get some speed
When to Elope at the Salt Flats:
- Be sure you are avoiding any big events at the flats, this schedule can be found on the BLM’s website.
Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest + Fishlake National Forest
Believe it or not Utah, is not just desert. There are many mountain regions in Utah complete with wild flowers, lakes, skiing and hiking. The Wasatch area runs East of Salt Lake City and runs into Ashley National Forest and North of Salt Lake City. Some of the best hikes in this area range from two miles to seven miles. This area is great year round pending what you are looking for. In the winter you can ski and sno-mobile, in the summer you can hike and fish, in the fall its great for seeing the aspen leaves change, etc.
Fishlake is more central to the state. This area would be less busy than Wasatch. Some of the best trails in this area range from two miles to fourteen miles. The best time for hiking or eloping in this area would be Spring or Fall.
Our favorite thing about eloping in the National Forests:
- Typical no permit or less expensive permit
- You can camp!
- in general nature: wild flowers, fall leaves, waterfalls, animals, etc
- Typically more quiet than the National Parks
- mountain peaks!
How Can I Legally Elope in Utah?
To legally elope in Utah you and your partner will need to obtain an Utah Marriage license from a local clerk office or online. You will need an officiant and two witnesses to get legally married in Utah. Our elopement packages include one officiant and one witness, or two witnesses if you have a family or friend officiating.
How much does it cost to elope in Utah?
The cost of a marriage license in Utah is $50 generally. The entire cost of your elopement in Utah varies pending your elopement plans. Your elopement could cost anywhere from $5k – $40k. Elopement costs vary so greatly pending things like: travel, stay, food, photography, videography, officiant, attire, activities and more. Per a recent study the average elopement cost is between $7-15k.
We offer Utah elopement packages that start at half day coverage for $6000 and go up to multi-day adventure packages. Our elopement packages include:
- An officiant/witness
- Assistance in finding a location, picking vendors, planning
- Timeline creation
- Photography coverage
- The option to add on video
- Same day sneak peaks
- Full gallery with printing rights and advice on preserving your images for a lifetime
- MORE +
Our most common Utah elopement package is our full day for sunrise/sunset or our two day elopement package. Utah is big, there is a ton to do – it is very easy to fill an entire day on your adventure!
Tips for Eloping in Utah
After photographing many elopements in the state of Utah and endlessly exploring the state ourselves these our top tips to keep in mind when planning your Utah elopement:
- Rent a car. To get to any of these small towns or around these National Parks you will need to drive, probably a lot.
- Drink a lot of water! It’s the desert, you need more water than you think.
- Avoid Summer: heat + monsoons, are not the best thing in the desert. This does not apply to the National Forest areas
- Follow Leave No Trace and stay on trail!
- Hire a guide if you do not know how to do an adventure or do not have all the proper gear. Don’t be scared to do something new!
- To avoid crowds at your elopement pick a weekday or choose a sunrise ceremony. Eloping on shoulder or off season is also helpful.
- Have at least 3 months to plan your elopement – this is helpful for permits and booking travel.
Your Utah Elopement Photographer Team!
Hi! We are your adventure elopement photographers, officiants, planners and videographers! We have explored the desert endlessly through our passion for hiking, off roading, climbing and canyoneering! We love exploring the depths of Utah and finding incredible elopement nooks. We love helping couples plan a wedding day that is authentic to who they are, meaningful to how they want to start off their marriage and of course stoked on adventure! We look forward to connecting with you for your day and sharing more about what this region has to offer!
Check out these words from one of our couples that eloped in Utah!
“When my husband and I first reached out to Traci from Adventure and Vow, we were hyped. With having seen other couples having such an amazing time with fantastic photos of their elopement, we were inspired and reeled in. We knew we wanted to experience something more than a traditional wedding, and we were heavily considering eloping for the intimate experience. After testing the waters and contacting Traci, we felt that eloping with Adventure and Vow was the absolute best decision.
The time had come, to travel out west for our elopement, and we truly had an amazing adventure we’ll remember forever! Traci and Bill both were so fun to work with while getting ready, posing, laughing, having fun with ourselves with the moment, and really roughing it through mud and back roads for our hiking adventure! Our location for the shoot was perfectly secluded and at a Clift side with the most amazing views We had ever seen!
My husband and I truly wish we could just do it all again! It was absolutely the time of our lives!
The photos of our elopement blew our minds. The most comments we have heard from friends and family is how perfect they are they couldn’t believe it was from our elopement! Traci’s amazing work and experience took everything to the next level.
Lex and I can’t thank you enough Traci and Bill! We miss you guys and encourage anyone thinking about eloping… DO IT AND DO IT WITH ADVENTURE AND VOW !!!!!!” – Deb + Lex
Check out these elopement stories from Utah