The dramatic, iconic, twin peaks of Maroon Peak and North Maroon tower over Pitkin County, Colorado in all their 14,000 foot high glory. The Maroon bells are the most peaky peaks to get married under on the entire continent, and that’s a certifiable fact. But did you know you can get married there for a whopping $200? In a stunning, reserve-able amphitheater, away from the hikers and busy trails no less! This makes the Maroon bells one of the most epic places to elope in Colorado. So keep reading to see the best season, timing and info!
How to Elope at the Maroon Bells
This dreamy location is 12 miles from Aspen, Colorado, and a good 4 hour’s drive from Denver. The peaks and Maroon lake are located within White River National Forest, and were some of the earliest peaks protected as wilderness in Colorado. The Maroon Bells Amphitheater lies at about 9,600ft, just a stone’s throw from Maroon lake.
Quick elopement location facts:
Dogs Allowed: Yes, on leash
Bathrooms: Yes, within walking distance
Maximum occupancy: 50 people
Rental fee: $200
When to reserve: June through October
Where to reserve: Weddings at the Maroon Bells Amphitheater
Your Elopement at the Maroon bells would be fantastic if you have a small group, you want to bring your dog(s), you want a private area with the most beautiful mountain views for your elopement, and you’re open to a weekday wedding date. From June to August, you can only reserve it from Sun-Thur and in September and early October, only Mon-Thur. After mid October, the only access road to the amphitheater closes due to snow.
The availability calendar to book your 2021 elopement at the Maroon Bells opens up on December 7th, 2020 at 7am. If you are considering eloping at the Maroon Bells, set your alarms and get ready to make the mad dash to reserve your date as this is understandably one of the most popular places in the state to get married. It’s perfect for a destination wedding that will wow you with this unforgettable mountain view – so amazing it almost looks fake! Here is Michael’s reaction to seeing the bells on his wedding day:
The maroon bells wedding amphitheater is deep within the National Forest in the Maroon creek valley. At this high elevation, weather systems move incredibly quickly and can be severe. It’s very common to wait out a sudden rainstorm when you plan your elopement at the maroon bells. One time I was there, in the span of 2 hours it rained three times for 15 minutes each time, but in between was beautiful sunshine! June is the rainiest month but also has you surrounded by bright greens of early summer, contrasted with snow on the high peaks. July and August have the hottest temperatures as the grasses start to brown in the summer heat, and an afternoon thunderstorm is all but guaranteed. And from about September 18th to 28th, the thousands of aspens that surround the area turn bright yellow, making this one of the best fall Colorado elopement locations ever. However, the fall season does have the least predictable weather, with anything from 90 degree days to a blizzard possible.
Sunrise brings incredible alpenglow down the peaks. A morning elopement ceremony at the maroon bells would have the best chance of clear weather, not to mention the direct light against the mountains makes them pop out from the sky. In the afternoon, the sun falls behind the peaks which can make for great sunsets, but a more hazy view.
But.. what about the shuttle bus, right? Since the road is closed to cars from 8am to 5pm, The $8 shuttle is the only way to access the area for most tourists and hikers, but luckily your Maroon bells wedding reservation comes with 5 car passes for you, your guests, and your photographer so you can drive right up. Anyone who can’t fit into those five cars will have to take the shuttle, which runs every 20 minutes. A great Maroon bells wedding photographer is going to have a lot of equipment, including backup cameras, lenses, batteries, lighting, and everything else to ensure your elopement goes according to plan, so please give one of your passes to your photographer. This epic Colorado elopement location doesn’t have just one view – the surrounding area is drop dead gorgeous in every direction. There are boundless elopement photo locations at the Maroon Bells and they’re all insanely break-the-internets pretty. Here are some highlights of all the spots we can hit up after your elopement at maroon lake!
Photos of Michael & Ryan taken alongside BonniePhoto. So are you and your partner ready to have creative, bright and beautiful maroon bells elopement photos with me? Get in touch to see my availability calendar and plan your 2021 intimate wedding!