Best State Parks for Elopements

Best State Parks for Elopements

Hi, I’m Lucy! Your nomadic and weird elopement photographer, here to tell you all about the 5 best state parks for elopements! National parks tend to get all the love and attention. But after living on the road for the past 2 years in my RV, I’ve found a lot of State Parks that are just as amazing for elopements! Here I’ll highlight 5 of my favorite state parks for elopements no matter what kind of scenery you’re dreaming of!

What do I need for a State Park Elopement?

What you will need for the best State Park Elopements: A sense of adventure, a rental car, and your best friend! Be willing to drive a fair distance from a major airport for many of these locations. You’ll trade easy access for more privacy than any of the National Parks. You’ll also need to plan for a weekday elopement to appease the management staff to get your permit approved. Carpool whenever possible and keep your guest count low. I personally don’t shoot groups of over 15, and 20 is the limit for many of these small parks.

How much does a State Park Elopement Cost?

Almost all State Parks charge an admission fee, and your National Park Pass will NOT get you in! Be prepared with cash or credit card. Feed range from $5 to $20 per vehicle, and your guests, if you invite any, will also need to pay. Contact the park in advance to ask if they require a permit to have your ceremony within the park. Each park is managed separately. Compared to renting a wedding venue, the permit fee ranging from $50 to $500 is much easier to swallow! Obtain your best outfit ever and complete the planning just as you would for any trip – flight, car, accommodation, food. Don’t forget the snackies.

#1 Best State Park for Elopements – Waimea Canyon State Park, Hawaii

Located on the furthest west of the main Hawaiian islands, Waimea Canyon State Park is on the Garden Isle of Kauai, Hawaii. What makes this a spectacular place to elope is the breathtaking beauty of this epic, lush canyon that divides the island’s northwest interior. It’s like a tropical Grand Canyon. To elope here, you’ll need a state park permit – so plan well in advance, as Kauai’s permit office definitely runs on Island Time!

#2 Best State Park for Elopements – Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada

This 40,000 acre desert State Park is located in Overton, Nevada, about an hour’s drive east of Las Vegas. It’s close proximity to a city means easy access, yet you’ll feel a world away from the bright lights of Sin City. Valley of fire is so colorful, it will feel like a punch in the face. You’ll need to hire a photographer on the State Park’s approved list in order to elope here, and there are 5 designated ceremony sites. After that, you can adventure anywhere in the park together! Consider a November to April date, since this park will roast you any other time of year.

#3 Best State Park for Elopements – Humboldt Redwoods State Park, California

Way up on the north coastline of California lies Humboldt Redwoods state park. This green gem is as breathtaking as it is remote, peaceful and enchanting. The towering Redwoods that dominate the area are extremely magical to experience first hand as you stroll through the park with your new spouse. The only downside to Humboldt Redwoods is that this State Park is a long drive from any major airport, so be ready to make it road trip elopement!

#4 Best State Park for Elopements – Snow Canyon State Park, Utah

Snow Canyon State Park is great for elopements! It’s tucked in the corner of Southwest Utah – but most visitors skip it in favor of the nearby Zion National Park. This makes it an uncrowded spot for desert elopement dreamers! But this park has so much within a small area, it’s hard to sum up! I’m talking lava tube caves, petrified dunes, white stone amphitheaters, sand dunes, beehives, towering canyons, epic hikes and bike paths. You can even camp within the park for a full experience.

#5 Eldorado Canyon State Park, Colorado

Just outside of Boulder, Colorado lies this incredible canyon park that is just waiting for YOU! It’s close proximity to the Denver Airport and the steep, colorful canyon walls make it one of the best state parks for elopements. Depending on your plan, you may or may not need a permit from the park, but it’s always best to ask. Parking is difficult in the popular summer months, so plan for May or October to get the best weather and least crowds.

About me – State Park Elopement Photographer

I’m a nomadic and colorful state park elopement photographer with an obsession for mountains, hiking, and my cats. My photography style emphasizes the epic landscape of your dreams and the authentic moments that make you two.. well, you two! I love my job and my nature-loving clients. Maybe I’ll see you out there!

#6 Kodachrome Basin State Park, Utah

Wait, I thought this was a top 5 list? Well, I couldn’t keep it to just 5! Especially with Kodachrome Basin being such an incredible state park elopement location. This small park is located in remote central Utah, and it’s absolutely worth the trip. The low crowds are balanced by epic landscapes in every color. This is the desert, but it’s forested and full of red, orange, yellow and white spires, hoodoos and canyons for you to explore. It’s as unique as it gets! There are plenty more Utah elopement locations to explore too!

#7 McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park, California

Another remote park, this small state park is hidden in Northern California, and is a loooong drive from anywhere. I hope when you see this waterfall, you’ll understand why it’s worth the trip. The bowl-shaped Burney falls is the primary attraction, and I could spend all day just watching it flow through the mossy cliffside. Dip your toes in the pool below and say your vows connected by the flowing water! Explore more amazing California elopement locations here!

#8 Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park, Utah

Near the adventure capital of Utah, the town of Kanab hosts many incredible sights like slot canyons, hoodoos, offroading galore and the incredible Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park. These dunes even allow you to tear it up on your dirt bike or side by side, making this a playground for the adrenaline seeking couple! The color of the sand is truly remarkable. While I wouldn’t call it pink, it is a uniquely bright shade of peach. Sunsets here are incredible!

#9 Best State Park Elopement Locations: Roxborough State Park, Colorado

Located close to Denver but offering a secluded mountain experience, Roxborough State Park is known for its iconic red rock “fins”. These towering formations will have your jaws on the floor. The Lyons overlook requires a short hike to access, and is reservable by calling the park. May, June, and September are the best months to elope at this mountain state park – I personally love the early summer green contrasting with the red brown rocks! See my guide for epic Colorado elopement locations outside of the state parks too!

#10 Dead Horse Point State Park, Utah

If you can look past the unromantic name of this park, you’ll love all the perks of eloping at this desert state park! Located near Moab and between the notorious Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park, this park comprises much of the same canyon and red rock scenery. A huge bend in the Colorado river is the focal point, and several viewpoints on the rim trail offer fantastic opportunities to elope. The desert is calling.. but avoid this area in the sweltering summer months!

Ready to plan your State Park Elopement with me? Get in touch!

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