Lucy’s Guide To Colorado National Monument Wedding & Elopement Locations
Colorado National Monument has been on my list of places to check out for a few years now. I’m so glad I got the chance to see it firsthand last month! This desert landscape is just outside of Grand Junction, Colorado. This area is also known as the Western Slope, and it’s an underrated gem for the adventurous couple! In this post, I’ll outline some of my favorite Colorado National Monument wedding and elopement locations! You can see one lovely couple’s vow renewal in CO National Monument here!
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The National Monument
While this isn’t a National Park (yet), you absolutely should check it out and you’ll need your national park pass to get in. If the Grand Canyon and Arches National Park had a baby- this would be it! The red canyon walls make a stunning backdrop. The spires of rock left standing after years of erosion dot the valleys and add dramatic focal points. There are easy to access viewpoints and long remote hikes, so couples of every adventure-level can pick their perfect spot. Best of all, intimate elopements here are easy to plan without any paperwork, and because you’re still in Colorado, you can self-solemnize without an officiant.
Colorado National Monument is accessed by a 22 mile road that hugs the rim high up on the cliff. There are many amazing viewpoints so you can start exploring and stop when you find a location that suits you! To see the views of each spot, download my Colorado National Monument elopement locations map below! Remember to follow Leave No Trace principles at all times when you elope. Keep in mind that this is Ute Land. The Utes are the longest continuous residents of Colorado. Consider making a donation, reading about their history, and attending a cultural celebration or fair.
One of my favorite hikes in the park is easy but with big payoffs. This short 1 mile hike takes you to a desert playground. You could spend hours exploring the rock spire formations, big canyon views, and layers of hidey holes and foliage. There are so many options here if you are just eloping the two of you!
Elopement Locations near Grand Junction
As with most parks, there are tons of hidden gems just outside the borders! One of my adventure days took us out to a remote set of arches that were mind-blowingly cool. You need a high clearance jeep to get here, but then it’s an easy hike to this unique landscape. I’ve also never been so peacefully alone. Now, can you imagine standing on this massive arch to say your vows at sunrise? Heckkkkkk yess!
There are so many cool places in western Colorado! The most dramatic waterfall on the western slope is Rifle Falls. The three big falls tumble parallel into a pool. Rifle Falls is located in a state park which means a straightforward permit process to have your ceremony at its base. Other waterfalls in the area fall along rivers that cut deep into their canyons. There are so many options to explore here! Not far to the east, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park offers those big canyon views without the desert temperatures.
When to Elope at Colorado National Monument
Because of it’s position on the drier western half of Colorado, temperatures are generally hotter here than the high peaks of central Colorado. This makes it a great off-season or shoulder season elopement location! Consider eloping in March, April, & May or October and November for the most comfortable daytime temperatures. If you’re planning a summer elopement, aim for a sunrise, early morning or an evening ceremony here. It can be dangerous to hike in the midday heat! Make sure to pack more water than you could need.
Here’s a preview of my interactive location map for my booked clients:
This map is like a virtual tour of Colorado National Monument. It even includes additional locations outside the park with color photos I’ve taken of each place. So you can see all the great spots without leaving your living room. If you’re planning from afar, this is a visual key to picking out the elopement spot that works for you. Details like what seasons and time of day are best for each location are included. It will help you plan your activities, accommodations, and your day’s itinerary. Lastly, it’s easy to have a great backup location picked out with this map in front of you. Having that Plan B in your back pocket will keep your planning stress-free!
I’m a nomadic and colorful 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. Colorado National Monument is an underrated desert-like paradise. Maybe I’ll see you there!
I offer full day, 1.5 day and 2 day elopement photography in National Parks and the wild lands outside of them. See my pricing and package details here. I would love to chat with you and help see if an elopement with me is what you’ve been dreaming of. Get in touch below!
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Explore my other Colorado Elopement Guides:
–Black Canyon of the Gunnison Elopement Guide
–Great Sand Dunes Elopement Guide
–Telluride Elopement Guide
–Boulder, CO Elopement Guide
–Ouray Elopement Guide
–Aspen Elopement Guide
–Mt Evans Elopement Guide
–Summit County Elopement Guide
–Rocky Mountain National Park Elopement Guide
–Maroon Bells Elopement Guide