A dirt path flanked by a field of wildflowers and green grass, leading to a snow-capped mountain range set against a deep blue sky at Telluride, in Colorado.

Telluride Elopement Locations – The Complete 2024 Guide

Telluride Elopement Photographer

I’m Lucy, Telluride elopement photographer and guide to the best locations in this mountain town! This San Juan mountain town is full of the biggest mountain views, epic waterfalls, off road trails, and forests galore. Most of Colorado is pretty, but I was still totally blown away by this amazing gem. The town is set at the end of a steep mountain valley, so views are everywhere. Also – when you’re in town, don’t miss the farmer’s market for great street food. How fun would it be to pick up a bouquet at the market on the morning of your marriage?

Where is Telluride?

Telluride is in the San Juan Mountains in Southwest Colorado in San Miguel county. It’s a good 7-hour drive from Denver, but man is it worth it. Not only is the journey there incredibly beautiful, once you arrive, it is paradise! If you fly to Denver, there are a few scenic routes you can take. Pick one route to go there, and another on the way back! The town of Telluride sits at over 8,700 feet elevation, so this is a true mountain town.

  1. Take i-70 West to Grand Junction and go south. Places to stop along the way will be gorgeous: Mt Evans, Lake Dillon, Glenwood Canyon, Rifle Falls, Colorado National Monument.
  2. Take i285 South to 50 West to Montrose. You’ll pass Kenosha Pass, Buena Vista, and Black canyon of the Gunnison. This is the shortest route.
  3. Take i-25 South to Pueblo then get on 50 West. This will take you past Garden of the Gods, Pike’s Peak, and Skyline drive. This is the best route if it is snowy or cold.

A Real Telluride Elopement in Fall

Jackie and James planned their Telluride elopement in the peak fall season. They braved one of the toughest 4×4 roads in all of Colorado – seriously, it’s not for the feint of heart – to the top of Imogene Pass. This grand vista has 360 views of all the mountains in the San Juan Range. They headed back down the mountain after their first look, and had a ceremony with their parents with mountain views. See more of their Telluride jeep elopement photos here! Photos taken as an associate for Skyewater Photo.

A Real Trout Lake Elopement in Telluride

Julie and Sebastien eloped at Trout Lake in Telluride in late September. The easy access made this spot the perfect fit for them and their family. See all the highlights and fun moments from their full day elopement here!

Telluride Elopement Locations

You might be spoiled for choice when you choose to elope in telluride. After booking, I help my couples take the vaguest of ideas into a reality. I help suggest exact locations, trailheads, experiences and activities based on what you tell me you want from your day. There is no cookie cutter elopement here, and no two couples ever have the same timeline. I’ll outline my favorite Telluride elopement locations here, and for more exact intel, get on my calendar!

Telluride Waterfall Elopement Locations

If you’re wondering where to elope: Telluride waterfalls are gorgeous! The biggest waterfalls in Colorado are concentrated in the Telluride area. In fact, it reminds me of Yosemite! The largest is Bridal Veil Falls, a hike or 4×4 road journey up from the end of town. If you’re up for an adventure, getting close to the base of these falls will have you soaking wet in seconds. It’s exhilarating! More waterfalls can be found on the north and south slopes of Telluride’s valley and scattered in the mountains nearby. One of them is nestled in a ruby-red rock vein and you can even go behind the falls for an epic view. Another is tucked away in a lush, deep canyon with tons of foliage. I love a good waterfall elopement!

Best hikes for eloping in Telluride

There are almost too many hikes to list, so let me start on a few! My favorite hike in Telluride is Hope Lake. Jud Wiebe, Bridal Veil Falls, Bear Creek, River Trail, and Blue Lake are just as incredible. Upper and Middle Blue Lakes are the famous hikes with turquoise blue waters – though they are near Telluride, the trailhead is on the Ridgeway side of the mountains. The best months for hiking and hiking elopements in Telluride are June to October, especially July and August when the wildflowers are at their peak.

Off-Road Telluride Locations

If you’ve got an itch for off-roading, look no further than Telluride. Some world-class roads are out here for every skill level. Whether you want to drive yourself or get in touch with a jeep tour company, there are so many fabulous options. With names like Tomboy, Black Bear, Ophir, Imogene, Last Dollar, Owl Creek, Gold King, and Camp Bird, these roads are sure to tickle your fancy. Off-roading is an easy way to get great access to incredible views without breaking a sweat. So you can arrive at the top, be totally alone, and without the glossy sheen of an uphill workout. You get me?

Here is my Telluride Elopement Locations Map:

So where are all these Telluride elopement locations? I made a map overlay with pinpointed spots with color photos I’ve taken of each place. So you can see all the amazing spots without leaving your living room. If you’re planning from outside of Colorado, this is a visual key to picking out the right elopement spot 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!

About your Telluride Elopement Photographer

I’m a colorful Telluride 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 helping people plan the elopement that will make them grin the widest. Telluride is one of my the most magical places in the state. Maybe I’ll see you there!

How to Elope in Telluride

Eloping in Telluride is remarkably easy! There aren’t many rules and permits to navigate, so last minute elopements are just as good here as those planned in advance. However, some spots, like the San Sophia overlook, do need to be reserved. This huge vista at the top of the (free!) gondola is incredible; reserve it here. The most difficult part of eloping here is the distance from Denver and the short supply of vendors and accommodations. There are only a few florists, limited hotels, and everything books up tight.

My step by Step guide of how to plan an elopement in Telluride

Here’s a step by step how to guide on eloping in Telluride. This is the great outdoors, so don’t make an outdoor elopement into something complicated. You can do this in just six steps!
1. Select a date or date range for you to elope
2. Reserve a way to get there by driving, flying, or a combination
3. Hire an experienced Telluride elopement photographer to guide you through this process
4. Coordinate with your photographer to select an exact location and time. Book your campsite or accommodation.
5. Hire additional vendors if desired, such as a private chef, florist, jeep, or horseback ride. Pick out your garments.
6. After picking up your CO marriage license, you’re ready to elope!

Obtaining your Colorado Marriage License

Getting your Colorado Marriage License for a Telluride elopement isn’t too hard! You can make an appointment at ANY county courthouse in the state – it doesn’t have to be in the county you’ll be marrying in. But, the closest one to Telluride is IN Telluride, which makes getting your marriage license super easy. Make an appointment at the courthouse, show a photo ID, answer some questions in person, and you’ll get your marriage license issued. Your license costs just $30 and is valid for 63 days from the day you pick it up.

Do we need an officiant?

You aren’t legally required to have any sort of officiant at your ceremony in Telluride. The whole state of Colorado recognizes your right to ‘self-solemnize’ which means to declare yourself married, yourself! You may choose to have a ceremony created for you by a professional if you like. Or nominate a friend of yours to keep you laughing and tell the story of your relationship through their own eyes.

When to Elope in Telluride

Winter comes early to Telluride and stays late. It’s a Ski town from November to the end of April. Avoid eloping in April and May, as they will still be snowy and muddy, due to the high elevation. Summer and Fall are the best months for elopements here, with warm temperatures during the day and trails clear of snow. You should plan for a weekday elopement as weekends get very busy and the best trailheads will be full. Also, keep your eye on the town’s calendar, because they hold several popular festivals throughout the year that will stretch the town’s accommodations to the limit.

Where to stay in Telluride in 2024?

Hotels are expensive and scarce in this mountain town. Be prepared to spend the lion’s share of your budget on accommodation here, as it is so remote. I’ve narrowed down some of the best spots already – check out my list of incredible Airbnbs in Telluride. For Lodges, try Alpenglow, Golden Ledge, and sites on the Aldasoro private property are stunning as well. Or, think about camping out under the stars! There are also fantastic ski huts and cabins (try Schmid ranch!) that can be rented for your intimate elopement in Telluride. The views and adventure here are just stunning!

How much does it cost to Elope in Telluride?

Eloping in Telluride can be as thrifty or as spendy as you like! For an inexpensive elopement, elect to camp, rent a campervan, or stay at an affordable cabin or condo. One area you should not skimp on is the photography! A local Telluride elopement photographer will help you come up with a blueprint for your elopement and then bring that vision into reality. I provide the map, set up a timeline, backup plans, connect you to the vendors and experiences that will make your day the best. Here’s a hypothetical elopement budget for a just-us-two day in Telluride.

Budget for Telluride Elopement Packages
$30 Colorado Marriage License
$800 to $3000 Accommodation depending on your comfort level
$500 to $5000 your elopement clothes – dresses, suits, and everything in between
$5000 to $10000 Telluride elopement photographer
$500 to $2500 Additional vendors and experiences – flowers, jeep tour, horseback ride, beauty services
$400 to $900 Food for the elopement day – maybe bougie picnic, to high end dinner, to snacks like an unsupervised 8 year old was given $50
$7300 to $21,500 depending on your style.

How many hours of Telluride elopement photography do I need?

Some folks think that when they leave behind the Big Wedding behind, their elopement is Just the ceremony and some photos after. I love the simplicity of that, but I’m here to tell you that your elopement day is exactly that – a whole day! You can and should pack your day with all the things that make you happy. Here is a sample timeline of a full day elopement in Telluride.

8:00 Head down to the farmers market and pick up breakfast and a bouquet of fresh flowers together
9:00 Get ready back at your Airbnb
10:00 Have your first look a stunning trailhead full of wildflowers
11:00 A short waterfall hike to get your blood pumping and your shoes dirty
12:30 Get lunch in town or perhaps a picnic of fresh bread and deli cuts
1:30 Begin a jeep tour up an incredible mountain pass or hike together to Hope Lake
4:00 Romancing at the top. Have your elopement ceremony surrounded by high mountain peaks.
6:30 Take the free Telluride Gondola to Allred’s fine dining restaurant for dinner
8:00 Chase the sunset hand in hand!
9:30 Relax in the hot tub together under the stars

Telluride Elopement Packages

I offer Telluride elopement packages including all day photography, officiating and planning services. There are no travel fees, download fees, watermarks or other hidden fees. These prices are for 2024.

All inclusive elopement packages start at $15,000

2 Day Telluride elopement photographer – $9900

1.5 Days of Telluride elopement photography – $7900

1 Full day Telluride adventure elopement package – $6900

Up to 4 hours of Telluride Elopement Photography – $5500 **Only available on select dates in Sept 2024**

Intimate Wedding or Elopement in Telluride

I’m a big fan of elopements that are just the two of you. But I’m also a fan of elopements that include your best friends and family. What can I say, I’m a hype woman for all the options! There are a few picnic areas and town pavilions where you could get together for a meal outdoors. If you are going to have an elopement in Telluride with guests, the hardest part will be finding affordable meals and accommodation for everyone. Telluride is very small, but has a lot of visitors, so rooms book up fast! And don’t think that the winter season will be any easier – ski season is BIG.

Telluride Elopement Planners

Will you go hiking, climbing, skiing or jeeping while you’re here? Now I hope you are excited to plan your elopement in Telluride! I can’t wait to give you tips on seasons, accessibility, timing, how-to’s and so much more. I know you will fall in love with Telluride like I did. I’m a passionate and weirdly dorky Telluride elopement photographer. I offer full day, 1.5 day and 2 day elopement photography in Telluride and the mountains of Colorado. My photography is always colorful and always capturing you at your best and most ridiculous! 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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