Rocky Mountain National Park wedding locations

Comprehensive Guide to Planning a Rocky Mountain National Park Wedding

Looking to tie the knot in one of the most breathtaking places on earth? If you’re considering Rocky Mountain National Park for your wedding, you’re making a fantastic choice! After all, who wouldn’t want to choose a landscape filled with jaw-dropping mountain views and pristine natural beauty? Today, we are sharing all the details you need to know about the different Rocky Mountain National Park wedding locations. From securing the right permits to choosing the best ceremony spot in the park, we’re here to help and would love nothing more than to help streamline your planning. 

If you’re looking for a Rocky Mountain National Park wedding or elopement photographer, don’t hesitate to reach out and learn more about our photography services. We’re excited to help make your wedding day as perfect and stress-free as possible!

Dream Lake Wedding in Rock Mountain National Park
This is Dream Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park. While this is not a permitted ceremony location, you can visit here on your wedding day before or after your ceremony!

Helpful Information for Planning A RMNP Wedding

Regardless of the RMNP wedding location you choose, before you pack your bags, here are a few details you should know:

National Park Pass: Entry into Rocky Mountain National Park requires a National Park Pass, which costs $30 per vehicle per day. For frequent visitors, the America the Beautiful Pass is a great option at $80 annually, offering unlimited access to national parks across the country!

Timed Entry Reservation: Rocky Mountain National Park uses a timed entry system to manage park visitors. What this means is that you’ll need to reserve an entry time slot for you and your wedding guests, especially during peak visitation months. It’s really important to plan this out in advance to ensure you’ll have access to the park on your wedding day.

Marriage License: To get married in Colorado, you can apply for a marriage license at any county clerk’s office in the state, which makes things super easy! We recommend checking the county website you are applying for your marriage license since each county varies slightly. Once you get your marriage license, it’s valid immediately and good for 35 days (no waiting period required—just bring ID, know your Social Security number (if you have one), and if you’ve been previously married bring that documentation).

Ceremony Permit: A ceremony permit is required for any couple getting married within the park regardless of the number of people who will be present. There is more info on permits below!

Peak Times: Rocky Mountain National Park is a very popular national park which means many locations on this list will have pretty limited privacy. If privacy is very important to you, we recommend thinking about planning your ceremony for mid-week around sunrise or sunset to give you the best chance at quieter locations.

Rocky Mountain National Park Wedding Permit Information

Next, let’s have a quick word about permits. After all, planning your ceremony in Rocky Mountain National Park isn’t just about picking a location (even though we are diving right into that part next!), permits are also something you need to consider and apply for.

  • A permit is mandatory for any wedding ceremony held within the park, regardless of the group size. You’ll need one even if you are eloping! The cost for a permit is $300. Here is where you can download and apply for an RMNP wedding permit.
  • Permits are in high demand, with only 60 available each month from May to October and 40 from November to April. We recommend applying early (if possible, a year in advance) if you are hoping to have your wedding here!
  • You can apply for a wedding permit up to one year in advance (by the month). For instance, if you’re eyeing a September 2025 wedding, mark your calendar for September 1st, 2024 so you can submit your application.
  • There are 12 specific locations within Rocky Mountain National Park designated for wedding ceremonies. These spots are selected for their accessibility and minimal environmental impact (which is a win for everyone!). While the ceremony must take place within these designated locations, you’re free to explore anywhere in the park for your wedding portraits before or after your ceremony. We LOVE helping our couples make the most of their location to get the most epic wedding photos!
rocky mountain national park wedding locations

Rocky Mountain National Park Wedding Locations 

Rocky Mountain National Park is home to some of the most picturesque views in the United States. Regardless of where you choose for your wedding ceremony, you are going to have stunning photos and a great experience. Here’s a complete list of Rocky Mountain National Park wedding locations and information on how many guests are permitted at each location. Full overviews of each location are available below!

  • 3M Curve – 15
  • Bear Lake Nature Trail – 20
  • Copeland Lake – 30
  • Harbison Meadow Picnic Area – 30
  • Hidden Valley – 30
  • Lily Lake Dock – 10
  • Lily Lake Trail – 20
  • Lily Lake Southside Picnic Area – 30
  • Moraine Park Discovery Center Amphitheater – 30
  • Sprague Lake – 15
  • Timber Creek Campground Amphitheater – 20
  • Upper Beaver Creek Meadows – 30

Now let’s jump into detailed information about each Rocky Mountain National Park wedding location!

3M Curve

The 3M Curve location is known for its large rock outcrop which provides sweeping views over mountains, meadows, and moraines. This location is IDEAL for couples looking for a rugged and scenic backdrop and has an intimate guest list of under 15 people (including the couple and vendors). Although this location is off of a popular road, the small hike to this ceremony location places you far enough away and makes you feel like you have the entire place to yourself! If your guest list fits within the 15-person maximum restriction, this would be my top suggestion for your Rocky Mountain National Park wedding location!

  • Maximum Ceremony Size: 15
  • Vehicle Limit: 3
3M Curve Rocky Mountain National Park wedding locations

Bear Lake Nature Trail

Located on the shores of Bear Lake and surrounded by mountain vistas and aspen trees, Bear Lake Nature Trail offers iconic views of Rocky Mountian National Park. Getting married at an alpine lake with incredible mountain views seems like a pretty incredible ceremony right?! Bear Lake is one of the most popular destinations in RMNP and is located right next to the trailhead for many other very popular hikes. This means that even if you plan to have a sunrise ceremony at Bear Lake, there is a high chance privacy will be hard to come by. If privacy is really important for you during your ceremony, other locations on this list may be better suited. But if views are your main priority and you don’t mind other visitors in the area for your ceremony, then Bear Lake Nature Trail is a pretty epic Rocky Mountain National Park wedding location!

  • Max Ceremony Size: 20
  • Vehicle Limit: 5
Bear Lake Nature Trail Rocky Mountain National Park wedding locations

Upper Beaver Meadows

This one-of-a-kind ceremony spot boasts stunning views of the Continental Divide and gorgeous and expansive meadows. If you’re dreaming of a serene ceremony, surrounded by mountain views, and maybe even a wildlife encounter, Upper Beaver Meadows is your spot! This is the most private ceremony location on this list. This is another one of our favorite ceremony locations and it even has bathroom access at the trailhead! Access is limited by seasonal road closures from the middle of October to mid-May (there is NO vehicle access in winter), but if you’re planning a summer wedding, this is a hard spot to beat!

  • Max Ceremony Size: 30
  • Vehicle Limit: 10
  • Road closures typically from mid-Oct to mid-May, no vehicles allowed when road closed.

Copeland Lake

Remember how we mentioned the tranquil lake views? Copeland Lake is the perfect ceremony location if you’re hoping for lake views with a forested backdrop. Copeland Lake is a peaceful setting for larger gatherings too, complete with nearby restrooms. This location is, again, located off a pretty popular road, so you may hear some road noise, but the area itself is not as busy as other locations on this list.

  • Max Ceremony Size: 30
  • Vehicle Limit: 10
Copeland Lake Rocky Mountain National Park wedding locations

Harbison Meadow Picnic Area

Harbison Meadow Picnic Area is located on the quiet west side of Rocky Mountain National Park. It offers an open meadow area perfect for a larger ceremony and is easily accessible for guests with limited mobility. The Harbison Meadow Picnic Area was impacted by the fires in the park in 2020 and damage is evident (as you can see in the photo below). Although there is fire damage in this area, it is still a beautiful option for your ceremony and showcases some great mountain views. If you are planning to have your ceremony on the west side, this is one of two options.

  • Max Ceremony Size: 30
  • Vehicle Limit: 10
Harbison Meadow Picnic Area Rocky Mountain National Park wedding locations

Hidden Valley

Hidden Valley may be my favorite Rocky Mountain National Park wedding location! If you’re looking for a forested wedding location, Hidden Valley is rich with aspens, pines, and summer wildflowers, making it the perfect destination for a summer or fall wedding! There is plenty of space to explore, wander, and find a private area to share your vows. Other amazing features of this wedding location are that it’s wheelchair accessible, has restrooms, and offers plenty of parking for your guests.

  • Max Ceremony Size: 30
  • Vehicle Limit: 10

Lily Lake 

With three distinct Rocky Mountain National Park wedding ceremony spots, Lily Lake offers a ton of options for couples looking to soak up its lakeside settings. Lily Lake Dock is the busiest location out of the three, due to its close proximity to the road and hiking trail, but offers amazing views! Planning to have your ceremony closer to sunrise or sunset will give you the best chance at privacy, versus midday when the park is busiest and people are out exploring. This location is wheelchair accessible up to the dock and has restrooms nearby.

  • Lily Lake Dock: Max Ceremony Size: 10
  • Lily Lake Trail: Max Ceremony Size: 20
  • Lily Lake Southside Picnic Area: Max Ceremony Size: 30
  • Vehicle Limit: 10 (Vehicle limit of 10 applies from the Friday before Memorial Day weekend through 2nd Tuesday of October.)
Lily Lake Dock Rocky Mountain National Park wedding locations

Moraine Park Discovery Center Amphitheater

Nestled among pine trees, this rustic amphitheater overlooks Moraine Park and Longs Peak, offering wooden benches and a scenic, structured setting. Extra bonus points for this one? Dogs are welcome (on a leash)! This is the most traditional-looking venue in Rocky Mountain National Park while also giving you the feel that you are in a national park surrounded by nature. This location is also wheelchair accessible and gives your guests plenty of room to spread out. An arch and other ceremony decorations are allowed at this venue, so if you’d like to get married under an arbor you can!

  • Max Ceremony Size: 30
  • Vehicle Limit: 10 (Vehicle limit of 10 applies from the Friday before Memorial Day weekend through 2nd Tuesday of October.)

Sprague Lake

Sprague Lake is another of our favorites, with a beautiful trail and dramatic mountain and lake views. This is another one of our favorite ceremony locations in RMNP. The trail around the lake is wheelchair accessible. Although this location can get pretty busy at peak times, if you’re open to an early morning or sunset ceremony, you can find a nice quiet area to share your vows! Sprague Lake is one of the most popular destinations in Rocky Mountain National Park (and for good reason, I mean LOOK at those views!) so complete privacy may be hard to find unless you’re getting married in the winter.

  • Summer Max Ceremony Size: 15
  • Winter Max Ceremony Size: 30
  • Vehicle Limit: 3 summer, 10 winter
  • Ceremony size and vehicle limit of 10 applies from the Friday before Memorial Day weekend through 2nd Tuesday of October.

Timber Creek Campground Amphitheater

Are you dreaming of a camping wedding? Timber Creek Campground Amphitheater is located right next to a large campground and has accessible facilities for all your guests. This location is the other option for a west-side wedding ceremony and is the most accessible ceremony location in Rocky Mountain National Park. The downside to this location is that views are pretty limited. Unless you need your ceremony to be as accessible as possible, there are much better locations around the park for views.

  • Max Ceremony Size: 20
  • Vehicle Limit: 5
Timber Creek Campground Amphitheater Rocky Mountain National Park wedding locations

Alluvial Fan Bridge

Alluvial Fan Bridge is set near a boulder-strewn river and a wooden footbridge. This location can get very busy during peak times and doesn’t offer much option for privacy. Coming here closer to sunrise or sunset will give you the best chance of privacy.

  • Max Ceremony Size: 20
  • Vehicle Limit: 5

Time to Pick Your Rocky Mountain National Park Wedding Location!

Planning your elopement at one of the Rocky Mountain National Park wedding locations means you’re setting the stage for an absolutely incredible wedding day! Each location in the park offers something unique, whether it’s sweeping mountain views or serene lakeside settings. We genuinely hope that this guide gives you a solid starting point for navigating permits and picking the perfect spot for your ceremony. 

If you’re ready to plan your elopement and need someone to capture your Rocky Mountain National Park wedding, we would love for you to get in touch with us. We specialize in helping couples make their elopement dreams come true right here in Rocky Mountain National Park! We’re here to help you every step of the way, from choosing the perfect spot to preserving your precious moments forever in photographs.

Meet your photographer team

We’re Bridget & Ryan!

Adventurers turned adventure elopement photographers specializing in national park and hiking elopements! We help couples craft a wedding day that feels authentic to them in a meaningful and epic location. Life’s an adventure, let’s make your wedding one too!

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