How to Elope In Moab in 2023 | Moab Elopement Planning Guide

How to Elope In Moab in 2023 | Moab Elopement Planning Guide

How to Elope In Moab

Moab is one of my absolute favorite areas for adventure elopements! It has so much variety in gorgeous scenery from rivers, breathtaking overlooks, arches, vibrant red rocks, canyons, lakes, mountains and waterfalls. If you’re eloping in Moab this blog will explain everything about how to elope in Moab from picking the right time of year, to locations, permits in BLM land and national or state parks, how to choose the right dress for your adventure elopement, and suggestions for fun activities during your elopement. If you’re ready to book your Moab elopement photographer right now you can contact me!

Where to Elope in Moab

When it comes to figuring out where to elope in Moab there are so many amazing places! You can have an epic off-roading adventure and elope overlooking the canyons and river, kayak in the river, or say your vows under an incredible arch. There’s so many options and you can visit more than one location during your elopement! Even though Moab has exploded in tourism over the last few years there’s a lot of off the beaten path locations where you can beat the crowds for an incredible Moab elopement.

elopement photographer Utah view of Moab elopement

Arches National Park

This is one of the most popular national parks in Utah. It has so many amazing features to offer. One of the incredible views of this park is the beautiful arches it has. If you’re eloping here you will have a breathtaking backdrop, but you won’t be able to have an elaborate set up with decorations since you’re in a national park. Less is more when it comes to eloping in national parks like this!

Since Arches National Park can be very busy especially during peak season I highly recommend eloping here at sunrise to avoid large crowds for your Moab elopement. Busy season happens from March-October here and can still be really crowded early in the morning. Permits are required if you’re eloping, wedding, or having a vow renewal ceremony and are available for $185. On top of that you still need to pay an entrance fee into the park. If you have a valid recreation pass that can also be used. 

Ceremonies are permitted at 10 different locations throughout the park. Those locations are La Sal Mountains Viewpoint, Park Avenue, The Windows Section, Sand Dune Arch, Delicate Arch, Delicate Arch Viewpoint, Pine Tree Arch, Landscape Arch, Devil’s Garden Campground Amphitheater, & Panorama Point. After your ceremony we can go to other locations for photos.

Canyonlands National Park

This park is one of my favorites for a private Moab elopement! Canyonlands is one of the biggest national parks in Utah. The park is divided into 4 different districts: the Island in the Sky, the Needles, the Maze, and the combined rivers—the Green and Colorado. The most popular section of the park is the Island in the Sky District which is closest to Moab. The Needles District is the next closest to Moab and has a lot of great remote locations to offer. Since Canyonlands is further away from Moab compared to Arches it is less crowded so you can elope during sunrise or sunset without there being large crowds. Ceremonies for weddings and elopements can be held at Grand View Point, Green River Overlook, and Mesa Arch. I can also take photos of you at other locations or we can combine Canyonlands with another location. 

Permits are required for any wedding, elopement or vow renewal ceremony in Canyonlands National Park. The permit fee is $185 which doesn’t include the park entrance fee. If you have a valid recreation pass that can also be used. 

Canyonlands has beautiful cliff view points and if you have a huge fear of heights keep that in mind. Most of the ledges don’t have any guard rails so be careful!

elopement photographer Utah view of Moab elopement

Dead Horse Point State Park 

Dead Horse Point State Park is located pretty close by to Canyonlands National Park. It’s about 40 minutes from Moab. Typically this park is a little less crowded than the major national parks. Since this park is a state park instead of national park, you won’t be able to use a national parks pass and will have to pay a separate fee. 

Dead Horse sticks out a little and overlooks the Colorado River and Canyonlands National Park. It is quite unique and Canyonlands doesn’t have anything like it really. 

Permits are required to have a wedding, elopement, vow renewal, and engagements. The permit doesn’t include your park entrance fee. You can also get into the park with a Utah state parks pass. One of the best parts about the park is that it’s dog friendly! Dogs can’t go on mountain biking trails and can only go on hiking trails which include East Rim Trail, West Rim Trail, & the Bighorn Overlook Trail. 

elopement photographer Utah view of Moab elopement

Moab Elopements in the Manti La Sal Mountains

The Manti La Sal Mountains are a hidden gem! They are located southeast of Moab and offer a beautiful mountain range full of lakes, pine, aspen and evergreen trees, wildlife, and recreation. Even though they aren’t the most impressive mountains compared to some in Colorado they still offer a lot of beautiful scenery. They offer views of Moab and Castle Valley. These mountains offer fall colors and snow which isn’t something very common in Moab. It can even be an escape from the typical heat in Moab. 

Eloping in the Manti La Sal Mountains doesn’t require permits as long as it’s a small group with no set up. It’s the perfect place to see the snow in the winter, the fall colors and wildflowers.

Elopements in Moab Bureau of Land Management Areas

A huge part of Moab is owned by the Bureau of Land Management. These areas have some amazing places to explore and to have your Moab elopement with beautiful cliffs, arches, and free camping. The BLM land also offers a lot of privacy since it’s usually pretty off the grid. I’ve spent a while location scouting to find some pretty epic off the beaten path locations for my couples to have their private elopement. 

Permits are required for Moab photography by the Bureau of Land Management on any of the land they own. So make sure that your photographer has a permit. The process is pretty extensive for photographers to get the recreation permit, and they’re only given out twice a year.  If you’re caught without one it can result in getting kicked out or even fines. For couples, you only need a letter of authorization from the BLM office. You’ll need to name any vendors and make sure they all have permits. 

This is only a short list of where to elope in Moab! Moab has some pretty epic places to get eloped at and is perfect for the adventurous couple. As your Moab elopement photographer, I scout locations and compile a list of off the beaten path locations that I only send to my couples. I’ll include info on each location like trail length, elevation gain, difficulty, how accessible it is, and any other important info about each location. I offer unlimited planning consults to help you plan for eloping in Moab! 

elopement photographer Utah view of Moab elopement

When to Elope in Moab

Moab has become extremely popular among tourists over the past years. So it’s important to plan the right time in order to avoid crowds and have the best weather. 

Summer in Moab 

Summer in Moab can be extremely hot in the upper 90’s and 100’s. Even if you elope at sunrise or sunset it still can be pretty hot at that time. I would not recommend eloping there in summer, but if you do I would split your elopement between sunrise and sunset. Summer also is a really popular time due to all the recreation that Moab offers like rafting, off-roading, and visiting the nearby mountains and rivers! 

Fall in Moab

The temperature is mild during this time and similar to spring temps. The wildflowers and plants can look dried up due to the long summer heat. The Man-La Sal Mountains offer trees and shrubs that can change color during the fall. Due to the heat, the rivers and lakes can be pretty dried out due to summer heat. The fall is also a pretty busy time of year in Moab so it’s best to do a sunrise elopement.

Winter in Moab

Winter is the least popular season in Moab, but can also be unpredictable. Some days it might be pretty warm and then other days it can be pretty cold. If you get really lucky it can even snow! 

Spring in Moab 

Spring is a popular time in Moab, but one of my favorites. This time of year gets the most rain, but storms often go away pretty quickly. Temperatures are pretty mild during spring. This desert can also be pretty lush during this time with all the rainfall. To avoid a lot of crowds, I’d recommend eloping before mid May before schools get out. 

elopement photographer Utah view of Moab elopement

Eloping on Weekdays

Eloping on a weekday is usually the best time to avoid the crowds. With people extending their weekend trips until Monday or Friday even those days can be busy. Midweek is typically the best time to elope. It’s a lot easier to find places to stay during the middle of the week also. 

Places to Stay in Moab

Moab has a lot of unique Airbnbs to stay at! Make sure that you book them early since Moab continues to become really popular. 

Here’s a list of some of my favorite Airbnb’s to stay at:

Scalatore ~ #5, Downtown Condo in Moab with Rock Climbing Wall

4-K The Sand Flats Condo

Kokopelli Studio in Downtown Moab

 Casa Moab in downtown Moab

Log Hut in the Desert of Moab

Traveling to Moab

There isn’t much around Moab since it’s a remote high desert location. So this can make traveling here a little bit more work.

Airports

The best airport to fly into is the Grand Junction Airport which is located around 2 hours away from Moab in Grand Junction, Colorado. It’s located on the border of Utah and Colorado. The airport isn’t that big so fares might vary, but it’s worth researching. The biggest airport closest to Moab is the Salt Lake City Airport which is around 4 hours from Moab. The Canyonlands Regional Airport is the closest airport to Moab, just 20 minutes away. However, since it’s so small there’s less flights and it’s more expensive. It’s best to research all your options to find the best for you.

elopement photographer Utah view of Moab elopement

Traveling around Moab

If you’re flying in it’s best to rent a car. One of my favorite ways to rent a car is through the app Turo. It’s most ideal to rent a car with 4WD capability like a Jeep. Renting a Jeep can also be perfect for photos for your elopement. There’s plenty of off-roading trails and I’ve found some remote locations require a high clearance 4WD vehicle like a Jeep. Off-roading driving can be dangerous depending on the trail difficulty so be sure you know your own limits. Make sure you book your rental car in advance because they tend to book fast!

Utah Elopement Packages

As a Moab elopement photographer I offer Utah elopement packages. I specialize in adventurous elopements and small weddings, and I love helping my couples have amazing elopement experiences! I’ll document your best adventure yet wherever you want to do – off-roading, a helicopter tour, hiking, or floating down a river. This is all about how you want to spend your wedding day and I’ll be there to help you plan! 

Contact me for your Moab elopement! 

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