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23 Best Places to Elope in Utah in 2023 [Full Elopement Guide]

couple standing together hill landscape

Post Summary: Below is a full guide to eloping in Utah, complete with a list of all the best places to elope in Utah and a quick checklist to help you plan your Utah adventure elopement!

couple standing together silhouette

I’ll bet that any couple who’s decided to plan an adventure elopement in the U.S. has, at some point, considered eloping in Utah. Filled with some of the most EPIC desert landscapes in the country, Utah has become an incredibly popular adventure elopement location in the western United States! Couples have said their vows amidst the vast canyons along the Utah-Arizona border, under the crimson arches of Moab, atop the bright white landscape of the salt flats, and deep in the winding valleys of deserts across the state. No matter what type of desert elopement you’re envisioning, this comprehensive list of the 23 best places to elope in Utah is sure to blow your mind + have you dreaming of all the magical possibilities!

bride in dress rock landscape

The Ultimate “How to Elope in Utah” Checklist

Before I get into all of the best places to elope in Utah, it’s important to make sure you feel confident in your ability to plan your Utah elopement in the first place! How do you know when to elope? How should you find vendors? Where the heck should you stay? Here’s a super simple, easy-to-understand checklist for how to elope in Utah!

hill landscape in utah

1. Pick a date around the best time to visit

First, you’ll need to pick what season you want to elope in, and start narrowing down date options based on crowds, travel costs, & the weather. Each location is completely different, so I can’t give you the exact right answer to when you should elope in Utah, but here’s what you will want to consider:

  • Crowds: how crowded is your location at different times of year? Is there a peak season & an off-season? If you want to elope during peak season, are there any trails/locations that are more secluded that you can use for your elopement ceremony?
  • Travel costs: would you rather elope during peak season to get the best weather & views, but pay more for your travel – or elope during the off-season for more potential rain/cold weather, but pay less for your travel?
  • Weather: what’s the weather like through the seasons at your location? What elevation is your location? When does it snow? Do any roads/trails close off during the winter? Is it crazy windy at your location in the spring? Is it rainy?

Generally, spring and fall are the best times to elope in Utah. Of course, this depends on the exact location, and what you want your elopement to look like – but you’ll find the mildest weather in the spring and fall, usually between the months of April-May and September-October! These months will get you the most comfortable temperatures (not too hot, not too cold), will usually allow you to access most hiking & biking trails (unless there’s unexpected snowfall), and are usually a little less crowded than the summer season.

couple holding hands hill landscape

2. Choose your location(s)

Next, choose your main elopement location as well as any other locations you want to visit during your time in Utah! Where do you want to say your vows? What stops do you want to make along the way? Where do you want to go hiking/biking/climbing? Where do you want to take elopement portraits?

Base this decision around your ideal season, where you want to stay, what activities + locations you want to have access to, and where you & your guests will be traveling from. Keep scrolling for a list of the top 23 places to elope in Utah, including national parks, state parks, and so much more!

couple standing together

3. Hire your Utah elopement photographer + other vendors

Now that you’ve chosen your Utah elopement location and the date (or at least the month/season!) you want to elope, it’s time to hire a team of Utah elopement vendors to help your vision come to life! Skip down to this section to learn more about me, a Utah elopement photographer, and inquire with me here if you’d like my professional recommendations for some awesome local vendors!

couple sitting together on rock

4. Book your lodging

When it comes time to book your lodging, you’ll want to think through:

  • What kind of atmosphere you want to enjoy on your trip – relaxed, cozy, luxurious, spacious, intimate, etc.
  • What your nightly budget is
  • Whether you want to stay somewhere alone, or somewhere your guests can stay with you
  • How far you’re willing to drive to your elopement location(s)
  • Where you’ll be eloping + where the activities are located that you’d like to do
  • Where you’ll be flying in (if you’re traveling to Utah by plane)
  • What amenities you want to enjoy – hot tub, pool, sauna, outdoor area, bonfire, bathtub, etc.

There are PLENTY of incredible Airbnbs/VRBOs, lodges, hotels, resorts, and campgrounds across Utah to fit exactly the vibe you’re going for, whether you want to sleep under the stars in the desert or get pampered by the spa services at a luxury resort. I’m more than happy to help you find a great place to stay once you decide on your elopement location!!

bride posing in wedding dress

5. Apply for a Special Use Permit

If you’re eloping in a Utah National Park, State Park, or on BLM Land, you’ll need to apply for a location-specific wedding permit. 

Utah National & State Park elopements require a Special Use Permit, while Utah BLM Land elopements require a Special Recreation Permit

Follow the links below to find specific information on the permit you’ll need to legally elope in Utah!

couple standing on hill landscape

6. Apply for a Utah marriage license

Next, you’ll need to apply for your Utah marriage license, which you can get through any Utah County Clerk’s office. The fee for a Utah marriage license varies by county, and there is no waiting period for a Utah marriage license – so you can get married as soon as you want once you have your license! Keep in mind that it will only be valid for 30 days, and then you’ll need to apply for a brand new license. You must have two witnesses over 18 for your Utah elopement ceremony to be legal, and you don’t need to be a Utah resident!

couple posing hands valley landscape

7. Schedule your activities

If there are any activities you want to incorporate into your elopement, don’t forget to book them! For hikes you want to take, you won’t need to book anything unless the park you’re hiking in requires a vehicle reservation or timed parking entry pass/permit. For activities with specific times and requirements such as horseback riding tours, biking tours, etc., book your times in advance so you won’t have to worry about it later on, and can incorporate it into your elopement itinerary!

couple sitting together

8. Do last-minute prep + research

Finally, make sure there’s nothing you’re forgetting, and do some last-minute weather research so you can prepare accordingly! Use a website/app such as Weather Underground for up-to-date weather forecasts, or if you’re eloping in a national park, check out the park’s NPS website for updated conditions + road/trail statuses. 

Don’t forget to do a few important things before you leave for your trip, such as:

  • Give your guests the address of where you’re eloping and/or where you’re staying
  • Download offline Google Maps + trail maps
  • Check with your Airbnb/VRBO host or hotel for last-minute check-in info
  • Check in for your flights + make your seat selections if you haven’t already (bonus points for pre-paying for luggage in advance to save some time!)
  • Triple-check your luggage to make sure you’ve got everything you need (especially your marriage license, and any physical copies of permits you need!)
  • Delete your social media apps, if you want to be super present for your elopement + not worry about posting
couple holding each other valley hill landscape

How to Get to Utah

When it comes to traveling to & around Utah, you’ll want to do your research ahead of time so you know where to fly, how far you’ll need to drive, what kind of car you’ll need for your specific location (i.e. a 4WD for rough roads to get to your ceremony spot), and be familiar with any public transportation you may need to take.

There are 7 major airports in Utah:

For each of the locations on the list below, I’ve included the closest major airport + how far of a drive it is, so you can plan accordingly!

couple standing together rock arch

If you’re road tripping from a nearby state, hell yeah – big road trip fan over here! I’d recommend giving yourselves plenty of time on the way to Utah to stop at scenic viewpoints, take a hike or two, and enjoy the drive before you get to your final destination. You’ll probably be pretty tired on the way back after your elopement, so plan for a quicker trip on the tail end without as many stops. Oh, and don’t forget to download any music + podcasts on Spotify for the parts of the drive where you won’t have service, as well as offline Google Maps!

couple standing together hill and mountain landscape

23 Best Places to Elope in Utah

Ready for your jaw to hit the dang floor at every one of these top 23 elopement locations in Utah?! I unfortunately don’t have my own photos from every single location, so you may have to look some of ‘em up on Google to see all the beauty on your own! This list has EVERY type of epic Utah elopement location, from iconic red rock canyons, to forest-covered valleys, to massive sandstone buttes; all of them boasting vast desert landscapes as far as the eye can see.

Utah National Park Elopement Locations

Let’s start off with some of the most popular elopement locations in Utah!

There are 5 national parks in Utah:

  • Arches National Park
  • Canyonlands National Park
  • Zion National Park
  • Bryce Canyon National Park
  • Capitol Reef National Park

Each one has its own unique features, but ALL of them boast some of the most stunning red rock, canyon, and jagged rock/cliff landscapes in the entire state.

1. Arches National Park | East central Utah

Closest Airport: CNY

Driving Time from Airport: 15 minutes

Best Time of Year to Elope: Late spring (April-May) or fall (September-October)

Permit(s) Needed: Special Use Permit

couple standing together in arch

2. Canyonlands National Park | Southeastern Utah

Closest Airport: CNY

Driving Time from Airport: 30 minutes

Best Time of Year to Elope: Late spring (April-May) or fall (September-October)

Permit(s) Needed: Special Use Permit

couple standing together canyonlands national park

3. Zion National Park | Southwestern Utah

Closest Airport: SGU

Driving Time from Airport: 1 hour

Best Time of Year to Elope: Mid-spring (March-April) or late fall (October-November)

Permit(s) Needed: Special Use Permit

couple standing at zion national park

4. Bryce Canyon National Park | Southwestern Utah

Closest Airport: CDC

Driving Time from Airport: 1.5 hours

Best Time of Year to Elope: Late spring (April-May) or fall (September-October)

Permit(s) Needed: Special Use Permit

5. Capitol Reef National Park | South central Utah

Closest Airport: GJT / CDC

Driving Time from Airport: 3 hours / 3 hours

Best Time of Year to Elope: Spring (April-May)

Permit(s) Needed: Special Use Permit

bride and groom reading vows capitol reef national park

Utah State Park Elopement Locations

Utah has 43 state parks & recreation areas, wayyyy too many for me to include in this blog post! So I’ve narrowed it down to a list of my top 5 favorite Utah state parks for elopements:

  • Dead Horse Point State Park
  • Goblin Valley State Park
  • Kodachrome Basin State Park
  • Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park
  • Antelope Island State Park

You can browse through the whole list of all of Utah’s state parks here!

6. Dead Horse Point State Park | East central Utah

Closest Airport: CNY

Driving Time from Airport: 35 minutes

Best Time of Year to Elope: Late spring (April-May) or fall (September-October)

Permit(s) Needed: Special Use Permit

bride sitting in wedding dress dead horse point

7. Goblin Valley State Park | East central Utah

Closest Airport:

Driving Time from Airport:

Best Time of Year to Elope: 

Permit(s) Needed: Special Use Permit

8. Kodachrome Basin State Park | Southwestern Utah

Closest Airport: CDC

Driving Time from Airport: 2 hours

Best Time of Year to Elope: Late spring (April-May) or fall (September-October)

Permit(s) Needed: Special Use Permit

9. Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park | Southwestern Utah border

Closest Airport: SGU

Driving Time from Airport: 1 hour 15 minutes

Best Time of Year to Elope: Spring-fall (April-October)

Permit(s) Needed: Special Use Permit

10. Antelope Island State Park | Northern Utah

Closest Airport: SLC

Driving Time from Airport: 1 hour

Best Time of Year to Elope: Early spring (February-April) or late summer (July-September)

Permit(s) Needed: Special Use Permit

couple sitting together antelope island

Other Utah Elopement Locations

Finally, here’s a collection of miscellaneous locations all over Utah that aren’t official national or state parks, but that make for freaking EPIC Utah adventure elopement locations!

11. Bonneville Salt Flats | Northwestern Utah

Closest Airport: SLC

Driving Time from Airport: 1.5 hours

Best Time of Year to Elope:  Summer-fall (June-October)

Permit(s) Needed: Special Recreation Permit

flowers at bonneville salt flats

12. Castle Valley | East central Utah

Closest Airport: CNY

Driving Time from Airport: 45 minutes

Best Time of Year to Elope: Summer (July-August)

couple standing together at castle valley

13. Lake Powell & Glen Canyon | Southeastern Utah

Closest Airport: Page Municipal Airport (PGA)

Driving Time from Airport: 5 minutes

Best Time of Year to Elope: Spring (March-May) or fall (September-October)

Permit(s) Needed: Special Use Permit

14. Grand Canyon | Northern Arizona

I know this one isn’t technically in Utah, but it’s so close & accessible from southern Utah that I had to include it!

Closest Airport: PGA

Driving Time from Airport: 2 hours

Best Time of Year to Elope: Late spring-early summer (April-June)

Permit(s) Needed: Special Use Permit

couple standing together grand canyon landscape

15. Tunnel Springs | Northern Utah

Closest Airport: SLC

Driving Time from Airport: 15 minutes

Best Time of Year to Elope: Late spring (April-May) or fall (September-October)

Permit(s) Needed: N/A

16. Little Cottonwood Canyon | Northern Utah

Closest Airport: SLC

Driving Time from Airport: 30 minutes

Best Time of Year to Elope: Spring (March-April) or fall (September-October)

Permit(s) Needed: N/A

17. Little Sahara | West central Utah

Closest Airport: SLC

Driving Time from Airport: 2 hours

Best Time of Year to Elope: Spring (March-May)

Permit(s) Needed: Special Recreation Permit

couple kissing at little sahara

18. Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument | Southern Utah

Closest Airport: SGU / CDC

Driving Time from Airport: 1 hour 45 minutes / 1 hour 45 minutes 

Best Time of Year to Elope: Spring (March-April) or late fall (October-November)

Permit(s) Needed: Special Recreation Permit

19. Monument Valley | Southern Utah border

Closest Airport: PGA

Driving Time from Airport: 2.5 hours

Best Time of Year to Elope: Spring (April-May) or fall (September-October)

Permit(s) Needed: Special Use Permit

20. Vermillion Cliffs | Northern Arizona

Again, super close to & accessible from southern Utah!

Closest Airport: PGA

Driving Time from Airport: 45 minutes

Best Time of Year to Elope: Late spring (April-May) or fall (September-October)

Permit(s) Needed: Special Recreation Permit

21. Amangiri Resort | Southern Utah border

Closest Airport: PGA

Driving Time from Airport: 30 minutes

Best Time of Year to Elope: Late spring-early summer (March-June) or fall (September-November)

Permit(s) Needed: N/A

22. BLM Land

There are a variety of other incredible Utah elopement locations on BLM Land, such as the ever-famous “The Wave” at the Vermillion Cliffs! For all Utah elopements on BLM Land, you’ll need a BLM Special Recreation Permit.

23. Unique secret locations

Want a totally unique Utah elopement location? During my recent trips, I’ve found some of the most incredible top secret locations in Utah – inquire with me here to get access to the secluded locations that only my booked couples get to know about! 😉

couple standing under arch silhouette

Utah Elopement Packages and Pricing

Hey friend, I’m Katie – a Utah elopement and wedding photographer who is SO freaking in love with all the epic scenery in this state!! Every time I visit Utah I fall more and more in love, so it’s the biggest honor getting to bring couples along on adventures to experience this incredible place, whether they want to say their vows under the arches of Moab or along the many hiking trails of Monument Valley. Once you’ve decided on one of these best places to elope in Utah, or if you find yourselves needing guidance (because it’s too freaking hard to choose!), you can reach out to me here and I’d be SO happy to be your Utah elopement photographer. Check out my Utah elopement packages + what I offer below, and you can learn more about me + my approach to elopement photography here!

Elopement Packages and Pricing for Utah

  • 4 hours – 2 days of elopement photography coverage anywhere in Utah
  • Your own personal elopement guide & consultant
    • Unique and personalized location scouting
    • vendor recommendations
    • permit and marriage license assistance
    • hand-crafted elopement timeline
    • Created just-for-you activity list
    • Unlimited guides and resources
    • 100+ page How to Elope Guidebook
  • Optional complimentary officiant service
  • Digital online gallery with full resolution image and printing rights
  • Sneak peak images within 1 week
  • Photographer travel fees covered anywhere in Utah

Starting at $6,500

couple walking on salt falts

Full Moab Elopement Guide

If you’ve narrowed down your top locations & know that you want to elope in the Moab area, be sure to check out my complete Moab Elopement and Wedding Guide, jam-packed with all the Moab-related elopement info you need to know!!

rock valley

More Western U.S. Elopement Locations

And if you haven’t quite settled on Utah yet as your elopement location, I’ve got plenty more guides + resources for you, from statewide elopement guides to a list of all the best places to elope in Yosemite National Park. Browse through some of my recent faves below!

How to Elope in Arizona

32 Best Places to Elope in Montana

How to Elope in Washington

How to Elope in Northern California


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