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The 25 Best Places to Elope in Arizona in 2022

best places to elope in arizona

Post Summary: Ready to explore all of the insane beauty that Arizona has to offer?! Below, I’ve compiled a list of the 25 best places to elope in Arizona in 2022, from cacti-filled landscapes to epic red-rock paradises to unique Arizona wedding venues. Desert-lovers rejoice!

best places to elope in arizona

25 Best Places to Elope in Arizona

Northern Arizona

1. Sedona

You’ve probably seen photos of Sedona before, because it’s super famous for its unique red-rock buttes, massive canyon walls, and dreamy desert views GALORE! Sedona is truly one of the most beautiful places you could ever visit: there are plenty of amazing hiking trails, opportunities for other outdoor activities such as biking or horseback riding, and even Jeep tours around the desert. Check out the Sedona Secret 7 for 7 secluded spots in Sedona that are waiting & ready for ya to visit!!

Some of the best locations to visit in Sedona: Cathedral Rock, Devil’s Bridge, Merry Go Round Rock, Lover’s Knoll, Bell Rock, Airport Mesa

Closest Major Airport + Driving Time: Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport; 2 hours

Best Time of Year to Elope: Fall (October-November)

Permit(s) Needed: No permit needed for most trails; Special Use Permit needed only for weddings with 75+ people in the Red Rock District

2. Horseshoe Bend

Horseshoe Bend is another famous Arizona destination that you’ve likely seen in epic landscape photographs or paintings – I meannn just LOOK at those views! This horseshoe-shaped canyon, located in the Glen Canyon Recreational Area, is a landmark that you will not want to miss during your visit to Arizona. Sunrise and sunset overlooking the Colorado River & the bend are absolutely unreal: just imagine you & your partner standing on the cliffs (safely, of course!), saying your vows to each other as the sun rises over the river. Talk about a desert dream come true!

Closest Major Airport + Driving Time: Flagstaff Pulliam Airport; 2 hours

Best Time of Year to Elope: Fall (October-November)

Permit(s) Needed: Special Use Permit

best places to elope in arizona

3. Grand Canyon National Park

If you’ve ever considered going to Arizona, or visiting the best desert national parks, then you’re most likely familiar with Grand Canyon NP! This insanely beautiful park encompasses nearly 300 miles of the Colorado River, and offers unbeatable views of layers of red rocks, steep canyons, and incredible sunrises & sunsets. It’s an awesome place to elope if you have family members & friends that you want to go hiking, horseback riding, or even rafting with!

Closest Major Airport + Driving Time: Flagstaff Pulliam Airport; 1.5 hours

Best Time of Year to Elope: Early summer (April-June)

Permit(s) Needed: Special Use Permit

4. Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park

Driving along the 17-mile loop road through the Monument Valley is an experience like no other. You literally get to drive right along some of the most majestic sandstone formations in the state, along with miles and miles of mesas & buttes decorating the wide-open desert landscape. The valley is a great option for private elopements of 4 people or less (e.g. the couple, officiant, & photographer), since no permits are required for groups of less than 5! If you have a group of 5 or more, you’ll need a Navajo Tribal Park Special Use Permit.

Closest Major Airport + Driving Time: Flagstaff Pulliam Airport; 3 hours

Best Time of Year to Elope: Spring (March-April), Fall (September-October)

Permit(s) Needed: Monument Valley Entry Pass, Navajo Tribal Park Special Use Permit for groups of 5 or more

5. Slot Canyons

So slot canyons aren’t an actual specific elopement location, but rather one of the COOLEST types of locations you can visit in Arizona. Slot canyons are long, narrow gorges in soft rocks, usually eroded into sandstone. They’re seriously one of the most insane things I’ve ever seen nature create, and are an unreal experience to visit! Unfortunately a lot of the most popular slot canyons in Arizona don’t permit elopements & weddings anymore due to overcrowding, so it’s best to visit a slot canyon simply to hike & enjoy the experience, or to find a canyon that permits at least taking wedding photos rather than holding your ceremony. 

Some of the best slot canyon areas to visit: Antelope Canyon, Rattlesnake Canyon, Mountain Sheep Canyon

Best Time of Year to Elope: March-October

Permit(s) Needed: Varies by location

6. Glen Canyon National Recreation Area

The Glen Canyon National Recreation Area encompasses over 1.25 MILLION acres (yes, million!!) of Arizona & Utah, and offers some of the most incredible scenery in the entire country! Horseshoe Bend is a part of the recreation area, as are other popular destinations such as Lake Powell & Rainbow Bridge.

Closest Major Airport + Driving Time: Flagstaff Pulliam Airport; 2.5 hours

Best Time of Year to Elope: Spring (May-June), Fall (September-October)

Permit(s) Needed: Special Use Permit

7. Lockett Meadow 

Lockett Meadow, part of the Coconino National Forest, is a beautiful meadow in Flagstaff that offers a little escape from the desert, with mountain views of the San Francisco Peaks, aspen trees, and gorgeous water! Honestly, you wouldn’t even know you were in Arizona! It’s an awesome place to go camping if you want to sleep under the stars for your elopement and hit up a unique spot in AZ that not many people know about.

Closest Major Airport + Driving Time: Flagstaff Pulliam Airport; 45 minutes

Best Time of Year to Elope: May-October

Permit(s) Needed: No permit needed for most trails; Special Use Permit needed only for weddings with 75+ people in the Red Rock District

8. The Petrified Forest

I bet you haven’t even heard of this national park in Arizona, right?! The Petrified Forest National Park/Wilderness Area is located in the Painted Desert, which encompasses 1500 square miles. Filled with dry grasslands and short-grass prairies, this wilderness area is a super unique part of the state that many people don’t think to visit. There are a ton of trail access points that’ll take you through amazing views of the colorful petrified wood, or you can simply drive through the park and stop along the way!

Closest Major Airport + Driving Time: Flagstaff Pulliam Airport; 1 hour 45 minutes

Best Time of Year to Elope: Spring (March-May), Fall (September-October)

Permit(s) Needed: Special Use Permit

9. Coal Mine Canyon

If you’re looking for a lesser-known place to visit in Arizona, Coal Mine Canyon is another awesome option for ya!! It lies on the border between the Hopi & Navajo Reservations and really isn’t as well-known as most other popular locations in the state. The vast desert views are absolutely unreal, with shades of orange highlighting the ravines, eroded sandstone formations, and truly just beautiful textures + patterns everywhere you look!

Closest Major Airport + Driving Time: Flagstaff Pulliam Airport; 2 hours

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

Permit(s) Needed: Navajo Parks & Recreation Entry Pass, Special Use Permit

10. Havasu Falls

The Havasupai Indian Reservation is a part of Grand Canyon National Park, and within that reservation is a super beautiful waterfall called Havasu Falls! The hike to the falls is 10 miles long and typically takes 4-7 hours, so it’s not the best option for beginner hikers or couples who are looking for an easier adventure. You’re required to stay overnight as day trips to the falls aren’t allowed, so ya better be ready for an awesome desert camping experience!

Closest Major Airport + Driving Time: Flagstaff Pulliam Airport; 1.5 hours

Best Time of Year to Elope: Early summer (April-June)

Permit(s) Needed: Special Use Permit

11. Vermilion Cliffs National Monument (The Wave)

Ever heard of The Wave? No – not the thing you do with your hands at a football game, and not ocean waves: The Wave, a.k.a. Coyote Buttes North! Coyote Buttes North (and South) are a small part of the Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, which is where – you guessed it – the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument is located. If you head to Google and search this location, you’ll immediately see why it’s called The Wave; named for its super unique sandstone formations! The 6.4-mile roundtrip hike to this spot is definitely strenuous, so make sure you’re ready for a challenge if you choose this for your elopement.

Closest Major Airport + Driving Time: St. George Regional Airport; 1.5 hours

Best Time of Year to Elope: Spring (April-June), Fall (September-November)

Permit(s) Needed: Entry Permit

12. Amangiri Resort

Amangiri Resort is technically in Utah, but it’s riiight on the border just 10 minutes away from Arizona, so I thought I’d include it! This resort is an absolutely unreal venue in the middle of Utah’s stunning desert landscape, surrounded by red rocks, vast canyons, mesas, and gorges. The secluded resort makes for an incredibly luxurious elopement destination for you to host your guests at, with a unique desert escape truly like no other!

Closest Major Airport + Driving Time: Page Municipal Airport; 30 minutes

Best Time of Year to Elope: Late spring through early fall

Central Arizona

13. Lost Dutchman State Park

Located in the Sonoran Desert at the base of the Superstition Mountains, Lost Dutchman State Park is a gorgeous desert area that offers similar cacti & mountain views to the Tucson area! Take trails from the park into the mountain wilderness or into the Tonto National Forest, and reserve a campground to sleep under the desert sky for your elopement. This park (named after a gold mine that potentially doesn’t actually exist) also offers plenty of opportunities for mountain biking if you’d rather bring a bike alone than hike one of the trails!

Closest Major Airport + Driving Time: Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport; 40 minutes

Best Time of Year to Elope: Winter

Permit(s) Needed: Entry Pass, Wedding Permit

14. The Salt River

Located in the Tonto National Forest, the Salt River is yet another unique + iconic destination in Arizona, famous for its awesome opportunities for tubing, kayaking, & other water recreation! This is the PERFECT place to go if you want to hold your elopement in the desert on a hot day, then head to the river to cool off with your guests & have fun on some floaties. You can bring your own tubes & kayaks or rent some on-location!

Closest Major Airport + Driving Time: Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport; 2.5 hours

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

Permit(s) Needed: Entry Permit, Special Use Permit (may only be needed for groups of over 75 people)

15. Mogollon Rim

The Mogollon Rim is a really freaking cool limestone & granite cliff that stretches for 200 miles alllll the way from eastern AZ to New Mexico! It’s a super unique geological wonder that offers amazing views of pine tree forests, giant rocks, and plenty of campgrounds, trails, & lookouts to take advantage of. This is an epic location to choose for your elopement if you and your partner love to go horseback riding, mountain biking, rock climbing, or just on outdoor adventures in general! Mogollon Rim is a part of the Coconino National Forest, so you may need a Special Use Permit depending on the specifics of your elopement.

Closest Major Airport + Driving Time: Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport; 2 hours

Best Time of Year to Elope: Fall

Permit(s) Needed: Special Use Permit may be needed

16. Watson Lake

This is an absolutely STUNNING bright blue lake near Prescott, AZ that makes you feel like you’re in a totally different place. It’s an escape from the hot, dry deserts that Arizona is famous for, surrounded by super beautiful granite boulders & hiking trails. Unfortunately you cannot go swimming in the lake, but you CAN go fishing, kayaking, and canoeing, or stay dry & go rock climbing, hiking, or camping!

Closest Major Airport + Driving Time: Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport; 1 hour 45 minutes

Best Time of Year to Elope: Summer

Permit(s) Needed: Parking Permit

best places to elope in arizona

17. Superstition Mountains

Ahhhh the Superstition Mountains, one of the most famous landmarks in all of Arizona! This volcanic mountain range is located just east of Mesa and makes for an unbeatable elopement backdrop. The rugged mountains & jagged peaks are filled with epic hiking trails, opportunities for rock climbing & mountain biking, and overall just a truly amazing desert experience!

Closest Major Airport + Driving Time: Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport; 40 minutes

Best Time of Year to Elope: Winter

Permit(s) Needed: Entry Pass, Wedding Permit

18. Papago Park

If you’re searching for a location with tons of opportunities for fun outdoor recreation, Papago Park is a fantastic option for ya! Whether you’d be at your happiest hiking around the red butte formations in the park, spending the afternoon of your elopement fishing in the lagoons, or visiting some of the really cool historic sites to learn more about Phoenix, Papago Park is a great destination that’s easy to access + close to downtown while still offering stunning views.

Closest Major Airport + Driving Time: Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport; 5 minutes

Best Time of Year to Elope: Winter (November-April)

Permit(s) Needed: None

19. The Icehouse

If you’d rather find a real venue to book than hold your elopement out in the middle of the mountains on a random trail, then you HAVE to consider The Icehouse. It’s probably one of the coolest Arizona wedding venues I’ve ever seen and truly creates such a fabulous Arizona desert elopement experience for every single couple!! Located in Phoenix, this venue offers unique industrial vibes mixed with a literal European courtyard that makes you feel like you’re in some sort of castle rather than the AZ desert. Seriously can’t get over how cool of a venue this is! 

Closest Major Airport + Driving Time: Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport; 10 minutes

Best Time of Year to Elope: Winter (November-April) for cooler temperatures, but any season works since it has indoor areas!

Permit(s) Needed: None

best places to elope in arizona

Southern Arizona

20. Saguaro National Park

Cactus-lovers, this is the place for you! Named for having the largest cacti in the entire country, Saguaro National Park is an absolutely stunning national park located in southern AZ. The large saguaro cacti are iconic symbols of the American west & the AZ desert, and views of the desert sunsets within the park are seriously unbeatable. You can take one of the many hiking trails through the desert (make sure to watch for small cacti on the ground!), go stargazing on a clear summer night, or set up your tent to camp in the park!

Closest Major Airport + Driving Time: Tucson International Airport; 30 minutes

Best Time of Year to Elope: Spring (April-May), Fall (September-October)

Permit(s) Needed: Special Use Permit

best places to elope in arizona

21. The Joshua Tree House (Tucson)

Staying at the Joshua Tree House in Tucson is basically staying in a desert HEAVEN. This place is freaking unreal: it’s a 5-suite inn on the west side of Saguaro National Park that you can rent, whether you want to book the whole place out for you & your guests or you & your partner just want one glorious room to yourselves. And when I say glorious, I mean glorious: the entire place is decorated with modern bohemian + desert pieces, neutral color palettes galore, unique light fixtures and furnishings, and even has a private chef on hand who you can book in advance to cook for you. There are SO many little spots throughout this inn that you’ll discover during your time here and trust me, you will NOT want to leave!!

Closest Major Airport + Driving Time: Tucson International Airport; 40 minutes

Best Time of Year to Elope: Spring & Fall, or anytime if you’ll be holding your ceremony inside away from the dry heat

Permit(s) Needed: Special Use Permit if you’ll be holding your ceremony within the NP

best places to elope in arizona

22. Mount Lemmon

Yes, there are even more mountains in the AZ desert! Mount Lemmon is the highest point in the Santa Catalina Mountains, located about an hour from Tucson. You can drive up the mountain or opt for a hiking trail, go birding, bring your mountain bike, go stargazing, even go skiing if you’re there during the right season! Since Mount Lemmon is located within the Coronado National Forest you’ll need to get a Special Use Permit to hold your elopement here.

Closest Major Airport + Driving Time: Tucson International Airport; 1.5 hours

Best Time of Year to Elope: Early fall (August-September)

Permit(s) Needed: Special Use Permit

23. Mission San Xavier del Bac

This is a slightly different type of location and is perfect for couples looking for a unique location away from the typical Tucson desert landscape (but still close enough that you can visit that desert, too!). Mission San Xavier del Bac is a historic Spanish Catholic mission south of Tucson, and is actually a National Historic Landmark! It was founded all the way back in 1700, and is an absolutely stunning church + popular tourist attraction nowadays. It’s been nicknamed “The WHite Dove of the Desert '' for its gorgeous white walls that highlight the breathtaking architecture! The mission is a perfect place to take some unique elopement portraits near Tucson.

Closest Major Airport + Driving Time: Tucson International Airport; 15 minutes

Best Time of Year to Elope: Spring (April-May), Fall (September-October)

Permit(s) Needed: None

best places to elope in arizona

24. Chiricahua National Monument

Another stunning national monument comin’ at ya! The Chiricahua National Monument is located along an 8-mile paved scenic drive through the Chiricahua Mountains of southeastern Arizona. In addition to 17 miles of beautiful day-use hiking trails, this wilderness area is definitely underrated and should be considered for any couples looking for a desert adventure through some super cool rock formations & geological wonders!

Closest Major Airport + Driving Time: Tucson International Airport; 2 hours

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

Permit(s) Needed: Special Use Permit

25. Sonoran Desert

To wrap up this list of INCREDIBLE Arizona elopement locations, we’ve got the Sonoran Desert! This desert that surrounds Phoenix, covers a ton of the southwestern U.S. and even parts of the northwestern region of Mexico. It’s known as the “greenest & hottest desert in the world” and is the only place in the world where giant saguaro cacti grow! So you already know it gets plentyyy of sunshine and gets SUPER dry during the winter, meaning you’ll probably want to visit in the winter for more mild temperatures.

Closest Major Airport + Driving Time: Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport; 2.5 hours

Best Time of Year to Elope: Winter through early spring

Permit(s) Needed: Special Use Permit may be needed

best places to elope in arizona

Arizona Elopement Packages

Elopement Packages and Pricing for Arizona

  • 7 hours – 3 days of elopement photography coverage anywhere in Arizona
  • 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 Arizona

Starting at $6,500

Other Elopement Destinations to Consider in the United States

If you’re still considering other locations for your elopement destination, you’re in luck because I’ve got plenty of other info-packed location guides for you. Check out some of my other favorite places to elope in the United States below – happy location hunting!

best places to elope in arizona

Washington Elopement Guides

How to Elope in the North Cascades

How to Elope at Mount Rainier

How to Elope at Olympic National Park

Oregon Elopement Guides

How to Elope in Oregon

How to Elope on the Oregon Coast

California Elopement Guides

How to Elope in Yosemite National Park

How to Elope in Northern California

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