And really no matter which part of the state you are in, you have access to epic summits, vast valleys and if you’re really looking, some incredibly private alpine views. The Colorado Rockies are full of character, and depending on what you’re looking for in your elopement, I’m sure we can make it happen. (More on how to decide what you’re looking for here!)
So when you are approached with the task of picking JUST ONE location within this glorious state, sometimes it can feel overwhelming. So I decided to put together a little list of the 5 best mountain towns to elope in, to help cut out on some of the guess work.
Things all these places have in common are:
Combination of easy to access and more serious hiking options
Unique characteristics that make them sweet mountain towns
3-4 seasonality for elopements
Also for all the reasons why CO continues to be an incredible place check out this blog on self solemnizing.
So without further delay:
The top 5 mountain towns in Colorado to elope in
1- Summit County
This may seem obvious, but when you are considering an elopement in Colorado and are flying into Denver, Summit county is the first real OMG MOUNTAINS you have access to.
Summit county includes places like Breckenridge, Dillon, Silverthorne, and Keystone Ski Area. This corridor of mountain towns contain a TON of options for easy access giant mountain views, plus, they are all within about 2.5 hours of Denver’s airport. Bonus.
A very popular location, Sapphire Point, overlooks Lake Dillon and is a beautiful location for small groups to have their celebrations. The downside to this site, which can be reserved through recreation.gov, is that you do not get guaranteed privacy – it’s technically open to the public and so you may or may not have folks with iphone rummaging about.
Beyond Sapphire Point, there are some incredible National Forest lands, open space parks, trail heads, camp sites, and airbnbs that all are unique and stunning in their own way. Another nice thing about Summit County is that it is pretty accessible year round, since in the winter there are some serous skiing resorts here!
2- Leadville, Colorado
Leadville is not only the highest town in the US, sitting at approximately 10,151 ft above sea level, but the mountain views from Main street are chefs kiss. A former silver mining town with expansive vistas overlooking Mt. Massive, Leadville boasts all the curiosities of a small mountain town with some serious outdoor charm.
There are also some incredible people I have met along the way working and living in Leadville, including the talented florist and design studio Florista Spells, as well as the one of a kind wedding and event venue Freight– which not only was once the train depot for the silver mine above town, but it has 13 adorable individual cottages for rent. Plus the owners who run this incredible space are some of the most caring and fun people I have ever met.
Leadville is also a causal 30 minutes from Twin Lakes Reservoir, which is a stunning alpine lake at the intersection of a Colorado Trail segment and Independence Pass, which will get you over to Aspen on one of the most beautiful, and occasionally terrifying mountain passes.
3- Crested Butte, CO
Crested Butte is hands down of the most unique of Colorado’s mountain towns. Its a bit hard to get too and off the beaten path, which probably contributes to it’s appeal.
If you’re wondering what it might look like to elope in Crested Butte in the fall, give this other blog post a gander and let you mind run. Seriously, some of the most stunning views ever.
A town for fisherman and avid mountain bikers by summer, turns into a ski bum’s delight in the winter months. Take your changes in any season in Crested Butte, and you seriously wont be disappointed.
If you’re looking to go all out on experiences, Telluride and the surrounding Ouray area have all that you would desire.
Extreme Mountain peaks
A one of a kind mountain town experience
Telluride is an exceptional place- full of wonder and beauty. It really is such a unique place in all of Colorado. Staying in Telluride is worth it alone, but it doesn’t come without cost. As one of the more expensive options, Telluride boasts some pretty incredible resorts and hotels to make your stay as comfortable as possible. It is also home to some fine dining, which is unique in this case as outside of Denver/Boulder you don’t get many James Beard nominees. Just 30 minutes outside Telluride lies the town of Ouray, which is a great option if you don’t feel like indulging in the downtown scene but you also want flannel and lots of giant mountains.
5- Sand Dunes, Colorado
There is something so incredibly special about Sand Dunes. Their formation alone is truly inspiring, but then to place them against the backdrop of 14,000ft peaks is really a sight to behold.
Alamosa, CO is a small town with a few shops and a brewery not too far away. Hot Springs surround the Sand Dunes, which, if you ask me is the quintessential combination of joy. Hiking and joy frolicking outside, then resting in some mineral hot springs.
Reservations in the Park can also be made through Recreation.gov, which depending on when you want to elope should be made well in advance. Otherwise there are some charming Airbnbs and hotels within about a 30 minutes drive of the park that would act as a beautiful landing spot for some Dune exploration.
Summer is probably not an ideal time to elope here- as the temperatures of the sand can easily get over 100 degrees. Which is ouch on the toes. Would recommend mid spring or mid fall for the most ideal temperatures.