October 24, 2022 /

Top 5 Places To Elope In Utah


Couple sharing an embrace during their photoshoot with Alexa Ann Photography; image overlaid with text that reads Top 5 Places to Elope in Utah


Utah Elopement Guide

If you’re an adventurous couple searching for unique ways to celebrate your marriage amidst some of the top destinations to elope in Utah, then you’re in the right place, because this blog is for you! When you choose to elope, there’s a beautiful opportunity to choose adventure, as well. Although it may be an unconventional route, an elopement day can still hold significant memories of joy, celebration, and intimate moments of love. Elopement days lend to some of life’s most rich experiences, and the landscape you choose impacts this greatly.

Utah is one of my favorite places for couples choosing to elope because of the abundance of incredible elopement locations. The state itself is full of diverse landscapes, including mountains, canyons, forests, deserts, and more. In this article, I’ll be sharing the best of these places to elope in Utah, hopefully making your search for an epic spot easier.

The Best Time Of Year To Elope In Utah

Before settling on a destination, you should consider the best time of year to elope in Utah. Spring, fall, and winter are the most ideal times for your Utah elopement because of the more moderate temperatures. Summers can be brutal with many days hitting over 100 degrees, so you’ll want to plan your adventure for the months of October-May! 

My favorite time for people to elope in Utah and enjoy the desert is the spring and fall, specifically November. You’ll be able to admire the unique plant life during this time: blooming cacti, desert flowers, changing foliage, etc. Although winter can be chilly, it will have the least tourists present, giving you a bit more privacy! Plus sandstone towers dusted in snow is a beautiful sight to behold.

How To Elope In Utah

Logistically, it is fairly easy to elope in Utah! You’ll need a marriage license, officiant and two witnesses. For your marriage license, you’ll need to apply in person at the county clerk’s office, so if you’re traveling to Utah from out-of-state, be sure to leave enough time to do this. There is a small fee to obtain your license, and it varies in each county, but can be found with a quick search online or phone call! Once you have your marriage license, you have 30 days to perform the ceremony. 

Best Places To Elope In Utah

#1 – Moab

Moab is a small artistic town that offers plenty of jaw-dropping destinations for your Utah Elopement. Its small-town vibes make it one of my favorite desert towns to visit, while also being right next to the famous red-rock formations that draw in so many people. If you choose a Moab elopement, you open yourself up to a plethora of outdoor activities such as hiking, rafting, camping, mountain biking, climbing, and more! You can even add an element of adventure with off-roading jeep treks or helicopter tours.



Favorite Spots

This desert town holds so many out-of-this-world views, but my favorite spots for a Moab elopement are Canyonlands, Monument Valley, Castle Valley, and the popular Arches National Park. 

Canyonlands features an array of grand vistas & gigantic canyons to explore with winding rivers like the Colorado and Green. If you venture to Monument Valley, which you may have seen featured in popular movies, you’ll find vast flatland broken up by iconic sandstone pillars. Castle Valley is also only a short drive from Moab, and is typically a less trafficked area than the National Parks, but does not disappoint. You’ll see some of the coolest towers and red rock desert environments you can experience through the numerous renowned hiking trails. In Arches National Park, you have the unique opportunity of getting married under some of nature’s best natural arbors, giant sandstone arches.

Best Places To Stay In Moab

Moab has some great places to call home during your elopement getaway. You can stay in a comfortable Airbnb (here is my own personalized list of Airbnbs), camp under the stars in Moab’s many campsites or vast BLM land, or even glamp in a beautiful tipi with Under Canvas.


#2 – Salt Flats

The Salt Flats are located in northwestern Utah, near Salt Lake City. If you haven’t been to the Salt Flats before, imagine a spreading sea of white sand flanked by mountains in the distance. For those looking to find an unforgettable desert elopement, the Salt Flats may be the perfect place for you to celebrate.


Image of a couple holding hands while walking across the Bonneville Salt Flats, photographed by Alexa Ann Photography.

Favorite Spots

The Salt Flats provide so much vast space for desert elopements, but my favorites are the Bonneville Salt Flats, Antelope Island, and Great Salt Lake. All of these are connected too, making it easy to transition from one area to the other. The Bonneville Salt Flats is an expansive flatland reminiscent of the moon with endless white salty sand. Nearby the Bonneville Salt Flats are the Great Salt Lake, one of the largest saltwater lakes in the world, and Antelope Island, the biggest island within the lake hosting so much vibrant wildlife. The natural sandy tones, and desolate environments of each of these places create such a distinctly beautiful ambiance for an elopement in the desert.

Best Places to Stay

The Salt Flats are fairly remote, but with Salt Lake City nearby, you can find a artfully designed rental or hotel to relax and call home in the city while you adventure, or even camp out in the removed, quiet land of the salt flats and enjoy the night skies famous for star gazing. Here’s a curated list of some Airbnb properties in the area!


#3 – Zion National Park

Zion National Park and its surrounding areas are home to some of my favorite pieces of scenery to elope in Utah. This Utah elopement location is beyond special, especially to me. Its rugged beauty is actually what sparked my passion for the outdoors upon visiting, and has had the same affect on many who have come to behold its iconic desert landscape. The heights of the crimson canyon walls & sandstone mountains are unlike anything I’ve ever seen and have been the backdrop to countless epic adventures. The park is filled to the brim with humbling hikes, rare flora & fauna, slot canyons, waterfalls, world class-climbing routes, and so much more. It also neighbors other incredible desert scenes just a short drive away.



Favorite Spots

The east entrance of Zion National Park gives access to some of my favorite areas. You can choose your own adventure by working your way up high on the grippy sandstone rock formations that line the roads, or go with some of the more classic trails like Canyon Overlook or Pine Creek Gorge Slot Canyon. Further into the park, you can feel extra small with views from Observation point, one of the park’s most famous hikes.

Spots surrounding the park include Snow Canyon State Park, Sand Hollow State Park, and the surrounding BLM (Bureau Of Land Management) land. Snow Canyon State Park share the same red coloring, and is full of climbing routes, petroglyph sites, camping opportunities, and more. Sand Hollow State Park is a short drive from Zion National Park offering beaches of red rock, and a bevy of sand dunes to explore. Meanwhile, the BLM land surrounding Zion National Park is covered in off-roading trails leading too incredible vistas, dispersed camping and more.

Best Places to Stay

My favorite place for lodging around the park is Under Canvas Zion. You can get the best of both worlds in this glamping experience– immersing you in natural beauty while providing basic amenities to make your stay more comfortable. If you’re looking to stay closer to town, check Springdale, St George, or La Verkin! I’ve also made a curated list of Airbnb getaways in the area.

#4 – Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park is maybe the most unique place on this list to elope in Utah because of the drippy-sand castle-like structures called hoodoos that spread over its length. The park itself has he largest concentration of hoodoos in the world! This epic spot is located in Southern Utah and has an extremely high elevation of 9,000 feet.

Favorite Spots

The main road leads you to some of the park’s most classic views– the Bryce Canyon Amphitheater and the Rim Trail. Some of its expansive overlooks include Sunrise Point, Sunset Point, Inspiration Point, and Bryce Point, a lovely spot to exchange vows during your elopement. In addition to the national park, the bordering Highway 12 Scenic Byway spreads over 100 miles of road winding through Utah backcountry. A good long drive refreshes my soul, and it’s a bonus that this one showcases so much of Utah’s distinct land. Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument also neighbors the park, covering 1.87 million acres of Utah’s public land, giving you no shortage of elopement locations. The extraordinary sandstone labyrinths and rock formations make the monument famous for some of the best backpacking in the world.

Best Places to Stay

Bryce Canyon exists in some of the most secluded parts of Utah, but the best nearby towns are Escalante and Boulder. They serve as a gateway to the area’s beauty while also giving major “wild west” vibes with their charming businesses. Under Canvas even has a glamping location in the area–Under Canvas Bryce. Or you can book a rental to serve as your basecamp through this list of curated nearby Airbnbs.

#5 – Lake Powell

Although, not technically in Utah, I had to add Lake Powell to my top 5 list of places to elope in Utah as it is right on its border. Lake Powell’s unusual terrain makes it the perfect destination to consider for your adventure elopement, especially if you’re looking to combine some outdoor activities such as offroading, kayaking, hiking, exploring slot canyons and more during your stay. It’s a reservoir off of the Colorado River displaying surreal red rock cliffs & islands amidst its shimmering blue waters.

Favorite Spots

Lake Powell houses numerous impressive settings for your Utah elopement, including many ATV trails that lead to grand lookouts, spots like Horseshoe Bend, Antelope Canyon, Rainbow Arch, and tons more! Horseshoe Bend may be the area’s most acclaimed vista, but for good reason. Meanwhile, Antelope Canyon, one of the most popular slot canyons in the world, has red sandstone walls reminiscent of flowing water. 

Places to Stay

As always, there are several comfortable and inviting Airbnb spots in the vicinity, but if you’re looking for a place to stay that really adds to the adventure and excitement of your intimate wedding, you have to check out Under Canvas Lake Powell.

Final Thoughts On The Top 5 Places To Elope In Utah

Planning your elopement should be just as thoughtful as it would be if you were planning a more traditional wedding at scale. I hope these unbelievable landscapes make choosing your location to elope in Utah a bit easier, and make you feel excited for all of the beauty that’s ahead.

If you’d like to get to know more about my services and how I can capture the love between the two of you on your elopement wedding, get in touch, and we’ll get started!




Bride and groom leaning in for a kiss during their elopement shoot with Alexa Ann Photography; image overlaid with text that reads Top 5 Places to Elope in Utah

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