Are you looking to elope with jaw-dropping views around you? Look no further than Arches National Park in Moab, Utah. Waterfalls, canyons, ARCHES, mountains, lakes, and cliffs provide a gorgeous and memorable location to marry that sweet partner of yours! Moab is one of our favorite places to visit, explore, and share with our couples – we’re full of ideas if you need any help navigating ALL of your how to elope in Arches National Park questions!
Dubbed a “red-rock wonderland,” Arches National Park has the highest concentration of natural stone arches found anywhere in the world – over 2,000! If you’re like us and nerd out on how these Arches are formed, check this out. The Arches are also the most visited area in Moab, so try to plan for a weekday elopement and to arrive early in the morning or late in the afternoon to find space for your ceremony. Make sure to leave the Arches (and all of Moab!) the way you found it – avoid scrambling, walking or standing upon, or rappelling off any arch in the park.
The Arches require elopement permits (see below!) and offer 9 locations for your ceremony: The Windows Section, Sand Dune Arch, Delicate Arch, Delicate Arch Viewpoint, Pine Tree Arch, Landscape Arch, Park Avenue, Devils Garden Campground Amphitheater, and Panorama Point. We’ve included details for each location in this guide, just for you. If the Arches aren’t your jam, but Moab is, head over to our Moab Elopement Guide for Moab elopement locations and details!
***NEW 2023 INFORMATION**
Requirements for Entering Arches National Park
From April 1 through October 31, visitors entering the park in a vehicle will require two things:
1. A timed entry ticket (purchased in advance). Print or save a digital copy of the Timed Entry Ticket with confirmation code and have it available to be scanned at the park entrance station. Timed entry ticket holder must be in the vehicle at time of entry. Photo ID will be required.
- Timed entry tickets are required in addition to your park pass OR entrance fee. You may enter the park before 7 am or after 4 pm without a timed entry ticket. This Timed Entry Ticket is valid for entry only during the one-hour period reserved.
- Once you have entered the park during your one-hour entry window, you can exit and re-enter the park any time during the remainder of the day.
- The park will release tickets first-come, first-served on Recreation.gov 3 months in advance in monthly blocks
- When using Recreation.gov, search for “Arches National Park Timed Entry Ticket,” select the day you plan to visit the park, add it to your cart, and complete payment. After payment, you will receive an email confirmation with an attached timed entry ticket.
- Timed entry tickets are free but require a non-refundable $2 reservation processing fee. (Clearly us and Arches have a different meaning for the word free).
2. Park entrance fee paid upon arrival or paid in advance OR a valid annual or lifetime pass presented upon arrival. Visitors have access to the entire park but are not guaranteed parking at a specific lot. Photo ID required. A Private Vehicle Pass costs $30 and will give you access for 7 days.
how to get to arches national park
From Moab, the infamous Arches National Park is just 6 miles away. We recommend flying into Salt Lake City International Airport (234 miles/approximately 4 hours from Arches National Park) or Denver International Airport (276 miles/approximately 6 hours from Arches National Park). You’ll want to have a car to get around the beauty of this national park, so if you have the time for the drive from the airport, it’s worth it in $ you’d be saving not flying into a regional airport.
best time to elope in arches national park
Arches National Park is gorgeous and accessible throughout the year, but a few times are better than others. Summer months are hot AF (100°F+), and if you go in winter, you can expect temperatures around 30-50°F and as low as 0-20°F. So – the best time to go to Moab? You really can’t go wrong if you love adventure. Working together, we can help you plan for any season. That being said – temperatures are ideal for adventuring in April, May, September, and October when daytime temperatures average around 60-80 degrees! Try to plan for a weekday to avoid crowds for this desert elopement location.
permits needed to elope in arches national park
First things first, make sure you’re 18 years or older or meet these requirements and restrictions. You will be legal in Grand County, Utah.
Permits and licenses are essential and can sometimes be overwhelming to navigate. In order to have the arches national park elopement of your dreams, let’s make sure you have what you need. Fun fact: you don’t have to be a resident of Utah to get a marriage license in Utah, and once you have your license, you have 30 days to get married. Here’s everything you’ll need to know about getting a marriage license in Grand County, Utah, and here’s the marriage application you’ll need to take with you to the Grand County Clerk.
If you’re wondering how to elope in Arches National Park, you’ll need to download and fill out this application and pay $185 to Pay.gov by selecting “SEUG” in the pay.gov search window. Make your payment at: Canyonlands and Arches NP & Natural Bridges and Hovenweep NM Special Use Permit. Click on “Continue.” Select which park your Special Use Permit is for, and under Permit Fee click on Permit and select Wedding. Enter a total dollar amount of $185 for the type of Special Use Permit you are requesting, then follow the instructions and fill out the forms. Make sure to save your payment confirmation – you will send this with your application to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check out our most recent Arches National Park elopement!
the nine areas for your arches national park elopement
The Windows Section (North Window, South Window, Turret Arch, or Double Arch)
The Windows Section, also known as “the beating heart of Arches National Park”, is one of the most scenic locations in the park. In just two square miles, you can find North Window, Turret Arch (check out this looped hiking trail!), and Double Arch. Other named features in this area include Garden of Eden (think underrated viewpoint and trail), Elephant Butte (camping, fishing, boating!), and Parade of Elephants (legit looks like a parade of elephants and we’re obsessed).
Sand Dune Arch
For a super unique arches national park elopement, look no further than Sand Dune Arch! Perfect for a morning ceremony, the easy .3-mile out-and-back trail will have you navigating through slot canyons for a short bit before turning a corner to this small but mighty arch.
While the hike to Delicate Arch is only three miles, part of the trail has a steep summit with elevation gains of 613 feet total, so we love this hike for the adventurous eloping couple! Extra plus: this trail is open year-round. Because of its epic views, Delicate Arch is crowded. We recommend making an early day of it and enjoying the sunrise as you hike to your Arches National Park elopement location!
Delicate Arch Viewpoint
This area gives you the opposite view of the trail from Delicate Arch in less than a mile’s walk! Note if you’re thinking of having a winter elopement: the trail can get icy at times during the winter, as with most locations in the area.
Pine Tree Arch
We love Pine Tree Arch because it’s not very well marked, so while it can get crowded, it’s less likely to do so than its neighboring trails and arches. Enjoy this pretty-easy 1-mile trail leading up to the arch! We had so much fun capturing this couple’s Arches National Park elopement at Pine Tree Arch recently!
Another easy sub-2-mile hike, we think Landscape Arch is pretty cool – take a look for yourself! Couples can enjoy wildflowers and an out-and-back trial offering just enough adventure for those looking for a moderate amount of effort to get that breathtaking Arches National Park elopement moment.
Oh man – if you’re looking for famous Moab backdrops as you and your sweetheart elope, look no further than Park Avenue! Enjoy a 1.8-mile out-and-back hike, super great for any time of the year.
Devils Garden Campground Amphitheater
Yes – you CAN camp in Arches National Park! Devils Garden Campground is the only campground at Arches National Park, and you can reserve campsites from March 1 through October 31. Sites are first-come-first-serve the rest of the year. If an amphitheater isn’t your thing, you could even camp and hike into your Arches National Park elopement location above! Campers here can enjoy waking up next to epic Slickrock outcroppings.
I mean, hello, epic views!! You can find this spot about midway into the park – enjoy wide-open spaces with the La Sal Mountains in your background! We’ll definitely hit up this spot for some after-elopement shots. How could we resist!?
A few unique things to keep in mind about eloping in Arches National Park:
– The total cost of a wedding permit (see: permits) is $185 (a non-refundable application fee of $55 and an administrative and management fee of $130). In addition, all elopement attendees will pay an entrance fee of $30 per car.
– You are only allowed to occupy an area for 10 minutes when others are present (so they can also take in the views). Don’t worry – we can definitely make this work for photos before/after your ceremony!
– No use of rice, birdseed, or any non-native plant seed.
– Playing musical instruments or amplified sound is not allowed
camping in or near national arches park
Looking for other camping options than Devils Garden Campground? We got you. Access Arches National Park’s two Backcountry sites via backroads and trails (hello, adventure!) and are for experienced backpackers. Note: Paths are not always marked for hiking to the designated campsites and at-large zones, and campfires are not allowed.
There are two designated backpacking camping sites: Courthouse Wash and one off the primitive trail in Devil’s Garden. Backpacking require permits and you purchase them at the visitor center for $7. We highly recommend reading about backpacking safety in the Arches and partnering with a photography+videography adventure team (like us!) to help make your adventure elopement dreams come true.
Be sure to reserve both improved campsites and backcountry campsites many months in advance on the National Park Website. If you cannot secure a site, we recommend checking out camping options in Canyonlands National Park, Deadhorse Point State Park, and private campgrounds in Moab. When asked the question how to elope in Arches National Park, we will ALWAYS say the wild way!
arches national park elopement timeline
Wondering how your full-day Arches National Park elopement could look? Check this out:
10 am – We show up as you get ready in your AirBnB(s) – whether you want to have your first look here or wait until we get to your Arches National Park elopement location is up to you!
11 am – The adventure of your Arches National Park elopement starts the minute we get into the park. The sun shines as we drive the windy Main Park Road. We drive past Park Avenue and soak in the views of the Organ and the Petrified Dunes on our way to the trailhead. We wind our way up to the trailhead, where you two love birds will begin the rest of your journey.
12 pm – We arrive at Devil’s campground trailhead and hike to Pine Tree Arch, enjoying a shady hike, which is rare for desert elopements. We walk past high towers and dried juniper bushes. We find a quiet place tucked behind the arch where your ceremony can rock on in seclusion. (yes, we went there)
desert elopements are for lovers
1 pm – You see the love of your life and it’s the moment you’ve been waiting. You take a deep breath and stand together in awe of your location and love for each other as you complete your intimate, personal, and above all, intentional Arches National Park elopement ceremony.
1:30 pm – You climb cliffs and cascade down rocks, exploring Pine Tree Arch and soaking in the snow-capped La Sal Mountains in the distance. Next, we hike to Double Arch where we enjoy every last minute of the available light of the day. We put you inside an arch and let you look out over the horizon as the sun sets in the distance. The light is behind you, and you celebrate with your favorite beverage! You’re MARRIED!
5:30 pm – We help you plan an epic post-elopement dinner (maybe you’d enjoy Moab Food Truck Park and inviting some friends or family to join you?). You have your first dance under the twinkle lights of a food truck park as we play your favorite song from a speaker. You cut your wedding cake on a bistro table or enjoy your favorite dessert from a local shop. It’s thoughtful. It’s perfectly you.
8 pm – It’s not an Arches National Park elopement without the epic star photos! We head to your GLAMPING tent at Under Canvas Moab and capture the gorgeous night sky and stargaze as you enjoy the bliss of newlyweds!!
arches national park elopement vendors:
Photography & Videography: Honeybee Wedding (yours truly!)
Flowers: Forget Me Knot Moab
Reception: Moab Food Truck Park
Accommodation: Under Canvas Moab Glamping
We are Kelsey and Jake, a husband and wife team capturing adventure photos and videos for the wildly in love. We can’t wait to sip margaritas, adventure together, make memories, and pop that champagne at the top of the mountain. We’re not just here to capture elopements – screw that. If you’re ever wondering how to elope in Arches National Park, we’re here to give you the adventure of a lifetime!
Whether you’re looking for a two-day elopement experience (think: two 8 hour days of documentation, or mix it up and do a 12 hour day and a 4 hour day), a full day elopement experience (up to 12 hours of coverage), an 8-hour elopement experience, or a partial day elopement experience (up to 4 hours of coverage), we can’t wait to plan your dream Arches National Park elopement experience. Reach out today and let’s dream together!