Looking to elope in Moab with jaw dropping views around you? Look no further where
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 this incredible elopement location!
Situated among the winding Colorado River, Moab’s unique community provides for a variety of
elopement adventure and scenery within an hour of Moab. Think: countless hiking trails, UTV trails, white water rafting, horseback riding, mountain biking, and of course, beautiful places to elope. From Moab, the infamous Arches National Park is just 6 miles away, while Canyonlands National Park is 32 miles away.
Moab is gorgeous and accessible throughout the year, but there are a few times that are better than others. Summer months are hot (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. Try to plan for a weekday to avoid crowds!
First things first, make sure you’re 18 years or older, or meet these requirements and restrictions in order to get married in Grand County, Utah.
Permits & making it legit
Permits and licenses are important and can sometimes be overwhelming to navigate. In order to elope in Moab, 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’ll 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.
Below is lots of logistical information, but here’s how to apply for a wedding permit specifically at
Canyonlands National Park and Arches National Park: Download and fill out this application, and pay $185 to Pay.gov by selecting “SEUG” in the pay.gov search window. Payment will be made 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 email@example.com.
Okay – now that you can get married in Moab, let’s talk location, location, location!
Canyonlands National Park
Let’s talk sweeping canyon views of red rock landscapes. We love the Canyonlands for its accessibility via car, foot, or bike, and less crowds! If you’re the camping type, you’ll definitely want to spend a few days exploring and camping – the Canyonlands are expansive. The
Canyonlands have four sections: Island in the Sky (the most accessible and popular), The Needles, The Maze, and the rivers. Each area has their own special adventuring permits, purchase passes and permits here – keep in mind, Island in the Sky is the only area permitted to get married.
Island in the Sky
If you’re looking to get married in the Canyonlands, Island of Sky is for you! There are three locations you can have your ceremony: Grand View Point, Green River Overlook, and Mesa Arch. Don’t worry – there is plenty of room for exploring and taking photos outside your ceremony site. Just 10 miles north of Moab, Island in the Sky rests on sandstone cliffs over 1,000 feet tall (hence the name!), overlooking a breathtaking landscape. Good news: this beauty of a location is the easiest to visit in the Canyonlands and provides ample opportunities for adventure from hiking trails to epic off-roading expeditions.
The Needles are found in the southeast corner of Canyonlands and offer spectacular views and
adventure opportunities. Whether hiking or four-wheel-driving, this area offers over plenty of miles to
explore – 60 miles for hiking, and 50 miles of driving trails!
Known for being the least accessible area of the Canyonlands, it’s recommended to use a map and not
GPS to visit The Maze. Think: 3-6 hours of off-roading in a high-clearance four-wheel-drive vehicle,
spending a minimum of 3 days, and strenuous hikes. That is some serious adventuring – we’re down if
Arches National Park
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 do require permits (see: Permits, above) and offer 10 locations to get hitched: La Sal
Mountains Viewpoint, The Windows Section, Sand Dune Arch, Delicate Arch, Delicate Arch Viewpoint,
Pine Tree Arch, Landscape Arch, Park Avenue, Devils Garden Campground Amphitheater, and Panorama
Looking to camp among slickrock outcroppings before or after your elopement? You can! 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.
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
- No use of rice, birdseed or any non-native plant seed.
- Playing musical instruments or having amplified sound is prohibited.
Dead Horse Point State Park
9 miles outside Moab with ample hiking and dirt biking trails, Dead Horse Point State Park is an
adventurer’s paradise. With viewpoints facing east and west (so we can get that great shot no matter
what time you want to party) Pack your wedding clothes and change when you arrive – heck bring your pup along and include them in the ceremony! There are plenty of dog friendly trails for your elopement
There is a Special Use Permit you’ll need to fill out at least 30 days before your elopement date to get
married on BLM land. The permit costs $60 ($10 application fee and $50 permit fee). The day of the
wedding will cost $15 per vehicle for up to 8 people in each vehicle. Here’s a great pros and cons guide
of this location, provided by the State Park. This is one of most gorgeous places when you elope in Moab.
A few unique things to keep in mind about this location:
- All sites are accessible to the public. This means you might be sharing space, but it also means
getting to go on an adventure so you find your own space!
- No live or cut flowers – stick with artificial flowers (what a fun opportunity to keep a flower
budget low and reuse the flowers later as a statement piece/reminder of your special day in
- No throwing seeds, confetti, rice…basically don’t throw anything. (see: leave Moab the way it
was when you arrive)
- Trails must be used for access to the wedding site of your choice
- No amplified music, lighting or decoration (really though, the views + you lovebirds is enough to
fill the space!)
Manti La Sal Mountains
The Manti-La Sal Mountains offer a mountain escape from the desert, and you can still enjoy views of
the canyons. Southeast of Moab, eloping in the Manti-La Sal National Forest does not require permits.
Fun fact: The Forest contains over 5,000 known archaeological sites dating from 10,000 years ago to the
mid-1900s. This is one of the most accessible place to elope in Moab.
Take a downriver winding road to access Kane Creek which provides a reprieve from the crowds due to
its moderate-to-difficult off-roading trail. Best to use high-clearance SUVs and ATVs for this drive – but if
off-roading is for you, it’s worth it given the views and Moonflower Canyon waiting for you. Moonflower
Canyon is a lush oasis hidden away in the surrounding red rock bluffs and is the site of ancient Native
American remnants. You can even stay for the night!
Sand Flats Recreation Area
Known for its bike and 4×4 trails, Sand Flats Recreation Area features a high plan of slickrock domes,
bowls and fins. Campsites are first come, first serve, and you’ll need to purchase a day use pass online
before enjoying this 8,000 acre area. Ready to ride to your elopement destination? You’ll know better
than we can what you and your partner can handle – definitely check out all mountain bike options in
Moab. Four-wheeling more your thing? You’ll want to head to Fins and Things and Hell’s Revenge – both
are world-renowned 4×4 trails!
Just 20 miles north of Moab, Castle Valley is home of the 400-foot Wingate Sandstone spire and is a
great place away from the crowds to hike, bike or horseback ride. Known most for a space to rest after a
long day of adventuring, Castle Valley can be a great connecting point for your rock climbing elopement
on Castle Rock, rafting down the Colorado River post elopement, or mountain biking Porcupine Rim.
Castle Valley is also an actual valley that extends from the Colorado River almost 12 miles into the
foothills of the La Sal Mountains.
If you’ve never seen Ancestral Puebloans, petroglyphs or pictographs, Cedar Mesa is your chance. You
can elope here or plan a visit before/after your big day. Here’s everything you need to know about
requesting permits for Cedar Mesa, based on what type of adventure you’re looking for.
Please note: Kane Creek, Sand Flats Recreation Area and Cedar Mesa are all BLM land. Here is the
Special Recreation Permit Application you’ll need to fill out for getting married on BLM land, and here is
the Moab Field Office you’ll contact to receive approval.
BLM Permit Situation
Speaking of BLM land – there are plenty of BLM (Bureau of Land Management) trails and camping
options in Moab, as well as river recreation options. What does this mean for your adventure
when you elope in Moab? More opportunities to have your furry friend join you (dogs are allowed on BLM trails – just
keep them on leash), potential for more of your own space, and obviously, adventure! Here is the
Special Recreation Permit Application you’ll need to fill out for getting married on BLM land – here is the
Moab Field Office you’ll contact to receive approval.
The most important permit to have for BLM land is actually not for you – but rather your photographer.
The BLM land permitting process takes up to 180 days and is something we take care of for all of our
couples. Just make sure your photographer has one!
moab rafting – Mild to Wild
One of the most popular rafting options in Moab is a one-day trip on the Fisher Towers section hosted
by Mild to Wild. The 14-mile stretch is a great option for families or anyone trying to stay cool during the
summer heat. Check out petroglyphs, a relaxing time to swim, and sandy beaches for camping under the
starry sky on this “Utah’s Best Family Rafting Trip! “
All the adventures under one ‘roof’ – you can white water raft, try out canyoneering, go backpacking,
and enjoy 4×4 and hiking tours with Navtec Expeditions. Head into the Canyonlands’ Island in the Sky,
Needles, Maze and Arches National Park for some epic elopement activities.
Slickrock Bike Trail is just 2.3 miles from the entrance of the Sands Flats Recreation Area and features 12
miles of exhausting and exhilarating mountain biking. Plan for about 4 hours to ride the entire loop, and
definitely plan to carry water. This is one of the most famous mountain biking trails in the world and
hosts several campgrounds nearby.
Jeeping has found a home in Moab – check out this list of best jeep trails, and let’s plan an adventure!
Some of the best off-roading trails are in Sand Flats, and many other trails are less than a few miles
away (like Fins and Things and Hell’s Revenge). Don’t have a jeep but ready to explore? Dan Mick’s Jeep
Tours offers high quality guided tours and have been doing so for over 30 years. You can’t elope in Moab and not go out on a jeeping adventure!
leave no trace
Last but not least, please make sure you stay on trails or designated areas – This land is every bit as
fragile as it is beautiful. If you step off the trail, you may injure its living surface. Yes, you read that right
– Living! Surface! When biological soil crust is damaged, it can take centuries (literally) to recover. Please
leave Moab the way you found it and allow others who will be inspired by your photos and elopement
story to come and see this land as Nature intended: organic and alive.
Whether you’re feeling an arch vibe for your elopement, capturing the infamous red sandstone in your
background or the ultimate adventure elopement week in the backcountry, we can’t wait to help create the perfect elopement adventure with you. And let’s be honest, we’ll take ANY excuse to join you in Moab – pick a date and we’re there!
Moab Elopement Packages
We offer elopement photography and videography for adventure elopements in Moab and Utah. We are your guides, planners, and best friends. From the very first moment we start talking about your elopement dreams (the consult is free), it’s an immediate connection. That’s when the magic begins! We want to know who you are as a couple, where your love story happened, and where you want it to go. Elope in Moab with us and you’ll leave with friends for life!