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    How to Elope in Zion National Park

Zion National Park is one of my favorite places for adventure elopements! If you’re planning an elopement and wanting to know how to elope in Zion National Park, here is my guide to get you started.

Southern Utah is full of incredible parks and stunning scenery, but nothing quite compares to the majesty of Zion National Park for a jaw-dropping elopement location! The red rocks and desert landscape are simply breathtaking. It’s parks like this one that remind me why I think every couple should consider eloping. Nothing beats declaring your love for one another out in the beauty of nature! 

If you’re thinking of planning an elopement in Zion National Park, I’ve got you covered! Here’s a quick-start guide to getting all those ducks in a row so you can get hitched without a hitch!

5 Tips for Planning a Zion National Park Elopement

While you save yourself the stress of planning seating charts and wedding favors, elopements still require a certain amount of planning and preparation. My comprehensive adventure elopement checklist will help you cover all your bases, but here are five tips specifically for couples planning a Zion National Park elopement:

1. Plan for Fall or Winter

The first thing you need to do is pick a date, and I personally do not recommend eloping in southern Utah during the hot summer months. Summer also tends to be a busier time of year with all the tourism, so you’ll find it easier to get around and find some privacy during fall and winter.

The best season to elope in Zion National Park is fall because the buses are still running, making transportation throughout the park easier. You also get even more variety in the landscape with the trees changing colors for autumn! 

If you’re concerned about weather conditions in fall and winter, keep in mind that it’s all part of the adventure! Sure, it might rain unexpectedly on your wedding day, but I’ve found that unexpected weather usually just adds to the magic. It sure did for Zeke and Agatha’s Zion National Park elopement!

2. Choose Locations

There are many great places to elope in Zion National Park, and where you choose to go will mostly depend on how much hiking you want to do. Shorter hikes may have bigger crowds, but longer ones may not be ideal in a wedding dress. Here are a few great places to elope in Zion National Park:


  • Zion Canyon Overlook Trail – Beautiful views, especially at sunset! The trail is just under a mile and has lots of great spots for photos along the way.
  • Temple of Sinawava – If you want to take the full Zion Canyon Scenic Drive tour, this hot spot is right at the end of it. That means no hiking at all required unless you want to go from here along the two-mile Riverside Walk and explore all the canyons and waterfalls after your ceremony.
  • Zion Slot Canyons – These canyons are one of the more unique features Zion has to offer, so whether you elope there or not I highly recommend checking them out during your stay! There are many canyons to choose from, so it’s not too difficult to find one that works for your needs and isn’t crowded.

If your chosen location is just too busy the day-of, Snow Canyon State Park is a great backup plan that’s not too far from Zion. It’ll still give you plenty of red rocks and grand views!


A lot of these locations are popular tourist destinations as well, but don’t worry! I’ve got plenty of secret spots I can tell you about if you book your elopement with me! I make it my job to find all the perfect elopement locations that no one else knows about in each national park and guard those secret spots for all of my future couples.


3. Get Your Permits NOW

Zion National Park has a lot of specific rules and guidelines for elopements and wedding ceremonies in the park, and it all starts with your permit. No matter how many people are in attendance, you’ll need a Special Use Permit. Your application needs to be submitted at least three weeks before your wedding date to be considered and must specifically declare where you will hold the ceremony.

While we can travel all over the park for elopement portraits, the ceremony itself can only take place at one of these six locations:

  • Temple of Sinawava
  • Menu Falls
  • Timber Creek Overlook
  • Zion Lodge Lawn
  • Nature Center North Lawn
  • South Campground Amphitheater

Unless you’re inviting guests to your ceremony, I suggest choosing one of the first three. The others are better for small weddings of 50-100 people.

In addition to the $100 Special Use Permit, you’ll need a park pass. Weekly passes are $35 and annual passes are $70.

4. Start Early or Late in the Day

If you want to beat the crowds, start your elopement at sunrise or closer to sunset! That said, keep in mind it can get pretty chilly outside of daylight hours, especially in the fall and winter. If you’re wearing a wedding dress, bring something to bundle up with in between shots or get a gorgeous shawl that complements your dress. If you’re wearing a suit you should be fine, but it’s not a bad idea to have a coat or blanket handy just in case.

5. Plan a Local Honeymoon

Zion National Park is huge—there’s no way you can explore all of it in a one-day elopement. That’s why I suggest having it double as your honeymoon destination so you can go on some of the more vigorous hikes while not dressed to the nines. If you’re wondering if you can stay in Zion National Park, you can! Zion Lodge offers lovely hotels right in the park, but they book up far in advance so you should jump on that asap if you want to stay here!

There are lots of beautiful AirBnBs and hotels in nearby Springdale and St. George if you aren’t tied to staying inside the park. Here are a few lodging options that are incredibly romantic and cozy:

How To Elope In Zion National Park
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