When it comes to eloping in a national park, I truly believe that Zion National Park is one of the best options out there.
For starters–and I believe this is the most obvious reason–Zion is beautiful. It’s one of the most visited national parks for a good reason; there’s so much stunning landscape to see, enjoy, and explore.
There’s no argument that Zion is stunning at every turn–but it’s also established. For adventurous couples who want a seamless experience that’s a little bit of everything (rugged, easy to navigate, ideal for planning a wedding), it doesn’t get much better than Zion.
Zion is central to all kinds of amazing desert adventures in Utah, too. That means if you’re looking for an elopement day packed with excursions, it’s easy to spend a few hours hiking in the park, pop out for an off-road elopement trail, then head back into a cute, little desert town for a delicious meal.
To be honest, I could talk about Zion–and the reasons to elope there–forever. But for brevity’s sake, I’ll keep my list short and sweet. Here are the top six reasons I believe a Zion National Park wedding is a must for eloping couples.
The 6 Reasons to Elope in Zion National Park
Incomparable Landscape & Stunning Views
The biggest reason to plan a Zion National Park wedding–at least in my book–is the one-of-a-kind landscape.
If you’ve ever been to Zion (or just seen pictures on Instagram), you know it features lots of overlook views, beautiful carved-out slot canyons, dramatic red rocks, and so much more. Zion is famous for a few different locations–Angel’s Landing, The Narrows, Emerald Pools, and beyond.
But the real secret to Zion is there’s a lot more than just these spots to explore. And that’s what makes eloping in Zion so special. Here’s a little insight into some of the popular attractions as well as some of the lesser-known spots.
The infamous Angel’s Landing. People have always flocked to hike this semi-scary but worth-the-view trail. Angel’s Landing is steep, challenging, and a little frightening for those who don’t love heights, but it also offers stunning, panoramic views of the park. To me, that makes it so worth the effort. That being said, as of 2022, you’ll need a permit to hike this spot–and you can only obtain the permit in a lottery system. So, planning for this on your elopement day, though not impossible, could be challenging. If you’re looking for a challenge and epic views, this is a great idea. If you’re more interested in a low-key, relaxed elopement, this almost 5.5-mile trail may not be for you.
The Narrows Zion
If you’re seeking dramatic elopement photos and plenty of adventure, and you don’t mind getting a little wet, hiking The Narrows in Zion is a great elopement excursion. The Narrows is not for the faint of heart–but if you and your spouse love an adventure that’s a touch demanding (and you don’t mind getting dirty), this is an ideal location for an elopement day adventure. Depending on when you plan to elope and hike The Narrows, you might have to deal with some chilly water or flash flooding, but ultimately, if we plan accordingly and pay attention, it’s a great spot for eloping.
Here are a few other trails I highly recommend on your elopement day!
- Zion Canyon Overlook Trail
- The Watchman
- Emerald Pools
- Pa’Rus Trail
- Timber Creek Overlook Trail
- La Verkin Creek Trail
Scalable Exploring for Every Type of Adventurous Couple
What I enjoy most about Zion elopements is that there’s a little something for everyone. If you’re an intense hiking couple who wants a challenge, there are trails for that. If you want a relaxed picnic somewhere beautiful with no hiking at all, there are tons of spots in the park for that. And if you want something that’s a little blend of all of it, you can make that happen, too.
Zion is convenient for people of all adventurous capabilities and interests. Picture it like a sliding scale for adventure–whether you’re a one on the scale looking for low-key and laid back or a 10 seeking the ultimate outdoor adventure, there’s something for you and your partner in Zion.
Unique & Exciting Lodging at Your Fingertips
Zion is remote, like a lot of national parks–but not so remote that you don’t have great lodging options. Aside from the fact that there are lots of smaller desert towns around the park for you to explore, there are lots of unique places to stay within the park or just outside of it.
Whether you and your partner are seeking a luxury resort or an in-touch-with-nature camping experience (or even glamping), there’s plenty to choose from. Here are just a few of the lodging options nearby Zion.
Nearby Adventures & Stunning Locations Abound
Zion itself is breathtaking–but this park offers more than just what’s inside. Just outside the bounds of the national park–and a few hours in every direction–lies endless adventures, amazing landscapes, and limitless opportunities for exploring whichever way you and your partner deem best.
I’m not trying to talk you out of zion. But to put it simply, Zion National Park is close to so many other amazing places. Whether you love the idea of an off-road elopement, a more secluded hike, a non-technical (or highly technical) slot canyon adventure, or even just a little desert town to explore, Zion National Park gives you access to all of these things within just a few hours in either direction.
I won’t give you the whole list at the moment (mostly because laying every spot out in bulleted format is impossible), but here are a few of my favorite nearby locations for you to consider:
- Springdale (in the park)
- Kanab, UT (30 minutes)
- Sand Hollow State Park (1 hour)
- Bryce Canyon National Park (1-1.5 hours)
- Grand Canyon (South Rim) (3.5-4 hours)
- Monument Valley (4 hours)
- Death Valley (4.5 hours)
And that’s just the start of everything Zion is close to.
Easy-to-Understand Elopement Ceremony Rules
A national park wedding is always a good idea–but that doesn’t mean every park makes it easy. Luckily, Zion National Park is very straightforward about their elopement and wedding rules.
I won’t beat around the bush–Zion is a popular place to get married. It’s actually a popular national park in general.
And while that might sometimes mean the crowds can be tough, and we might have to plan for early morning or late evening adventures to avoid a ton of people, that also means they’ve got their wedding system all worked out.
They lay out how much a permit costs, where you can host your ceremony, and how many people are able to attend in a specific location, and they even make the application process pretty seamless too.
Other national parks aren’t as explicit about their rules, which can make planning a national park wedding confusing, but Zion has this process pretty locked in.
Unreal Fall & Spring Weather
While I wouldn’t necessarily recommend a Zion National Park wedding in the heat of summer, I do believe that Fall and Spring are peak seasons for eloping in a desert, canyon, or Redrock landscape like this.
To keep this short and sweet, some seasons in the desert (like winter and summer) can be extreme. You’ll either deal with chilling cold or blazing heat. The Fall and Spring, though, are mild, fairly predictable, and with enough layers, are manageable at most times of the day.
Let’s Plan Your Zion National Park Wedding
As a local Utah elopement photographer who lives just a stone’s throw away from Zion; I’m here to help you plan the ultimate Zion elopement. From vendors and lodging to the perfect picture at the perfect time, I can help you tackle planning the Zion elopement of your dreams. Reach out to me to start the process of planning your elopement day.