Capitol Reef Elopement Planning Guide

Ready to start planning your elopement in Capitol Reef National Park? While Utah boasts of many epic landscapes and parks to explore, this has to be one of my favorites! With its epic red rock formations and unexpected foliage adorning the desert landscape: it really feels like another planet. There’s plenty of epic locations with a variety of easy-advanced hikes that make this park accessible for the low-key adventure-ish to the advanced adrenaline seekers (some of those cliffs are STEEP!)

How to Elope at Capitol Reef National Park

Before jumping into booking your elopement at this National Park there are a few things you should know. I’ve compiled some tips on how to elope in Capitol Reef and I’m happy to answer any questions. I’ve got plenty of location options and planning advice for those who book with me. I love being your adventure guide/photographer!


Having your elopement or your wedding in any National Park typically requires a special use permit (currently $50 here). This entails filling out an application online up to a week prior. (But don’t wait; the parks service gets BUSY and you don’t want to wait til the last minute.) You must get approved, and carry your permit with you as the park rangers will ask to see it! For more information on what is allowed for elopement/weddings at Capitol Reef, head over to the National Parks Service page here.

When to elope:

If you want ultimate privacy at your elopement, plan for an off-season date October-May. However, there can be ways to work around the crowds; such as having a sunrise ceremony or picking a less-popular trail. When eloping in a public space, there’s really no guarantee you will have the space to yourself. But as a general rule avoid peak vacation times when the tourists (and the heat) are most active!

Weather: Capitol Reef has an arid climate with precipitation averaging 7.91 inches annually at the park visitor center weather station. Much of the rain falls during the summer monsoon season, usually from July to September. During monsoon season, summer downpours can create dangerous flash floods, as well as beautiful ephemeral waterfalls. Always check the weather forecast before hiking in canyons during monsoon season. It’s always a surprise, but this desert landscape can get cold (even snow!) in the Winter months. Spring and Fall are great times to visit!

Utah marriage license requirements:

To get married in Utah, you need to apply for a marriage license and have the marriage solemnized. You can apply for a marriage license at any county clerk’s office. Visit the Utah City and County page on the state’s website for links to local government pages, and look for a link that says something like County Clerk. Check with the county clerk’s office where you intend to get the marriage license for any specific requirements. There is no waiting period before you can get married. As soon as you get your license, you can get married. However, the license is only valid for 32 days. If you do not have the marriage solemnized within that time, the license will expire.

Where to stay:

There’s lots of options of where to stay near Capitol Reef NP before your elopement. Here’s a few ideas:

What to bring:

What to bring to your Capitol Reef elopement:

  • Permit
  • Water bottles/hydration pack
  • Hiking boots
  • Sunblock/glasses
  • Change of shoes/socks
  • Blanket (to sit on or change behind)
  • Portable phone charger
  • Rings
  • Vow books

Fun things to Do:

Horseback Riding Wilderness Ridge Adventures – Horseback Rides in Capitol Reef National Park

Off Roading Capitol Reef – ATV Trails |

Hiking + Canyoneering Hiking & Canyoneering | Capitol Reef | Find a Guide

Leave no trace:

Leave No Trace is a national program that protects the outdoors by teaching and inspiring people to enjoy it responsibly. The seven principles of Leave No Trace promote responsible outdoor recreation by building awareness, appreciation, and respect for public lands. The seven principles are:

We will work together to be careful in preserving the landscape we are adventuring in together by staying within allowed locations/trails and adhering to all park rules and regulations!

Utah Elopement Photographer

Looking to hire a photographer for your Capitol Reef Elopement? I am an experienced adventure elopement photographer and can help guide you through the process! Contact me if you’re ready to start planning your Utah Elopement adventure! And be sure to head over to my Instagram for behind the scenes of more desert adventure elopements like this one!

Jordan + John’s Capitol Reef Elopement

How to Elope in Capitol Reef Guide

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