Everything You Need to Know About Eloping at Arches National Park
So you're thinking of eloping at the beautiful Arches in Utah? That is such a great choice. Arches fascinate tourists from all over the world, no wonder, Utah boasts five spectacular National Parks and the Arches are one of them. However, it's essential to plan carefully and follow the park's rules and regulations to ensure a smooth and legal elopement. Here's everything you need to know:
- Obtain a Permit:
You'll need to obtain a special use permit for your elopement from the National Park Service (NPS). You can apply for this permit through the park's website or by contacting the park directly.
- The park requests a minimum of four weeks to fully process a basic permit request. Do not wait until the last minute to apply for your permit.
At the time of writing this blog the permit costs $185. Keep in mind the park gives couples very narrow window for the ceremony where they block public access to the location. The time is 1 hour and you're most likely will accompanied by a ranger. After the 1h passes you can still hang out in the area and take pictures, except you can't block any trails and public access.
- Marriage License: To make your elopement legally binding, you'll need to obtain a marriage license in the state of Utah. You can apply for a marriage license at the county clerk's office in Moab, which is the nearest town to the park.
- Bouquets: To prevent the introduction of invasive species into the park, dried plants, including grasses, are prohibited in bouquets.
- Decorations: The use of balloons, arches, or any other type of decorations will not be authorized.
Elopement Locations at Arches National Park
Arches National Park offers numerous breathtaking locations for your elopement ceremony, such as Double Arch. Consider factors like accessibility, time of day, and the number of guests you plan to have when choosing your location.
Below are designated wedding sites within the park and corresponding group size allowed.
- Park Avenue 15 people
- La Sal Mountains Viewpoint 50 people
- Double Arch 25 people
- The Windows 25 people
- Panorama Point 50 people
- Devils Garden Campground Amphitheater 80 people
Applications to hold a ceremony at other locations within the park will be considered on a case-by-case basis, so if there any other locations you are interested in reach out to the park. i will be happy to recommend great spots and assist you in the permit process.
Keep in mind you can have photos taken anywhere in the park after your ceremony.
Best Time to Elope at Arches National Park
The park can get extremely crowded during peak tourist seasons, so consider eloping during the shoulder seasons (spring or fall) to avoid large crowds and scorching heat. Spring and fall are the dream desert elopement seasons, so is the winter if you don't mind colder the temperatures. Just in general be prepared for variable weather conditions. Arches National Park experiences hot summers and cold winters, so dress accordingly and plan your elopement date based on your weather preferences but other than that every season is beautiful. As far as time of a day I always recommend to start before sunrise or in the late afternoon and including sunset photos in your elopement or wedding. Summers are perfect for capturing the Milky Way if you're interested in including some astro photography in your elopement!
Fun Things to Do During Your Arches Elopement
Hiking: Arches is known for its extensive network of hiking trails, ranging from easy, short walks to challenging backcountry routes. Some popular trails include:
- Delicate Arch Trail: A 3-mile round-trip hike that leads to the iconic Delicate Arch, one of the most famous natural arches in the world.
- Double Arch Trail: An easy, short hike leading to two massive arches that are often featured in films and commercials.
- Landscape Arch Trail: A relatively easy hike to see one of the longest natural arches in the world.
Scenic Drives: The park offers several scenic drives, including the main road through the park with numerous pullouts and viewpoints. Don't miss the 18-mile scenic drive to see many of the park's famous arches and formations.
Picnicking: Bring a picnic and enjoy a meal at one of the designated picnic areas while taking in the beautiful surroundings.