Unforgettable Views & Memories: How to Elope in Zion National Park
Zion National Park is a breathtaking destination for couples who want to elope in a natural setting that's unique. With stunning red rock formations, majestic sand stone walls, and breathtaking views, Zion offers a variety of locations for a memorable elopement ceremony. Here's a comprehensive guide to help you plan your elopement in Zion National Park. Keep in mind Zion is a very popular National Park and it gets very crowded in the summer months (June-September). As always choose midweek day and off season months to avoid crowds, long waits for shuttles and have much easier logistics.
How to Plan Your Wedding in Zion?
If you're flying from out of state, the best and the cheapest airport to fly into is Las Vegas (about 3h away) or St George about 50 min away from the park. St George is a great place to based yourself out of even if you're getting into Las Vegas.
If you're looking for a stunning and unforgettable location for your intimate wedding or elopement, Zion National Park is an excellent choice. The red sandstone cliffs, towering mesas, and rushing rivers make for an incredible backdrop that will create lasting memories. However, planning a Zion National Park elopement requires some preparation and research. You will need a special use permit in order to get married within the park (I'll help you with that). Zion is pretty easy at getting those as long as you allow at least 30 days. You can apply for permit on the park's website. Although it typically takes around 5-10 business days to process the permit allow at least few months to apply for one, in order to make sure your date is available. The cost is 100$ and you must choose a desired 1h window, and a location where you want to have the ceremony. Zion National Park has a list of designated locations so you must only apply for one of those.
Zion National Park offers six stunning locations to choose from, and it's essential to pick one that best suits your preferences. Also keep in mind that these are public areas and the park will not exclude or allow you to exclude other park visitors from the site during your ceremony.
- Menu Falls
One of the great advantages to having a smaller wedding are the choices available for the venue. Menu Falls is the smallest area designated for weddings within Zion , which allows for a maximum of 10 guests..
2. Timber Creek is the second smallest designated wedding area with a maximum of 20 people. This location is known for its stunning view of Zion National Park.
3. Temple of Sinawava max (35 people) This is a last stop 9 on a shuttle that offers the quintessential Zion's sand stone walls surroundings. This location offers also nice locations along the river for more portraits and some waterfalls in the season.
4. Nature Center North lawn (max 50 people), November through April only. this is the only location that approves use of chairs after approval from the Park's rangers. It is located in Zion National Park and the flat lawn allows for very easy accessibility.
5. South Campground Amphitheater max (100 people) Nice locations with wooden benches in the amphitheater. The venue is surrounded by the mountains and has a stunning location within the park.
6. Timber Creek Overlook (max 20 people) in Kolob Canyon area. Very private and beautiful location about an hour from the South Entrance. It offers amazing views of the Kolob Canyon.
Best Places to Stay Near Zion
When choosing a place to stay near Zion National Park, consider factors such as proximity to the park, amenities, budget, and the type of experience you're looking for. It's also recommended to make reservations in advance, especially during the peak season, as accommodations can fill up quickly. Here are some of the best options relatively close to Zion.
Springdale: This is the closest town to Zion National Park and offers a range of accommodation options, including hotels, motels, lodges, and vacation rentals. Staying in Springdale allows you to be just minutes away from the park's entrance and provides easy access to dining, shopping, and outdoor activities.
Kanab: Located about an hour's drive from Zion, Kanab is a charming town with a variety of lodging options. It's known as the "Gateway to the Grand Canyon" and offers a convenient base for exploring both Zion and other nearby parks, such as Bryce Canyon National Park and Grand Canyon National Park.
Hurricane: Situated approximately 30 minutes away from Zion, Hurricane offers a more affordable accommodation alternative. You can find hotels and vacation rentals in the area, and it provides easy access to the park while being close to other attractions like Snow Canyon State Park.
St George: located about an hour from the park, also a good option if you're flying into it.St George offers some of the best restaurants in Utah, incredible mountain biking and hiking.
Best Time to Elope in Zion?
When planning your Zion National Park elopement, one of the first steps you should take is choosing a date and time. It's essential to consider the weather, as temperatures can vary greatly depending on the season. Summers are unbearably hot and crowded. Parking can be an issue as well, and lines for shuttles long. Spring and fall are the most popular times to visit the park, as the temperatures are moderate and the crowds are smaller than in the summer. However, if you're looking to avoid the crowds, winter can be a great option as well. The shuttle is usually suspended from December till early March, so you can drive your car to most locations in the park. Keep in mind that the park can be very busy on weekends and holidays, so try to plan your elopement during the week if possible.
In addition, there are a few other logistics to consider when planning your Zion National Park elopement. This includes transportation to and from the park (shuttle schedule etc), lodging accommodations for you and your guests (I know some great recommendations from glamping to small cabins and airbnbs), and any necessary vendor services such as hair and makeup artists or catering.
By following the steps outlined in this blog, you can ensure that your special day will be everything you've dreamed of and more. Don't be afraid to ask for help or advice. Now, are you ready to book your Zion elopement?