Why You Should Elope in Moab
You know why you want to elope in Moab. The scenery is unmatched! Although all of Utah is absolutely spectacular and unique, Moab seems to attract great number of visitors. Located about 3 hour 40 minutes from Salt lake City, or about 6 hours from Denver, Moab is appointed between two National Parks, The Arches and the Canyonlands. The landscape around Moab offers sandstone arches, cliffs with expansive vistas, vast desert, rivers to swim, and slot canyons to explore. No wonder it has been attracting both tourists and locals for a while! For couples who want to celebrate nature and have an adventure at the same time, Moab is the dream location you can explore by a jeep or by foot. Keep reading for all the details on planning an elopement! Interested in Moab elopement packages? Click here.
Best Time to Elope
Most of Utah in general is a year round destination. Expect hot dry summers, and cold winters with snow. Moab is probably the most pleasant in the spring and fall where temperatures are lower, and crowds are less. So if you hate the heat, I recommend planning your elopement in March, April, May, September through November. You can expect some rain in the spring, but that provides great opportunity for rainbows and interesting clouds. Fall is another great season because you won't run into all the crowds, temperatures are moderate and the traffic is a breeze. In terms of time of a day I always suggest doing either sunrise or sunset for the most beautiful golden light, which surrounded red rock reflect beautifully like a natural diffuser . If you're looking for less crowd sunrise is definitely a better option, although personally I always prefer the golden hour leading towards the sunset.
Permits, Logistics and Few Things to Know
If your dream is to elope in a National Park, Arches are about 10 min drive (Sand Dune Arch and The Windows being prime locations). Arches National Park is such a unique feature of Moab. The park features natural sandstone arches that tower above you. You can’t help but wonder how they formed so perfect & how these massive stone structures stand like they do. As mentioned before having a national park elopement does come with some restrictions though. For elopements and weddings in national parks, it’s best to keep props and decorations to a minimum.
Also, location where one can have a ceremony are limited to 10 and designated by the park. You can have your ceremony at La Sal Mountains Viewpoint, Delicate Arch, Delicate Arch Viewpoint, Park Avenue, The Windows Section, Sand Dune Arch, Pine Tree Arch, Landscape Arch, Devil’s Garden Campground Amphitheater, & Panorama Point.
Also, because Arches is very popular if you're debating between sunrise or sunset, I really recommend sunrise. It will give you great lighting and more privacy for your elopement in Moab.
- Arches National Park does require permits for any sort of elopement, wedding, or vow renewal ceremony. The permit fee is $185. The permit does not exclude you from entrance fees to Arches National Park. Another great National Park elopement option is Canyonlands National Park (Grand View Vista or Green River Overlook) with breathtaking vistas, and epic sunsets. Canyonlands National Park is the biggest national park in Utah.
- Sunrise & sunset are both great times for elopements in Canyonlands National Park. Since Canyonlands is larger & a little further away from Moab than Arches, Canyonlands can be less crowded than Arches, especially in areas outside of Island in the Sky. Wedding and elopement ceremonies in Canyonlands are permitted at Grand View Point, Green River Overlook, and Mesa Arch, and also require permits well in advance.
There are also public lands around Moab for less crowded alternative, and easier to get permits. I personally like scenery (many arch formations as well) right outside of Moab, as well as Dead Horse State Park which offers both- beautiful sunrises and sunsets. Dead Horse Point State Park is located not too far from Canyonlands National Park and offers very similar views overlooking Colorado river. Dead Horse Point can sometimes be a little less crowded than the national parks in the area, but also requires permit and 20$ entry fee.
Other amazing and photogenic spots are listed below:
Where to Stay in Moab
It all depends if you want to camp or stay in cozy accommodation. There are quite a few established campgrounds near Moab, as well as ton of dispersed (free) camping. If facility, privacy and comfort are your concern you can look into glamping in an old airstream at Field Station or in a modern tent at Under Canvas. There are also numerous of Airbnbs located in or outside the town. If traveling in a summer or fall I'd recommend booking your accommodation well in advance. If you have more questions on how to elope in Moab feel free to reach out.