Zion is an amazing location for an elopement. The park itself is absolutely stunning, and there’s an endless amount of easy to access locations. There’s a lot of logistics to think about, such as season, crowds, and permits. This guide is going to cover it all, as well as how to elope in Zion, and all of the best Zion elopement locations.

Where is Zion

Zion is located in Southwest Utah. The best way to get to Zion National Park is by flying into St. George, Utah. From there, it’s a 40 minute drive. If you’d prefer to fly into a major airport, you can fly into Salt Lake City in Utah. From there it’s a 3 and a half hour drive. Regardless of where you fly into, you should get a rental car as it’s the best way to explore the park.

When to Elope in Zion National Park

The best time to elope in Zion National Park is either the Spring (March-April) or the Fall (September-October.) Each season in this park brings very different things. There are pros and cons to each, so make sure to consider the variables before you choose a time to elope in Zion. Here are what all of the seasons look like in the park


Spring is incredibly popular because its when there’s lush greenery in the park, and wildflowers. The bloom is stunning against the red rocks, and the weather is nice and mild. Normally within the 60’s-70’s. This is a great temperature for being outside all day, especially in the desert where there isn’t much shade. However, this brings in a lot of crowds. Be sure to keep in mind that you’ll have less privacy this time of year.


This season in Zion National Park is extremely hot, normally within the 100 degree temps. Once again, it’s hard to find shade. And despite the extreme heat, the park is still pretty busy. Especially the locations with water features. If you’re going to elope here in the summer, I’d recommend a sunrise elopement to beat the heat and the crowds.


Unlike other areas of Utah, this park actually gets some stunning fall colors. Not only that, but the crowds are starting to die down, and you’re back to having milder weather. This is an amazing time of year to elope in Zion National Park. Visitation is very slow in November, and you’ll get even cooler temps that time of year.


The park is still fully accessible in winter, and that’s when there are the least amount of people. Sometimes Zion even gets snow, and it’s absolutely stunning. However, this is also monsoon season and the park is apt to get flash floods. This season can be a bit cold and a little unpredictable. It’s still a great choice a lot warmer than other places in the states!

Zion elopement

Zion Wedding Permit

You will need a special use permit no matter what your group size is to elope in Zion National Park. You can find the application to apply here. There are only specific locations you’re allowed to get married in the park. Some locations allowing up to 20 guests, and others allowing up to 100. You will have to pay a $100 fee to apply.

How to Get a Utah Marriage License

Getting a marriage license for a Zion elopement is actually easy and straightforward. You do not need to be a resident of Utah to get a marriage license here. You will want to find a county clerks office in the state of Utah, preferably one close to Zion so it’s easy to pick up in person. This would be Washington County.

You will apply online by clicking the link and following it to the application. Then, you will need to appear in person to pick it up. You will both have to show up, and bring valid forms of ID, and pay the $50.00 fee.

Zion elopement

How to Elope at Zion National Park

You plan a Zion elopement in similar ways as you’d plan any adventure elopement. There are a few major steps, and you can read about those here on my thorough guide on how to elope. For this Zion elopement guide, I’m going over the major things you’ll need to consider!


This is an imperative part of the planning process for elopements. This is because some guests won’t have the hiking ability, some might not be able to be in desert heat, and certain locations have a cap on how many guests you’re allowed to have. Choosing a location will be much easier once you’ve determine who you’re inviting, and how many guests total you’ll have.


This might feel early in the planning process, but bear with me. Elopements don’t have wedding planners. Most elopement photographers have taken it upon themselves to help couples with some of the planning. Many actually help you find your location! And they will think of things you might not have considered, such as: lighting, elevation, difficulty in hiking in a dress, permits, and so much more.

Each elopement photographer offers something different. Personally, I send my couples a customized list of locations based on their preferences, hiking ability, who they want to invite, and what they want to see. I also help them determine lodging options, get permits, get their marriage license, recommend vendors, and create a comprehensive day of timeline, and offer unlimited guidance calls for any questions along the way.

The being said, hiring your Zion elopement photographer early is going to take a massive amount of planning stress off of your shoulders. Wanna chat? Contact me here!


This is going to help you choose a date. There are rainy seasons, temperate seasons, crowded seasons, and seasons that might just be too hot. So, once you research the weather and decides what suits you best, you’ll be able to pick the right time to elope in Zion.


Once you’ve decided on how much you’d like to hike, how many guests are coming, your ideal weather, and the landscapes you want, you’re ready to deep dive into researching Zion elopement locations. Finding the perfect spot will be a lot simpler after considering all of your needs and logistics.

This is information I collect from my couples through a questionnaire, and then use to make a customized list of Zion elopement location options for them.


Once you have your location, it’s time to consider if there’s anything you need vendors for. Do you need any event rentals? Do you want a friend or family to officiate, or do you want to hire an officiant? Will you go out to eat, or do you want something catered, like a meal at an Airbnb from a private chef?

Figure out what extra services you may want, and hire your vendors in advance!


You will need to get the correct permits for your elopement. These are usually “special use” permits that you apply for on the National Parks website, or National Forest/BLM website.

Personally, I get all permit information for my eloping couples that hire me. With that, all you need to do is fill out the application when it’s sent to you and pay the fee. Fee’s vary, but are usually around $150 or less.


Activities are such a fun part of an elopement. When you choose to elope, you’re opening yourself up to having a wedding day celebration that feels unique and resonates with you. Incorporate things that will elevate your elopement day experience. Here’s just a few ideas to get you brainstorming:

  • Going on a hike
  • Having a bonfire
  • Having a picnic on a mountain top
  • Star-gazing or astrophotography
  • Swimming
  • Cliff jumping
  • Visiting waterfalls
  • Camping
  • Glamping
  • Hiring a private chef
  • Hot air balloon ride
  • Helicopter tour (landing on glaciers, mountains, etc)
  • Kayaking
  • Paddleboarding
  • Sightseeing
  • Scenic driving with time to stop for pictures
  • Visiting hot springs
  • Exchanging gifts
  • Reading letters from friends or family


Making a timeline is an important part of any elopement. It strings together all of your locations, activities, and lets guests know where to be and when. Creating a well thought out timeline will help you feel relaxed during the day, instead of stressed or rush. Make sure to include drive times as well as buffer times between each “event.”

Here are the things I include in the timelines I make for my couples:

  • All addresses
  • Sunrise time
  • Sunset time
  • Drive times
  • A linke to Accuweather
  • A list of all names for group shots
  • Vendor info
  • Emergency contact info
  • A packing list

Lodging in Zion National Park

Lodging is important when it comes to elopement. Not only is it where you’re staying, but couples use their accommodations for other parts of their elopement day. This can include getting ready (and getting ready photos) possibly a first look, some couples use it as a way to host an intimate reception. Others are eloping solo and want the bells and whistles of a resort that offers spa packages and food service, while others do “glamping” and watch the stars.

Before booking your lodging, decide with your partner what you space will be used for and any events that’ll take place there. If you’re planning on hosting an intimate reception, I highly recommend going with a vacating rental like an Airbnb. Always make sure to check with the host! Here are some options for lodging near Zion National Park:

How Much Does it Cost to Elope in Zion National Park

With a special use permit of $100, marriage license of $50 and entry fees of $30, it costs $180.00 to elope in Zion National Park. That being said, most couples spend an average of $5000-$20,000 on their elopement. This includes flights, lodging, permits, vendors, wedding attire, meals, and anything extra a couple might want.

Zion Elopement Locations

When eloping in Zion National Park, you’re limited to choose from specific locations pre-determined by the park. However, this is for your elopement ceremony. Once you’re done with the official wedding, you can explore other areas of the park for photos and other activities. I’ll be listing out the official locations you can elope in the park, as well as scenic locations that make for amazing photos and adventures.

Temple of Sinawava

The Temple of Sinawava is a gorgeous Zion elopement location. With the red rock canyons and water features, it’s stunning. There’s also a lot of trees here, so this would be an amazing location in fall, and you’ll be without the crowding! This location allows 35 people.

Menu Falls

This location features a waterfall. Waterfalls are always at their peak in spring, flowing the heaviest. This location allows up to 10 people, it’s small and there’s a railing separating you from the falls. Only choose this location if you’re okay with that being in your photos!

Zion Lodge Lawn

A popular location for bigger weddings, the Zion lodge lawn allows up to 75 people. However, you don’t have to have that many guests to utilize this stunning Zion elopement location. You get beautiful views of the red cliffs, but there will be structures in the background.

Nature Center North Lawn

Zion elopement

This Zion elopement location is actually on of my favorites. It’s big enough for guests, and there’s a ton of room to explore and get stunning photos. 50 people are allowed here, but you can only have your elopement here through November to April.

South Campground Amphitheater

If you want more traditional seating, this is the place to do it. This Zion elopement location has an actual aisle, and also boasts amazing views of the red cliffs. You’re allowed to have 100 people at this location.

Timber Creek Overlook

Zion elopement

Another favorite of mine on the list of Zion elopement locations. This one actually feels like you’re out on the trails and completely immersed in nature. You’re only allowed to have 20 people, and this is my favorite spot for couples who want an intimate outdoor experience.

Bonus Locations

As I mentioned, there are a list of pre-determined spots in the park where you’re actually allowed to have a ceremony. However, there’s a ton of other gorgeous locations for photos, hiking, and activities. You can either have your ceremony in the park and explore after, or hold your ceremony elsewhere and just come into the park to explore and get stunning photos. Here are those additional Zion elopement locations:

Canyon Overlook Trail

Zion elopement

This Zion elopement location is absolutely insane. One of the most beautiful places you could ever see sunset. Better yet, it’s only 0.9 miles round trip. You get a lot of bang for your buck with this location. If you’re afraid of cliffs and steep drop offs, it might not be the best choice.

Emerald Pools

Zion elopement

Emerald pool is an amazing Zion elopement location if you want to see waterfalls coming off of the red rocks. This location is going to be extremely busy in Summer. The waterfalls are going to be at their peak in the spring.

Checkerboard Mesa

All in all, this trail is 8 miles. However, you don’t have to do the whole thing. The entire trail has the colorful mesas throughout. This could be a great way to explore after an elopement ceremony! This is a challenging hike, and would be great for couples who want to adventure.

Zion Elopement Packages

Elopement photography by Emilee Setting Photo, and everything included in my packages:

  • Explore anywhere within Utah, all travel fees included in the price!
  • Packages from half day elopements to multi-day elopements
  • Receive a customized location list
  • Help finding lodging that suits your needs if you’re having an intimate reception
  • Included comprehensive timeline design
  • Help obtaining your permits
  • Help obtaining your marriage license
  • A planning checklist
  • Unlimited planning and guidance calls 
  • All of your stunning photos delivered under three months
  • Day of polaroid sneak peeks

Zion elopement packages starting at $6800. Want more information on my pricing and what’s included? Click here

Zion elopement

Ready to Elope at Zion National Park?

This Zion elopement guide is a way to get you excited about all the possibilities of what your day could look like. Although, this amount of information can be overwhelming. I’m here to help. I can answer any and all questions you have on a complimentary low pressure consultation call. If you then choose you’d like to work together, I’ll do all of this planning right by your said to alleviate any stress, and bring your Utah elopement vision to life. We can chat here!

Don't forget your free elopement planning checklist


You see a stranger’s puppy & it takes everything in you not to run up & cuddle it.

Your dress gets dirt on it, and you shrug.

You think ice cream & wine is always an acceptable dinner option. Always.

You LIVE for the feeling of sunshine on your skin & wind in your hair.

You’re already screaming YASSSS WHERE DO I BOOK YOU?

I'm Emilee

I'm an elopement photographer who specializes in planning, crafting, and documenting untraditional weddings. I believe a wedding day should be filled with traditions that resonate with you. I'm here from start to finish to make that happen. Want to chat about your plans? Click below to set up a free consultation! 

You see a stranger’s puppy & it takes everything in you not to run up & cuddle it.

Your dress gets dirt on it, and you shrug.

You think ice cream & wine is always an acceptable dinner option. Always.

You LIVE for the feeling of sunshine on your skin & wind in your hair.

You’re already screaming YASSSS WHERE DO I BOOK YOU?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Intimate weddings