2024 Crested Butte Elopement Planning Guide

Are you dreaming of an elopement that feels like a true adventure? Look no further than the breathtaking landscapes of Crested Butte, Colorado! Not only is Crested Butte is also great place to elope because it’s not too overpriced or too touristy. This allows you to have a more personal, intimate experience on your big day. This guide is your ticket to planning an unforgettable Crested Butte elopement, complete with stunning locations, seasonal recommendations, and all the legal nitty-gritty. With that said, let’s dive in!

bride and groom running through a lush field holding hands with mountains in the backdrop for their Crested Butte elopement

When to Elope in Crested Butte

The best time to elope in Crested Butte truly depends on your preference. What kind of weather are you hoping for? What kind of activities would you like to include? This will also help you to narrow down your location options because some locations can have seasonal closures.


Spring is a beautiful time of the year if you’d like to elope surrounded by blooming wildflowers and a landscape that is coming alive with colors. Not only that, but the weather is also just about perfect.

Spring is great if you want to include hiking, biking, exploring waterfalls or other outdoor adventures on your elopement day!

bride and groom going on adventures in the forest together


This is also a wonderful season if you like enjoying the warm, sun-filled days and mild evening weather. It is ideal if you like being surrounded by wildflowers, crisp meadows and lush green landscapes.

In the summer, you can enjoy hiking, mountain biking, paddle-boarding, fly fishing, or even a stunning wildflower tour for your Crested Butte elopement day! I may be a little bias, but summer is one of the best times to elope in Crested Butte.

bride and groom walking hand in hand surrounded by mountains at a lake shore in crested butte


Crested Butte is absolutely incredible during fall! During this time of year, the landscapes and foliage are painted in all the vivid fall colors. Fall can also be rainy, so it is always a good idea to prepare with proper footwear, layers, and raincoats! That said, if the weather is really horrible, I always come prepared with a Plan B & C! Regardless of the weather, we will create an incredible elopement experience.

If you’re getting married in Crested Butte during the fall, some fun activities can include hiking, biking, scenic drives, cozy fireside picnics, and aspen hunting. Check out this elopement activity guide for more ideas on what activities to do on your elopement day.

bride and groom walking on a trail together, surrounded by fall foliage in colorado


For a snowy fairytale style elopement, winter is your season. In the winter months, Crested Butte transforms into a winter wonderland with all the snow-covered peaks and snow dusted trees. 

Crested Butte opens up a world of fun winter activities. Here you can find world-class ski resorts. So if you’d like to include skiing or snowboarding in your elopement – t’is the season!

7 Best Locations for Your Crested Butte Elopement

Gunsight Bridge

Located just a short drive from Crested Butte, Gunsight Bridge is a hidden gem that beckons with its panoramic views of the Gunnison River. Here, you’ll be surrounded by lush greenery and forests without needing to hike a long distance. If you’re up for more adventure, then we can explore the nearby trails to find more intimate spots along the riverbanks or just hike up the mountain for breathtaking views.

Lake Irwin

Surrounded by the Elk Mountains, Lake Irwin is a picturesque alpine lake about a 15-minute drive from the city of Crested Butte. The snow-capped peaks provide a gorgeous backdrop for your elopement day. If you’d like to elope in Lake Irwin, keep in mind that this is a very popular spot for water activities in the area, so it’s going to be busy throughout most of the week.

National Forest Lands

The vast National Forest Lands around Crested Butte offer diverse landscapes – from dense forests to alpine meadows sprinkled with wildflowers. Each trail can lead you on a unique adventure for your elopement day. Whether it’s a hidden waterfall or a secluded glade, Crested Butte truly has it all. Which makes this little mountain town perfect for the outdoorsy lovers!

Peanut Lake

Peanut Lake is a charming, smaller lake with a backdrop of the beautiful Mount Crested Butte. The location is really beautiful and convenient, especially if you’d like to have a beautiful view without needing to hike a ways! 

Washington Gulch

Just 5 miles from Crested Butte, Washington Gulch is a great spot for the most adventurous couples who are up for a hike on their elopement day. The location is absolutely stunning. throughout the hike you will discover the surrounding mountain peaks and fields covered with wildflowers!

Woods Walk

Close to town, Woods Walk is a beautiful and easily accessible spot for your Crested Butte elopement. This is a great location option for elopements all year round! During summer, you’ll see tons of wildflowers; during fall, you’ll be surrounded by stunning foliage; and during winter – you won’t need to worry about road closures due to the easy access to location!

Emerald Lake

Emerald Lake is a more secluded spot known for its gorgeous emerald-colored waters. The lake is surrounded by rugged peaks, offering a secluded and intimate setting. This location does require some mild off roading so you will need a vehicle that can tolerate a rougher gravel road. Emerald Lake is one of the more popular locations, so you may need to share it with other visitors, especially during summer.

Secret Locations

Oftentimes, couples find that the best places to elope in Crested Butte are the little less known locations. Something that is off the beaten path. I have a list full of epic locations for the more adventurous couples to explore. So if you are looking for something more, or maybe something a little different, please reach out to me! Go ahead and fill out the form here, and let’s start planning your epic adventure!! 

Crested Butte Elopement Permits

Permits can be a bit tricky. While not every location in Colorado requires a permit, popular ones and certain protected areas do. National Parks and some wilderness areas in Crested Butte definitely require permits. It’s essential to secure these well in advance to ensure your chosen spot is reserved. Permits grant you the right to use the space for your special day.

If you choose me as your Colorado elopement photographer, I’ll help you figure out what permits we need and I will obtain all the necessary permits! You can learn more about my Colorado elopement packages here!

bride and groom running through a lush field holding hands with mountains in the backdrop for their Crested Butte elopement

Let’s Plan Your Crested Butte Elopement Together!

I hope that this Crested Butte elopement guide has given you some ideas and inspiration for your special day in Colorado!

If you’re planning your elopement day, you may be on the lookout for your dream Colorado elopement photographer and adventure buddy! If so, I’d LOVE to meet you! You can learn more about me here!
And if you’re looking for more elopement planning resources or inspiration for what your day could look like, check out the rest of my blog!

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