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November 13, 2020
This guide has everything you need to know for your Zion National Park elopement, from getting there, where to stay, and what to do once you’re there.
Utah has no shortage of amazing spots to elope, but Zion tops the list. If you’re looking for an epic adventure elopement, Zion is the perfect spot.
Some people think eloping in a National Park is super complicated, and others think you can just show up and get hitched. Fortunately, Zion falls right in the middle. It’s a pretty straightforward process but it does require some planning. Here are the steps for getting married in Zion:
For most people, the easiest way to get to Zion is by flying into Las Vegas then renting a car and driving the 2.5 hours to the Park. If you’re coming from LA, Denver, Phoenix or Salt Lake City, you may be able to find a direct flight to St. George Regional Airport, which is about an hour outside Zion.
Zion uses a super effective shuttle system to get from trailhead to trailhead, which cuts down on the number of cars on the road. Beginning in July 2020, a reservation is required for the shuttle #covidtimes. The scenic drive is closed to private vehicles.
The town of Springdale borders the park, making it a great option if you’re planning on a sunrise ceremony or early morning hike. It’s a charming little town, but definitely full of tourists.
If you want to camp, there are a few options within the park. The facilities at the campgrounds are top-notch, including outdoor sinks, flush toilets and nice showers. Don’t expect much privacy though, the campgrounds are pretty dense.
Further out of the park, you’ll have some pretty awesome Airbnb options, like this cute lil A-Frame or this epic tiny home with a hot tub! There is also an Under Canvas nearby for a luxury ~ glamping ~ experience.
Apply in-person for a marriage license at a County Clerk’s office – Utah Marriages licenses are valid for ceremonies performed in any county in the State. There isn’t a waiting period, but you’ll need a photo ID, SSN and names/birthplaces of both parents.
To get married in Zion National Park, no matter the size of your wedding, you’ll need a permit at least 3 weeks before your wedding date.
There are designated ceremony locations within the park, though you may have more options if it’s just the two of you. Zion isn’t a huge park, and most visitors tend to stick to heavily trafficked areas. There are tons of lesser-known areas (backcountry, anyone?!) that would be the perfect place to exchange your vows.
Other epic (and popular) photo locations include treks up to Angels Landing and Observation Point – both are strenuous hikes but there are plenty of other options within the park too.
I’ll send you a doc filled with amazing locations I’ve scouted just for you, so no worries if you don’t want to do a crazy hike!
If you’re looking for an elopement photographer with experience Zion, you’ve come to the right spot! Zion is one of my favorite spots on earth and I love exploring the less-traveled areas (which would be perfect for your elopement!) Check out my elopement packages, which include #alllthethings: my travel expertise and travel costs, a timeline created with your day and adventure in mind, location scouting, vendor recommendations, assistance with logistics like your marriage license, booking accommodations, and so much more.
Hike! If you don’t want to do a big hike during your elopement, I highly recommend hiking Angels Landing. Talk about an epic first hike as newlyweds!! Another amazing hike in the park is The Narrows. You basically hike up a shallow (or sometimes not-so shallow) river. It’s such a unique experience that you can’t have anywhere else!
Southern Utah has so many amazing National Parks, State Parks, National Monuments and Recreation areas. If you have some time, take an epic road trip to the other National Parks in Utah: Bryce Canyon, Arches, Canyonlands + Capitol Reef.
If you want to stick to the southern part of the state, definitely visit Lake Powell/Glen Canyon + Horseshoe Bend. This area is so different than the other parks within Utah. It’s the same red rocks, but filled with water…whaaa?? The area is known for being a great place to houseboat, jetski, camp, and just have a good time.
It’s always critical to follow Leave No Trace (LNT) guidelines when adventuring, and your elopement day is no exception.
Most of the above principles are pretty self explanatory, but Zion and the general desert landscape have some unique considerations. The desert is home to fragile cryptobiotic soil, which is soil that is actually alive! This soil is crucial to the desert ecosystem, so it’s important to stick to trails – hiking off trail can lead erosion and other harmful impacts.