Welcome to the ultimate guide on how to elope at Zion National Park in Utah! Zion is one of my absolute favorite National Parks in the whole United States! I absolutely love the red, rocky canyons and the exhilarating hikes throughout the park! If you’re excited for an intimate adventure wedding with beautiful, warm scenery – then Zion is the elopement spot for you! Let’s dive right in!
Where To Elope in Zion Nation Park
Zion is absolutely huge and extremely gorgeous! There are 6 spots approved for weddings in Zion National Park that I will list below. A Special Use Permit is required for all weddings, regardless of group size. The application fee is $100 and must be received at least three weeks before your wedding day. Click HERE for more information regarding your permit.
1-Temple of Sinawava (35 People Max)
If you want red sandstone cliffs, then this is your spot. Temple of Sinawava is the last shuttle stop in Zion National Park. The approved location is set away from tourists. Temple of Sinawava can only be accessed via shuttle from mid February – mid November.
2-Zion Lodge Lawn (100 People Max)
The Zion Lodge Lawn is surrounded by cliffs and huge cottonwood trees. It’s a stunning location to get married. This spot can be very busy in the summer and is only accessible via shuttle most of the year. The difficulty of getting chairs to the lodge makes this location hard logistically for larger weddings.
3-Menu Falls (10 People Max)
This quiet and off-the-beaten-path location is stunning but very hard logistically. It is accessed via shuttle most of the year but does not have a shuttle drop-off. Between mid-February and mid-November, you will have to walk about 1/2 mile to get to Menu Falls. In the winter, when this location is accessible via car, you run the risk of icy conditions and tourists being part of your ceremony.
4-Nature Center North Lawn (50 people Max)
The Nature Center lawn is a beautiful location for a ceremony and has much easier accessibility because you can drive a car. So bringing in chairs isn’t an issue. This spot is available from November- early April only.
5-South Campground Amphitheater (100 People Max)
The South Campground Amphitheater is another easy option for a ceremony. This location is already set up with benches and is very easily accessible for guests.
6-Timber Creek Overlook (20 People Max, 4 cars)
The Timber Creek Overlook is in the Kolob Canyons section of the park. This section of Zion is located between Hurricane & Cedar City and is about 1 hour from Springdale & the Zion Canyon. This location is stunning and makes for super accessible photo spots along the trail!
Can We Exchange Vows in Other Parts of the Park?
Yes! This is a great way to add more locations other than the 6 approved wedding spots! Here are some of the most gorgeous spots to elope in Zion National Park:
Angel’s Landing is a 4.4mi round trip with 1600ft of elevation gain. It’s quite difficult and can be extremely scary if you’re afraid of heights. I recommend hiking up in your hiking gear and getting dressed at the top. This is a super busy spot in the summer and there’s not a ton of privacy at the top to get dressed. You also need to GET A PERMIT to do this hike as it’s such a popular one!
Observation Point is a 6.7mi round trip with 700ft of elevation gain. This is a much easier hike compared to Angel’s Landing and has similar views. You can hike this in your wedding attire. It’s also not as busy as Angel’s Landing.
The Narrows is a 16mi round trip hike through the river. You don’t have to do the whole hike though. There are gorgeous spots all over. Be prepared to get wet if you choose to do this hike!
Canyon Overlook is a 1.35mi round trip with flat elevation gain. It’s easily the most popular spot in Zion for elopement photos and a private vow exchange.
The Pa’Rus trail is a flat, paved 3.4mi round trip hike. This trail is a quick & easy location to get classic Zion scenery. It runs along the Virgin River with amazing views of the iconic Watchman Mountain in the background. This spot is also open throughout the whole year.
Clear Creek does not have an actual starting point or end point. There are pull offs along Route 9 where you’ll see the dry creek. Pick a spot to pull off and go exploring. The best spots to pull over will start about 1/4 mile east of the Canyon Overlook parking lot. Click here to see a map of Clear Creek.
Best Time to Elope in Zion National Park
Best time of Year:
The best time to Elope in Zion National Park is in the off – season from March – April and October – November. The reason for this is because it’s absolutely jam packed during late Spring and Summer! Zion is one of the most popular National Parks in the US and considering how small the park is compared to other National Parks, it gets crazy busy! I highly recommend eloping in the off-season if you’d like to avoid huge crowds, long lines and the heat! Alternatively, Winter is also an option if you don’t mind the cold. It’s way less busy during the Winter and the white coated mountains make for stunning photos and scenery!
Best Time Lighting Wise
The best time to elope to get that gorgeous golden hour lighting is an hour before sunset or an hour after sunrise. Remember that golden hour can be tricky in Zion with all the high peaks and mountains. You will find that the sun goes down way quicker because it dips behind the huge mountains! Same with sunrise, it takes a little longer to actually rise because of the Mountains. So keep that in mind while planning your timeline. My advice would be to elope at the higher peaks instead of down in the canyons.
Activities to do at Zion National Park
Add some fun activities to make your elopement epic! Here are some super fun activities you can do in and around Zion National Park:
- Book a helicopter tour with Zion Helicopters!
- Go Canyoneering with All Ways Adventure
- Take An AT/UTV Sand Dune Tour with Southern Utah Adventure Centre
- Go Horseback Riding with White Mountain Horseback Rides
- Take a Jeep Tour with Zion Jeep Tours
- Go Stargazing with East Zion Adventures
Places to Stay In & Around Zion National Park
There are many awesome places to stay in and around Zion National Park. Here are some great places I highly recommend!
Romantic Getaways for Just the Two of You
- Open Sky – Sleep under the stars in your luxurious safari tent
- Luxury Glamping Resort – Canvas glamping tents set on a hillside overlooking naturally fed spring water ponds
- Zion EcoCabin – One of a kind frame with a private hot tub with front row views of the South Zion Mountains
For Friends and Family
- Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort – A full service, multi-night destination on the East side of Zion National Park, that offers lodging, recreation, and dining.
- Zion Red Rock – Modern bed & breakfast cottages with a tradition of style and attention to detail.
- Ardella Cottage – Beautiful, historic cottage with every modern convenience!
- Basecamp 37 – Spacious, secluded but totally connected glamping hideaway located just outside Kanab, Utah.
Book A Professional Zion Elopement Photographer
It’s so important to find a photographer who’s style you absolutely love! Your photographer can help you plan your epic adventure elopement! If you’re still looking for your dream photographer who can make YOUR DREAM ELOPEMENT a reality and capture every special moment – Please reach out HERE! I cannot wait to connect with you!