The Ultimate Guide to Eloping in Zion

Are you thinking about eloping in Zion National Park in southern Utah!? You’re in luck because I created this Ultimate Guide to Eloping in Zion just for you. I have done many elopements in Zion National Park. I feel super lucky to offer Utah wedding photography. There are so many options for eloping in Zion National Park – where, what time of year, what sort of landscape you’re wanting, getting ready options…the list goes on and on. Before we dig into all of that fun stuff, let’s get into the logistics of planning your elopement in Zion National Park.

How to Elope in Zion

This is the most important part about getting married besides hiring a Zion National Park photographer of course 😉 It’s very important to follow the guidelines that the park has and to leave no trace as you say ‘I Do’ in one of the most spectacular places in the world.

  • In the state of Utah, you need an officiant. I am happy to send lots of recommendations.
  • You will also need two witnesses. I am happy to be one of those for you. If you need another, I can probably convince one of my friends or my husband to be the other 🙂
  • You need a PERMIT. The permit as of 2021 is $100 and is very simple to fill out. You will need to fill this out, but I am happy to help with any part of the permit process. I recommend filling out the permit as soon as you have a date picked out so your spot is guaranteed. You must fill it out 3 weeks minimum before the date.

Eloping in Zion National Park Logistics

  • The closest international airport to fly into is Las Vegas. Keep in mind that Las Vegas is an hour behind Utah. It’s around a 3/4 hour drive. There is also a regional airport in St. George, which is only an hour away.
  • I recommend staying in Springdale, Utah. It’s the town right outside of Zion. In my opinion, it’s definitely worth the extra money because you’ll spend less time driving. There will be lots of hotels and Airbnbs in Springdale.

Where to Elope in Zion National Park

To get married in the park, the National Parks Service has a specified list of places where you can get married within the park:

Temple of Sinawava – maximum of 35 guests. You will need to take the shuttle to this spot in the summer months (March – December), but you can drive to this location in the off-season.

Temple of Sinawava first dance

Menu Falls – maximum of 10 guests.

Zion Lodge Lawn – maximum of 75 guests. You will also need to take the shuttle to this location. This spot is the largest on the list.

Nature Center Lawn – maximum of 50 guests. This location is only available between November – early April. You do not need to take the shuttle to this spot. The parking area can be crowded so keep that in mind when planning your elopement.

Nature Center Lawn Elopement

South Campground Amphitheater – maximum of 100 guests. This spot is very accessible so it would be a great spot for everyone. There is also built-in bench seating.

South Campground Amphitheater Wedding

Planning Your Zion National Park Elopement

Now that you’ve chosen your location, let’s get to the super fun part about eloping – planning! I am such a planner so this is definitely my favorite part 🙂

When do you want to elope? There are 4 distinct seasons in Zion National Park with perks to each.

  • Spring (late March – mid/late May)- this is my personal favorite time in Zion. The flowers and trees around the Virgin River are beginning to bloom, the days are warm, and the mornings and evening are cool.
  • Summer (mid/late May – early September)- Zion is in the desert so it does get very hot in the summer months so keep that in mind when planning your Zion National Park elopement. Temperatures can reach up to 105 degrees so if you do decide to elope then, drink plenty of water, bring an umbrella for shade, and plan to get sweaty 🙂 I’ve done lots of shoots and weddings in the summer and it’s hot, but manageable.
  • Fall (mid-September – late November) – Another amazing time to visit the park in my opinion. The trees by the river turn a bright yellow color and the temperatures are moderate.
  • Winter (late November – March) – believe it or not it snows in the desert! The weather in the winter can be unpredictable and cold with surprise warm days mixed in. I love cold weather so I think this can definitely work if you’re prepared for the cold. The biggest plus is that it’s not crowded 🙂

If you’re wanting the cute (and in my opinion, so worth it) getting ready photos, I recommend taking those at your hotel or airbnb. When looking for a place to book I recommend finding something with outdoor space or a lot of natural light inside to get the best photos!

Your Zion National Park Elopement Photographer

As well as this guide, I am happy to help guide you further! This is your day and as the expert, I want to help you as much as I can. I hope that this Ultimate Guide to Eloping in Zion helps as you start to plan your amazing day in Zion National Park 🙂

Documenting Alaska & Utah elopements, intimate weddings, & portraits

Running Away From A Wedding That Feels

I’ll meet you there. Happy to run, walk, or climb — all adventures are welcome here.

(With an adventure elopement photographer like me?)