If you’re looking for a gorgeous spot to elope in the United States, Zion National Park should be on your list of options to consider. This park is located in southern Utah and is one of our favorite National Parks.
Zion National Park features a deep valley studded with striking red-and-tan peaks that parade into the distance. A river threads between trees and sun shines on the cliffs, making the whole space glow with light.
It’s a beautiful place to mark the beginning of your married life. And if you’re into hiking and adventures, you’ll absolutely LOVE this park. It has a whole range of hiking trails that are far more varied and interesting (in our opinion) than even the Grand Canyon. Have we talked you into it yet?
Read on to learn about the five best spots to host your elopement in Zion National Park, how much it costs to elope there, and how to apply for a special use permit.
Can You Get Married In Zion National Park?
Yes, you can get married in Zion National Park! In order to do so, you must apply for a Special Use Permit. We’ll talk about how to legally get married in Zion National Park a little later in this post.
5 Best Places To Elope In Zion National Park
Zion National Park is an amazing place to elope. Not only can you snap some stunning wedding shots before or after the ceremony, the beauty of the park will lend your wedding an effortless natural splendor. Check out our top five location picks for where to elope in Zion.
1. The Temple of Sinawava
The Temple of Sinawava is one of the most popular attractions in Zion National Park. This enormous natural amphitheater features walls of red sandstone which rise to stunning heights above the Virgin River. Pulpit Rock sits alone and regal among the trees, providing the perfect backdrop to your Zion National Park elopement.
Since the Temple of Sinawava is a prime Zion destination, we recommend holding your wedding early in the day to avoid gawkers.
The wedding site is just across the river from the Temple of Sinawava and is available for a wedding of up to 35 people.
2. Timber Creek Overlook
If you’re looking to elope in a less-visited area of Zion National Park, consider Timber Creek Overlook. This is part of the Kolob Canyon region of Zion National Park. Its high vantage offers sweeping views of the Timber Creek Valley and the beautiful colored peaks of Kolob Canyon. Get married here and you’ll be on top of the world in more ways than one.
You can hold a wedding here with up to 20 people and four cars.
3. Menu Falls
Menu Falls is the most intimate wedding venue available at Zion National Park. It has a ten person maximum, so it’s perfect for those wanting to elope. Walk a short trail to and say your vows on the bridge over the river to the music of waterfalls.
4. Nature Center North Lawn
If you want a larger open space, whether to share with just a couple people or so you can invite more guests, the North Lawn of the Nature Center in Zion National Park is a great choice. Get married on the grassy lawn, surrounded by trees and 360ºs of impressive canyon walls.
This venue is only available from November to mid-April, making it the perfect spot to catch autumn colors or spring greenery. Up to 50 people can enjoy your wedding at this location. Just be prepared for chilly weather if you choose this location.
5. Zion Lodge Lawn
Another incredibly beautiful spot to get married is the Zion Lodge Lawn. This spot combines the loveliness of manicured lawns with the wild beauty of Zion’s sandstone peaks.
Up to 75 people can attend your wedding at this location, but it’s an equally great spot for a small group of people watching you elope!
Zion National Park Elopement Photographer
If you’re looking for a Zion National Park elopement photographer, we’ve got you covered. Contact us at [email protected] for more information about the best elopement packages we can offer catered to your needs!
Zion National Park Elopement: FAQs
There are a few things you should know before deciding to elope in Zion National Park including how much it costs, what to include in your Special Use Permit application, rules and restrictions, and some of our favorite places to get wedding photographs.
How Much Does It Cost To Get Married At Zion National Park?
It costs $100 to apply for a special use permit. It will cost $35 per vehicle for anyone entering the park to be part of the wedding ceremony.
The application processing fee covers 2 hours of administrative time. If park staff need to spend more time to handle your applications, it’ll cost you an additional $50 per hour.
If your wedding is large and complex (which it shouldn’t be since you’re eloping!) you might also have to pay for a monitor. Monitors cost $50 per hour. They are there to make sure that visitors and park resources aren’t negatively impacted by a big extravagant wedding. Another perk for eloping!
How Can I Legally Get Married In Zion National Park?
As we mentioned earlier in this post, in order to legally get married in Zion National Park, you must have a Special Use Permit. The park may take up to three weeks to process your application for a Special Use Permit, so be sure to apply well in advance of the date you wish to elope. That way everything will be ready to rock and roll on your special day.
Tip: Read through the restrictions carefully and be sure to address your plans to follow them in your application.
Include the following in your application:
- Where you want to get married (only certain locations are available for weddings)
- How many guests you want to include (make sure you stay under the max for your desired venue)
- Your plan for setup and cleanup.
Wedding Rules & Restrictions at Zion National Park
➡️ Only certain areas of the park are available for wedding ceremonies
➡️ Your wedding can’t interfere with other visitors. They will be allowed to access the area where you are getting married and watch if they want to.
➡️ You can’t change anything in the physical environment
➡️ If you plan to use decorations, you have to get them pre-approved
➡️ You can only decorate with flowers and plants if they DO NOT HAVE any seeds or seed pods on them, whether dried or live.
➡️ If you’re getting married between March and November in an area off of Zion Canyon Scenic Drive you’ll have to take the shuttle bus to your wedding location.
➡️ If you’re getting married during shuttle season and plan to take chairs to set up for the wedding, they have to be folding chairs so they’ll fit on the shuttle bus.
➡️ You must remove all trash after the ceremony
➡️ If you’re getting married on the Zion Lodge grounds, you have to be pre-approved by management.
➡️ You can’t use anything to amplify your voice. Only normal speaking voice volume is allowed.
➡️ You can only use chairs if you’re getting married at the Temple of Sinawava, the Lodge Lawn, the South Campground Amphitheater, or the Nature Center Lawn. (At the Nature Center, the limit is 25 chairs that don’t penetrate the grass).
➡️ You can’t throw rice, birdseed, or confetti, or release butterflies, birds, or other animals during your wedding.
➡️ You can’t have food at these sites.
Cool Spots for Amazing Wedding Snapshots
Another benefit of going to Zion National Park for your elopement is that it has a number of spectacular hikes. Not only are these a great bonding activity for you and your soon-to-be spouse, they are also wonderful locations for fabulous wedding shots.
If you’re up for an adventure, hike up to Angel’s Landing. Be sure to pack good shoes if you do this hike, because you’ll be clambering along on chains and ropes to get to the top of a narrow sky-high cliff. If you do this hike, you might want to change into your wedding clothes after reaching the landing. It will make for stunning photos though!
Another beautiful and interesting hike is Hidden Canyon. Clamber up this sandy slot canyon for some intimate shots between curving sandstone walls and tumbled boulders.
Another amazing spot is Canyon Overlook. Hike up to the overlook for beautiful panoramas of the valley below.
Conclusion: Zion National Park Elopement
Zion National Park is a fabulous place to have your elopement. Enjoy your special day surrounded by the stunning vistas of mountains, rivers, waterfalls, and trees. Breathe in the fresh air, go on a hike, and get your photographer to capture pictures of you and your other half in your wedding regalia.
That white dress and tux will look incredible against the red sandstone cliffs and plunging valleys of Zion National Park.