The Ultimate Guide to Planning your Loveland Pass Elopement
This guide has everything you need to know about planning an elopement at Loveland Pass, how to elope at Loveland Pass, when is the best time of year for your elopement, and lots more info!
An overview of eloping at Loveland Pass
Loveland Pass is a scenic drive in Colorado that is very popular for elopements due to its stunning mountain views in every direction and its accessibility year round.
If you’ve never been to Loveland Pass, I highly recommend that you visit, whether or not it’s for your elopement!
There are 360 degrees of gorgeous mountain views, and it really gives you that “top of the world” feeling.
One of the best things about visiting Loveland Pass is how accessible the great views are. Many locations in Colorado require a hike to get to this type of vista, but not here! You can see some of the best viewpoints right next to the parking area.
Parking is limited and it can get crowded
Because the views are so great and the location is so accessible, Loveland Pass is a popular spot! Not just for elopements, but for tourists and locals too.
Parking is very limited at the main summit area. Although there is more parking near the Loveland Pass Lake, this area is closed for much of the year since it is not maintained for snow buildup.
I recommend keeping guest count small at this location, generally around 10 to 15 people or less.
You need a special use permit
If you want to elope at Loveland Pass, you’ll need to apply for a special use permit!
Permitting processes and requirements can change at any time, so I recommend checking with your elopement photographer, as they should be able to help you work through this process.
Generally open year round
Unlike most mountain passes here in Colorado, which close during the winter time, Loveland Pass is actually a hazmat route so it stays open year round. Occasionally the pass does close temporarily when weather conditions require it, so keep an eye on the CDOT website for the most current information.
Harsh and unpredictable conditions
Even though Loveland Pass generally stays open year round, it’s hard to overstate how harsh the conditions can be in the winter time.
If you’re coming from out of state, you may be surprised to learn that even in the summer time, it can be very cold and windy in the morning and evening hours. And the winter time can be absolutely brutal–not just because of snow but because of the wind as well.
Make sure to keep in mind what you realistically can (or want to) handle weather-wise for you and your guests on your elopement day.
Great lodging and reception options nearby
Another great reason to consider eloping at Loveland Pass is its proximity to the popular ski areas of Keystone and Breckenridge, as well as the Dillon/Silverthorne areas. Because it’s so close to these locations, you’ll have lots of choices when it comes to lodging and restaurants (more on that later!)
Loveland Pass tops out at 11,991 feet elevation.
If you’re coming from out of state, and don’t know how your body will react to the altitude, it’s best to give yourself a couple of days beforehand to adjust. A good example would be to stay at Denver for your first night in Colorado, and then stay in Breckenridge (or similar) the second night.
Only a 1 hour drive from Denver
One of the reasons why I love recommending Loveland Pass for elopements is its proximity to Denver. It takes just over 1 hour to get here from Denver, and only 1.5 hours from the Denver Airport, making it convenient for out of town guests as well.
Also hiking options in the area
If you want to plan an adventurous hiking elopement, Loveland Pass has some great hiking options in the area.
Hiking options from the pass itself are mostly on the more challenging side, but there are some nearby easy options as well.
If you want to plan a dog-friendly elopement, Loveland Pass is a great option for you! Keep in mind that your pups must be leashed at all times however.
How to get to Loveland Pass
If you’re coming from Denver, you can get to Loveland Pass by taking I-10 West until you reach Exit 216. From here simply follow US 6 up to the summit of the pass.
If you’re planning to access Loveland Pass in the colder months, make sure your vehicle is appropriately outfitted for the current conditions and that you are familiar with Colorado’s traction and chain laws.
Getting your marriage license for your Loveland Pass elopement
How to get your marriage license in Colorado
The process for getting your marriage license in Colorado is very simple.
You will need to go to a County Clerk and Recorder’s office. You can go to any county’s office in the state, regardless of where you are getting married.
Although some counties allow you to start the application online, you must complete the process in person.
There is no waiting period to get married in Colorado, so you can use it the same day you get it. However, keep in mind that these offices follow typical government office hours and holidays. Most offices are open Monday through Friday from 8 A.M. to 4:30/5 P.M.
The process is very quick! It will usually only take about 20 to 30 minutes and you should not need an appointment.
You must use the license within 35 days of applying for it. Then it must be completed and filed back with the County Clerk and Recorder’s office within 63 days from the date of the wedding. You can either mail it back in, or return it physically to the same location.
What do I need to bring?
- $30 (most counties accept cash, check, or credit card)
- Valid form of identification (e.g., passport, driver’s license, military I.D.), including proof of age
- Social security numbers
If I live elsewhere, should I get my marriage license in Colorado?
If you are getting married in Colorado, you should obtain your marriage license in Colorado rather than your home state if you live elsewhere. This is because very few states allow you to apply for a marriage license, have your ceremony in another state, and then return home to file the license.
The reverse is also true. If you live in Colorado, but want to have your ceremony in another state, you should apply for your marriage license in the state where you’re having your ceremony. Colorado requires you to sign your marriage license within the state.
Choosing when to elope at Loveland Pass
When you choose to elope at Loveland Pass will depend on your personal preferences on scenery (like whether you prefer wildflowers and greenery, or lots of snow) and what type of weather conditions you can or want to handle!
But with that said, I’ve tried to give some general information about the different seasons here below, and would be happy to provide more detailed information if you want to get in touch about planning your elopement day!
Summer at Loveland Pass
I generally consider summer at Loveland Pass to be the months of July and August, as this is typically when the snow is gone (or mostly gone) and you start to see lots of greenery and wildflowers.
The weather conditions are the most mild during this time and it can even be hot midday. Still, expect chilly and windy mornings and evenings at Loveland Pass in the summer.
It’s also important to keep in mind that lightning risk is very real above the treeline here in Colorado (and Loveland Pass is entirely above the treeline). The risk of afternoon storms in the summer is most high between the hours of noon and 5 PM, but you’ll want to be aware at all times. The weather can change within minutes in the mountains.
Overall, it’s one of my favorite seasons here, and I highly recommend this time of year to elope.
Fall at Loveland Pass
At some point in September the weather starts to get colder and more unpredictable! It’s not uncommon to see snow at Loveland Pass in September, and it just keeps trending more toward winter from here.
If you choose a fall elopement at Loveland Pass, be prepared for all types of weather!
Winter at Loveland Pass
During the winter months, you can be guaranteed of snow on the ground at Loveland Pass–and a lot of it at that. Whether it will actually be snowing on any given day is a matter of chance, but March is generally the month that sees the most snow here in Colorado.
Because it is so cold and windy, winter elopements at Loveland Pass are not for the faint of heart!
Spring at Loveland Pass
Spring is very unpredictable at Loveland Pass, but you’ll still be seeing snow well into late May and June. And again, it may or may not snow for your actual day as conditions can vary greatly. I recommend being prepared for any time of weather here!
Weekend vs. Weekday
Because of the popularity of Loveland Pass, I always recommend a weekday elopement if at all possible. It will offer you significantly less crowds and more privacy than a weekend elopement.
Time of day
Equally as important as choosing a weekday elopement over a weekend elopement, is choosing a time of day that will offer you the best chance of privacy.
Early mornings are by far the best time to elope if seclusion is important to you. If you can’t make a morning elopement work for you two, evenings are generally the next best time.
Where to have your Loveland Pass elopement reception
Here are a few different options you have for celebrating your Loveland Pass elopement, whether that be just the two of you or with others.
A picnic at a local park is always a great option for celebrating your elopement, especially if you’re planning to celebrate your elopement with friends and family.
Some popular picnic areas nearby include pavilions from the town of Dillon, the town of Frisco, or Carter Park.
Another option would be to make a reservation at a nearby restaurant for your reception. Many restaurants have a private event space option. You could also consider having your reception at a nearby distillery or craft brewery!
Finally, if you love good food but want more privacy to celebrate your marriage, consider hiring a local private chef or ordering catering. This is a great option if you’re renting an Airbnb or VRBO in the area.
Here are a few local options that I recommend!
Check out this elopement reception planning guide for more ideas and inspiration for your post elopement celebration!
Places to stay near Loveland Pass
If you’re looking for a great place to stay near Loveland Pass, here are some great options:
Elopement activities near Loveland Pass
One of the biggest reasons I love elopements as compared to traditional weddings is that they give you the freedom to do literally anything you want for your wedding day.
Myself and my partner did a helicopter elopement in Alaska, and it was the best day ever.
You don’t have to limit yourself to just a traditional vow reading ceremony, or even just hiking if that’s not your thing.
I strongly encourage my couples to think outside the box, consider what types of activities they enjoy doing together, and discuss whether to include some kind of activity for their adventurous elopement day.
Here are some ideas of activities you could do near Loveland Pass:
- Skiing or snowboarding
- Kayaking on Lake Dillon
- Rock climbing – Try Rocky Mountain Guides
- Mountain biking – Try Colorado Adventure Guides
- White water rafting
Things to do near Loveland Pass for your guests
If you’re looking for a location for your elopement or microwedding that also has options to entertain your guests, Loveland Pass is a great choice due to its proximity to Breckenridge and Keystone.
In addition to the adventurous activities listed above, here are some more options for your guests near Loveland Pass:
- Ice skating at Keystone Lake in the winter
- Snow tubing at Keystone Resort
- Horseback riding at Keystone Stables
- Ziplining at Top of the Rockies
- Walk through historic Main Street in Breckenridge
- Take a gondola ride
- Visit Isak Heartstone, the giant Breckenridge troll
- Try your hand at dog sledding
Loveland Pass elopement packages
I’m more than just a photographer…I’m here to help you have the best day ever!
Based on my experience, especially with elopements and microweddings, couples need more than just a photographer.
Unlike with a traditional wedding, you may not have a venue coordinator or wedding planner helping you think through logistics, locations, or all the little details that really add up!
I don’t just show up and take photos on your day. I’ll be here for you every step of the way.
I know you have a lot of choices when it comes to picking a photographer. What makes me different is that my number one goal is to be here for YOU–not just as your elopement photographer… but as your elopement partner to help you create the epic day your love story deserves!
All of my Loveland Pass Elopement Packages include:
- Elopement & Micro wedding VIP Planning Guide exclusively for Wild and Found couples
- Questionnaires to help you through the planning process
- Personalized location assistance
- Local vendor recommendations
- Logistics help and a custom timeline
- Gear and day-of checklists customized for your day
- More one-on-one planning help
- Assistance with wedding permit if needed
- Cost of photo permit included
- An entire gallery of edited, high-resolution images great for printing, PLUS websize images ideal for posting to social media
- The rights to print, share, and download all of your images
- A sneak peek of 5 images with 48 hours
- PLUS a 20% off discount on prints, albums, canvas art, etc. for your first order
2-Day Loveland Pass Elopement Package
Can’t decide between a “just us” celebration, or a day with friends and family? Have both!
Includes 12 hours of photo coverage, split over 2 days.
Travel throughout all of Colorado included!
8 Hour Loveland Pass Elopement Package
Our most popular package–for capturing memories of your entire elopement day
Includes 8 hours of photo coverage.
Travel throughout all of Colorado included!
4 Hour Loveland Pass Elopement Package
A great choice for simple elopements at accessible locations or for short hikes.
Includes 4 hours of photo coverage.
Travel throughout all of Colorado included!
2 Hour Loveland Pass Elopement Package
When something short and sweet will do!
Includes 2 hours of photo coverage.
Available only for “just us” elopements (no guests) on Mondays through Thursdays within 2 hours of Denver.
Bookable up to 2 months in advance.
I’d love to hear more about your vision for your Loveland Pass elopement!
Get in touch and let’s chat about your vision!
Get more elopement and microwedding info here!
Or check out more elopement planning resources…
Hi I’m Kim, a Denver, Colorado based photographer specializing in Adventure Elopements in Colorado and worldwide! Photographing couples on the most special day of their lives is a true honor for me. But I’ve made it my mission to take it one step further than that. When you work with me, you’re getting more than just a photographer. I’m here to help you with all of the planning resources you need to have the most amazing elopement day ever! That includes everything from assistance with location ideas, timeline planning, and lots more free resources. So you can forget the work, and focus on having fun!
I have heard so many great things about Loveland Pass, so thanks so much for including a wealth of knowledge about the area!
This is such great info on Loveland Pass elopements! And it really is such a hidden gem that more couples should consider.
Hi Kim! Wow- your work is incredible! Thank you for all the info here- so many good tips and ideas for eloping at Loveland Pass!
What a great guide for couples interested in eloping at Loveland Pass! Such a gorgeous spot too!
Incredibly thorough Kim! Well done 👏
This is perfect for anyone looking to elope at Loveland Pass! Love these pictures!
Ah..Colorado has so so many incredible places to tie the knot! Beautifully written!