Your Guide to Eloping in Moab
How to Elope in Moab
Why Elope in Moab?
It’s hard to beat the incredible features of Moab. There’s never ending exploration among the arches, windows, and sandstone sculptures! There are two National Parks to visit, Arches and Canyonlands, some beautiful State Parks, and a ton of BLM land that will leave you amazed.
Read on to learn all about eloping in Moab and get inspired for your own elopement!
When to Elope in Moab
Moab is best visited from Fall through Spring. Summer is just way too hot and crowded! Each season has its own benefits. Keep in mind that eloping on a weekday is key in Moab since busy season does run from mid March through October.
Fall in the desert is pretty perfect. The days make it easy to catch both sunrise and sunset, the temps are great, and you can pretty much go on any adventure you please. Temps do become chillier as November nears, but you are often met with less crowds.
Winter in the desert is pretty special – especially when it snows! While it can be hella cold and adventures can be limited – they can become a lot more memorable with snow among the red rock.
Temps slowly start to warm as the snow melts. This is a great time for hiking, climbing, and biking. March and April are the prime times to be there, apart from the first week of April (Jeep Safari is a wild time if you are not part of it!). Spring in the desert can call for light rains and wildflower blooms!
Traveling to Moab
You can travel to Moab by planning a road trip or getting on a plan. The nice thing about Moab is that it has it’s own airport and you can often score a connecting flight from Denver or Salt Lake! Here some ideas for traveling to Moab.
- Take a daily connecting flight to Moab Regional Airport + rent a car
- Fly into Grand Junction Airport + rent a car drive 2 hours
- Fly into Salt Lake City Airport + rent a car and drive ~4 hours
- Plan a road trip in your own car
- Rent an RV or camper van and road trip
The Best Locations in Moab
Moab has a ton of beautiful locations that would be perfect for your elopement. Whether you want a big adventure, a little hike, or a dirt road I’ll help you find what’s right for you.
Here are some of my fave areas:
Arches National Park
Arches National Park is the biggest draw of Moab. Its impressive arches have inspired many to travel to this part of Moab, and they may be calling you for your elopement. You can say your vows under many of these Arches – you must get a permit but I’ll help you with the process! Permits cost $185 and allow for a 10 minute ceremony in one of the spots from their ceremony list. Some of the most popular spots are Double Arch, Turret Arch, Sand Dune Arch, or Pine Tree Arch. What arch you choose may depend on accessibility and group size, or what inspires you the most!
Another thing to keep in mind is that Arches will be doing timed entry for April 1st-October 31st. While your ceremony permit allows for your entry, your guests will want to get entry tickets of their own asap. If you plan to go into the park another day you will also want to get time entry permits. These permits help cut down on traffic and allow for their to be parking within the park and have been super necessary as the park becomes more popular! Get your entry tickets here.
Canyonlands National Park
Canyonlands National Park makes a great ceremony spot if you want sprawling overlooks of the canyons cut by the Colorado River, or want to adventure off the beaten path in the Needles district. Much like Arches, a ceremony permit of $385 must be applied for and specific ceremony spots must be used.
Dead Horse Point State Park
Dead Horse Point offers another incredible view of the canyons carved by the Colorado and is a great ceremony spot for larger groups. They have 5 different locations to choose from depending on the backdrop you want and size of group you have. Permits cost $60 (for up to 40 guests) and can be applied for within 30 days of your wedding. You can learn more about eloping in Dead Horse here!
If you want epic sandstone sculptures as your witness then Castle Valley, or the nearby Fischer Towers, are for you. These towers look incredible at sunset and allow for fun hiking adventures. Ceremonies here are often pretty private and can be great for small groups. Your photographer must have a specific permit to photograph here and through that permit you just have to submit a letter stating when and were you wanna get married – no cost to you!
Moab BLM Land
There’s a ton of spots to explore in Moab’s BLM land. These locations are best for big adventures like off roading or canyoneering – I’ve got a few sweet spots I would really love to share with you! BLM land tends to offer more privacy and unique locations. Your photographer must have a specific permit to photograph here and through that permit you just have to submit a letter stating when and were you wanna get married – no cost to you!
How to Get Your Moab Marriage License
Getting your Moab marriage is a fairly easy process. The licenses are good for 30 days and you can get your license the same day as your elopement! You can pick it up at the Grand County Clerk’s Office.
To Get Your License:
- Both you and your partner must be present, have legal ID, and know your socials at the time of application
- You need to know your full names, your dates and places of birth, your addresses, parents names, and parents places of birth for the application
- You must pay a fee of $50 to get a copy of your license
- Your elopement needs an officiant to be legal
- Two witnesses must sign your license
Where to Stay in Moab
Moab has some pretty unique accommodation options that really fit into the desert. Here are a few, but you can always opt for an airbnb or a hotel room!
Under Canvas – glamping at its finest. Under Canvas is a unique experience in the cutest tents. Your whole group could stay here if they are down to glamp! Conveniently located near the entrance of Arches National Park.
Castle Valley Inn – the cutest bed and breakfast located away from town near its namesake. They even offer a ton of niceties on their property like a hot tub, big yard to hang out in, and they even offer a delicious breakfast!
Basecamp Adventure Lodge – this lodge is down a dirt road so you can get away from it all. Best for the whole group since it can host up to 19 people!
The Yurts at Dead Horse Point – super fun if you want to get away and really see the stars! If you love camping but want something a little nicer than this is your go to. It’s perfect for some of you buds to get the nearby yurt as they sleep up to 6!
Glamping Canyonlands – off the beaten path glamping that will get you away from traffic and closer to the less crowded areas of Needles Canyonlands + good climbing.
Whispering Oaks Ranch – a great getaway up in the La Sals. Their Lodge is perfect for hosting other guests and can double as a ceremony + dinner spot. You can also opt to rent some cabins.
The ceremony spot at Whispering Oaks Ranch + a glamping tent at Under Canvas.
What Adventures to Go On!
Moab is full of adventure. You could pack every day for a week and still not experience all that is around or hit every trail. Here are some of my favorite experiences in the area. I can also give you a list of the best hikes if you decide Moab is your elopement spot!
Off-roading– Rent a Jeep from Twisted Jeeps and hit some dirt trails. You can opt to get a guide if you want to be shown around!
Canyoneering – Take a private canyoneering tour to one of my fave routes in Moab. You’ll start out hiking through a wash to your first rappel. After the first rap, you’ll rap down next to Morning Glory Arch. It’s pretty epic to see from the air!
Scenic Flights – Take a scenic plane ride over Canyonland National Park at sunset with Red Tail Air. See Island in the Sky as golden hour turns the sandstone bright colors. You and the other passengers will want to have those cameras ready!
*They also do private landings so you could opt to have your ceremony out in the vast desert.
UTV Rock Crawling – Go on the Hell’s Revenge Tour with Moab tourism Center. Take on Moab’s most iconic 4×4 route! Rock, paper, scissors for who gets to drive, then follow your guide up Devil’s Backbone. Hell’s Revenge will show you a wild ride, epic views, and dinosaur tracks in Moab’s sandstone.
Mountain Biking – Love to mountain bike but need to fly to Moab? Rent some bikes from Poison Spiders so you can hit some iconic slickrock biking trails!
Hot Air Balloon Ride – See Moab from the air in one of the most unique ways. Take a tour with RedRock Ballooning and see Arches, Canyonlands, and Dead Horse Point at sunrise.
Skydiving – For the ultimate adventure seekers, go skydiving while in Moab! Another unique way to see the desert from the air while getting a true adrenaline rush.
Ready to Elope in Moab?
I can’t wait to help you plan your adventurous wedding day. Let’s take your love on a wild adventure!