couples photo at canyonlands national park in Moab Utah from destination wedding and elopement photographer

National Parks Roadtrip // Elopement Destinations

Looking for National Parks elopement destinations? I’ve got some major inspo for you!

In 2022 my husband, Jer, and I packed the car for a roadtrip and headed out to see some of the USA’s National Parks. As a destination wedding and elopement photographer, I love love love to travel. When I’m not traveling for weddings or elopements I’m traveling for fun with friends or my husband, Jer. We’ve previously visited Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, and The Grand Canyon National Park, so this time we had some new ones to cross off our list. October was the perfect time for us to go, both our birthdays are in October, wedding season slows down a bit for me, and his job also has some slack. Our first leg took us to Boise Idaho where we visited my brother and camped on the outskirts of town. Not pictured, we stopped by the old penitentiary and learned so much history.

The second night we found ourselves in Utah south of Salt Lake City. It was dark when we arrived so we were pleasantlyyyy shocked to open the tent zipper and see the magical autumn colors. Autumn is one of my favorite times of year <3 We were camped near Fifth Water Hotsprings and had planned go hike in for a morning dip but when we got to the parking lot we decided against it after seeing nearly 50 cars parked. Better luck next time 🙁

Our next stop took us to Moab Utah… arguable one of the BEST National Park elopement destinations. Here we saw Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, Dead Horse Point, and camped in the flat desert. Another reason to visit in October, the weather was SO NICE!! Pleasantly warm during the day but not too hot. Crowds were mostly pretty low as well. This camping spot was so eery and fun, we did have to drive quite far to find an open spot but we could still hear all the other campers in the distance across the night air.

From Moab we drove over to Telluride Colorado, I would die to photograph a destination wedding or elopement here. I had done a minimal amount of research on Telluride but nothing prepared me for the sheer beauty of the place. Its in a valley between a bunch of mountains, and everything is covered in bright autumn colors, on top of that there was a slight breeze nearly the whole time so there was always some leaves floating about *screams internally at the romance of it all*.

One really cool thing about Telluride is the free gondola ride that you can get on right from town. It really really felt like a movie. From on top, there are massive mountain views, and I can definitely see a destination wedding here!

After seeing a good amount of Telluride we hopped up several hours– 11 hours and 14 minutes– to Jackson Wyoming and the Grand Tetons. On the way we did stop at Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park quite quickly. It was cool but definitely underwhelming compared to the others. I didn’t even remember to grab my camera. (oops!)

Grand Teton National Park was amazing but I must be honest I was expecting to see snow on the peaks so I was so surprised when there wasn’t. Still beautiful! Jackson Wyoming was such a charming little town too, would love love love to go back. Definitely high on the list of National Parks elopement destinations.

We drove through Grand Teton National Park and got to Yellowstone National Park in the same day. Yellowstone was my personal least favorite of them all. It was the most crowded and so underwhelming. Maybe it could have been saved if we saw a bear or something but we didn’t see any wildlife expect for a few bison off in the distance. After spending a few hours at Yellowstone we decided to just make a night of it and drive straight home. (Which is only a 10 hour drive.)

If you’re thinking of having your elopement at a National Park, let’s chat! I have a lot of tips and would of course love to photograph your destination elopement day.

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