How to Elope in Capitol Reef National Park, Utah
Updated: Jan 19
A GUIDE TO ELOPING IN CAPITOL REEF NATIONAL PARK, UTAH
If you've found yourself here - chances are you're interested in Eloping in Capitol Reef National Park. YAY! I genuinely feel like this park has something to offer for everyone! From scenic drives, apple orchard picking, remote rugged off roading, long hikes or short ones - you name it. Capitol Reef National Park is in Utah's south-central desert. It surrounds a long wrinkle in the earth known as the Waterpocket Fold, with layers of golden sandstone, canyons and striking rock formations. Another nick name for this area is "Red Rock Country"
When it comes to getting married in the park did you know that Capitol Reef has the fastest turn around time for permitting? Thats right! So, if you're on a time crunch or decide last minute to Elope this could be a great option for you.
Let's dive a little deeper into what the park has to offer, the logistics of getting married in the park, and one of my favorite things the park has to offer..... PIE!
TABLE OF CONTENTS
BEST TIME OF YEAR TO ELOPE IN CAPITOL REEF NATIONAL PARK
THE LOGISTICS + Q&A
PLACES TO STAY
MY PERSONAL FAVORITE PLACES TO EAT (don't forget the PIE!)
BEST TIME OF YEAR TO ELOPE IN Capitol Reef National Park
Capitol Reef photographed in January
Honestly, you can elope any time of year in Capitol Reef, but there are some pros & cons depending on what might be the best fit for you. Keep in mind, busy season in the park are spring & fall.
FALL: Arguably the best time of year to visit the desert of Southern Utah. It’s not too hot or too cold (a little chilly once the sun goes down). Capitol Reef is also known for their fruit orchards, and fall tends to be prime time for apple picking. You can read all about the different orchards in Capitol Reef <<HERE>>
WINTER: Winter brings a beautiful dusting of snow and lower temps, but the highs run around 40 degrees so it’s not completely unbearably. So if chilly temps, no crowds, and beautiful views fits what you’re looking for Capitol Reef might be a good choice.
SPRING: Spring and fall are the most popular times to visit the park. However, if you have dreams of going off roading or hiking a slot canyon - you may want a back up plan in case of rain / flash flooding.
SUMMER: If warmer temps and late sunsets are you thing summer may be a great fit for you. Don't forget, Capitol Reef National Park is a registered Dark Sky Park - you can learn more HERE
LOGISTICS OF GETTING MARRIED IN THE PARK
Q - Where can I get married in the park?
A - Unlike most other parks there's no designated list of approved locations. Instead it's much more general. The park will approve permits for small weddings in locations around picnic areas, campgrounds, and other locations that doesn't disrupt guests or the environment.
Some options would include the following:
Chimney Rock trailhead
Hickman Bridge Arch
Q - How many guests are allowed?
A - The number of participants may be limited to 15 to 20 persons, depending on the location. However, in some locations up to 100 guests may be allowed
Q - Can we have chairs, music, decorations, arches, tents, or other extras
A - Capitol Reef describes weddings in the park as "Simple, rustic and No-Frills" so if your dream wedding includes any of the above - this might not be a great fit for you.
**Permits will not be approved for backcountry locations as per wilderness management policies.**
Special Park Uses Coordinator for Capitol Reef National Park
PLACES TO STAY IN THE NEIGHBORING TOWN OF TORREY, UT
Located just 15 miles west of the Capitol Reef Visitor Center is the small town of Torrey, Utah. This is where you'll find great places to eat, sleep, get gas, and groceries. Below are some of my favorites:
BEST PLACES TO EAT
Pie from the Gifford Homestead (pictured above)
The homestead sells on average 70K pies per year. They have 5 flavors to choose from:
(please note these are in my personal favorite order)
Also if you love cinnamon rolls - they have amazing ones and they're as big as your face! Make sure to arrive early before they sell out!
Not sure what to do on your Elopement day? Check out this blog post: 50 Freakin' Awesome Things to do on your Elopement day
Capitol Reef National Park Elopement Packages
Let me let you in on a little secret... Capitol Reef is a real hidden gem! When it comes to national parks in Utah we're pretty spoiled and although Capitol Reef is often looked over it's one of my personal favorites. If you agree I would love to chat more about your elopement!