If you’re thinking about eloping in Bryce Canyon, this blog post covers how to elope in Bryce Canyon, the best trails to visit, and what the logistics are of eloping in Bryce Canyon National Park. I will help you with all the ins + outs of eloping there. Eloping in a National Park can seem overwhelming with all the hoops to jump through, but I promise after reading this, you’ll feel 100% less stressed + 1000% more excited about planning your elopement in Bryce Canyon.
You will want to check in with the National Park Website to review if there are any road or trail closures that prohibit you from going where you need to go + stay up to date with all rules + regulations of the park, just in case something were to change. Though, many photographers will do this for you.
Bryce Canyon is home to some of the most unique scenery in the world. With the red rocks shaped in long cylindrical teardrop formations, it provides a perfect elopement backdrop. Hike as much as you’d like and turn around when you feel you’ve had enough.
It’s a red rock canyon, so if you are wearing clothes you want to stay clean for photos when hiking through the park, it is best to either bring the suit/tux on a hanger and for dresses, you can either wear while hiking using something like this (I know, it looks super silly, but trust me… it saves you a WHOLE lot of hassle). You can also of course change when you get to your photo location, but chances are, there will be tons of spots you’re going to want to take photos throughout the canyon, so figuring out a way to wear it may be best.
This is definitely considered a hiking elopement. Many don’t consider this one, because the trail is a very easy- moderate trail + it’s easy to forget you’re “hiking” if you’re moving slow. Though, these switchbacks into and out of the canyon can be extremely exhausting, especially in the summer or hot conditions. That being said, make sure you have hiking footwear. There is a lot of loose sand and gravel on the way up and down the switchbacks, that make it easy to take a spill. It would be very unfortunate for you to fall on the red rock with a suit or bridal gown, because that red rock will likely not come out while you’re there for pictures.
The weather in the canyon can be like a roller coaster. Sometimes the temps are way up + the sun is beating down on you as you navigate the switch backs between the canyons. Other times, you may get up in the early morning (or be in the canyon until sundown) and it can get quite chilly. The park is open 24 hours a day, so you will never be kicked out of the park, but that also means You will want to be prepared for all conditions. The best time to elope in Bryce Canyon is May through September. This offers the nicest weather, with comfortable temperatures.
As mentioned above, it can be cold, hot or temperatures in between. You’ll want to check the weather that week and make sure you’re prepared for the conditions. Pack plenty of water, hiking gear, something to hold your dress/suit (hangers/ dress bag or the dress drawstring). You’ll also want to pack an extra layer if it get’s a little chilly. For photography, it’s best early in the morning and right before sunset (and these times are the chilliest times of the day in the canyon).
In order to get married in the park, you must have already obtained a Utah marriage license ($40). You can view the National park’s requirements for couples who are eloping here. Most people who elope on the day of will just obtain a special use permit ($100) + choose one of the two ceremony locations that the park has designated for couples. This fee includes the bride and groom’s entrance fee to the park as well as the permit itself. The guests must pay the park entrance fee.
Though, you can go take pictures anywhere you’d like in the park!
Permits must be obtained in advance of your event (no later than two weeks before the ceremony date). The sooner the better, as permits can take fairly long to secure. Without the permit, you will be unable to elope in the park. All requests for permits must include: (copied from the National Park Service Website)
For weddings in the surrounding Forest Service area, such as Red Canyon, please contact the USDA Forest Service Office in Panguitch at 435-676-9300.
Here are additional resources for you if you’re interested in eloping at Bryce Canyon National Park. The link below shows the map of the possible wedding locations of your choice as well as the permit you’ll need to apply for. If you need assistance with your application + securing your special use permit, your elopement photographer should be able to assist you with this. I help all my couples obtain permits as well as any planning assistance needed around their elopement.