Loveland Pass is a mountain top location that sits above two basins with panoramic views, ridge-line trails and alpine lakes. Crossing the continental divide at 11,990ft, this mountain pass is perfect for couples looking to elope at a classic spot in the Colorado rocky mountains. Here’s everything you need to know about planning an elopement at Loveland Pass!
Why Have a Loveland Pass Elopement?
- Scenic views across the continental divide
- Perfect for sunrise & sunset
- Accessible year round*
- Variety of vendors to work with
- Ideal for couples that want little impact
- Also ideal for couples that want something more adventurous
- Variety of accommodations in the surrounding area
*Despite being accessible year round, Loveland Pass can be treacherous during the peak winter months between December and March.
Located halfway between Breckenridge and the Denver area
Loveland Pass was one of the original gateways to access deeper mountain towns such as Breckenridge, Frisco, Dillion, and Silverthorne from the Denver metro area. Because of its accessibility bridging so many cities together, this is a year round popular destination providing a beautiful scenic area for passerbyers, tourists, truckers, hikers, and cross country skiers along the continental divide.
ideas for your Loveland Pass elopement
Outside of the mountain pass itself, there’s a variety of things you can do at or around Loveland Pass to make the experience of your elopement day that much more!
During the summer months
- Hanging in a hammock
During the winter months
- Snowball fight!
- Winter hiking
- Ice Skating
- Backcountry skiing & snowboarding
- Skiing & snowboarding at Arapahoe and Loveland Basin
Tips for planning a Loveland Pass elopement
Choosing a season
Generally speaking, Loveland Pass is locked away by snow as early as October and through late June. If you want to dodge the snow, the best time to elope at Loveland pass is during the summer between June and September. It’s during those times that you can stand the early am calls or the late night star gazing without the potential of frostbite. If you want flexibility with other aspects of your wedding day such as reservations and accommodations, then choosing an off season month could be the right choice for you.
Choose the right attire
Mountain passes can be notorious for having a lot of wind so when it comes to choosing the right attire, I often recommend layers no matter the time of year. Think of it this way, you can always take layers off, but once you’re out of layers – that’s it. Since certain areas of Loveland Pass are beside mountain peaks, shadows will cast over during the early afternoon and any sign of wind can make things drafty. Despite this consideration, the wind makes for ultra epic pics 😉 If you plan to bring extra layers, consider having them compliment your attire or the kind of mood you want to create with your wedding day.
Choose the right footwear
I love to recommend comfort and good traction when it comes to deciding on the type of footwear you plan to wear on your wedding day. This is for a variety of reasons including:
- Safety – no one wants to roll their ankle on their wedding day.
- Comfort – you don’t wanna be thinking about your feet feeling sore or uncomfortable.
- Traction – uneven or rocky terrain can catch you off guard
- Stability – no one complains about extra reassurance, especially when that confidence shows in photos!
- Aesthetic – more of a bonus, but the juxtaposition of outdoor footwear with wedding attire is super cute – especially in photos!
Pick a weekday
Because of the year round popularity at Loveland Pass, I will always recommend eloping there on a weekday. The location is sandwiched between several mountain towns and the Denver area, aiding its popularity. This small step is one of the easiest ways to add more flexibility, time, and privacy to your elopement. If you cannot make a weekday work, then I recommend arriving early on a weekend as parking is limited and no reservations can be made.
Elope at sunrise
Since Loveland Pass sits high above the tree line, there’s very little obstruction when it comes to feeling on top of the world and getting 360° views. This makes the area ideal for both sunrise and sunset, but here’s why I think considering sunrise could be for you:
- More privacy since there’s less traffic to consider.
- It’s only getting warmer as the sun rises.
- The alpenglow at sunrise is unreal (in my humble opinion of course).
There’s something about chasing the morning light that adds to the sense of adventure on your wedding day. This could be ideal for couples that are into type-2 fun with some of the best lighting possible.
Loveland Pass Elopement Permits & Reservations
Whether or not you need a permit to elope at Loveland Pass is dependent on your specific situation. It’s best to do your part and contact the Clear Creek Ranger District at 303-567-3000 to confirm and follow any steps necessary.
Additionally you cannot make reservations at Loveland Pass or Pass Lake as it operates on a first come first serve basis and parking is limited between the pass itself and pass lake parking lot. If you’d like to ensure you have a location reserved, I recommend checking out the nearby Sapphire Point Overlook as a great alternative for making reservations and accommodating larger group sizes.
Leave No Trace at Loveland Pass
In an effort to preserve this delicate landscape it’s best to follow Leave No Trace Principles so that you can visit this place again on your anniversary and still experience it as pristine as the day of your elopement! Some examples of the principles at work include:
- Prepare with extra layers and plan for unpredictable weather.
- Stay on trail and avoid stepping on the delicate tundra. Oftentimes, one step can cause a chain reaction that alters the terrain.
- Do not use rice, glitter, confetti, flower petals or anything not originally there as a celebratory tossing item. It’s near impossible to remove and there’s no appropriate garbage disposal available.
- Although it may be tempting to bring something tangible back as memorabilia, remember to leave anything you may find and embrace that moment!
- Avoid any sparklers, smoke bombs, fireworks or anything that can potentially cause a fire
- If you run into a mountain goat, be sure to give them some space. They don’t wanna smell you just as bad as you don’t want them charging at you.
- Be considerate of other visitors. Yes it is your wedding, but let’s not disrupt their experience with music, noise makers or anything disrupting the natural landscape!
Ideas for after your elopement at Loveland Pass
Activities in Breckenridge
Whether you’re after the late night summers or the holiday lit streets that warm the soul, there’s so much to experience in the little mountain town of Breckenridge. Some of my favorite places to check out are Hearthstone Restaurant for dinner or grab a coffee and tour Nature’s Own- Breckenridge Rocks & Minerals Shop. Looking for more ideas? I wont reinvent the wheel, here’s 100 things to do in Breckenridge during both the summer and winter months! 🥳
Dinner in Breckenridge
- Blue River Bistro for a lively atmosphere and rustic American classics
- Hearthstone Restaurant for a more elevated experience (personal favorite)
- Flipside Burger for something more casual
Activities in Denver
If you’re looking to stay closer to the Denver area, I’d recommend exploring the lower highlands area where you can grab some globally inspired tapas (or small plates) at Linger Eatuaries or a sweet treat at Little Man’s Ice Cream Factory. There’s also an immersive art experience like the Meow Wolf Immersive Art Exhibition (which I totally recommend if you like alternative art). Other ideas could be:
- Catching a show at Red Rocks Amphitheater
- Driving up to 14,130ft along the Mt. Evans Scenic Byway
- Checking out any of the Denver festivals and events
Dinner in Denver
Looking for a Colorado Elopement Photographer?
Everyone has a story to share, your elopement photos should reflect that story – not just with the big moments, but the details that often get overlooked. My goal as your photographer is to have you look back on your day and feel what it was like to be there; To create a lasting emotion that always resurfaces every-time you want to relive this moment in time.
Thank you for stopping by my corner of the internet! I would love to hear from you and learn about your story. Be sure to check out my elopement guide to help you get started!