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Summit County Colorado Elopement Guide


Why Elope in Summit County

• Close proximity to Denver and DIA. Summit County is just over an hour from the Denver International Airport, making it incredibly easy to access. As far as reaching large mountainous areas goes, I would argue that Summit County is the quickest and easiest to get to (barring traffic on the i-70 corridor).

Incredible Views and Lakes galore. There are numerous locations that have booming mountains that you can drive to. The same goes for lakes. There are also locations that can be rented out if you’re looking to host a larger elopement (15+ in attendance).

Hiking Opportunities, Including 14ers. Trails are around every corner. Some of the “easier” 14ers are in the area, such as Gray’s Peak, Torrey’s Peak, Mt. Bierstadt, Mt. Blue Sky, and Quandary Peak. Some of my very favorite 13,000 ft. peaks are also in the area, and tend to be less crowded than the higher peaks. If you’re looking for an alpine lake hike, you can find hikes of all abilities.

Skiing and Snowboarding in Winters. If you’ve heard of our Champagne Powder, my guess is that you’ve heard of Breckenridge. If you’re more of a Terrain Park couple, I bet Copper Mountain has been whispered in your ear. This strip of towns along i-70 boasts the most ski resorts within a reasonable drive that I’m aware of. There’s lots of other winter activities too for those who want a winter elopement without going on the slopes.

Lots of Amenities. If you’re wanting to stay somewhere that has all the comforts of home nearby, look no further. Places like Dillon and Silverthorne have grocery stores such as Kroger and Safeway, and you can find breweries in nearly every town. Each town has a different vibe along with different shops, restaurants, and activities.

How to get to Summit County and Where to Stay

Closest Airports
You can fly into three airports that are within a short drive to Summit County

Denver International Airport (DEN) – DIA is roughly 100 miles from Summit County by vehicle. Follow i-70 all the way from the airport into Summit County, taking your respective town exit.

Eagle County Airport (EGE) – Eagle County Airport is just outside of Vail, Colorado to the West of Summit county. It’s roughly 65 miles from the airport to Summit County by vehicle. American, Continental, and Delta airlines have limited flights to Eagle County from outside Colorado (as well as from DIA). United and SkyWest have flights to Eagle County from Denver.

Colorado Springs Airport (COS) – Colorado Springs Airport is in downtown Colorado Springs and roughly 117 miles by vehicle. The drive from Colorado Springs is a little on the longer side than from Denver due to winding roads and lower speed limits.

Where to Stay in Summit County


• Between i-70 and highway 6
• Close to Loveland Pass and Lake Dillon
• Great beginner skiing in winter
• Lots of Condos/places with kitchens
• Near Montezuma for hikes and 4x4ing
• Minimal restaurants in town, but is only a short drive to many more


• Right off i-70
• Easy access to Keystone and Breckenridge
• Dillon Amphitheater and Marina in town
• TONS of food options
• Grocery stores in town


• Right off i-70 (on the North)
• Lots of housing and places to stay
• Shopping in town
• Many restaurants and fast food in town
• Great views to the North, can access hiking trails into the Gore mountains


• South of i-70
• Very cute and quaint Main Town with shops
• Access to multiple mountain passes
• Tons of places to stay
• Incredible hiking nearby


• Just off i-70
• More of a “Local’s Spot”
• New shops and restaurants
• Easy to access Breckenridge
• Winter adventure park in town

Copper Mountain

• Smaller, less accomodations
• In summertime, you can likely find great priced accommodations here
• Furthest West, just below Vail Pass
• Easy to get to Vail or South to Leadville

Obtaining a Marriage License

You can obtain a marriage license in Summit County up to Three Weeks prior to your elopement date.
• You MUST make an appointment to obtain your license in Summit County (Click HERE)
• They cap appointments to 3 per day, be sure to make one as soon as possible
• There is only one office in Summit County, In Breckenridge.
208 Lincoln Avenue  Breckenridge, CO  80424 “Floor 2”
• Cost is $30. Bring Payment and a Form of Identification.

You can Self Solemnize in Colorado – no officiant is required. If you do want someone to marry you, they MUST be ordained to sign as your officiating party. They can, however, sign as a witness. You can have as many, or as little, signatures as witnesses as you’d like. You can also have your pet sign as a witness.

Where to Elope and Permitting

Some of the locations in and near Summit County are highly guarded local secrets, you’ll be hard pressed to find exact location information readily available online. Here are some well known locations, please enquire to get more information on the lesser known places.

Loveland Pass

• No Permits required for smaller groups that don’t impede on trails.
• If you have objects (chairs, an arch, etc.), any paid vendor besides Photographer (officiant, florist bringing things onsite) – they ALL need a special use permit.
• Can be VERY busy
• The hikes above are incredible and less crowded if you’re looking for an adventure – they all have steep elevation gain due to the beginning of the hike.
• Easy Access for all vehicles, and is open Year Round.

Hiking Teal Lake

• a 4×4 can shorten the hike
• Moderate Hiking location
• Beautiful Teal waters
• No permit required for under 15 people

Local 13,000 Peak

• Strenuous Hike
• Very likely to be totally private
• Has views of 14,000 peaks
• Trailhead is accessible by all vehicles
• No permit required for under 15 people


• Mt. Blue Sky is the only peak you can drive to the summit – a timed entry is required
• The others are all hikes, though easy for 14ers, no 14,000 ft. peak is easy. Be prepared.
• Likely to have sunrise summits mostly private, all other times of day likely to be crowded.

Meadow overlooking Gore Range

• All vehicle access
• Accessible year-round, recommended late spring – late fall
• No permits required for under 15 people.
• Likely to be mostly private

Shrine Pass

• Accessible from Late May – Early October
• AWD recommended
• Near Vail Pass
• No permits required for under 15 people

Summit Lake

• Timed Entry Required
• No Permit for under 5 people, over 5 a permit is required through Denver Parks
• Open Seasonally (Late May – Early October)
• Likely to see Big Horn Sheep
• Can be crowded

Herman Gulch

• Best season undoubtedly is Summer with wildflowers
• Moderate Hike
• Any vehicle can access trailhead
• Can be crowded, highly recommend sunrise

Boreas Pass

• No Permit required
• Open Seasonally (Late May – Early October)
• AWD recommended
• Pass connects Breckenridge to Fairplay, lots of beautiful areas as well as hiking opportunities

Mayflower Gulch

• No Permit required
• Can hike year-round, 4×4 road open in Summer
• Amazing wildflowers
• Sunrise in Summer, the entire mountain range turns with Alpenglow

4×4 Pass

• Can hike or drive up to with a high clearance 4×4
• Open Seasonally
• Lots of hikes up top, including a 13,000 peak

What to do in Summit County

There’s LOTS to do in this area of Colorado. There is something for every age as well as every activity level.

Go Biking. The bike paths are endless. You can take a small stroll in town, or you can bike up a mountain pass. Many of the towns have bike paths that connect one another. You can actually bike along a pathway all the way through Summit County and into the Vail valley.

Catch some Fish. From Lake Dillon to many of the surrounding rivers, there’s amazing fishing all around. We’ve done some kayak fishing in the East side of Lake Dillon the past few years – highly recommend.

Go see a Show. The Dillon Amphitheater has free concerts all summer long. You can check out their schedule on their webpage.

Walk the Shops. I highly recommend walking around Downtown Breckenridge and enjoying the atmosphere of Main Town. There’s lots of shops, including your traditional tourist souvenir locations, that line the quaint houses. We usually head over to Ollie’s Pub and Grub on the water for some food when we’re done walking around.

Go Gambling. A short drive down the canyon is Central City and Blackhawk – Colorado’s own little gambling mountain town. The Ameristar has a more upscale feel to it, while you can also find lots of smaller gambling halls that feel like a step back in time.

My favorite restaurant that I visit every time I’m in the area (to snowboard, hike, photograph an elopement) is Sunshine Cafe. My kiddo loves it as well. It can get very busy on weekends in particular – but it’s worth the wait!

Ready to Book your Summit County Elopement?