Rikki and Ethan | Yankee Boy Basin Elopement | Ouray, Colorado
Savannah Chandler Photography | Adventure Elopement Photographer
Rikki and Ethan’s 4×4 Adventure Elopement in Yankee Boy Basin | Ouray, Colorado
Rikki and Ethan are avid 4x4ers – having a Jeep Rubicon that they’ve taken to some pretty intense trails during the time they’ve been together. When I asked them what their favorite trail they’ve done together is – they let me know that they’ve done the Rubicon Trail in California, near Lake Tahoe. As an avid 4×4 driver myself – I’m pretty jealous of all the out-of-Colorado adventures they’ve had in their Jeep.
When it came time to pick a location for their elopement – Rikki and Ethan decided to bring their closest family and friends out to Yankee Boy Basin in Southwest Colorado. The drive into the basin is great for getting the sense of a 4×4 road without that “Oh Shit” factor being too high ;). Nestled near Ouray, Colorado – the road beyond Camp Bird and into the Basin is such a stunning place. There’s waterfalls, overlooks, a lake, and so many connecting points for those looking to adventure further. It’s also where the standard route for Mt. Sneffels, a Colorado 14er, starts. We hiked the mountain after a shoot in the basin back in 2020 – highly recommend if you’re an experienced adventurer.
Originally, we had all talked about heading over Imogene pass into Telluride after their elopement, as everyone was staying in the nearby town. 2023 had other plans for anyone looking to 4×4, or adventure at higher altitudes, into late summer. Rikki and Ethan’s elopement was at the very end of June – and there was still MASSIVE amounts of snow and very large snow banks blocking all the roads leading higher. We went to go take photographs in Governor Basin, a side road that leads to higher alpine views, but there was a 10-12 ft snow bank still covering the entire road about 1/4 mile in. Just goes to show – Colorado weather patterns be CRAZY.
While their family and friends – who happen to be engineers – set up their stunning Octagon arch that Ethan handmade, we all headed in our Jeeps as high as the roads would let us go for some portraits. Rikki donned some Chacos with her dress – the perfect mountain combination. However, when we had to walk across a snow bank I’m sure her poor feet were freezing.
After some time in the upper basin, we headed back down below Twin Falls for their intimate ceremony. Family and friends gave heartfelt toasts to the newlyweds while Cirque Mountain and Potosi Peak boomed in the background.
To end our time together, we headed back on the road towards Ouray (since we couldn’t access Imogene pass) and made a pit stop where the road famously cuts into the sidewall rock. Maybe because I’m a Jeep owner and lover, but the images of Rikky and Ethan running on the road away from their Jeep are some of my very favorites. I feel they encompass that adventure feeling of being near a cliffside road. Needless to say, I’m a bit of an adrenaline junkie.
Congratulations again, Rikki and Ethan! I can’t wait to see all the future 4×4 adventures the two of you embark on.