Dana and Jeff | Dream Lake Elopement
Savannah Chandler Photography | Estes Park Elopement Photographer
Dana and Jeff have had quite the adventure to get to where they are in life… over 20 years and 2 kids of history. When they made the decision to recommit themselves to one another, they headed out to Colorado to elope in Estes Park. We stopped on the side of the road to say their vows (as you’re not allowed to say vows in Rocky Mountain National Park outside of their designated sites: which can be found here). Once they said their vows are were once again Man and Wife – we headed up to the Dream Lake trailhead to hike and take couple’s portraits.
Dream Lake is an amazing hike for those coming into Colorado from out of state, or for couples wanting to hike the full length in their wedding attire – as it’s 2.1 miles round trip with just under 500 feet in elevation gain. Dana decided to hike in her amazing blue-toned gown – which gave us TONS of great opportunities to stop for portraits! As we turned the corner on the approach to Dream Lake, there was an Elk just hanging out right along the trail. I always love (safely) encountering animals on elopements – it’s such a fun, thrilling experience.
Once the light dropped behind Hallett Peak, we headed back down the mountain and drove up Trail Ridge Road to catch the sunset up on the Ute Trail. Along this hiking trail that goes on for what seems like forever, you can see Longs Peak alongside the Never Summer range – it’s one of my favorite alpine areas to photograph at. We made it to the trail JUST as the sun was kissing Longs with alpenglow, and stayed until all the light disappeared. To cap off the night, my second shooter (the amazing Amanda) and I were out on the trail, and heard some bugling. We looked up to see a herd of Elk RUNNING right at us. Needless to say, we boogied to the car and watched them barrel across the road. It was the perfect ending to an amazing elopement.
Thank you, Dana and Jeff for adventuring to Dream Lake for your elopement. It was truly a fantastic afternoon.