Living in Grand Junction, I have a unique view on Colorado elopements. There are parts of the state, like here in Grand Junction or the southwest part of the state, that are more of a high desert climate in contrast to the mountains. So the best time to elope in Colorado can depend on where you elope! To make the best, most comprehensive guide to the best time to elope in Colorado, I’ll include thoughts for both settings.
The Best Time to Elope in Colorado
The biggest factor for the best time to elope in Colorado should be what you envision for your wedding day. Do you want to hike? Ski? Be outside without snow? Do you love fall and the leaves changing colors? Do you hate the heat or crave it? Do you want wildflowers in your photos? Do you want nice weather but snow capped mountains? Colorado is a little bit of a weird state for seasons, but generally speaking there can be snow in the mountains from October to May. Here’s the pros and cons to each season:
Pros: The weather in spring is likely to be nice and starting to warm up. In the high desert the highs are in the upper 50s in March and upper 70s by May. In the mountains March highs are usually in the 30s/40s and by May it can be up to the 60s. There are snow capped mountains almost guaranteed. This is a nice time of year to really guarantee ultimate snow-capped mountain views. In the high desert of the state, this is one of the best times of year to get married before it’s too hot.
Cons: Spring in Colorado is considered mud season in the mountains. As snow melts things get muddy and that could affect your experience. Travel is still a little up-in-the-air as snow storms are still possible and could close highways. Back roads into the more secluded parts of the state are still mostly closed this time of year, generally opening again in May.
Pros: The summer is much less likely to have any snow. July and August are peak Wildflower Season in the mountains, with many wildflower festivals happening mid- to late-July. Travel is easiest this time of year as snow storms are generally not threatening closures. Highs in the mountains are mild but warmer (70s and 80s are common) while the high desert can be up to the 90s and 100s.
Cons: With warmer weather, it’s best to avoid the desert areas like Gateway, Grand Junction, and other high desert climates. Highs in the desert can be over 100F many days in July and August. Summer is also becoming a bit of a wildfire season, so smoke and active fires could potentially affect your chosen elopement location.
Pros: Fall starts early in the mountains, typically around the second or third week of September. The aspen leaves turn golden yellow and orange and can stick around up to 2-3 weeks. The weather is cooling down but still typically beautiful. Fires are less common as temperatures aren’t as hot. There are fewer crowds in the fall than in the summer.
Cons: It is getting quite cold at night. Snow is possible at any moment in the fall, which can be tricky if you’re very opposed to snow for your wedding day. The threat of snowfall can make travel trickier as well. The fall is beginning to cool down in the high desert, making it a great time to get married near the Four Corners or Grand Junction.
Pros: If you’re looking for a winter wonderland these are the months for you! There will be snow and plenty of it, especially later in the season around January/February. If you’re looking to ski, snowshoe, or just want a snowy backdrop you’ll love winter in Colorado. There can be snow in the high desert, which is a unique and beautiful contrast of the white snow and red rocks. Since this is “off season” for weddings in most places, some vendors may offer discounts (but not guaranteed.)
Cons: With snow comes crowds in ski resort towns like Telluride, Vail and Aspen. It can also make travel trickier throughout the state as snow can shut down the highways. The back roads in the mountains are definitely closed to cars, but some can be accessed by snowmobile so a little extra planning can be necessary.