Your 2024 Ultimate Guide to a Hoosier Pass Elopement!

Newlyweds kiss at their elopement picnic table with their dog laying next to them

As a photographer who has photographed so many love stories, I have to admit that I’m a sucker for a mountain elopement. Set in the secluded wilderness, surrounded by beautiful mountains, lakes, and alpine evergreens, there’s just something magical about an intimate vow exchange between a couple whose love is as wild as the rugged terrain surrounding them. And there’s truly nothing better than a Hoosier Pass Elopement!

Hoosier Pass is one of my favorite spots for a quiet, secluded elopement that is simultaneously intimate and overwhelmingly vast. Rising to an elevation of over 11,541 feet, this high mountain pass between Breckenridge and Fairway is open year-round. While it’s a popular route for accessing several ski areas in the wintertime, it’s typically way less busy than other nearby areas like Boreas Pass. 

Details of a bride in an embroidered dress holding a boho white rose bouquet

It’s also a fantastic option for couples searching for spectacular views without summiting an entire mountain. You’ll have spectacular views of Mt. Lincoln, Alma, and countless other mountain peaks that stretch out into the horizon.

If you like what you’ve read about eloping in Hoosier Pass so far, I’ve got the full run-down for you! Consider this your Ultimate Guide to Eloping in Hoosier Pass. Let’s get this party started!

The Ultimate Guide to a Hoosier Pass Elopement

A groom leads his bride by the hand along a hill overlooking a large valley pass

When You Should Elope at Hoosier Pass & How to Pick Your Date

Like many places in Colorado, Hoosier Pass has something spectacular to offer every season. That said, you’ll want to think carefully when it comes to picking the time of year you’d like to plan your elopement. Here’s a quick seasonal breakdown: 

SPRING

Colorado, and particularly Hoosier Pass, can be unpredictable in the spring. On any given day, you may get beautiful sunny skies or a massive blizzard – sometimes within the same day! It takes a while for snow to melt on Hoosier Pass, too. If you’re considering a date even in May or June, plan to pack your snow boots since snow will likely be on the ground. 

A picnic table set up by a mountain lake with pillows, cake and champagne

SUMMER

Summer is a beautiful time to elope at Hoosier Pass. Vibrant, romantic wildflowers start popping up in June and July, creating a fresh and feminine backdrop for an elopement. If you’re hiking above the treeline, remember there won’t be much shade, and it can get pretty warm – bring sunscreen and pack layers! 

Newlyweds exchange vows on a grassy hillside while holding hands

FALL

Colorado is known for its gorgeous fall colors and bright golden Aspen leaves – but Hoosier Pass doesn’t have a lot of Aspens, so if your aim is a vivid autumnal backdrop, other places nearby may suit your vision better. It’s still a beautiful destination in the fall; just be sure to plan for chillier temps. If you’re trying to avoid snow for your elopement, plan for an August or September date, as snowfall can start as early as October!

Newlyweds sit on a picnic blanket set up with cake and candles alongside their dog after their Hoosier Pass Elopement

WINTER

Winter is the perfect season if you’re dreaming of a white wedding surrounded by deep mountain snowbanks. You’ll want to plan for snowshoes, as snowpack levels can reach as much as 191”. It can be a little more treacherous to navigate in the wintertime, so if you don’t have much experience with snowy mountain exploration, you may want to find an alternate Breckenridge destination that’s just as beautiful in the winter but a little more accessible. 

Newlyweds sit and lean on a Jeep on a mountain trail at a Hoosier Pass Elopement

While I mentioned before that Hoosier Pass is less popular than some other Breckenridge locations, don’t be surprised if other people are exploring the area during your elopement. To avoid larger crowds, you’ll definitely want to consider a weekday wedding date and potentially scheduling your elopement earlier in the day. 

Newlyweds exchange vows while standing in a grassy hill at sunset alone

Hoosier Pass Elopement Locations

While Hoosier Pass is home to some fantastic hikes, you won’t have to travel far to catch sight of breathtaking views; in fact, you don’t have to hike at all to take advantage of the scenery! 

Newlyweds stand in trail touching noses and laughing at their Hoosier Pass Elopement

If you want to do some hiking, you have a couple of options. There are two halves of the divided pass: the West Side and the East Side. The West Side, a trail with views of Hoosier Ridge, is the easiest option of the two. It’s about a mile and a half each way with a 750 ft elevation gain, so plan on having some pretty steep climbs! Rich mature evergreens surround the trail; once you reach the top, your reward is spectacular alpine views. 

The East Side of Hoosier Ridge Trail offers breathtaking 360-degree mountain views. It’s a slightly longer trail than the West Side – about 1.75 miles – and a steeper climb, but the views make the effort totally worth it. 

A bride in a land embroidered dress stands on a rock overlooking a lake at her Hoosier Pass Elopement

How to Get a Summit County Marriage License for Your Hoosier Pass Elopement

Getting married in Colorado is pretty darn easy, even if you’re not a state resident. If you don’t live in Summit County, you must make an appointment with the Summit County Clerk’s office. Appointments are limited, and you can only book them within three weeks of the date you plan to apply for your license, so stay on top of calling ahead to book your time slot! Once you’re there, assuming you have all of the required documentation and can pay the fee, you’ll be issued your marriage license in about 20 minutes. There’s no waiting period in Colorado, so you can just take your license and head off to the mountains to elope! 

Newlyweds lean in for a kiss at sunset during their Hoosier Pass Elopement

Did you know that, in Colorado, you can self-solemnize your marriage? That means you don’t need an officiant to “marry you” – you can do it yourself in an intimate vow exchange between just the two of you! 

Remember, too, that you’ll likely need a permit to elope at Hoosier Pass. While it’s relatively easy, you should always double-check with a park official before eloping since their permit processes and circumstances change often. 

A bride stands in her long embroidered dress as her groom spreads her train at their Hoosier Pass Elopement

Hiring a Hoosier Pass Elopement Photographer

We already know you have excellent taste since you’re considering a Hoosier Pass elopement. Assuming you’re in it for the spectacular views, you’ll want to make sure you’re traveling with an experienced photographer who can help you capture every intimate moment of this momentous day. That’s where I come in! I’m an adventurer with plenty of experience photographing Colorado mountain elopements so couples can treasure them for the rest of their lives. I’d love to help you do the same! Check out some of my work to see how my fearlessness and artistry combine to deliver photos that will take your breath away. 

A groom leads his bride up a hillside by the hand into the sunset at their Hoosier Pass Elopement

Thanks For Checking How To Plan Your Dream Hoosier Pass Elopement

I hope you’ve found this Ultimate Guide to a Hoosier Pass elopement helpful! If you still have questions or concerns or want to explore other destinations in the area for your elopement, please feel free to reach out!! I’d love to discuss your dream Colorado elopement and help you bring it to life. 

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