Couple kissing on their wedding day at sapphire point overlook

If you and your partner are planning to elope in Colorado, you’ve probably come across at least a few pictures of one the most popular elopement spots in the state—Sapphire Point Overlook.

Sapphire Point elopements are incredibly popular, and not without good reason! The Sapphire Point Overlook is available to reserve for small private gatherings, with a stunning view of Dillon Reservoir and the Gore and Tenmile mountain ranges. The location is convenient to lodging in several nearby mountain towns, including Dillon, Frisco, and Breckenridge. The area is plentiful with hiking trails and other adventuring options, and the ceremony site itself is easily accessible.

You may have even spoken with a photographer who recommended a Sapphire Point elopement! Out-of-state photographers especially love to recommend this site because it’s easy to scout online—there are thousands of photos of small weddings and elopements at this site plastered all over social media.

So why don’t I recommend a Sapphire Point elopement? I know firsthand the pitfalls of this popular elopement site—and all of the amazing places you can elope instead that offer better privacy, amenities, and incredible views! If you are hoping for a unique elopement day, Sapphire Point is not a good choice.

Why Not Elope at Sapphire Point?

Here are a few reasons why I think Sapphire Point is not an ideal site for your elopement:

No Privacy

It costs $120 to reserve the Sapphire Point overlook for a three-hour time slot. However, the site is still completely open to the public, even if you’ve paid to reserve it! There is no way to have a private ceremony with just your partner and chosen guests at this site. Because it is still open to the public, you cannot ask other visitors to vacate the area for your ceremony. This means you can have people in your photos or walking through your ceremony.

Very Popular

Sapphire Point elopements are super popular, and four couples can elope there every single day. That means up to 28 couples a week and over a hundred a month. And a lot of couples choose to venture to Sapphire for wedding portraits, even if they didn’t get married there. If you want to feel like the only bride/groom in the world- this isn’t the spot for you.

Extremely Touristy

The Sapphire Point Overlook is an incredibly popular spot for tourists—who are not always the most respectful about private weddings and elopements. I have personally witnessed visitors recording couples’ ceremonies, yelling at the couple and their guests, and purposely trying to get in the background of photos.

Limited Parking

There is very little parking near Sapphire Point, especially during peak times like summer and weekends. The area only has one parking lot, with parking for about 20 cars. This is problematic if you’re planning to invite the maximum number of guests allowed at the overlook, or if it is a peak time for tourists to visit.

These are just my top reasons, but I could go on. For example, the actual ceremony area is very small to have 30+ guests. It becomes very crowded, very fast. Also, in the summer there are SO many chipmunks that swarm the area (and they bite). And then there’s the large pine tree that obstructs the “best” mountain peak view. And to top it off- you can only book 6 months out. Overall, I think there are a lot of cons to having a Sapphire Point elopement.

Where Should You Elope Instead?

The good news is there are SO many other amazing spots in Colorado that are just as beautiful and accessible. As a local to this area, I have personally vetted these sites, and I’d be thrilled to help you choose the elopement location that is perfect for you and your partner! You shouldn’t have to worry about being recorded by strangers during your intimate ceremony, or being yelled at on your wedding day.

Elopements With (or Without) Guests

These options are perfect if you’re planning to include close friends and family in your elopement (though they’re also great for completely private ceremonies with just you and your partner). There will be plenty of space for everyone and beautiful views!

Dillon Marina Park Pavilion

Location: Dillon, CO

The Dillon Marina Park Pavilion offers very similar views to Sapphire Point, overlooking Dillon Reservoir with views of the Gore and Tenmile mountain ranges. The pavilion has 1400 square feet of covered space (perfect in case the weather gets dicey), and holds up to 90 people. Other amenities include 10 picnic tables, a small playground and charcoal grills nearby, water and electricity, and public restrooms. Unlike Sapphire Point, this space can be reserved for truly private events, there is ample parking nearby, and you can hold your reception here too.

How to Reserve: The Dillon Marina Park Pavilion is available to reserve from May 1 to September 30, except during certain holidays and public events. Reservations open May 1 of the current calendar year. The pavilion can be reserved for a half or full day for $500-1500, depending on the day. Visit the Town of Dillon website for more information and to reserve.

A couple's first dance on their wedding day at Dillon Pavillion in Colorado. The couple is kissing and he is dipping her back.

Frisco Adventure Park

Location: Frisco, CO

Frisco Adventure Park is just outside downtown Frisco and has a beautiful outdoor ceremony overlook site, with the Tenmile Mountain Range as your stunning backdrop. The site includes a wooden platform for the ceremony, and the option to rent chairs for guests. (For larger events, there is also a lodge on the property that holds up to 100 people with indoor and outdoor seating.) And if you want to have some fun with your partner before or after your ceremony, Frisco Adventure Park is a winter activity wonderland, from snow tubing to sledding to real sleigh rides. In the summer, the park offers bike and skate parks, disc golf, and a plethora of hiking trails.

How to Reserve: The cost to reserve the ceremony site starts at $100 an hour, with options to include chairs and setup. Visit the Town of Frisco website for more information and to reserve.

Windy Point Campground

Location: Down the road from Sapphire Point

The Windy Point Group Campground is located on Dillon Reservoir and has two large group campsites—one of which includes an amazing wooden pavilion—available to reserve for a private, fun, adventurous elopement with your closest loved ones. There are beachfront and hilltop ceremony sites at the campground, in addition to the pavilion, so you can map out an elopement day that includes all the gorgeous lakefront views this area has to offer. The campground can accommodate tents, trailers, and RVs. How much fun would it be to get married while camping with your friends and family?

Windy Point Campground is also very private, with a gate at the road to prevent the public from waltzing in. You might get the occasional hiker, but they tend to quickly scurry on.

How to Reserve: The campground is available to reserve from May 17 to September 28 during 2024. Group spots start at $232 a night. Visit for more information and to reserve.

The Lodge at Breckenridge

Couple in wedding attire looking off at mountains during their lodge at breckenridge wedding

Location: Breckenridge, CO

The Lodge at Breckenridge offers year-round weddings and elopements on their picturesque log deck. The lodge has ceremony-only packages, as well as options for an indoor reception space and catering, making this a full-service venue with on-site lodging. If you’re not quite ready to rough it in a campground, the Lodge at Breckenridge gives you all the stunning mountain views with the comfort of a classic mountain lodge.

How to Reserve: Visit the Lodge at Breckenridge website for more information and to reserve.

Julia’s Deck

Location: Between Copper Mountain and Vail, CO

Julia’s Deck, also known as Mount of the Holy Cross Overlook, is an observation deck with mountain views. The deck has 3 benches for seating and can hold up to 30 people, and the parking lot has space for up to 10 vehicles. This site is definitely more “out of the way” than Sapphire Point, with significantly less visitors and traffic, so if you’re hoping for a private and intimate ceremony, I highly recommend this location.

How to Reserve: You can call the Holy Cross Ranger District to reserve a 2-3 hour time slot during the summer months. Visit the Forest Service website for more information.

Restaurants & Breweries

There are quite a few restaurants/event spaces in and around Dillon and Frisco that would be a fun spot for a microwedding, with the option to explore nearby mountains for those must have photos.

Just-The-Two of You Elopement Alternatives

Officers Gulch

Location: Frisco, CO

Officers Gulch is a one-mile loop trail outside Frisco around a small tree-lined lake that reflects the Tenmile Mountain Range. If you aren’t looking for a traditional ceremony space and aren’t bringing guests, Officers Gulch is a perfect location to exchange vows privately and take some amazing portraits.

Loveland Pass

A couple and their dogs, wearing christmas style clothing. They are smiling at the camera while standing in the snow. There are big snow covered mountains in. the background.

Location: Between Silverthorne and Georgetown, CO

Loveland Pass is one of the highest (and prettiest) mountain pass roads in the country, and just a short drive from the Dillon/Frisco area. There are lots of beautiful spots you could elope along the pass and its many hiking trails, depending on how far you want to adventure from the main trailheads. The pass can be busy in the summer, but it’s also a great option if you’re seeking snowy mountain views. This is definitely a better option for a small elopement with few guests, as there is no seating and limited parking.

How to Reserve: Because there is no dedicated “ceremony space,” reservations are not required to elope in Loveland Pass. Visit the Forest Service website for more information.

Event-Friendly Rentals

AirBnB, VRBO, and other vacation rentals around the Dillon/Frisco area are another unconventional option for a small elopement. These offer the benefit of total privacy for the whole day—but keep in mind that many rentals don’t allow parties or events, so this is a better option for a very small elopement or one without any guests—and make sure to read each rental’s rules!

“Secret” Spots

The best locations are the ones no one knows about. Where you can get away from crowds, enjoy solitude, and go adventure! These won’t work for microweddings, but they’re unique picks if you want to elope just you and your partner (and a photographer to capture your day).

Elopement Locations Outside the Breckenridge/Dillon Reservoir Area

If you’re willing to travel a bit further for your elopement, these are some of my favorite options throughout Colorado for beautiful, private elopement ceremonies! I promise a bit longer of drive will be so worth it.

Twin Lakes & Leadville

An hour from the Breckenridge area, Twin Lakes and Leadville are small mountain towns with all the lakes, forests, and mountain views that attract couples to Sapphire Point—without the high concentration of tourists.

Rocky Mountain National Park

There are many stunning, dedicated ceremony sites around Rocky Mountain National Park—and I go over all of them in my Rocky Mountain National Park Elopement Guide, including rules and reservation info for elopements in the park. Many of the sites in RMNP offer privacy and parking year-round that can make this a more attractive option than a Sapphire Point elopement.


Ouray is another picturesque mountain town with many of the activities that make Colorado a unique place to elope, including hot springs, hiking, offroading, and backcountry skiing, making it an incredibly fun choice for an all-day adventure elopement. If I had to pick one town to recommend to eloping couples, it would be Ouray.

Still Have Your Heart Set on a Sapphire Point Elopement?

If you’re completely set on a Sapphire Point elopement, I’d still love to help you plan your perfect day, and I can use my knowledge of this spot’s quirks to help you prepare and plan the best elopement possible. I’ve gotten to capture some absolutely wonderful Sapphire Point elopements, and we can make sure yours is wonderful too.


Because Sapphire Point is such a popular place to elope, you’ll have to reserve in advance! Reservations open up at 8am MST, six months in advance of your desired elopement date. The reservation fee is $120 for a three-hour window.

The online reservation system is currently unavailable (as of December 2023) while the system undergoes site improvements, but it will be open again in Spring 2024 on

These reservations go incredibly fast. I recommend creating a account and having your payment information ready to go at least 24 hours before trying to get a permit. Then, be online and ready 5 minutes before 8am MST so you have the best chance of getting your ideal time. You can always have family/friends try to get the permit too!

Rules & Regulations

  • Ceremonies at Sapphire Point can include up 35 people (this includes the couple, and vendors).
  • Other visitors can access Sapphire Point Overlook even when it is reserved. The site must remain open to all users at all times.
  • Use of portable chairs and other furniture is allowed, but commercial services, such as delivery of rental or catering items, are prohibited unless the vendor has a valid permit from the Forest Service. (You can’t hold your reception here.)
  • All furniture, flowers, trash and other items must be removed from the site at the end of your reservation.
  • Stakes and poles are prohibited.
  • Releasing or distributing seeds, plants, plant parts, animals or other items must be approved in advance.

You can view all of the rules for Sapphire Point elopements on

And as always, please follow Leave No Trace guidelines!

Consider an Off-Season Elopement

Winter and spring are the best times to elope at Sapphire Point, with less traffic and visitors than the peak summer season. Snow-capped mountains and a frozen lake make a stunning backdrop completely different than the summer landscape. Keep in mind that the path to the overlook is not maintained during winter and can be icy. Although, a good pair of boots and traction devices like snow chains quickly fixes this problem! If you do want to elope in the winter or spring, remember this area is at high elevation. Wearing warm layers under formal wear, bringing hefty coats, and using hand warmers will keep you warm and allow you to focus on your ceremony!

If you want to learn more, check out my blog post about the best time to elope in Colorado!

Tips & Tricks for a Sapphire Point Elopement

  • Plan to avoid parking challenges. Arrive at the Sapphire Point parking lot early to try to snag parking—there are only 22 spots available for all visitors—and arrange carpooling from nearby Dillon or Frisco with your guests.
  • Hire a planner to streamline your day. A wedding planner can help with timing and coordination challenges that may be exacerbated at this busy location. I highly recommend the local planner Events Made with Love by Alex!
  • Expect other people. Plan for other visitors to the area to be walking by—and even watching—your elopement ceremony. This can be just a fun part of your day as long as you’re prepared and expecting this!
  • Adventure before or after your ceremony. We can take gorgeous and fun bridal portraits by hiking, snowshoeing, hitting the town—whatever feels authentic to you as a couple—in the Breckenridge or Dillon area. You can enjoy quieter/more private moments while venturing elsewhere.
  • Consider time of day. Morning is the least busy time of day at Sapphire Point, and the best lighting is around sunrise or sunset. You can reserve time slots starting at 6 a.m. and ending at 9 p.m. to avoid the crowds and ensure gorgeous lighting for your ceremony photos.
  • Keep it small. Sapphire Point elopements are best with few guests because of small ceremony area and the limited parking. A private ceremony at Sapphire Point followed by a dinner in Breckenridge or Dillon with limited family and friends may be a good choice if you have your heart set on this view!

Ready to Start Planning?

Whether you want to elope at Sapphire Point or anywhere else in Colorado—or if you’re not sure yet—reach out to me via the contact form below, and I can help you compare options to pick the perfect location for your elopement ceremony and a completely fun-filled day of adventure!

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