My husband, Roy, and I moved to Utah for two main reasons. The first reason is the population and the second reason is the landscape. Utah is one of the best places to start a successful wedding photography business and we ended up in the Salt lake valley to do just that. Once we moved here, Roy and I made it a goal to visit one new location in Utah each month. We did that for the first 2 years we were here and we can now confidently say that we have some of the best locations scouted out. Some are very popular and others are less known about so they end up more private. Once we stepped foot in Moab, Utah, I knew that it would become my favorite place to be. If you want to go to a place that is warm, intimate, and looks like you have been transported to another planet, Moab is the best place for you to travel to. It is also the perfect destination for any intimate wedding. 

In this blog, I will tell you about some of my favorite locations around Moab. They all have pros and cons to them that I will list out. One thing to keep in mind about Moab is that it is hot and very dry. I would avoid eloping here in the summer if you can. Most of these locations provide little or no shelter from the hot sun. I find that the best time to visit Moab is in the spring or late fall, but I have also been there in the winter and it is also beautiful! If you would like to start planning your elopement in the area, send me a message and I will be here to help!

Dead Horse Point

Most Notable - Dead Horse Point may have a funny name, but it is one of the most epic places I can imagine for photos! It gives us a similar look to the Grand Canyon but without all of the people!

Pro- We can drive straight to the parking lot and explore the area. There are paved trails and several lookout points. It is the perfect place for couples who want the adventure look without having to hike or get dirty!

Con- Almost no shade. We can work around this problem by scheduling the photos/video in the early morning or around sunset.

Fisher Towers:

Most Notable - Fisher Towers are located northeast of Moab off Highway 128. They are towering red rock cliffs that are disconnected from the canyon walls and stand out as a monument to the surrounding valley.

Pro: Fisher Towers is an easy drive to an area on BLM land that is not well known, thus giving privacy and a sense of uniqueness. It is a great place for those kinds of images that give such perspective of how large the rock cliffs of Moab are.

Cons: The road to get to Fisher Towers is dirt so it is subject to rain or bad weather for access. If it is too muddy, getting there could be impossible. Shade there is also sparse so the time of the shoot should be well thought out and planned.

Marlboro Point

Most Notable - Beyond amazing views! This canyon is very deep and has magnificent rock features. It is a hidden gem so the photos will be unique.

Pro - Because it is difficult to get there, we could very well be the only ones there, creating a unique and intimate experience for an elopement!

Con - This is a difficult location to get to. We will need to have a high-clearance vehicle with 4-wheel drive. As a Wyoming girl when I hear that I think "Oh my truck can get us there", but truly this is a trail that could damage vehicles. There are several places to rent Jeeps or side-by-sides in Moab and I would recommend it if we go on this trail.

Navajo Rocks

Most Notable: Navajo Rocks is located off Highway 313 heading towards Canyon Lands National Park. It's a great little area that showcases the basin land with some nice red cliffs. There are white rocks as well as red rocks and vegetation. It is a unique area that is assessable by highway and a short hike into the desert.

Pro: Located on BLM land, Navajo Rocks is very accessible and drone footage of the area is easy to capture and fly. It is a great unique spot that gives some different variety to the red rock landscape Moab has to offer.

Cons: It is extremely hot in the summer or noonday. Being out in the flat land, shooting here during sunset or sunrise is paramount. There is not much shade and the orientation of the rocks makes this location very particular on the time of day. Sunrise and sunset are not just the best, they are the only times to shoot at this location.

Arches National Park

Most Notable - Arches are one of the top five most iconic parts of Utah. They are on our license plates and they are only found in a few places in the world. Arches National Park is home to over 2,000 sandstone arches.

Pro - Beautiful, iconic scenery with lots of options for photo locations

Con - This is a national park so we have to follow all rules. It can be difficult to obtain the permits needed to be married in a national park. Some national parks require that you apply months or a year in advance to get the proper paperwork needed for your marriage. We will have to be mindful of everyone else, stay on trails, and be patient with the tourists that will inevitably be in the area.

Learn more about getting married at Arches on the NPS website. Find it here.

Onion Creek Road

Most Notable- Onion Creek is a trail that many love to bring ATVs and Jeeps on, but you can get there with a truck as well. This road winds through beautiful country and if there is enough water that year, you'll be driving close to a creek the entire time. 

Pro- Even though it is a popular area, it is more private. You can choose several different types of landscapes to use as your backdrop. As we travel through the trail there are several areas to pull off for photos and there is shade to provide relief from the sun.

Con- It can get dusty! As the ATVs and Jeeps drive by they kick up a lot of dust. This is a location that does not allow us to venture far off the road. We can beat this problem by arriving at sunrise.

Canyonlands National Park

Most Notable - A phrase that some use to describe Canyonlands is "island in the sky" and it does feel like you are floating above land in some places.

Pro - Canyonlands are a great combination of arches, deserts, and canyons. If you can't pick between all of these locations that I have listed then this may be the best option because you'll get the best of both worlds!

Con - This is a national park so we have to follow all rules. It can be difficult to obtain the permits needed to be married in a national park. Some national parks require that you apply months or a year in advance to get the proper paperwork needed for your marriage. We will have to be mindful of everyone else, stay on trails, and be patient with the tourists that will inevitably be in the area.

Learn more about getting married in Canyonlands with the NPS website. Find it here.

Arches on BLM

A common misconception about the arches of Moab is that they are all in the National Park. That is not true. Several arches around the area are located on BLM land. BLM land allows us more freedom when it comes to legalities. Because they are not in the park there are still a lot of tourists who won't know about them. This allows us more privacy and makes it easier to take photos without tourists in the background. Some of our favorite arches are Wilson Arch, Corona and Bowtie Arches (they are close together), and Jug Handle Arch. all of these arches are close to a parking area and have other beautiful landscapes nearby. To get to Corona, Bow Tie, and Jug Handle you will travel up Potash Road. Along that road, there are some of the most beautifully preserved petroglyphs in the area!

Kane Spring Road

Most Notable- This road follows alongside the Colorado River. One of my favorite spots is not far up a dirt road and features large canyon walls towering above us.

Pro- So many backdrops to choose from and it is not a super popular tourist area so there is the possibility of more privacy.

Con- This road is unpaved, but mostly any vehicle could travel on it. There is the possibility of getting dusty from the vehicles driving by on the dirt road, but there are several pull-offs that allow us to get further off the road.

As you can see, Moab Utah is a wonderful place to elope! Even though there are wedding venues around, getting out into nature does not have to be as messy or sweaty as it sounds. You can create an elopement full of exploration and adventure. All of these locations that I listed require little to no hiking. Even though there are hundreds of miles of hiking trails, you can achieve a beautiful and unique wedding close to the car. Moab is a small town, but it packs a big punch. I have been there several times and still do not feel like I have explored it all yet. If you love red rock, desert, geology, and adventure, Moab, Utah may be the place for you to get married at!

Roy and I offer photography and videography services for elopements all over the mountain time zone and beyond. We also have made a handy elopement planning guide. It offers a step-by-step guide on how to easily plan your elopement and ensures that you will check off everything you need to plan beforehand. Check it out on our Etsy page right here!