Adventure Elopement in The Narrows - Zion National Park, Utah
Adventurous Vow Exchange
We absolutely love living so close to Zion National Park, it has a breathtaking beauty unique to this part of the world. We love experience it's beauty with couples even more, so when Kiana and Fabrizio reached out to us about doing a vow exchange of course we jumped on board!
During our planning, Kiana asked about the Narrows, the iconic hike that uses the Virgin River as it's primary trail, winding through an immense slot canyon. Thanks to it's relatively easy approach and offering of relief from the summer heat, the Narrows sees huge numbers of people each day. The only way to avoid the crowd is to get in at first light. To our pleasant surprise, Kiana and Fabrizio were down to make it happen. Kiana packed an extra dress to get in the water and we made our plans to meet at sunrise.
We hiked through the river for 1 1/2 miles to the section of the canyon known as Wall Street, the start of the narrowest section of the canyon. The sheer scale of the walls around us was breathtaking and absolutely worth the hike in. We began our trek back to the shuttle, hiking against waves of people. By the time we reached the trailhead, the crowds had nearly filled the breadth of the river.
After a successful trek into the Narrows, and a restful afternoon (well deserved after 3 miles of hiking in the river), we met up with Kiana and Fabrizio for their vow exchange. We drove into the east canyon through the Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel, wandered through the rolling sandstones hills and canyons till we found a perfect place for their private exchange.
Eloping in Zion National Park
Zion is an awe-inspiring place, it makes total sense as a backdrop for an adventurous elopement. If you're interested in eloping in Zion, here are a couple things you need to know and prepare for.
The Park Service requires all wedding ceremonies regardless of size to have a special use permit. These permits cost $100 and need to be submitted at least three weeks prior to the wedding date. You can find more information about Zion's Special Use Permits here. We always advocate for operating within the system established by the Park Service, Zion is an incredible place, we feel it is absolutely worth protecting and supporting. Plus, it would really suck to have to cut your wedding short because a ranger asked to see a permit!
Zion only allows ceremonies at 6 specific locations within the Park, as detailed in the permit PDF. These locations do not include popular overlooks such as Angel's Landing or Canyon Overlook. Even a small elopement including only your photographers, officiant, and yourselves will be restricted to those locations. Thankfully, the Park is less restrictive on locations we can go for portraits, like we did for this shoot. So we like to recommend holding your ceremony outside of the Park at any number of beautiful locations (we know of so many in the area!) and then heading into the Park for your portraits together. That way we can get amazing pictures while still maintaining a good standing with the Park Service.
If you would like any additional info about Zion National Park, feel free to reach out to us, we'd love to help!