Blue Lakes, Ridgway, Colorado Elopement: Saber and Erik’s Hiking Elopement

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We are an Elopement Photography / Videography duo based in Fort Colins, Colorado. 

We love all things adventure and want to help you plan + document the best adventure elopement possible.

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Bailee & Jake



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You may have heard the San Juan Mountain Range in Southern Colorado referred to as the “Switzerland of the United States.” And for good reason! This whole area of Colorado is literally jaw-dropping. So when Saber and Erik reached out to us wanting the ultimate Colorado elopement wedding experience, we knew Blue Lakes in Ridgway would be perfect for them! Learn all about how to elope at Blue Lakes in Ridgway, Colorado in this blog.

First Off, Where Is Blue Lakes?

Blue Lakes is located near Ridgway, Colorado nestled in the heart of the San Juan Mountain Range. It is an 8.7 mile round trip hike that has access to three gorgeous, turquoise alpine lakes. The first lake sits right at treeline and has incredibly dramatic views of the mountain range. This trail is open year-round but the best months to elope here are July-September. You can even bring your dog! You do need an all-wheel or 4×4 vehicle to get to the trailhead, it definitely has some rough areas and I would probably add 20-30 more minutes to your drive time than you think you need.

Blue Lakes is a strenuous, 8.7 round trip hike to one of the most beautiful areas in Colorado. Blue Lakes also sits at the foot of Mt Sneffels, one of Colorado’s 14ers. You can learn more about this hike here!

This location would be great at either sunrise or sunset as the first lake sits at treeline, but be aware that if a thunderstorm rolled in we would have to seek shelter in the trees and wait it out. Sunrise is usually our recommendation, especially if you want to hike to the other lakes as they are above the treeline.

Where Should We Stay If We Are Eloping at Blue Lakes?

If you are eloping here, I would recommend staying in Ridgway or Ouray. The drive up to the trail up to the trailhead is pretty rough in some places, but nothing an all-wheel drive or 4×4 vehicle couldn’t handle! Ridgway will be the closest town to the trailhead, though.

If you wanted, you could totally make this into a two-day backpacking elopement! You could hike up the day before, set up camp, and wake up at sunrise for your elopement. This would be one of the most incredible places to have a backpacking elopement! If you’re looking for some backpacking elopement inspo, this blog is for you!

What To Pack For Your Blue Lakes, Ridgway, Colorado Elopement

Like I mentioned above, this hike is not for the faint of heart. It is a strenuous, 8.7 mile round trip hike. But if you prep and plan, you can do it! If you know that this is your elopement destination, it is never to early to start preparing to hike at that elevation. Here are my recommendations for prepping/packing for this hike:

  • Drink a lot of water every day leading up to your elopement
  • Get a good pair of hiking shoes and take them on several hikes to break them in before this hike
  • It would be a good idea to do several hikes leading up to this hike
  • Arrive to your lodging in Colorado a few days earlier to give your body a chance to acclimate to the elevation. I recommend staying in Ridgway or Ouray.
  • I’m a firm believer that good socks make all the difference. I personally love a tall wool sock. Bring an extra pair with you just in case
  • You’ll want a decent sized backpack that can hold everything you need for the day as we will be gone for 8+ hours
  • Two water bottles per person, a bladder for your backpack, or both! You’ll want lots of water for this hike
  • Food! The best part! Lots of trail snacks, a breakfast, and a lunch
  • Warm layers! Even in August, we got snowed on and it was really cold for a little bit. Bring warm layers like gloves, hat, baselayer, t-shirt, shorts, warm coat, leggings, rain jacket, and socks. You can always shed layers if you get too warm but you can’t add more if you don’t have any
  • A first aid kit
  • Vow books
  • Picnic items
  • Florals (if you have them)
  • Any other personal item you want for your elopement

1:00 AM Wake-Up Call

Afternoon thunderstorms are no joke in Colorado, and almost like clockwork. We can pretty much count on one to roll in every day in the summertime. This is why we suggest opting for a sunrise elopement during the summer months, especially if you know that you’re going to be above the treeline. Saber and Erik chose a sunrise elopement for this reason, but also a sunrise elopement usually means more privacy and less people. Both were true in Saber and Eriks case!

We knew we had to start our hike at 3:00 AM to make sure that we were at our ceremony location before that sunrise alpenglow. So we met them at the trailhead at 2:30 AM to give us plenty of time to wake up a little but and get our stuff ready. With only the moonlight and our headlamps, we set off on our journey to Blue Lakes. This trail is rated as a challenging route, but luckily in the dark it did not seem nearly as bad!

Blue Lakes Elopement Hike

Even in August, we were met with snow, rain, and sleet on our hike. It’s best to be overly prepared at all times of the year, even in the summertime but especially at elevation. It can snow any time at higher elevations, even in the summer. I recommend pants, gloves, a warm coat, and hiking boots with wool socks all year long.

I remember when Erik and Saber first reached out to us and said that they wanted the ultimate elopement experience with a long, strenuous hike that they would feel really accomplished with. They said that they really wanted to work for the views and the hike to Blue Lakes did not disappoint! It is certainly a strenuous hike but we made it in under three hours. Erik and Saber were like mountain goats!

It is so fun to meet couples who want to do long, strenuous hikes to gorgeous locations like Blue Lakes. One of the things that we love most about our job is that we get the opportunity to connect with couples in the most genuine way. When you’re hiking for three hours with a couple, you certainly get to know each other very quickly! This is honestly one of our favorite things!

The First Look

Saber and Erik chose to pack their wedding attire and change when we got to Blue Lakes. I cannot think of a better changing room than the great outdoors with Blue Lakes as your backdrop. They even brought a floral collar for their best doggo, River. I just want to take a moment to say that River was an absolute champion for the entire day! He is the sweetest boy and it was so much fun having him witness Erik and Saber’s wedding.

Erik and Saber’s first look was quite possibly the most emotional and heart warming first look I’ve ever seen. It is one of the reasons we are huge fans of eloping; it really gives you space to be vulnerable and present. Eloping gives you the opportunity to feel exactly what you’re feeling and a safe space to be able to express those emotions without judgement. We love taking a back seat to a first look and really giving the couple space to soak in every second with the first look.

The Ceremony

After a tear-filled first look, Erik and Saber took a quick warm-up break and then found the perfect spot for their ceremony. I cry at every single elopement I witness, it’s just something that you can count on if you hire me for your elopement lol! But when I tell you that I sobbed behind my camera during Erik and Saber’s vow exchange, I’m not lying!

The love and respect that these two have for each other is unlike anything I have ever seen. I truly believe that their souls knew each other in some previous state and when they found each other they just knew love had existed there previously. It’s difficult to articulate, but their souls understood each other and it was an absolute joy to document their love story.

Erik and Saber are two of the most genuine and authentic people I have ever met. They just radiate love, acceptance, and kindness and they make you feel so warm and comfortable. Like you’ve been friends for a lifetime. So it was no wonder that their incredibly heartfelt vows matched exactly that; kindness, love, and complete acceptance for one another. As the sunrise light peaked over Blue Lakes, they professed their love for each other and promised forever. We probably should have warned you to grab your tissue box before you watch their elopement video!

After their vows, they sealed their love with a handfasting ceremony. And through the most joyful of tears, they shared their first kiss in this new chapter of life. It was such a beautiful moment, just the two of them with River and the gorgeous San Juan mountains as their witnesses. I cannot think of a more lovely way to get married than at Blue Lakes, Colorado.

Post Ceremony Picnic + Letter Reading

After their ceremony, they picked a spot for their post ceremony picnic and to read letters from their families. I absolutely love that even though their families weren’t physically present, they wrote them letters to read on their wedding day. What a sweet way to include your family! If you want other ideas on how to include your family in your wedding day, this blog is for you! Erik and Saber celebrated with a cupcake and a champagne pop!

Exploring Blue Lakes

After the morning warm-up break, we headed out on the trail to explore the two other Blue Lakes before heading back to the cars. At the cars, Erik and Saber’s sweet pup, River, signed their marriage license. It was the perfect end to the perfect day! We were all completely exhausted at the end of the day, but it was the happiest kind of exhaustion. The kind where you cannot stop smiling even though you don’t think you could take another step! It was an absolute joy getting to document Erik and Saber’s Blue Lakes Colorado elopement.

Ready To Plan Your Blue Lakes Colorado Elopement?

We love a good adventure elopement that you have to work for! If an adventurous elopement at Blue Lakes in Ridgway, Colorado sounds right up your alley, get in touch with us today! We’d love to help you plan your elopement and document your love story. We can’t wait to meet you!

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We're a husband and wife Colorado elopement photographer and videographer. We're two easy-going humans who love the outdoors and are passionate about Colorado adventure elopements. We wholeheartedly believe that saying your vows in the great outdoors is the best way to get married! Not only will we document your elopement, but we'll help you throughout the entire process to make sure that you have the most incredible wedding experience! 

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