Horsetooth Reservoir elopement

Horsetooth Reservoir Elopement Guide

Horsetooth Reservoir is located right outside of Fort Collins, Colorado, and is a popular place for elopements and engagement sessions. Photographers always need a photography permit from Larimer County to work here, which ranges from a $25 single use permit to a $150 annual permit that covers all locations on Larimer County Parks & Open Spaces. You can easily apply for your permit online, but will need to submit a certificate of insurance to complete your application.

For elopements, you only need a photography permit as long as the group size is under 20 people, including the couple, guests, photographer, and any other vendors. If the wedding is larger than 20 people, you can either rent a group pavilion, or look into a Special Event permit.

There is also a $10/vehicle entrance fee to Horsetooth Reservoir.

Horsetooth Reservoir Elopement in winter, Fort Collins wedding photographer

Because Horsetooth Reservoir is a very popular recreation area right outside of a large college town, there are always other people around here. If you’re looking for privacy, plan your photos for a weekday at sunrise or sunset. Weekends, especially in summer, are busy here, and it can be hard to find parking in the best locations.

Horsetooth Reservoir engagement session
The reservoir’s water level sinks throughout the summer, and looks low like this by mid-September.

Horsetooth is a big area—the reservoir is seven miles long! There are many great locations around the shore, so either head up there to scout it for yourself, or work with a photographer who can take you to the best spots. Despite being busy, it’s beautiful up there!

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