Jerrin and Arthur got engaged while hiking in Colorado, so it was only natural for them to return for their elopement a year later. They wanted to spend the whole day on the trails, with breathtaking views and without a bunch of other strangers around, and ending with stargazing if the weather allowed for it.
We quickly narrowed it down to the San Juans—the perfect place to elope for couples who don’t mind that everything is a bit more effort, a bit further away, a bit more wild and remote, than the mountains closer to Denver. There are a couple of epic hikes in the Silverton/Ouray area that have gone viral on social media in the past year, so I was ecstatic when J&A also wanted to avoid the influencer hot spots and instead chose a hike that I’ve never seen used for an elopement before.
Now you know I won’t share exact locations here, but I will say that by the end of the hike, we were all joking that if anyone else wants to elope on the same trail, I will give them J&A’s phone number to give them a call first. This trail was no joke, and should not be attempted without proper preparation. With 9+ miles and over 2,000ft of elevation gain on one of the rockiest trails I’ve ever hiked, it was a workout.
We planned the hike so that we could attempt star photos while still on the trail, which means we finished the final two miles of descent well after dark. And while you normally expect a downhill hike to be fast and easy, the narrow trail and loose rock made it a slow, slippery, painstaking climb back down to the trailhead. Luckily we’d just seen one of the most incredible sunsets and moonrises over a breathtaking landscape, and the endorphin high sustained us long after our legs were ready to be done.
And if you can make it through an adventure like this, you can make it through anything. Thank you, Jerrin and Arthur, for the hike of a lifetime. I will never forget this one.