Sapphire Point Overlook is a popular, affordable wedding ceremony site between Keystone and Breckenridge on Swan Mountain Road in Summit County, Colorado that’s perfect for elopements and intimate weddings. The overlook offers a beautiful view of Lake Dillon, with the Gore and Tenmile mountain ranges in the background.
Want to learn more about how to rent Sapphire Point for your own wedding? Read on!
How to book Sapphire Point Overlook
If you want to get married at Sapphire Point Overlook, you need to reserve the site through Recreation.gov. It shows up online as a campground reservation, but there’s no camping here — just the overlook that’s used for wedding ceremonies.
In order to reserve Sapphire Point, you need to select a two-hour time block: 6am-8am, 8am-10am, 10am-12pm, 12pm-2pm, 2pm-4pm, 4pm-6pm, 6pm-8pm, and 8pm-10pm. It’s important that you only occupy the overlook during the two hours you have booked, as it’s likely to be booked for other weddings both before and after your time slot. If you want more time, and to not worry about someone else running late or showing up early for their own wedding, book two or more consecutive time slots.
Booking Sapphire Point Overlook costs $110 for two hours, plus a $10 reservation fee.
You can reserve Sapphire Point up to six months in advance, and reservations are made available on a rolling basis. This means that if you want to book it for January 1, 2022, you can make the reservation on July 1, 2021 at 8am mountain time. If you want to book a specific date and time, especially holiday weekends like Memorial Day and Labor Day, I highly recommend setting your alarm for six months out and making sure you get the reservation as soon as it’s available, as weekends do book fast. (Wondering what’s the best month to elope in Colorado? I have a post on that.)
Sapphire Point Overlook Wedding Rules
01. Weddings at Sapphire Point Overlook can have up to 35 people total, including the couple, guests, and all vendors. (Anything over 20 people feels packed, in my opinion.)
02. The parking area can accommodate 22 cars, but many spots will be taken by tourists and hikers, so consider renting one or more shuttles or have your guests carpool in as few cars as possible to guarantee that everyone is able to park.
03. Someone at your wedding needs to have a printed copy of your reservation available to show rangers if asked.
04. You must remove all furniture, flowers, trash, and other items from the overlook at the end of your reservation. Avoid flower petals, rice, confetti, and other thrown items that are hard to pick up. Leave it better than you found it is always best practice!
05. You cannot block the trail that runs behind the overlook, as hikers and visitors to the area are allowed to pass by, even during your ceremony. Most people are quiet and courteous when they see that a wedding is taken place, but you will occasionally have strangers hanging out on the trails to watch.
Insider Tips for Sapphire Point Weddings
As a local Colorado photographer who has shot many weddings and elopements at Sapphire Point Overlook over the years, I want to share some tips before you book it for yourself.
Most importantly, I want you to know that this place is incredibly busy on weekends, especially between Memorial Day and Labor Day, and on any long weekends in winter. The parking lot is often full all day, and there are lots of people on the trail and at the overlook. If you want to elope here on a weekend, you will have other people around, and have to be okay with that. For the best chance of having the overlook to yourselves for your wedding, plan to elope here on a weekday. It’s most quiet early in the morning and late in the evening, so 6am-8am, 8am-10am, and 6pm-8pm on weekdays are the best time slots for privacy.
It’s a great venue for couples who want to have their closest friends and family along for their ceremony, and who are willing to sacrifice some privacy for accessibility. If you’re dreaming of a quiet elopement in the mountains without other people around, there are so many better options around, and any local photographer can help you come up with alternatives.
If you want the best light for your ceremony, late afternoons and early evenings are your best option, as the sun will be coming from behind you and creating soft backlighting, instead of the more direct sun and harsh shadows of midday.
Sapphire Point Overlook is one of few ADA accessible wedding ceremony venues on public lands in Colorado. If you or any of your guests have trouble walking on uneven trails, this is a great alternative. The trail is wide enough for wheelchairs, although it is gravel, and slightly downhill on the way there, uphill on the way back again. It’s 0.1 miles, and about a five minute walk from the parking area to the overlook.
The trail to the overlook is not shoveled in winter, so if you are eloping at Sapphire Point between November and early May, you should plan to wear snow boots, hiking boots, or other shoes with good traction and that come up over your ankles. The trail is much more quiet in the winter months than summer, and it’s one of few places in Summit County where you can easily get mountain views without hiking through deep snow. Read more about winter elopements in Colorado here.
Sapphire Point Overlook Vendor Permits
If you’ve reserved Sapphire Point Overlook for your wedding, your photographer does not need a permit. But any other vendors like delivery of chair rentals and catering items is prohibited unless the vendor has a valid permit from the U.S. Forest Service. Vendors who have questions about permits should contact the Dillon Ranger District at 970-468-5400.
For more questions about Sapphire Point Overlook, contact the Dillon Ranger District. Please note that I am not a representative for the venue, and cannot answer questions about availability, reservations, or rules beyond what is covered in this guide.
I’m a local Colorado photographer who has done many weddings at Sapphire Point Overlook. If you’re interested in having me photograph your own wedding, check out my elopement prices, then contact me so we can schedule a time to chat more.
About Nina Larsen Reed
Nina Larsen Reed is an elopement photographer based in Boulder, Colorado. She plans and captures adventure elopements and intimate weddings, and has photographed over 200 couples across the Rocky Mountains since 2017.