Larsen Photo Co. is authorized by the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, to conduct services in Rocky Mountain National Park.
About Upper Beaver Meadows
Upper Beaver Meadows is one of the thirteen designated wedding ceremony locations in Rocky Mountain National Park. It’s located at the end of Upper Beaver Meadows Road, a short seven minute drive from the Beaver Meadows entrance on the east side of the park.
Upper Beaver Meadows (or UBM, for short) is one of my favorite wedding ceremony sites in RMNP, as it’s one of the most private and secluded. While there are a couple of different hikes that being here, the trailhead is never busy, and it’s rare to see other hikers on the trails here. It’s also far enough away from all the main roads that you can’t hear traffic going by.
Add in the wide open meadow and the views of Longs Peak in the background, and it’s a pretty incredible place to get married! The views are similar to those at 3M Curve, the closest ceremony site to UBM, but 3M Curve has a smaller max guest count, and is closer to the road.
You can have up to 30 people at Upper Beaver Meadows for a wedding ceremony. This includes the couple, guests, and all vendors like a photographer or officiant. You cannot bring chairs, furniture, or decor to elopements here, so plan to keep it simple with your guests standing for the ceremony. (If you prefer to have your guests seated, or want to bring a ceremony arch, Moraine Park Amphitheater is the only place in RMNP that allows this.)
Practical info about Upper Beaver Meadows
Ceremony size: 30 people max
Number of cars: 10 cars total
Permit cost: $300
Address: 99FP+48 Estes Park, Colorado
Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/jeSCqVWHYdfAQ43x6
Upper Beaver Meadows Wedding Permit
The wedding permit for Upper Beaver Meadows costs $300, and is reserved through Rocky Mountain National Park. Reservations are available up to a year in advance, on the first day of the month. That means reservations for July 2023 go live on July 1, 2022, etc.
I cover the $300 wedding permit for couples who book me for photography, since I do over a dozen elopements in Rocky Mountain National Park every year and work directly with their permit office.
You’ll also need a $30 day pass/national park entrance fee for each car that’s driving into the park for your wedding. If your guests will be in the area for more than a day, it’s worth getting a week-pass for $35 instead.
Learn more about getting a wedding permit for Upper Beaver Meadows from the National Park Service.
Best time to elope at Upper Beaver Meadows
The road to Upper Beaver Meadows is closed to cars from mid-October through mid-May, with the exact dates being dependent on snow and weather conditions. Located at one of the lowest elevations inside Rocky Mountain National Park, snow does melt earlier here than at locations like Sprague Lake and Bear Lake.
I always recommend that couples who want to elope in Rocky Mountain National Park choose a weekday (Mon-Thu) if at all possible, as it makes a huge difference in how much privacy you’ll have. While Upper Beaver Meadows is fairly secluded, you’ll still need to deal with lines at the entrance gate if you elope here on a weekend.
At the beginning of summer, the vegetation will be lush and green. By mid-August, it’ll start to look more yellow, and come September you’ll get yellow and orange fall colors everywhere.
Because the meadow faces south, you’ll have good light here at both sunrise and sunset. The sun can be harsh in the middle of the day, but many couples still choose to do their ceremony midday, so they can do a hike and couples portraits at sunrise or sunset instead.
Want to learn more about the different ceremony locations in Rocky Mountain National Park? I have a whole guide on elopements in my favorite national park. And if you’re looking for a photographer for your elopement at Upper Beaver Meadows, please reach out—I’d love to chat more about how I can help you!
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.