The Best Guide to Eloping at Lost Gulch Overlook

Looking down upon Boulder, Colorado, just off of Flagstaff Road, Lost Gulch Overlook sits nestled in Flagstaff’s wilderness. From Lost Gulch Overlook, you’ll catch sunrise or sunset with an unobstructed view of Boulder and beyond, as far as the eye can see. 

Lost Gulch Overlook is a super popular elopement location in Boulder. Its ease of access makes it a desirable destination for portraits, picnics, and quiet weddings without needing to hike far. Depending on the time of year, you’ll be able to park your car close by, and walk just a few hundred feet to the overlook! 

As a Colorado wedding and elopement photographer, I’ve seen my fair share of Flagstaff engagements, weddings, and elopements. I know Lost Gulch Overlook like the back of my hand! So, in this guide, I’ll tell you all you need to know about eloping at Lost Gulch Overlook, and help you decide whether or not this is the location for you. 

a couple looks at each other lovingly at sunset on the edge of lost gulch overlook for their boulder engagment photos by Alex medvick

When Is the Best Time of Year to Elope at Lost Gulch Overlook?

Lost Gulch Overlook is beautiful all year long. Your view from the overlook will change with the seasons, and of course, so will the weather. In the summer, Colorado gets HOT. You’re closer to the sun, and up at the overlook, you’re looking at an elevation of 7,333 feet. Be sure to wear a high SPF sunscreen, and drink plenty of water if you’re thinking of eloping up there in the summer. 

In the winter, Flagstaff gets quite snowy, windy, cold, and at least a little icy. Though Flagstaff Mountain and Lost Gulch Overlook are almost always accessible despite the time of year, you’ll need to prepare for the challenge of going up there in the snow. A four-wheel drive vehicle is highly recommended and be prepared for the elements outside. 

On a month-to-month basis, I would suggest you avoid eloping on the weekends at Lost Gulch Overlook. Flagstaff is a popular location. Its proximity to Boulder makes it a go-to spot for hiking and adventures. Though Lost Gulch Overlook won’t always have a crowd to compete with, you can’t expect to be completely alone up there, even during the week. The only way to avoid a bulk of the tourists and locals on the trails and at popular photo locations is to head up the mountain on a weekday.

What Do We Have to Do to Elope at Lost Gulch Overlook?

Eloping at Lost Gulch Overlook is super easy. Once you’ve received your marriage certificate through any county in Colorado, you simply show up to the Overlook, say your vows, fill out the certificate, and return it! Congrats! You did it! You eloped!

Lost Gulch Overlook does not require a permit for couples who are eloping and only bring a photographer. Your photographer will need to have an OSMP commercial permit in order to take your photos. However, if you’re looking to have guests at your elopement, or you want to bring items with you like decorations or chairs, you’ll have to reserve another event space on Flagstaff, like Sunrise Amphitheater or Halfway House. 

Lost Gulch Overlook prohibits the use of any objects like arches or chairs. Nothing that can “alter” the area. In short, for an overlook elopement, only you and your partner and photographer are allowed. Wanting to have other guests, decorations, or items will require that you elope somewhere else on the mountain. 

Where Can We Have Our Reception or Dinner Afterwards? 

Luckily, Flagstaff Mountain is a hop and a skip away from Boulder. Boulder is well known for its wide variety of venues, restaurants, and food options. I may never be able to eat at or visit all the venue options in Boulder, but I can at least tell you about some of my personal favorites.

Rembrandt Yard:

Rembrandt Yard is a super cool space in downtown Boulder with floor-to-ceiling windows to showcase the stunning views of Flagstaff Mountain and the surrounding bustling city. Rembrandt Yard offers special elopement packages, and partners with some amazing vendors to create a custom elopement experience. 

entryway to Rembrandt Yard wedding venue in boulder

Flagstaff House:

Flagstaff House is an extremely convenient location to head to after your elopement. Given its location being only about 10 minutes from Lost Gulch Overlook, you’ll be dining on the side of the very same mountain you just eloped on. You and your guests will enjoy the same stunning view you had from the overlook from the comfort of your reception dining table. Plus, the food is delicious.

The Studio (Boulder):

The Studio is a super funky space to host your reception in. Boasting an eclectic, funky, and fun atmosphere, this space doesn’t disappoint.  Market lights, an airstream trailer, and garage doors that open up make this space a super customizable experience for a couple looking to have fun after their elopement. 

Corrida Boulder:

A Spanish-inspired steakhouse with stellar cocktails and a rooftop view of Flagstaff Mountain to dine at following your elopement. This restaurant is a Boulder favorite and is sure to please. The rooftop can be rented out to allow you and your guests privacy, and to admire the view of Boulder and the Rockies beyond.

My Recommendations and Tips for a Lost Gulch Overlook Elopement

Lost Gulch Overlook is a generally easy spot to elope. You won’t need a permit to be there, and you’ll barely have to hike if you don’t want to. Depending on the time of year, it’ll be a breeze to get married while looking over Boulder, Colorado. Plus, there are plenty of places to rent out or go to afterward to celebrate. 

But keep in mind, this location won’t be for everyone. Here are my general tips and tricks for eloping at Lost Gulch Overlook to help you decide if it’s right for you.

  1. As always, my #1 piece of advice to all my Colorado couples is HYDRATE OR DIEDRATE! While you’re not hiking far, the elevation in Colorado can make things tough. The elevation at Lost Gulch Overlook is over 7,000 feet. You’re gonna wanna have water on hand that high up.
  2. There’s a $5 parking fee for non-Boulder County residents. 
  3. Lost Gulch Overlook cannot be reserved, and it’s a popular location for hikers and photo sessions. If you want a similar look to the overlook without the extra company, let’s have a chat. I’ve got some locations up my sleeve that you might be into.
  4. You won’t be able to have guests at this location. Just you, your partner, and the photographer only. 
  5. Be prepared for the elements. Lost Gulch Overlook is an exposed location on the mountain, making it susceptible to rain, snow, wind, and sun.

What if Lost Gulch Overlook Is Too Busy?

Lost Gulch Overlook can be fairly busy! While it’s epic, it’s not the most private of spots. It’s not an area that you can specifically reserve. If you’re looking for a similarly epic (or even better!) but more secluded spot to elope in Boulder, let’s chat! I’ve got a few locations in my back pocket.

Hey, I'm Alex

It’s awesome to meet you here on my blog. I’m pumped to have you here, and ready to help you plan your adventurous wedding wherever that takes you. I’m a wedding and elopement photographer based out of Denver, Colorado – but don’t let that stop you from talking to me. If we’re a great fit for each other, I will travel anywhere in the world.

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