Why Elope in Death Valley National Park?
While the name itself sounds unpleasant, this underrated national park is one of the most unique and beautiful ones out there. In fact, it happens to be the lowest, driest, and hottest location in the United States! Not only that, but it’s over 3 million acres long, meaning finding a completely secluded area for a ceremony is definitely possible.
It’s no wonder you’re looking to plan a Death Valley elopement. With so many different landscapes to explore, this park is perfect for adventurous couples. This guide covers everything you need to know about how to elope within the park, including permit information, airport access, and even elopement packages! Let’s get it!
Where is Death Valley National Park?
Death Valley National Park is located in Southern California right on the border of Nevada near the Sequoia National Forest.
How Do I Get To Death Valley National Park?
The closest international airport to Death Valley is the McCarran International Airport located in Las Vegas, which is about 2 hours away from the park. Due to the park’s remoteness, there is going to be a bit of driving required to reach the entrances. Below are a few other accessible airports.
- McCarran International Airport (Las Vegas) – 2 hours
- St. George Regional Airport – 4 hours
- Ontario International Airport – 4.5 hours
- Los Angeles International Airport – 5 hours
It costs $30 per vehicle to enter the park and the pass is good for seven days.
Best Places to Elope in Death Valley National Park
One of the most awe-inspiring locations in the park is Artist Palette. The rolling hills bursting with color will make anyone’s jaw drop just looking at your photos. Sunrise and sunset are great times to get the most color in your photos. This is a more popular location for Death Valley elopements, so plan accordingly.
Zabriskie Point is a 0.4 mile roundtrip walk through the gorgeous desert terrain. This spot is one of the best to see the sunrise, as well as to stargaze. The area is also more popular, so keep this in mind.
Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes
The Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes are the most accessible dunes within the park. There are some incredible spots within the dunes that have epic views of the valley. Plus, they’re so large, meaning seclusion is possible!
Badwater Basin Salt Flats Trail
The Badwater Basin Salt Flats Trail is a 1.9 mile roundtrip hike to the lowest point in North America! The location is flat, mainly with mountainous backdrops. It’s great if you’re looking for something a bit more simple!
Dante’s View Trail
Dante’s View Trail is a 1 mile roundtrip hike that will reward you with one of the most inspiring views of the park. The trail itself towards the top gets a bit steep, so a small elopement with no more than 4 people is recommended.
Do I Need a Permit to Elope in Death Valley?
Yes, a special use permit is required to elope in Death Valley National Park. The total cost of the permit is $300, and the application must be submitted 30-60 days before your elopement. The sooner the better! Check out the steps below to get more information about obtaining a permit.
- Electrically fill out the permit application.
- Email the application and request to pay by credit card to email@example.com. If you’d prefer to pay by check, make the check out to “National Park Service” and mail it in with your application.
- Once approved, and if you’re paying with a credit card, you’ll receive an email with instructions to pay the $300 application fee.
Pro tip: Liability Insurance Certificate in the amount of $1,000,000 listing the United States as additional insured is required for the permit. As a photographer, I often cover this cost since my business has the insurance for it and add the $300 fee onto your ending balance.
To get more permit information, check out the official park website here.
When Is the Best Time to Elope in Death Valley?
Since Death Valley is the hottest place in the United States, summer should be avoided for elopements. Temperatures are regularly over 100 degrees, both during the day and night, which can make your elopement a very unpleasant experience.
Consider eloping in the fall during the months of October and November. The weather is quite pleasant during this time of year.
For an even more secluded experience, visit after Thanksgiving, but before Christmas. This is when the park experiences the least amount of visitors. Plus, the weather is amazing!
Most Romantic Places to Stay in Death Valley
Death Valley has a few different lodging options within the park for your elopement. If you prefer an Airbnb, the closest ones are about an hour away.
Hotels Within the Park
- The Inn at Death Valley
- The Oasis at Death Valley
- The Ranch at Death Valley
- Stovepipe Wells Village Hotel
- Death Valley Castle
- Peaceful Cabin Retreat
- Death Valley House of Desert Gold
- Designed to Death
- Modern Desert Home
Death Valley Elopement Tips
#1: There is no cell service. There is ZERO cell service in the park, so be prepared by downloading Google Maps offline and letting your friends and family know where you’ll be.
#2: Bring more water than you think. You can easily get dehydrated in a place as hot as Death Valley, so be sure to bring lots of food and water.
#3: Don’t forget the sunscreen. A sunburn is easily acquired in the desert. Don’t forget to bring some sunscreen!
Best Elopement Activities in Death Valley
- Drive the famous Artists Drive Scenic Loop to see amazing colors
- Stay after dark and go stargazing at one of the best places to see stars
- Reserve a campsite where you ca roast hotdogs and s’mores
- Enjoy a first dance after sunset
- Explore the multiple ghost towns near the park
- Check out Ubehebe Crater, the volcanic crater in the park
- Go on a guided tour around the park
Death Valley National Park Elopement Packages
I’m Brianna, a California elopement photographer who loves creating epic adventures for couples all around the world.
Death Valley Elopement Package Pricing
- 4 hours – 1.5 days of elopement coverage anywhere in California
- A personalized elopement planning experience with unlimited assistance
- Personalized elopement location recommendations
- Vendor, lodging, and activity recommendations
- Assistance and information to help you with permits, licenses, etc.
- 90+ page elopement planning guide filled with tips and tricks
- Customized elopement timelines
- Optional complimentary officiant services
- Online gallery with full resolution images and printing rights
- 24-48 hour sneak peeks to share with the world
- Travel fees to anywhere in California are already included
- Starting at $6,500
DON’T FORGET YOUR FREE ELOPEMENT GUIDE!
An all-in-one planning guide for all things elopements! Whether you’re hoping to hike through the mountains of Washington or sip a margarita on the beaches of California, this comprehensive elopement guide has everything you need to know about how to plan the perfect elopement.
YOU? YOU’RE THE KIND OF PERSON THAT GETS A LIL’ TEARY EYED LOOKING AT AN EPIC VIEW.
That moment when you turn to the person you’re with and ask, “Are you seeing this?” I live for it. Places with trees and mountains and soft breezes that make you say, “I can’t believe this place exists,” I spend pretty much all of my free time searching for and exploring them.
These places have always felt like home to me. And if you’re the kind of person who also feels more at home surrounded by trees than by people? Then we’ll get along really well. The Pacific Northwest is full of secret spots that are too special to share with just anyone. But it would make me happy to share them with you on your wedding day.
(I promise you won’t regret it.)
P.S. I’m Brianna, and I plan, craft, and capture elopements around the Pacific Northwest. My mission is to create custom, one-of-a-kind elopement experiences in the Pacific Northwest that allow couples to fully immerse themselves in the highest levels of excitement and wonder on a day designed exclusively for them.