There’s nothing on Earth like a Phoenix sunset, painting hues of pink, purple, and orange across the sky. It’s one of the many reasons I love the desert, and so do a lot of my eloping couples! One of the best parts about Phoenix is there are so many amazing locations within a couple of hours. You don’t have to drive forever and ever into the endless desert to find the perfect spot.
When you’re looking for the perfect place to say “I Do,” you want it to fully encapsulate the love you have for each other. But sometimes, finding the perfect spot is difficult. Lucky for you, I’ve put together a list of some of my favorite off-the-beaten-path elopement destinations close to Phoenix.
You will not be disappointed with the Lost Dutchman State Park, just a short drive from Phoenix. This Arizona staple provides a magical backdrop and is perfect for adventurous couples of all levels—so couples who want the views but not the exercise, this one’s for you! But for more adventurous couples, there are also more moderate to difficult hikes that boast unbelievable views. Plus, if you want a base for your elopement, you can stay in one of the park’s cute, cozy cabins.
Yavapai Point trail is a spot that overlooks Lake Pleasant—a gorgeous bright blue lake surrounded by incredible desert flowers, cacti, and foliage. This is a moderate hike, so all my adventurous couples out there, this one’s for you! There is absolutely nothing like hiking this trail and experiencing the jaw-dropping view at the top. And let’s not forget to mention the trail provides just as many satisfying views along the way. You can’t go wrong choosing this spot to exchange your most intimate, loving words to one another.
Just a couple of hours north of Phoenix is the iconic Sedona. While not technically an off-the-beaten-path location, there are several spots in and around Sedona that are hidden gems. The drive from Phoenix is well worth it for some of the most beautiful red rocks you’ll ever see. Plus, the downtown part of Sedona is just as magical and cute, making it the perfect place to enjoy a celebratory dinner together or grab a coffee in the morning before you head out on your elopement hike!
The Superstition Mountains are some of the most incredible sites to see in Arizona. Another iconic spot just under an hour outside of Phoenix—if you want classic desert vibes, this place is it. From saguaros and prickly pears to red rocks and desert flowers, this location is perfect for adventurous couples of all levels. Plus, if you’re into sunrise or sunset elopements like me, this is the perfect place to catch those epic color-changing skies while you exchange your vows. It’s hard to beat the impressive beauty of the Superstition Mountains.
You absolutely cannot go wrong with an Arizona elopement at the Salt River. Just outside of Phoenix, this river is like a little hidden oasis in the desert. In the summer, this spot becomes the go-to for everyone looking to escape the heat. But there are plenty of trails and off-the-beaten-path spots to find your perfect ceremony location. The Salt River is one of the most beautiful places to elope around Phoenix—with sparkling waters in a cactus-filled desert, it’s magic. And you just might get to see a few wild horses here! Oh, and I can’t forget to mention Saguaro Lake, a reservoir on the Salt River—this spot is absolutely breathtaking, making it perfect for elopements.
The desert is so magical and whimsical—and if I’m being honest, there are so many more off-the-beaten-path elopement spots. But would they really be so secretive if I listed them all here?! If you’re ready to plan your perfect elopement, I’m more than ready to help! I’m more than just your photographer, I’ll help you plan all the little details, including finding the absolute best spot to exchange your most intimate words. So what are you waiting for? Fill out my contact form today and let’s start planning your desert elopement!