Epic Buena Vista Hiking Elopement

Cortney and Wes are avid hikers and backpackers and spending their wedding day in the mountains they loved seemed like a no brainer. They dreamed up a day of epic views and alpine lakes, of feeling no rush and lots of time together.

We met before sunrise on a July morning and began our drive up the four wheel road to the trailhead. As the warm July sun kissed the Colorado wilderness, Cortney and Wes strapped on their backpacks and ventured into the rugged terrain, ready to exchange vows amidst the splendor of untamed landscapes.

The trail started among the trees and then opened up onto incredible views. The elevation increased as we headed up towards the lake, crossing creeks and even finding a surprise waterfall. As we got above tree line and got our first view of the lake, we couldn’t help but say “wow” over and over again. The journey to this hidden gem was no easy feat, a seven-mile trek, but it was beyond worth it.

Once at the lake, we all paused to take in the awe-inspiring scenery, the tranquil lake shimmering like a jewel amidst the wilderness. The water was an incredible blue color and the late snowmelt resulted in thousands of wildflowers. After catching our breaths, Cortney and Wes separated briefly, each changing into wedding attire, anticipation building with each passing moment.

As they reunited for their first look, the love and excitement radiated between them. Surrounded by towering peaks and vibrant wildflowers, it truly felt like they were the only two people in the world at that moment. After the first look, the couple walked around the lake and carefully picked out their ceremony spot. They exchanged heartfelt vows, their words echoing across the stillness of the lake.

With the ceremony complete, it was time to celebrate! Keeping the tradition of a first dance, the couple twirled and dance and dipped under the July sky with wildflowers surrounding them (but not under their feet because that would go against Leave No Trace). A simple picnic followed, but food outside with the mountains after a hike always tastes better.

The adventure was far from over. Eager to explore further, they embarked on short hike, this time to a second lake offering panoramic views of a Colorado 14er in the distance. Setting up camp, the three of us took a break for a minute, its so important to slow down and be in the moment on such a big day!

After awhile, it came time for us to part ways and as I headed down the trail, I looked back and was able to see Cortney and Wes sitting side by side near the tent. Amidst the wilderness of Colorado, they found not only each other but also a deeper connection to the world around them—a love story written in the language of mountains, lakes, and wildflowers.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Yes, I'm LGBTQ+ Friendly. Inclusion & diversity matter to me. Feeling loved and supported on your day is for everyone.


© 2024 Samantha immer photo | TERMS | SITE CREDIT