I have always wanted to be atop a mountain at sunrise watching those first golden rays creeping over a distant horizon and showering me in those warming rays! I finally had that incredible experience and I got to pair it with shooting an Elopement; albeit an editorial one. Sunrise hiking elopements are one of my new fave type of Elopements in the Rockies.
I have grown up at the base of the Canadian Rocky Mountains and I spent many a summer canoeing, hiking, horseback riding, bike riding, and camping in the mountains so I feel that they are wedged deep into my soul and will always hold a sense of wonder to me! Combine them with getting to capture an Intimate, Carefree Elopement overlooking one of the most iconic lakes known worldwide and I was over the moon!! Totally made it worthwhile to drive out to Lake Louise for a 3am start hiking up past Lake Agnes and the infamous Teahouse nestled along it’s shores, to continue up the the Big BeeHive and finish overlooking the Fairmont Lake Louise Hotel watching over the shimmering blue waters dotted with canoers waiting for the sunrise and then capturing such incredible images.
Hiking Elopements for Sunrise
If you have dreamed of saying your vows at the top of a majestic mountain far above the world, with the first rays of the sun kissing your faces then you need to hike, in the dark with headlamps and all sorts of noises in the forest (creepy), hours before the sun greets the day…but trust me when I day it’s 100% WORTH IT!! There is no experience like it!
This Elopement was EVERYTHING I have been dreaming of and I WANT MORE!!!!
I am DEATHLY afraid of heights, the dark, and things that rustle in the dark, so it was a huge leap of faith and courage to hike in the pitch black on an unfamiliar trail with a headlamp that doesn’t reach nearly far enough to see what that sound you heard in the trees was!! Again so worth it!!!! I am pretty sure I was being stalked by a cougar as I got far behind the group due to some unexpected nausea from a medication I take regularly when I am sleeping…DUH!! *facepalm*…but I didn’t get eaten and I am here for all the gorgeous images shared here!!
How to Make it Happen:
- Pick a Trail/Mountain & familiarize yourself with it on a map
- Find out what time sunrise is on the date you’ve chosen in the location the mountain is
- Figure out the estimated time to hike the trail to the summit (or the view you want) and add at least 2-2.5 hours just in case something happens, and so you can get ready at the top before the sun is officially up
- Pack all the items you need for your elopement in your backpack and make sure you have layers for hiking, as the day will warm up after sunrise. Good hiking boots, headlamp, bear spray, poles (if needed), snacks, hand warmers, first aid kit..to name the essentials. I provide a whole customized list for all my couples tailored to their Elopement and what they are doing.
- Park at the Trailhead in plenty of time to hike up the trail and get into your outfits and put on the finishing touches so you’re ready for your vows and photos when the sun peaks over distant peaks!
- Get ready at the top and start your epic elopement as that golden glow encompasses you!
- Hike down when you are done and carry on with your Elopement Day!
*Hiking for Sunrise will usually give you the privacy you want before the “regular” hikers and tourists are crowding the mountain as well as that amazing light that your Photographer is always swooning over! Then the rest of the day is yours to do all kinds of fun things together! You also avoid the heat of the day in Summer by hiking in the cooler hours of pre-dawn which is ideal so you are not a sweaty mess at the top for your ceremony! If you don’t want to include guests at your elopement it’s an easy way to eliminate almost everyone with no arguments! 😉
After you scroll through this insane elopement gallery then you need to hit that contact button and let’s plan your Mountaintop Elopement! We can get there by foot if you are the real adventurous type and up for hiking in the dark, or we can take a helicopter for a really epic experience, although it will be directly after sunrise as they don’t take people before sunrise!
I have April & May availability for 2023 as well as July/Sep/Oct and the winter months are open still. 😉