At the end of a secluded dirt road, you’ll find one of the most jaw-dropping places to elope in Grand Canyon National Park – Shoshone Point. With a stunning 180º view of the Grand Canyon around you, babbling creeks below, and rocky peaks in the distance, having a Shoshone Point wedding will have you feeling like you’re on top of the world!
If you’re considering getting married in the Grand Canyon or eloping in Arizona, this guide will tell you everything you need to know about planning a Shoshone Point elopement.
Though it’s a somewhat popular location in Grand Canyon National Park, Shoshone Point is fairly secluded and can be confusing to get to since it’s unmarked! The trail head is about 3.2 miles east of the Grand Canyon Visitor’s Center off Highway 64. Take a left onto highway 64 from South Entrance Road, and if you’ve reached mile marker 246, you’ve gone too far!
There’s a gate on your left (the north side of the road) that leads to Shoshone Point Trail. When you get your wedding permit, you’ll get a gate code so you can drive down the 1-mile road (weather permitting), or you can park at the trailhead and walk! If you need transportation or have more than a few guests at your wedding, you can arrange a shuttle to take you up to the parking lot, since the parking lot is pretty small and can’t accommodate more than 5 vehicles.
About Shoshone Point Elopements
When you get married at Grand Canyon National Park, you’re limited in the places you can have your ceremony and reception – you need to choose from a list of pre approved spots. Shoshone Point is one of them, and it’s the only outdoor location where you can have your reception – this is great if you want to host guests after you tie the knot and celebrate the beginning of your marriage!
Shoshone Point has lots of amenities, including picnic tables, a pavilion, grills, trash cans, and a toilet. You can have up to 85 people there, but the parking lot is really small, so you’ll want to plan ahead if you’re expecting more than 5 cars to come to your wedding! Luckily, when you reserve Shoshone Point, you’ll get full access to it and it’ll be closed to the public for the duration of your reservation.
When to Have Your Shoshone Point Elopement
Events at Shoshone Point are only allowed between May 15 and October 15, so knowing what to expect when it comes to weather and crowds during this time is important when planning your elopement!
May through October are the best times for an elopement in Arizona, so you really can’t go wrong with choosing a date within the reservation season. It’s a bit cooler in spring and fall, but that can be nice if you don’t love to spend the day in the hot sun. Keep in mind that you may run into some snow in late spring or early fall but, since it’s on the South Rim, it’s not very common to have snow at Shoshone Point – but you might get a nice view of some snow dusting the mountains in the distance. The days in the summer are long and the sun is usually shining, so you won’t have to worry too much about getting caught in the rain!
You’ll also need to consider the day of the week and the time of day for your ceremony. Your permit is good for up to 6 hours, so deciding what time of day works best for you is going to be important – I would suggest a sunrise or sunset elopement to get the best lighting and prettiest views! You can always head to other areas of the park to take photos before or after your ceremony too.
The most popular times to visit Grand Canyon National Park are during the summer, on weekends, and on holidays, so you’ll want to consider that when you’re planning your ceremony and try to plan for a slower time of the week. Though you’ll have exclusive use of Shoshone Point with your reservation, knowing what to expect outside of your ceremony spot will help you navigate getting there, parking, and exploring other areas in the park!
Shoshone Point Wedding Permit
Grand Canyon National Park requires that you reserve Shoshone Point if you’re having any sort of event there, so after you’ve decided when you want to tie the knot, you’ll need to apply for a permit through the National Park Service. You can apply up to one year in advance, so to be sure that your ideal wedding day is available, I would suggest that you do so as soon as you decide on a day, or whenever the application window opens – whichever comes later! When you apply for your permit, you’ll have to pay the $500 application fee, which is non-refundable.
Leave No Trace
Keeping nature beautiful is a team effort! When you practice Leave No Trace principles, you can help make sure that the great outdoors can be enjoyed by future generations. Shoshone Point has a few specific rules to follow to preserve the landscape. Some locations in the park – like Shoshone Point – have trash cans, but if they don’t, you should remember to clean up after yourself any time that you go into nature, including organic matter like flower petals and orange peels! Things like flowers, archways, balloons, chairs, and amplified sound aren’t allowed to keep the park clean and peaceful for other visitors.
Here are the 7 principles of Leave No Trace:
- Plan ahead and prepare.
- Travel and camp on durable surfaces.
- Dispose of waste properly.
- Leave what you find.
- Minimize campfire impacts (be careful with fire).
- Respect wildlife.
- Be considerate of other visitors.
Shoshone Point Wedding Packages
Your wedding day should feel authentically you – just like all your other adventures together! And as an elopement photographer, it’s my job to help you plan the wedding day of your dreams.That’s why my Shoshone Point wedding packages are carefully curated for each couple – from learning about all the things that make your love unique to being the ultimate adventure buddy on your elopement day, I’ll be there every step of the way!
If you’re ready to start planning your Shoshone Point elopement or want to learn more about my Shoshone Point wedding packages, contact me!