Things to do in Denver when you're Married
January 4, 2016 8:14 AM   Subscribe

My partner and I will be taking advantage of Colorado's unique self-solemnizing law, which allows couples to marry themselves (no city official or pastor or even witnesses required.) That means we can create a meaningful marriage ceremony that appeals to us and only us. Thing is, we're from the midwest and need some ideas of great places to wed in Denver. No traditional wedding spots needed. We like hiking and legal marijuana smoking. Difficulty level: we want to do outdoorsy things in winter or early spring. We also enjoy arts and culture events or sites. We need your amazing ideas please.

Examples might include, hike to the top of XYZ trail with a gorgeous view; kayak to the middle of XYZ lake and exchange vows there; trek to an out-of-the-way museum and quietly marry in front of a masterpiece painting.
posted by nologo to Travel & Transportation around Denver, CO (11 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Chautauqua Park
posted by Confess, Fletch at 8:33 AM on January 4, 2016

Silver Dollar Lake
posted by Confess, Fletch at 8:34 AM on January 4, 2016

Seconding Chautauqua Park would have some great places for this. There's a simple hike to the Flatirons, and it's a great hike, great view, not too difficult. It might be tricky having a private moment up there, since the trail can be quite popular at times.

The Denver Art Museum is really great and fun, and worth a visit, but it'll be crowded, and might not be great for the moment you want.

also, as a Coloradan that just decided to get married, thanks for letting me know about this law!
posted by DGStieber at 9:07 AM on January 4, 2016

If you're going to do a hike at Chautauqua, I highly recommend trying to do it during the workweek and not on a weekend, as it can get very crowded and you'll not having great luck with privacy. I'd highly, highly recommend splurging on a pair of Microspikes (or on the lower end, Yak Trax are cheaper but handle less well on big stretches of hard ice like you'll likely encounter in winter/spring in the foothills). In terms of specific hikes, 1st/2nd Flatirons definitely gives you stellar views if you get to the top (you can see the Divide). Hiking to the top of Green Mountain would also be good, as you get great views of the mountains.

Depending on your fitness level, another option would be to rent snowshoes at REI at head a bit further up in the mountains. You'll run into fewer people, and you won't run the same risk of alternating muddy/icy/dry trails that you'll run into if you stick in the foothills in early spring. I've done snowshoeing up at Brainard Lake--which sits adjacent to Rocky Mountain National Park above Boulder, but tends to be far less crowded--and it's beautiful. Strenuous but really beautiful, and during the week you'd be highly like to have it for yourself. Just the trail from the winter parking lot to Brainard Lake itself would be decently flat (for the mountains), well-marked, and probably quite fun.

Last suggestion: Sunrise Amphitheater in Boulder, near the top of Flagstaff Mountain, would be a stellar place to go early in the morning (sunrise would be perfect) and marry each other. You can drive up there, or you could park near Chautauqua and do the (steep) hike up Flagstaff Trail.
posted by iminurmefi at 9:47 AM on January 4, 2016

My awesome hippy friends just got married at Red Rocks Park, the internationally acclaimed concert venue. It is a stunningly beautiful location. There is a chapel virtually on-site, but it doesn't sound like that's your thing.
posted by j_curiouser at 10:16 AM on January 4, 2016 [1 favorite]

Depending on when you're looking at doing this you could do a weird/random ceremony to coincide with Frozen Dead Guy Days.
posted by FlamingBore at 11:34 AM on January 4, 2016

Seconding Red Rocks; it's a public park when it's not being used as a concert venue, and you should be able to find a time of day where it's not very crowded. Further up in the mountains, Lake Dillon has some uninhabited islands that would probably work, but it's covered with ice at the moment.
posted by craven_morhead at 11:50 AM on January 4, 2016 [1 favorite]

If you want outdoors, I second hikes out of Chautauqua in Boulder. (You can even take the bus there from Denver, but I imagine you'll be renting a car.)

If you just want to hike around the Chautauqua meadows and mesas, you probably won't need traction for your shoes. There can be ice but usually not too bad. If it's sunny and/or warm, there's likely to be plenty of people there. Not necessarily crowded in winter/early spring, but enough that you won't have lots of solitude. If there has just been a good snowfall the meadows will be full of kids (and adults) sledding. Beautiful place, though.

From Chautauqua, nice hikes include Green Mountain, Flatirons, and Royal Arch. I also would highly recommend traction (Microspikes or Ice Trekkers). Royal Arch is very steep and the view is only to the west over Boulder - no good views east to the mountains really - but there is a natural rock arch that would probably be cool to get married under! Royal Arch is a popular trail but the steepness can keep people away if there's snow and ice. But you *really* want to bring traction if there's snow and ice up there.

I'd advise against Mount Sanitas as it tends to be full of people in all but the worst weather. Like, if it's literally snowing and under 15 degrees out and not a weekend, maybe you would be alone for a bit.

Also, yeah, Red Rocks is absolutely spectacular.

You can check the Boulder country trail conditions Facebook group day-of or close to the day for crowdsourced info on trails.
posted by mandanza at 2:09 PM on January 4, 2016

Golden, Colorado
posted by a strong female character at 3:15 PM on January 4, 2016

About 1-1.5 hours outside of Denver is an outlook to Dillon Reservoir in between Breckenridge and Keystone. I would not call it a hike but it is a 15 minute loop in good weather from the parking lot. Gorgeous overlook that includes mountain views, water views, and even chipmunks. Apparently you can reserve the place for a wedding but i've never seen that. It's small, casual and near great hiking or snow shoeing. Google Sapphire Point near Dillon Reservoir for various pictures.

Also the idea of Red Rocks is great.
posted by Kitty Cornered at 3:37 PM on January 4, 2016

Golden Gate Canyon States Park is beautiful and usually not very crowded.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 3:56 PM on January 4, 2016

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