Sapphire Point Overlook – Your Ultimate Wedding Guide
Sapphire Point Overlook
As a Colorado wedding photographer, I have had the honor of shooting at beautiful locations across the state. In this article, I’ll be discussing my insider experience shooting at Sapphire Point Overlook.
Sapphire Point Overlook is a wedding ceremony site overlooking the Dillon Reservoir, ideal for small intimate weddings and elopements. Sitting at an elevation of 9,500 feet, this overlook is located between Keystone and Breckenridge on Swan Mountain Road. From here you can bask in the stunning views of the Gore and Ten Mile Mountain ranges, while overlooking Lake Dillon below. The Dillon Ranger District allows ceremonies and private gatherings to take place here during the day and the site can be reserved for three-hour blocks.
How to Rent Sapphire Point
In order to book Sapphire Point Overlook, you will need to create a reservation at recreation.gov. It will show up under the Campsite List. Although there is no camping here, this is the tab you must select. Then you will be given the option to select a time frame. You can choose between 6am-9am,10am-1pm, 2pm-5pm, or 6pm-9pm. Please keep in mind that there may be weddings or gatherings scheduled before or after your reservation, so it’s important to leave as soon as your time runs out. If you feel like you may need more time than that, you have the option to book multiple consecutive time slots.
How Much Does It Cost to Rent Sapphire Point Overlook?
Sapphire Point Overlook is considered a popular ceremony site due to the incredible views, reasonable drive from Denver, and, of course, its affordability. Booking Sapphire Point Overlook costs $120 for three hours, plus a $8 reservation fee. Keep in mind this doesn’t include taxes.
When Should You Rent Sapphire Point Overlook?
Sapphire Point can be reserved up to six months in advance. New dates are made available for reservation on a rolling basis. If you have a specific date and time, especially during the most desirable times of year, I recommend purchasing your time slot as soon as the date becomes available. Holidays, weekends, and warmer months generally get snatched up quickly. Set an alarm for 6 months in advance to reserve the ceremony area as soon as it becomes available.
You are allowed to have up to 35 people total at your wedding. This includes the couple, guests, and vendors. Personally, I think it feels a bit overcrowded when there are more than 20 people, as it is a smaller area.
It really varies depending on what you’re looking for, whether that’s renting the space for an event or photo session. Photo sessions start at $180 for a 2 hour time slot in the Sun Room and go up to $2,000 for booking all of Realm for a full day. Event prices vary and can be discussed with their team.
The parking lot can fit up to 22 vehicles, but keep in mind that there will be other hikers and sightseers already there. I would recommend shuttling guests up there or carpooling with as few cars as you can. If your wedding is on a weekend or holiday, there is a chance that the parking lot will be full depending on the time of day. Choosing a time frame that is less popular for tourists (such as 6am-9am) will give you a greater chance at securing parking spots.
Sapphire Point Overlook Rental Rules
You or someone at your wedding will need to bring a printed copy of your reservation. This is to prove to the rangers that you have paid for your reservation if they ask to see it.
All furniture, flowers, decorations, trash must be removed. Don’t use flower petals, confetti or things that are difficult to pick up. Leave the space clean and clear for the next couple.
The trail that runs near the overlook cannot be blocked. Hikers and tourists are passing through that trail and cannot be stopped for your ceremony. In my experience shooting here, people generally walk by quietly and sometimes they may pause to watch. You need to be okay with other people around.
This is a very busy attraction on Holidays and three-day weekends such as Memorial Day and Labor Day. You may have to factor in busy traffic if you are driving up there the same day. I recommend you try to arrive earlier than later, as there may be unexpected slowdowns along the way. If you really want to get married during busier times of the year, you may have to sacrifice some privacy for the incredible views, affordability and accessibility. If you would prefer to have a peaceful and intimate ceremony during a popular date, then there are many other great locations in the Colorado mountains that could be a better fit.
When is the Best Lighting?
The best lighting is generally early morning or early evening. The sun will be softer during these times than the more intense direct sunlight of midday.
The parking area is very close to the ceremony site and requires a short walk (around 5 minutes) to get there on a gravel path with a slight decline to the ceremony and slightly uphill on the way back. It is fairly easy to get there, even for elderly people. Sapphire Point Overlook is one of the few outdoor ceremony sites on public land that is ADA accessible. If anyone at your wedding has trouble walking, this could be a great option. It’s 0.1 miles and is wheelchair accessible.
Renting Sapphire Point during Winter Months
During the weather, the trail is not shoveled! There most likely will be ice and snow with a chance of bone chilling winds. In my experience, the weather changes can be quite rapid and go from sunny and pleasant to snowing and frigid in a matter of minutes. If you are getting married here during the colder months, be prepared by wearing snow boots with good traction that come up over your ankles, I always recommend that brides wear leggings under their dress when it’s freezing out. Having long, thick socks, a fur shawl, cape or wrap can make a difference. Every bit of warmth counts at such altitudes. On the plus side, there will be less visitors and you will have more privacy. Since the ceremony site is so close to the parking lot, Sapphire Point Overlook is one of the few spots where you can achieve incredible mountain views without having to trek through too much deep snow.
Summer Weather Patterns
During the heat of Summer, there is generally a pattern of sporadic thunderstorms and showers beginning in the early afternoon until the evening. I recommend having umbrellas on hand for you and your guests just in case weather rolls in. Colorado is known for the rapidly changing and unpredictable weather patterns.
Sapphire Point Overlook Vendor Permits
The good news is that your photographer does not need a permit to shoot here. Any other vendors such as decor rentals and catering is prohibited unless the vendor has a permit from the U.S. Forest Service. For more questions about Sapphire Point Overlook, contact the Dillon Ranger District.
I’m a local Colorado photographer who has experience shooting at Sapphire Point Overlook. If you’re interested in having me photograph your own wedding or elopement, I would love to connect! Reach out on my contact page to have your photography dreams come true.
Hi, I’m Grace, a Colorado wedding photographerand wedding videographer! I’m based in Larkspur, Colorado and I service Denver, Colorado Springs, and beyond! My passion is telling your story through imagery.