Why choose Mayflower Gulch for your Elopement?
Mayflower Gulch is the perfect elopement spot for adventurous couples who are excited about a hike on their wedding day. Yet, at only 1.75 miles to a group of historic cabins, it’s not a terribly long hike for groups or mildly adventurous hikers.
Located a short drive from the Breckenridge/ Frisco/ Dillon area, the trailhead for Mayflower Gulch is easily accessible most of the year. The coordinates are 39.4306° N, 106.1656° W.
But the best part of this location is the mountain views surrounding the cabins and the seclusion you will often find out in nature.
What season should I elope at Mayflower Gulch?
From summer, when the fields are covered in wildflowers, to the winter when snow and sun make this spot truly spectacular, it’s hard to go wrong with an elopement in this beautiful spot.
Winter sessions at Mayflower Gulch are some of my favorites. The trail from the parking lot is lined by evergreens and every few days after winter storms, the trees are magically draped with snow, creating a spectacular winter wonderland. The snow-capped peaks surround the valley with the historic cabins, creating a breathtaking backdrop. Combined with a true blue-bird sky day that Colorado is famous for, and I think you’ll love this option.
Pro-tip: The sun sets behind the peaks of the mountains over an hour before actual sunset time. In the winter this is often around 3:00 – 3:30. So if you’d like to take advantage of the trail and the sun, I would plan your trip to Mayflower earlier in the day.
In the summer, the valley with the historic cabins is taken over with wildflowers. You can also access to the cabin site via high clearance vehicle when the weather is nice and the trail is clear. The lingering daylight in the summer allows for more time to explore and relax outdoors on your wedding day. True summer months at Mayflower Gulch are late June – August.
Pro-Tip: If the skies are clear, the alpenglow on the peaks is spectacular at sunset. You will loose sun at least an hour before sunset, but if you’re planning to drive up, you could easily time the sunset here with another spot for photos. Or just plan to spend the time between sun loss and sunset enjoying the late day temps and views.
Given the high altitude of Mayflower Gulch, snow sticks around through the spring and into early summer. You should be prepared for wintry conditions even in April and May.
Like in the Spring, Mayflower Gulch is affected by weather in the fall, often earlier than surrounding areas. In most years, you can expect snow to start developing in late October/ early November, and for there to be a decent amount of snowpack on the trails by early December.
Where should I get ready for my Mayflower Gulch Elopement?
There are no amenities at the trail, so you’ll want to be fully ready when you arrive at the trail head. I would suggest renting an Airbnb or VRBO in the nearby towns of Breckenridge, Dillon, or Frisco.
What conditions should I expect on the Mayflower Gulch Trail?
In the winter the trail is fairly heavily used, so it’s generally snow packed. Good hiking boots are often enough, but adding a pair of microspikes is a good idea. You could also travel up in snowshoes or cross country skis with skins.
In the summer, you can walk up the service road in good sturdy shoes. Or you can plan to drive up the trail to the cabins and wear more fashionable shoes since you don’t have to hike in the them. However, you will still be walking in nature, so plan accordingly.
How long is it to the cabins from the parking lot?
The full Mayflower Gulch trail spans 6 miles. BUT, the hike to the historic abandoned cabins at the base of the mountain bowl is only about 1.5 miles. While you could choose to go farther in to the backcountry, you don’t need to for amazing views and the perfect elopement spot.
Do I have to be in good physical shape to hike Mayflower Gulch?
While you don’t have to be in spectacular shape to hike to the cabin location, you should be aware that you’ll be hiking at an altitude of almost 11,000 feet. If you’re coming from out of town, or you have guests coming from out of town, I’d recommend preparing for high altitude.
When I hike with couples we often stop to take photos along the way, which helps the hike feel less strenuous. There are several sections of the trail that are steeper, and you can plan to take those sections as slow as needed.
It takes me 45 – 1 hour to hike the trail up to the cabins.
Mayflower Gulch Sessions for Inspiration
Other resources for planning your elopement
I travel all over the state of Colorado and across the US to capture connected wedding stories for devoted and courageous couples. I’d love to be your Grand Lake Lodge wedding photographer!