Taggart Lake is an excellent spot to have your elopement or micro-wedding. It requires a short hike and best caters to smaller groups, so if what you’re looking for fits this description then this may be the spot for you! With the information gathered below we’ll help you decide if Taggart Lake is the right fit for you and your partner’s big day.
The drive to the Taggart Lake trailhead is about 26 minutes from Jackson, making it possible to get ready in town and then drive over for your ceremony. The hike from the trailhead to the lake is 1.6 miles and is slightly uphill for the first 3/4ths of the hike. The hike is very scenic, especially during the fall colors. The trailhead has a great central location in relation to the rest of Grand Teton National Park, making it realistic to hop over to some other popular spots for more photos and videos before or after the ceremony.
Taggart Lake Cost
Eloping or having a micro-wedding at Taggart Lake isn’t cost-free, but it’s certainly much cheaper than traditional venues in the area! In order to have your special day take place at Taggart Lake you’ll need to pay a $200 dispersed ceremony permit fee through the National Park Service. There is an application process involved in reserving your date at the location, and you can find a lot more details on the National Park Service permit website. The permit application process can be a little intimidating at first glance but if you book with us to capture your day we are able to walk you through the entire process.
Along with the cost of the permit you’ll have the other usual costs of an elopement/wedding (travel, vendors, dress, etc.), but you’ll be saving many thousands of dollars by not booking a traditional venue. Some of the venues in the Jackson Hole area can run upwards of $20,000 so $200 doesn’t seem so bad in comparison if you ask us!
There is only one wedding or elopement allowed at Taggart Lake per day so if you decide you want to use this location then make sure you apply for the permit ASAP. It doesn’t book up as quickly as some of the other ceremony locations in the park, but it’s still helpful to try and book it for your day far in advance. There are only 12 total people allowed at your ceremony at Taggart lake, including you and your partner. This makes it only possible to have a small group or just you and your partner.
Best Time of the Year for Taggart Lake
The closer you are to the middle of the summer, the better the weather and the lower your chances of having snow on the ground. With that said, our favorite time of the year by far for weddings and elopements in Jackson Hole is Mid-September through Mid-October.
The fall colors in the Jackson Hole area are pretty unreal, and if you time your wedding or elopement day just right with the peak colors (the exact timing varies year by year), you could be in for some epic colors in your photos. The air is also nice and crisp here in the fall and the lighting is absolutely sublime for photo and video.
The fall is also one of the most popular times for couples to get married in Jackson Hole, so if you’re planning on having your big day in the fall we definitely recommend trying to reserve things further in advance. That’s not to say it isn’t possible to still make it happen with little lead time, but most of the popular ceremony locations and venues book up far in advance.
Other Things to Note
We also recommend having your ceremony at Taggart Lake at sunrise or sunset to cut down on the amount of people that are coming and going at the Lake. There isn’t a ton of room at the lake, so choosing to have your ceremony during one of these periods of the day is going to give you more privacy and cut down on the chance of strangers observing from a distance. The evening that we went up with Kyle and Mariah we passed a couple of groups on the way up, but once we were at the lake we had the whole lake to ourselves. That would have been much less likely in the middle of the day.
With Kyle and Mariah, we did something that a lot of couples decide to do which is have their ceremony at another location like Mormon Row, Schwabacher Landing, or the Wedding Tree, and then hike up to Taggart Lake for their bridal photos and a nice relaxing evening. They had their elopement ceremony at Mormon Row and then we drove over to Taggart Lake and made the hike up. It’s a great option to either do something like this or to flip flop it and have your ceremony at Taggart Lake and then head to another spot for additional bridal photos and videos.
Pro’s and Con’s of Taggart Lake
- Gorgeous view and you’re right below the Grand Teton
- Fits into budgets spectacularly
- Small and intimate ceremony with your closet friends and family or just you and your partner
- Close drive from Jackson
- Great central location in relation to the rest of Grand Teton National Park
- Super pretty hike on the way up to the lake
- Only 12 total people allowed for ceremonies, making it tough for larger groups
- Tough to access for anyone with a handicap due to the hike up
- Can be a lot of people at the lake in the middle of the day
The pro’s definitely outweigh the con’s for Taggart Lake. It’s certainly only doable if you’re looking to elope with only your partner there, or planning to have 10 or less guests joining you. The view of the mountain peaks from the lake is spectacular and it’s about the closest you can feel to the Grand Teton peak without actually climbing to the top of it. We love capturing photo and video at Taggart Lake and it makes for gorgeous photos and videos.
|Location||26 minute drive north of Jackson, 1.6 mile hike|
|Highlights||Excellent Grand Teton backdrop, intimate, close to Jackson, budget-friendly|
You can watch Kyle and Mariah’s elopement film below. They eloped at Mormon Row on a beautiful fall day and their vows were so touching. After the ceremony and bridal shots we hopped in the car and drove about 15 minutes to the Taggart Lake trailhead, from which we hiked to Taggart Lake for additional photo and video.