Saguaro Lake is a hidden gem of a desert elopement location. Check out this elopement for all your desert elopement inspiration.

Desert Elopement at Saguaro Lake

Desert Elopement Photographer

Aimee Flynn Photo

A Dream Desert Elopement Location

Saguaro Lake was one of the first adventures I took when moved out to Phoenix so it has a special place in my heart. The Salt River feeding massive lake, the desert mountains, the saguaro’s waving hello from the shore, and the wild horses that sometimes stop by for a drink. It’s a pretty magical place. It is also notoriously busy. In the warmer months and even shoulder seasons it can be absolutely mobbed there, especially at the beach. Families with their kids and dogs, massive beach umbrellas, towels, boom boxes, etc etc etc. It’s not exactly a perfect haven for a private desert elopement.

Unless… you know where to look. If you kayak out into the water you can find some quiet, but better still, there’s a trail that starts at the beach and follows the shoreline for quite a ways. The first half a mile can be fairly clogged with the curious and beach visitors, but the further you get from the beach the more privacy you have. Is it totally isolated? No. Will your private ceremony be drowned out by nearby boomboxes? Also no. It’s a place I really like, if only for nostalgia sake, so it’s a place I’ve been eager to shoot at.

The Eloping Couple

Enter Riana and Jesus. Listen, I love the desert but adventuring amongst the cacti (I admit) is not for everyone. But Riana and Jesus were just as taken with the desert lake (and Four Peaks painted in alpine glow) as I was. Riana was unbothered by the errant prickly pear that tried to hitchhike on her skirt. They got a kick out of hiking in their formal wear. They were stoked on the gorgeous sunset. As a desert lover and desert elopement photographer I always love connecting with folks who love the desert. Who see it for it’s beauty, not for it’s prickles 😉

Also shout out to La Vie Floral Co for providing the absolutely GORGEOUS flowers for the day. Those COLORS. I mean can you even?

Eloping at Saguaro Lake

A few tips about eloping at Saguaro Lake:

– You don’t need a permit but you will need a Tonto Daily Pass ($8.00- unless you have an America the Beautiful pass which you can use) to park there.

-There are vault toilets available in the parking lot.

-Cell service is touch and go (ie unreliable).

– Weekdays are far less crowded than weekends.

-Find out more about eloping in Phoenix here! I write a whole blog post about it 🙂

If you love the desert check out this Salt River Engagement Session or Sunrise Sedona Elopement.

If you’re looking for elopement planning resources check out 9 Reasons to Elope!

view packages + pricing

— Ryan + Styhiln

Ready to have your own adventure of a lifetime?
I'm Aimée Flynn, Southwest based adventure wedding and elopement photographer, mega nerd, former therapist, and taker of the epic pics. But don't think I'm here just to take pretty photos (though there will be pretty photos a-plenty) I’m here to guide you through every step of your elope elopement experience; I’m your location scouter, gatherer of all in info, formal wear wrangler, & hype committee. 

I’m also a storyteller. Your storyteller. And while I'm here for the epic, magazine-cover-worthy, totally bananas moments, I'm also here (and to be totally honest, live for) those goofy, silly, unexpected moments that adventure always seems to bring. I'm here to tell your story in the honest and epic fashion it deserves.
Hey friend, I'm so stoked  you're here!

  1. Sienna says:

    Wow, loving all of these desert vibes here. The colors of Saguaro Lake do not disappoint!

  2. These are stunning desert elopement images! As always, I love how you use the sunlight and those wide shots are awesome!

  3. Rob Dight says:

    Wow that light in the desert was just gorgeous!!!

  4. Suvi says:

    Wow! Amazing place and beautifull photos!

  5. Rachel says:

    Very cool to see cacti and a lake next to each other! And those bouquet colours really pop

  6. Kate Hampson says:

    STUNNING! And you’re right – the flowers pop so well against the desert. I’m in love with the images with the massive saguaro just hanging out looking majestic <3

  7. Naomi Levit says:

    This is such a dreamy desert elopement! Saguaro Lake looks like an amazing place for an adventure wedding!

  8. Wow! Saguaro lake in the desert looks like a dream destination to plan an adventurous elopement. And your pictures do justice to the magic scenery and the beautiful couple. Well done

  9. Shanna says:

    Gosh these are incredible! That light was nuts. All the color!

  10. These are FREAKING AMAZING! I’ve never been to Saguaro Lake, but now I gotta!

  11. […] Here’s a Salt River Adventure Session and a Salt River Elopement. […]

  12. […] Want to see more of Saguaro Lake? Check out this Saguaro Lake Elopement. […]

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