stunning bride and groom pose on Merry Go Round Rock in Arizona!

How to Elope at Merry Go Round Rock

Celebrating Linda and Thomas at Merry Go Round Rock in Sedona, AZ

Linda and Thomas chose one of my favorite locations in Sedona to get married – Merry Go Round Rock! With their passion for wine and running, this choice was a natural fit, as reaching the location involves an off-roading adventure. In this blog, I am sharing everything that you need to know for how to elope at Merry Go Round Rock! 

Autumn Wedding at Merry Go Round Rock with Linda and Thomas

Linda and Thomas’s ultimate goal on their wedding day was to simply have a good time & not fall off of Merry Go Round Rock LOL. The good news, both were a success! They opted for a fall wedding in Sedona and at first, we were all a bit worried that we were going to be rained out, but luckily the rainstorm missed us and we made it up the rocks offroading with no problems. 

Merry Go Round Rock in Sedona, Arizona

It’s no surprise that Linda and Thomas chose this location for their wedding. Merry Go Round Rock is widely known in Sedona as one of the most beautiful locations for an engagement, wedding or elopement. This spot is famous for the two natural red rock pedestal’s that couples can actually walk onto. While many of those “iconic” elopement photos are taken on the lower pedestal, the highest pedestal is equally stunning. 

Pro Tip: It is not uncommon to get to Merry Go Rock with a wedding taking place. However, no matter how crowded, there truly is plenty of space for everyone. 

Choosing a Season to Elope at Merry Go Round Rock

The ambiance can vary significantly based on the season, weather, and cloud cover. The position of the sunset shifts between the summer and winter solstices, altering the late afternoon light’s direction. 

For example, in December, the sunset and light lean leftward over the valley, while in late June, they stretch rightward toward distant rocks. Throughout the intervening months, the sun traverses mid-space. Additionally, the valley may become hazy from dust during dry spells or when seasonal wildfire smoke drifts in, creating a smoky glow. With these variables, each day offers a unique experience!

A personal favorite season of mine for weddings or elopements is the summertime! 

How to Get to Merry Go Round Rock

Getting to the beautiful red rock pedestals is quite the adventure, but so worth it! Prepare for an hour-long off-roading ride in a high-clearance 4×4 vehicle. Because of this, I highly recommend hiring an experienced off-roading driver to help assist with the drive! 

A Few Options: 

  • The Pink Jeep Tours: At a wedding I documented at this location, the organizers opted for Pink Jeep Tours. However, it’s important to note that they enforce strict arrival and return times. So, if you want a more flexible experience, I highly recommend checking out the other rental options. 
  • Sedona Jeep Rentals: Sedona Jeep rentals offer same-day rentals as well as the opportunity to book 1-2 weeks in advance. These rentals are allowed to go on designated 4×4 trails and public roads. 
  • Red Rock Rubicon: Red Rock Rubicon offers various rental packages tailored to accommodate your specific needs for the day.

Max Koepeke with Southwest Outside Adventures: During this specific wedding, the transportation service displayed more flexibility regarding timing. For instance, the company allowed Linda and Thomas to remain until sunset before heading back to their AirBnB.

What you need to know when planning a wedding/elopement at Merry Go Round Rock

  • Wedding Capacity: intimate weddings of up to 30 people due to extremely limited parking and not easily accessible
  • Distance: 6.5 miles & a 30-minute trip to the top by driving a 4×4 vehicle. (I highly recommend driving or paying for transportation as the hike is not often washed out). 
  • Permit: Currently, there are no permits that are needed!

Overall, a wedding or elopement at Merry Go Round Rock is extraordinary no matter what time of year you plan your celebration.

Want more inspiration for your Merry Go Round elopement or wedding? Check out this blog for more of my favorite desert locations! For more desert wedding and elopement photo ideas, visit my Pinterest! 

Destination Wedding and Elopement Photographer + Videographer | Kali M Photos + Film 

Whether you’re seeking to infuse a non-traditional vibe into a conventionally classic wedding or crafting an entirely unprecedented way to say “I do,” you deserve more than just an ordinary photography experience. So, you deserve a destination wedding photography and videography experience as distinctive as you are, and my friend, you’ve just discovered it. Secure your date here!

Sedona Wedding Vendors: 

Florist: Jazz Bouquet | Cake: Take the Cake | Hair and Makeup: Sedona Beauty Team | Chef: Nick for private dinner at Air BNB after wedding ceremony | Transportation to Merry Go Round Rock: Southwest Outside Adventures

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *