Best Places to Elope in Washington
Are you searching for some of the best places to elope in Washington? Can’t decide which national park, state park, or national forest would best suit your Washington elopement? I get it! The Pacific Northwest, specifically Washington, truly does have so many locations for you and your love to say “I do,” elopement style! So, have no fear! I’m here to help you narrow down the best places to elope in Washington!
One of the reasons I love being a Washington elopement photographer is helping my couples find the best location for their elopement in the Evergreen State. Below, I have outlined the best places to elope in Washington, including resources and links to real elopements I’ve captured in those places. Throughout my time calling Washington home, I’ve become well-seasoned in all the landscapes the state has to offer. So, I’m excited to share with you my list of the top places to elope in Washington.
Where to elope in Washington: my list of the best places
Mt Rainier National Park
North Cascades National Park
Snoqualmie National Forest
A photographer, permits, and the best places: everything you need to know to elope in Washington
I love helping my clients with all the need-to-know steps of pulling off an epic Washington adventure elopement. So, I’ve compiled my top to-do’s for my couples into a simple checklist. If you can check these off, you’re ready to elope at the best place ever!
Number 1: Find a photographer
Psst…I know of a pretty cool Washington elopement photographer who would love to document your day…just saying (lol). But, truly, this is a really important step in your planning process! Of course, you’ll want photos of your day to treasure for years to come. But, you also want to book a photographer with experience in adventure elopements. From day-of timelines, weather patterns and uniquely scouted locations, it’s so important to work with a photographer who is well-versed in Washington adventure elopement photography.
Number 2: Pick your dream location
Like I mentioned earlier, when it comes to your Washington elopement, the sky’s the limit when it comes to the location! Do you want to get ready in an a-frame cabin and then say, “I do,” at a stunning overlook? Done! Are you thinking about a deep, moody forest floor for your vows, then hiking to a fire lookout at sunset? I love it; let’s do it! This blog post can help you narrow down your options from my list of the best places to elope in Washington. So, keep reading!
Number 3: Pick a time of year and day
Each of my top recommendations for the best places to elope in Washington vary in weather patterns, climate and terrain. When I begin to break down the best places, I’ll share specific details for the region that will help you choose the time of year to elope.
Number 4: Apply for a permit
According to the National Park Service, most special events require a Special Use Permit. Depending on the place you choose to elope, you may need to apply for a permit. So, keep that in mind in the elopement planning process! As your elopement photographer, I can help you organize and gather the correct permits.
Number 5: Book a cabin or a campsite
After you have chosen the best location where you’ll be eloping, you can begin booking your amenities. I have worked with couples who book cabins to get ready in and use at a post-elopement reception space. Click here to read everything you need to know about planning an Airbnb wedding. Or, you can even reserve a campsite for your elopement!
Number 6: Apply for a marriage license
You’ve got your incredible partner, the stunning dress, the dreamy flowers and the epic elopement backdrop. But, you cannot forget one of the most important witnesses to your adventure-packed vows: your marriage license! Read about all the information you need to know about getting a marriage license for your Washington elopement by clicking here. Also, you’ll need to have someone ordained to officiate your elopement ceremony and two witnesses present (and yes, I’m happy to be a witness, if needed!).
Alright, so now that we have covered the bases of planning a Washington elopement, let’s dive in to the best locations to choose from! Keep scrolling to read all about my top recommendations for where to elope in Washington.
My top pick for the best place to elope in Washington: Mt Rainier National Park
Overview of Mt Rainier National Park
Standing at 14,411 feet, Mt Rainier is guaranteed to give you the perfect backdrop for your elopement. This Washington national park offers giant douglas firs (my favorite type of pine trees!), waterfalls, wildflower meadows, fire lookouts, alpine lakes, views of the Tatoosh Range that surrounds Mt Rainier, and, of course, Mt Rainier herself.
Why elope at Mt Rainier?
Mt Rainier is the tallest mountain in Washington and the entire Pacific Northwest. It really is one of the most iconic features in the state of Washington. With stunning viewpoints as you drive up to Paradise, this park has something for everyone. Whether you are hoping for a quick out-and-back hike for your elopement or a multi-day backpacking trip, Mt Rainier National Park has endless trails waiting for you to tie the knot. And don’t worry, I have trail recommendations in my back pocket that I am ready to share with you for your own Washington elopement!
Best Time of Year to Elope at Mt Rainier
Mt Rainier National Park offers year-round access, which means there are plenty of options when choosing a time of year to elope. According to the National Park Service, “Visitation is at its peak in July and August, when the weather is warm and dry and the wildflowers are blooming.” So, this factors in choosing the day of the week you’d plan to elope. Here are some of my common rule of thumbs when choosing your season and day to elope at Mt Rainier:
Best Mt Rainier National Park Elopement Locations
Have I convinced you that Mt Rainier might just be the best place for your Washington elopement? Well, if you’re still on the fence about this beautiful Washington treasure, then maybe a quick breakdown of some of my all-time favorite locations will do the trick!
On a rainy day, this hike will be a lifesaver! This hike takes you through a trail of old growth pines that act as a natural canopy to block some of the rain. I love this hike because there are plaques along the trail that tell you the history of all of the pine trees (my actual dream come true!). This is an easy hike that is absolutely beautiful.
Trails off of Paradise Visitors Center
For the most part, these trails are accessible year-round. These trails take you right up next to Mt Rainier, making for some stunning elopement backdrops.
Trails off of Sunrise Visitor Center
These trials hold one of my favorite hikes in all of Mt Rainier National Park! One thing to keep in mind, these trails are only open during the summer due to weather.
Mollie’s Favorite Places at Mt Rainier for Elopements
I don’t share the specifics of my favorite locations online for Leave No Trace practices, but I do have unique locations that I’m able to take my couples to within Mt Rainier National Park. You can see a couple of these places below:
Want to see more adventures and elopements at Mt Rainier National Park?
Check out the stories below
North Cascades National Park: the “American Alps” is an obvious pick for the best places to elope in Washington
Overview of North Cascades National Park
Known as the Alps of America, it is no surprise that the North Cascades is one of my top choices for the list of best places to elope in Washington. The North Cascades are truly the underdog that always wins in my book. With jagged peaks, snow capped mountains, and alpine lakes that are only accessible by hiking, the North Cascades are truly my mountain-range crush.
Why elope in the North Cascades?
Did you know North Cascades National Park is one of the least-visited national parks in the nation? This means you just might get an entire mountain to yourself for your elopement! With remote trails that few know about, the North Cascades hold some of my favorite spots in Washington that are just waiting for you to elope at.
Best Time of Year to Elope in the North Cascades
Best Places to Elope in North Cascades National Park
Can you believe that this national park is one of the least-visited national parks in the nation? I know; I’m always shocked by that fact. I truly believe the North Cascades are packed with incredible elopement locations. Here are some of my favorite:
Snow covered mountain peaks
The trails off of Artist Point, near Mount Baker, are so dreamy (especially at sunrise). They’re amazing for snowshoeing during the winter, and provide incredible views of Mount Baker.
From the lakeshore peaceful docks to stunning overlooks, Diablo Lake offers amazing views of the lush mountains and bright blue lake water.
Ross Lake was created by the damming of the Skagit River. Ross Lake Resort is a glampers dream and is a great place to elope if you’re wanting to include friends and family as part of your day. Fishing is open summer through fall; anyone looking to catch their reception food?
Firelook in North Cascades National Park
Two of my favorite fire lookouts in Washington are in North Cascades! I am totally bias, but I think they’re the absolute best elopement locations. Following the devastating series of forest fires in 1910 that swept across Idaho, Montana and Washington, early fire protection became a priority to the Forest Service. That is when fire lookouts began to be built across the country to help with forest fire detection. Because of the high location of these fire lookouts, the views from these mountain tops stretch as far and wide as your eyes can see!
Want to see more adventures and elopements at North Cascades National Park?
Check out the stories below
Wanting to elope near Seattle? Some of the best Washington elopement locations are in Snoqualmie National Forest!
Overview of Snoqualmie National Forest
I may be biased since the Snoqualmie National Forest is right in my backyard, but this national forest is such a PNW gem. With waterfalls, alpine lakes of turquoise water, and forest service roads that lead to remote trailheads, there are endless locations to choose from. It’s lower in elevation, which means there are snow-free areas, even in winter! And the best part? Dogs are allowed in almost every part of this national forest. I know, best news ever!
Why Elope in Snoqualmie National Forest?
When I meet with my clients, I always ask for what their envisioning their locations to be (for example: do they want to hike to an epic overlook or drive up to an alpine lake?). After I have a better idea for what the couple is envisioning, I’m able to send my recommendations. Snoqualmie National Forest is quite the Pacific Northwest gem, and I frequently recommend it to my couples because of its diverse landscapes and hidden treasures. Here are some of the main reasons I’m a fan of Snoqualmie Pass and Snoqualmie National Forest:
It is really close in proximity to Seattle. There are multiple stunning landscapes that are only about an hour to two hours from Seattle. You can find more about eloping near Seattle by clicking here.
The Pass offers accessible adventure all year round. If you’re worried about winter weather, you can find road conditions in the pass by clicking here.
There are trails for all abilities within Snoqualmie National Forest! From drive up locations to hikes miles long, there is a trail that is perfect for you the type of adventure you’re seeking!
Best Time of Year to Elope in Snoqualmie National Forest
Best Locations for Your Elopement in Snoqualmie National Forest
There are alpine lakes, mountains to summit and waterfalls to chase all within Snoqualmie Pass! And, there are great food and brew options available in Snoqualmie Pass. The CommonWealth Restaurant and Dru Bru are my personal favorite!
Okay, now I’m really going to be biased, because North Bend is my hometown! Surrounding my little mountain town, there are deep forest trails and epic mountains to climb. It’s all my backyard, so I have some personal-fav locations that I know like the back of my hand where I’d love to take you! Have I peaked your interest? Reach out to me about eloping in North Bend!
Just one hour from Seattle, the Mountain Loop Highway was constructed in 1936 to connect Granite Falls, WA to Darrington, WA. This two-lane highway winds through the Western portion of the Cascade mountain range and offers dense forest floors, alpine lakes, fire lookouts, waterfalls, and even ice caves as it follows the Stillaguamish River. Since the Mountain Loop Highway is not part of a national park, this area of the Pacific Northwest can oftentimes feels less busy than other parts of the state. The Mountain Loop Highway holds some of my absolutely favorite hikes, drive up overlooks, and campgrounds, making it the perfect location for any Washington elopement or adventure wedding all year round. And, an added bonus, various parts of the Mountain Loop Highway remain snow-free or have minimal snow even throughout the winter months due to their low elevation.
Want to see more elopements and adventures in Snoqualmie National Forest?
Check out the stories below
Elope on the best rugged beaches and a mountain tops on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington
Overview of the Olympic Peninsula
The Olympic Peninsula is across the Puget Sound from Seattle, and is home to some of the best Washington beaches and Olympic National Park, which features hot springs, rainforest, whitecap mountains and the rugged coast. On the Olympic Peninsula, you can explore the westernmost and northwesternmost points of the contiguous United States. You can read more about what the Olympic Peninsula has to offer by clicking here.
Why Elope on the Olympic Peninsula?
Eloping on the Olympic Peninsula will truly give you the best of so many landscapes and terrains. Like I mentioned earlier, this stretch of Washington land features hot springs, rainforests, whitecap mountaintops and a rugged coastline. You could begin your Washington elopement day on the coast and end it at sunset at a mountain overlook! There are so many possibilities of what your elopement day could look like on the Olympic Peninsula.
Best Time of Year to Elope on the Olympic Peninsula
Olympic National Park: Best Locations for your Elopement
The Hoh Rain Forest is a region of lush, green canopy with mosses and ferns covering the terrain. It’s located on the west side of Olympic National Park, and is about a two-hour drive from Port Angeles.
Built in 1915, Lake Crescent Lodge is a quant, base camp where you can enjoy “the charm of a turn-of-the-century resort.” This lodge features antique furniture, stone fireplaces, and a sun porch where you can watch the sunset over the lake. How cozy does that sound?!
Weather permitting, there are tons of hikes at Hurricane Ridge and it tends to be open year-round. Check out Cassidy and Jason’s snowy elopement photos at Hurricane Ridge by clicking here.
Washington Beaches for your Elopement
With rugged beaches and massive rocks emerging out from the ocean, the Washington coast is hands down one of the best places to elope in Washington. With most beaches right off of Highway 101, these beaches can be easily accessed and some even offer camping opportunities! Here are my recommendations for the best Washington beaches for your elopement:
Cape Flattery (fun fact: this is the furthest northwest tip of the contiguous U.S.)
Want to see more adventures and elopements on the Olympic Peninsula?
Check out the stories below
Find the best place for a high-desert elopement backdrop in Eastern Washington
Overview of Eastern Washington
Just like the North Cascades, eastern Washington is totally underrated until you discover all the epic locations it offers. Western Washington is known for its moody, overcast skies. Contrastingly, eastern Washington is known year-round sunshine, making it the perfect location for an epic sunset during your elopement at any time of year.
Why Elope in Eastern Washington?
If the jagged mountains and old growth pines are not your ideal location for your elopement, then eastern Washington is the place for you. With tall grass prairies, ponderosa pines, rocky hills, epic waterfalls, and sunsets that light up the sky, eastern Washington is the perfect spot for your elopement.
Best Time of Year to Elope in Eastern Washington
Where to Elope in Eastern Washington
Palouse Falls State Park is super remote and secluded, which makes for some epic backdrops without all of the onlookers. Palouse Falls stretches down 198-feet near where the Snake and Palouse Rivers meet and was first discovered by local tribes. Palouse Falls holds incredible significance for the Palus Indians because their largest and oldest village once stood near the Falls.
Lake Chelan State Park is a 139-acre camping park on the forested south shore of Lake Chelan. The park offers boating and camping opportunities. There is also the Lake Chelan Wine Valley in this region, which produces wines unique to Eastern Washington. Cheers, anyone? Click here for more information about the area surrounding Chelan.
Spokane is the largest city in eastern Washington. According to Visit Spokane, this town features “a unique combination of outrageous outdoors and amazing attractions, incredible arts and delectable dining, and a historic past living seamlessly with a vibrant future. From thrilling whitewater or downhill adventures, to inspiring art and powerful Broadway performances, the Spokane region offers enough activities to pack any [adventurous elopement timeline].”
Want to see more adventures and elopements and adventures in Eastern Washington?
Check out the stories below
Additional resources for planning the best elopement in Washington
Are you stressed at the thought of planning a destination Washington elopement? That is literally why I’m here! “Where should I stay near the trailhead? Where should we say our vows in the national park? Where is the most epic mountain backdrop? Wait, where is the best margarita in the Snoqualmie valley?”
Girl, I’ve got you! I’m able to answer all of your questions and help you plan the most incredible Washington adventure wedding or elopement. Click away through my resources below to see what I mean! Are you ready to begin planning your Washington elopement? Let’s do it! Contact me and let’s begin planning your epic Washington adventure wedding or elopement.
How to Include Family and Friends in Your Elopement
How to Elope in Washington State
Top Three Places to Elope Near Seattle
Ready to explore more elopements, weddings and adventures? Wander away below!
Between the Pine is an adventure elopement and wedding photography brand created by Mollie Adams. Based in the Pacific Northwest, Mollie travels with her camera in hand to document “I dos” in epic landscapes including Washington, Oregon, California, and Hawaii.
There are so many incredible destinations to choose from when eloping, with some of the best places to elope in the US just at your fingertips, which is why I compiled this list of my all time favorite locations in the United States. Keep reading to find your dream location!