The Absolute Best Places to Elope in the US: A Complete Guide

Written by our rad team member Jess Dastous


 

Best Places to Elope in the US

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. If you’re looking for mountain peaks, red desertscapes, lush rainforests, oceanside cliffs, waterfalls or alpine lakes, then this guide is for you. Keep reading to find the best places to get married in the US and find your dream location!


Top 7 best locations to elope in the US

  1. Washington 

  2. California 

  3. Alaska

  4. Utah 

  5. Colorado 

  6. Kauai 

  7. Oregon



First things first: What you need to know when thinking through the best places to elope in the US

Landscape // terrain

When choosing your elopement destination it is important to consider what you want the backdrop of your photos to look like and what you are wanting to experience on your elopement day. The locations I am recommending in this blog are some of the top places to elope in the US depending on how you envision your day. From the deep reds of the desert to the snow capped mountain peaks to the lush green forests and everything in between, your day could look like any and all of these beautiful places to elope in the US. You also want to consider if you’d like to say your I do’s in a warm or cold location, as this will help determine what your best day ever could look like.

Time of year 

Some of the best places to elope in the United States are only accessible during the summer months, like the mountains of Washington. There are a few locations you can access during the winter if you are looking to enjoy winter activities during your elopement day, like snow shoeing, dog sledding, skiing and snowboarding. The time of year is super important depending on the elopement location you choose and the activities you’d like to enjoy while exploring with your partner. With each location I have outlined below, I have also included the best time of year for your elopement for optimal weather.

Guests or no guests

Looking to have family and friends by your side or do you just plan on keeping your best day ever more intimate? Whatever you choose, the most beautiful places to get married in the US are waiting for you! Some of the locations on this list are much more accessible when you have a larger group of people. Narrowing down a specific location is important if you plan on having family and friends attend or if you just plan on you and your partner adventuring to one of the best places to elope in the US.

Hiring an experienced vendor team

I can not stress this enough, hiring a vendor team who is experienced in planning elopements at one of the most beautiful places to elope in the US is critical. Whether it is a photographer, videographer or anyone in that realm, having someone who is experienced in elopements and helping their couples find the right place to elope is so essential when planning your best day ever. And guess what?! I know someone who is really good at this (hint, hint, click here to start planning your best day ever with me)!








 

Best places to Elope in US: Washington

I may be totally biased, but Washington takes the top of the list for best places to elope in the US for many reasons. With snow capped peaks, rugged cliff sides, rainforests, waterfalls, the most incredible sunsets and wildflowers glore, you can visit several of these destinations all in one day depending on where you choose to elope. Washington state is the ultimate elopement destination for those looking to adventure and have the most memorable day ever!


North Cascades National Park

Known as the Alps of America, it is no surprise that this is one of my top choices on the list of best places to elope in the US. North Cascades National Park is truly the underdog and always leaves me in awe every time I adventure here with my couples. With jagged peaks, snow capped mountains and alpine lakes that are only accessible by hiking, the North Cascades are truly my all time favorite national park. There are also locations that are ADA accessible, making this the perfect location for any couple looking to plan their dream day! Plus, 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 or wedding

Best time of year to elope in North Cascades National Park:

August & September

Best locations in North Cascades National Park:

Looking for more inspiration for planning your best day ever in the North Cascades? Check out these dreamy elopements:








Mount Rainier National Park

Standing at 14,411 feet, Mount Rainier is guaranteed to give you the perfect backdrop for your elopement day and is truly one of the best places to elope in the US. 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 Mount Rainier, and, of course, Mount Rainier herself. Mount Rainier is the tallest mountain in Washington and the entire Pacific Northwest. This national park really is one of the most iconic features in the state of Washington.

Best time of year to elope at Mount Rainier National Park:

 July-October

Best locations at Mount Rainier National Park:

Looking for more inspiration for planning your best day ever at Mount Rainier? Check out these dreamy elopements:








Olympic National Park

The Olympic Peninsula is across the Puget Sound from Seattle, and is home to one of the best places to elope in the US. Olympic National Park is the most geographically diverse national park in the country, and features hot springs, rainforest, whitecap mountains and the rugged coast. You could begin your elopement day on the coast and end it with a sunset mountain overlook! Just like the diverse landscapes, there are so many possibilities of what your elopement day could look like in Olympic National Park.

Best time of year to elope in Olympic National Park:

April-October 

Best locations in Olympic National Park: 

Looking for more inspiration for planning your best day ever in Olympic National Park? Check out these dreamy elopements:








 

Best Places to get married in US: California

California is one of the best places to elope in the US with iconic mountain tops, dreamy desert landscapes, incredible coastlines and enchanting forests, you can find the ultimate destination for your best day ever. Home to nine national parks and 280 state parks, California has some of the most diverse landscapes. Whether you’re looking to be surrounded by the largest trees in the world or celebrate your best day ever at one of the dreamiest desert cabins in Joshua Tree National Park, California tops the list for best places to get married in the US.


Yosemite National Park

Located in the Sierra Nevada mountains, Yosemite National Park is best known for its waterfalls and stunning granite mountain sides. Yosemite National Park is filled with so many iconic backdrops, making it one of the best places to elope in the United States. There are a bunch of unique and diverse landscapes in Yosemite National Park, from the valleys, meadows, giant sequoia trees and other-worldly rock formations overlooking the valley. The sunrises and sunsets are so incredible here, and they’re hard to beat as a wedding venue backdrop.

Best time of year to elope at Yosemite National Park:
May-October 

Best locations to elope at Yosemite National Park:

Looking for more inspiration for planning your best day ever at Yosemite? Check out this dreamy engagement:





Big Sur

This rugged stretch of central California coast is known for its sea cliffs and misty coastline, where the Santa Lucia mountain abruptly meets the pacific ocean and is covered in wildflowers year-round. If you are looking for one of the most beautiful places to elope in the US that has a coastline as your backdrop and ocean views, then Big Sur is the place for you. Big Sur has been deemed the “longest and most scenic stretch of undeveloped coastline in the contiguous U.S.” and for good reason. Visited by millions annually, Big Sur is protected by the Big Sur Local Coastal Plan which protects these lands from development and many of the vantage points. Using leave no trace practices when eloping here is super important so we can continue to enjoy the scenic beauty for generations to come.

Best time of year to elope in Big Sur:

April-October (heads up: wildfire season is midsummer, so choosing a date in Spring or Fall can reduce the chances of smoke from the wildfires)

Best locations in Big Sur:


*for insperational use only


*for inspirational use only


*for inspirational use only


Redwood National Park

Home to the tallest trees in the world, Redwood National Park tops the list for best places to elope in the US if you are looking to adventure among these beautiful giants. Not only is Redwood National Park known for its Sequoias, there are also prairies, woodlands, vast rivers and 40 miles of coastline that lie in the park. If you are looking for a forest elopement, where you can also adventure along the coast, then this is the ultimate destination for you!

Best time of year to elope in Redwood National Park:

April-October

Best locations in Redwood National Park:






Joshua Tree National Park 

If waking up in a relaxed desert oasis, with stunning mid-century modern architecture, exploring a unique desert landscape with otherworldly looking plants, and saying “I do” in front of a candy-colored sunset sounds like your dream wedding day, then a Joshua Tree National Park wedding might be just the thing for you! From the most incredible weather during the shoulder season (yes perfect 70s and sunny!), to incredibly dark night skies and shooting stars, Joshua Tree National Park is one the most beautiful places to elope in the US.

Best time of year to elope in Joshua Tree National Park:

 March, April, October & November 

Best locations in Joshua Tree National Park:






 

Best Places to elope in the United States: Alaska

If you love diverse landscapes and are looking for adventure on your elopement day then Alaska should make the top of your list for best places to get married in the US. If you love endless mountain ranges, stunning glaciers, lakes filled with icebergs and extraordinary wildlife look no further, because you found your ultimate elopement destination. Take a scenic helicopter ride over the vast snow capped mountains and land on a glacier with your partner or plan a multi-day hiking trip that starts off at a stunning A-frame cabin. The options are endless when it comes to planning your Alaska elopement. 

Best time of year to elope in Alaska:

June – September

Best locations in Alaska:


*for inspirational use only.


*for inspirational use only.


*for inspirational use only.


*for inspirational use only.


*for inspirational use only.


*for inspirational use only.


 

Best Places to elope in the US: Utah

When you think of Utah, the first thing that comes to mind is desserts filled with red rock canyons, arches and overlooks, but Utah has so much more to offer off then just the red sandstone making it one of the best places to elope in the United States! The state is home to five national parks, all with varying landscapes that would be perfect for your elopement day. From rugged mountain ranges to dense forests to slot canyons and waterfalls, you can find your own slice of heaven in this gorgeous state.


Moab

Moab is one of the perfect places to elope in the US and is the gateway to Arches National Park. Guests travel to Moab for the desert activities enjoyed here like hiking, biking, rock climbing and jeeping. With access to Airbnb’s and hotels, this location is a desert lover’s dream and would make the perfect elopement destination if you are looking for red arches, vast desert landscapes and of course sunny skies with minimal rainfall.

Best time of year to elope in Moab:

March – Early May and September – October

Best locations in the Moab:


Zion National Park

Located in southwest Utah, Zion National Park is known for its steep, red canyon walls, rivers, waterfalls and slot canyons, topping the list of most beautiful places to elope in the US. Zion National Park was Utah’s first national park, and offers more green and vegetation than Arches National Park. Here, you’ll experience the iconic colors of Utah within the canyon walls of Zion. Planning your wedding at Zion National Park will give you the iconic deserts of Utah, but with water features and some lush greenery, too.

Best time of year to elope in Zion National Park:

Spring, early summer and fall

Best locations in Zion National Park:


*for inspirational use only.


Arches National Park

More than 2,000 natural sandstone arches make up the dramatic landscape of Arches National Park, making it one of the best places to elope in the United States if you are looking for that red sandstone backdrop. Located right outside of Moab, Utah, this national park’s iconic scenery is unlike anything you’ve ever seen and will make for incredibly unique wedding backdrops. According to the National Park Service, “This red-rock wonderland will amaze you with its formations, refresh you with its trails, and inspire you with its sunsets.”

Best time of year to elope in Arches National Park:

Fall and spring

Best locations in Arches National Park:


Bonus Utah Elopement Destinations

Amangiri

Looking for more of a luxury experience but still want the desert red-rock views on your elopement day, then the Suites of Amangiri are perfect for you! Feel pampered in the luxury suites, surrounded by canyons, mesas and ridges in the untouched landscape surrounding the resort.

Best time of year to elope at Amangiri:

Spring, Fall and Winter

Bonneville Salt Flats

Just under two hours outside of Salt Lake City lies the Bonneville Salt Flats, one of the most best places to get married in the United States. This otherworldly sight is the remnants of the Ice Age when Lake Bonneville dried up leaving behind a blank canvas for couples like you to enjoy! With mountains spanning the horizon, the best time to elope this 30,000 acre of salt flats is during sunrise and sunset (I promise, you won’t regret getting up early to see the glistening pink sky reflecting off the salt below).

Best time of year to elope at the Salt Flats:

June – September

Looking for more inspiration for planning your best day ever in Utah? Check out this dreamy elopement:






 

Top place to get eloped in the US: Colorado

Colorado is home to the Rocky Mountains, filled with endless evergreen forests and aspen groves lining the mountainside. You’ll find stunning blue alpine lakes, fields of wildflowers, grassy meadows, snow covered peaks and so much more, making Colorado one of the most beautiful places to elope in the US. If you are looking to plan a hiking adventure and summit one of the incredible mountain peaks, take a scenic gondola ride at one of the many ski resorts, jump into a natural hot spring, take a white water rafting trip or enjoy the views at one of the many overlooks, then Colorado may just be the perfect place to plan your best day ever!


San Juan Mountains

Located in the Southwestern portion of the state, the San Juan Mountain range is known for its rugged and steep peaks, 13 of which are over 14,000 feet. One of the most beautiful places to elope in the US, you’ll find stunning waterfalls, aquamarine colored lakes, jagged volcanic peaks and so much more all along the 12,000 square feet of the San Juan Mountain range. During the summer months you will find fields of wildflowers all along hiking trails, bighorn sheep and mountain goats standing by to witness your best day ever. 

Best time of year to elope in the San Juan Mountains:

July – September

Best locations in the San Juan Mountains:


*for inspirational use only.


*for inspirational use only.


*for inspirational use only.


Great Sand Dunes National Park

For those couples who can’t decide between sandy beaches and the mountains, Great Sand Dunes National Park offers the best of both worlds. Located in Southern Colorado, one of the best places to elope in the United States lies Great Sand Dunes National Park. Deemed the tallest dunes in North America, you’ll also find alpine lakes, grasslands, mountains and forests, offering a diverse range of backdrops for couples looking to elope in this stunning National Park.

Best time of year to elope in Great Sand Dunes National Park:

Spring and Fall

Best locations in Great Sand Dunes National Park:


Garden of the Gods

If you are looking for a jaw dropping backdrop that features giant red rock formations on your elopement day with snow capped peaks on the horizon, then look no further because Garden of the Gods is the location for you. Topping the list of best places to get married in the US, the unusual and steep rock formations draw visitors from all over the world. There are several designated areas for elopements in the park and are available on a first come, first served basis.

Best time of year to elope in Garden of the Gods:

Spring – Fall

Best locations in Garden of the Gods:

  • Jaycee Plaza

  • Sentinel Plaza

  • Three Graces Plaza

  • High Point


Rocky Mountain National Park

With aspen trees, jagged mountain peaks, rushing rivers and deep forests, Rocky Mountain National Park is an amazing national park and one of the best places to elope in the United States. Personally, I’m biased towards this national park because it was the very first national park I visited as a kid with my family. We have so many home videos of us at Bear Lake, so there is a sentimental tug on my heart strings when I think about Rocky Mountain National Park!

Best time of year to elope in Rocky Mountain National Park:

Summer and fall

Best locations in Rocky Mountain National Park:


*for inspirational use only.


*for inspirational use only.


Maroon Bells

Located in Aspen, Colorado is the Maroon Bells, the most photographed mountains in North America. The bell shaped peaks reach over 14,000 feet in elevation that overlook a pristine crystal lake below, creating the perfect reflection and making this one of the most beautiful places to elope in the US. This iconic mountain range is home to many different habitats ranging from stunning fields of wildflowers to whimsical aspen groves and even alpine tundras. There are many hiking trails for you to access during your elopement day, plus camping sites and an amphitheater that can be reserved for your elopement ceremony. Receptions can not be held at this location, but there is a picnic site located nearby that would make the perfect location to celebrate your I do’s!

Best time of year to elope in the Maroon Bells:

April – November

Best locations in the Maroon Bells:


Bonus Colorado Elopement Destinations

Sapphire Point Overlook

Located between Keystone and Breckenridge, Sapphire Point Overlook offers stunning views of the Dillon Reservoir and the Tenmile Range. The overlook can be reserved for two-hour time slots and is the only location in the Dillon Ranger District where wedding ceremonies can take place. The trail to the overlook is heavily trafficked and well maintained, making it a great location for couples focused on accessibility and mountain views.

Best time of year to elope at Sapphire Point Overlook:

May – September

Piney River Ranch

Nestled just off of I-70 in Vail, Colorado is this quaint little ranch at the base of an alpine lake with stunning mountain views of the Gore Range. Piney River Ranch offers lodging for you and your guests to stay in the backcountry wilderness of the White River National Forest. Hike up to one of the waterfalls that feeds the lake below or paddle out on a canoe in the middle of Piney Lake. This wedding location is a couple’s dream and will take your breath away if you are looking for those stunning mountain views as your backdrop.

Best time of year to elope at Piney River Ranch:

July – September





*for inspirational use only.


*for inspirational use only.


 

One of the most beautiful places to get married in the US: Kauai

Kauai has some of the most diverse landscapes from canyons, to lush forest, sea cliffs, coastlines and of course waterfalls, there’s no shortage of adventures to enjoy on your elopement day! Kauai is one of the most beautiful places to get married in the United States and is perfect for couples looking for a destination with the best weather, year-round. You could spend the day sailing the Nepali Coast, getting a birds-eye-view of the island from a helicopter, hiking the diverse landscape, saying I do along a seaside cliff with sea turtles as your witness and so much more. Kauai truly has something for everyone and is the perfect location for your dream day!

Best time of year to elope on Kauai:

  • Year-round

Best locations to elope on Kauai:

  • Tunnels Beach

  • Waimea Canyon 

  • The Rainforest

Looking for more inspiration for planning your best day ever on Kauai? Check out these dreamy elopements:












Best Places to Elope in the US: Oregon

From the expanses of the high desert to the rugged and iconic coastline, Oregon is one of the best places to elope in the US! Known for its diverse landscapes, Oregon is a dream elopement destination for couples. Looking to hike a dormant volcano or explore giant rock formations along the coast as you whale watch in the distance or maybe even explore over 80 waterfalls in the Columbia River Gorge? Then Oregon is the ultimate elope destination for you to enjoy your best day ever, with iconic views as your backdrop. You seriously get the best of both worlds, the ocean and the mountains, and can experience it all in one day!

Best time of year to elope in Oregon:

  • April-October

Best locations in the Oregon:

Looking for more inspiration for planning your best day ever in Oregon? Check out these dreamy elopements:












Ready to start planning your wedding day in one of best places to elope in the US ?

Let’s do it! Click the link below and let’s start planning your best day ever!

  


  


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.

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