Mt Rainier Engagement Photos
I am the biggest fangirl of Mount Rainier, and, let me tell you, she was showing off during these Mt Rainier engagement photos. Mt Rainier is my favorite part of flying back into the Seattle area because she’s just the best “welcome home” banner (some Alaska Airlines pilots will even fly over her specifically for the best view!). She can be seen throughout Seattle and is truly in a league of her own. Standing at 14,411 feet, this active volcano (instant cool points!) attracts tourists and locals year-round to explore its alpine lakes, blooming wildfires and fire lookouts (my personal favorite!). So, I was so jazzed when this incredible couple wanted to celebrate their engagement with photos at Mt Rainier National Park!
Meet the couple from these Mt Rainier engagement photos
Natalie and Jake got engaged just days before their vacation to Washington, so our Adventure Session became their Mt Rainier engagement session! During the weeks leading up to this session, there had been wildfires throughout the Pacific Northwest, and I was so fearful that the epic Mt Rainier backdrop would be masked by a veil of smoke! But, boy was I wrong! Mt Rainier showed up in all her glory, including a beyond epic sunset, for their engagement photos. We had the trails all to ourselves, so we soaked up the golden-hour rays for as long as we could!
I met Natalie and Jake at the trailhead with the snacks in my hand (did you know I always bring snacks?). We started hiking on the trail with Mt Rainier in sight, and they shared their love story with me. These two were so full of joy, and Natalie was a trooper for hiking in her dress (that perfectly matched the color of the sky!). We quite literally raced against the sun to get these photos captured, and I’d say it was so incredibly worth it.
Best Locations in Mt Rainier National Park for your engagement photos
Have I convinced you that Mt Rainier might just be the best location for your engagement photos? 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!
At a fire lookout
Deep in the forest with the giant pines
Along an alpine lake
If you’re wanting epic views at your adventure elopement, then a fire lookout might just be the perfect location for you. 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! See some of my favorite fire lookout adventures below:
Up until about 3,0000 feet of elevation, the Mt Rainier National Park’s ancient, lowland forests feature giant trees that reach over 200-feet into the air. How do you feel about having a forest of giants as your backdrop for your Mt Rainier engagement photos? Sign me up! And, alpine lakes are some of the most serene places I’ve ever been. The stillness of the water can create a glassy reflection, making a stunning engagement photo backdrop. If you want to find out more about my favorite locations for engagement photos in Mt Rainier National Park, click here for my complete guide to adventuring at Mt Rainier.
The best time of year for your Mt Rainier engagement photos: what you need to know about Mt Rainier weather
One of the great things about Mt Rainier National Park is the year-round accessibility! So, no matter what time of year you’re dreaming of taking engagement pictures, Mt Rainier has so many options. My personal-favorite season for engagement photos at Mt Rainier is summer. All the roads are open and accessible, there are fields of wildflowers blooming (like the ones around Natalie and Jake!), and it is the time of year when a view of Mt Rainier is most-likely. Did you know that Mt Rainier isn’t visible most of the year? This time-lapse video shows that Mt Rainier was only visible 83 times in one year! So, if you’re dreaming of a Mt Rainier engagement photo backdrop, I highly recommend planning your photo shoot in the summer.
The best Mt Rainier hikes: how Mollie finds the best trails
Wondering how I found these amazing engagement photo locations? This is one of my favorite parts of my job as a Washington elopement photographer: I personally scout locations that are specific for my couples’ personalities. I have always had a passion for hiking, so this part of my job has always come naturally to me! I’m a big fan of Washington trails, and would love to explore them with you! Mt Rainier National Park has some of my favorite hiking trails in the state, 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 planning your Mt Rainier engagement photo shoot!
Need some inspiration for your Mt Rainier engagement photos? Explore the adventures below
From Seattle to Mt Rainier: what you need to pack for your engagement photos at Mt Rainier
An important detail to consider when planning your Mt Rainier engagement photos is travel. I have worked with clients who travel from out of state (like Natalie and Jake) or even live in Washington but have never been to Mt Rainier before. Basically, I’ve worked with a lot of different scenarios when it comes to travel logistics for photo shoots at Mt Rainier. It takes about 2 hours to travel to Mt Rainier National Park from Seattle, depending on where you are in the city. So, you’ll want to make sure you don’t forget anything before you leave for your engagement photos at Mt Rainier. Here’s what I suggest packing:
Layers of clothes for temperature changes at the mountain
Change of clothes for your car ride home
Screenshots of directions because you’ll likely lose service within the park
Headlamp (especially if you’re taking sunrise or sunset engagement photos)
I oftentime find myself looking back on this Mount Rainier engagement session. Can we have a quick moment of vulnerability? Okay, thanks! I promise to keep it brief! When I first started photography, I quickly became overwhelmed and envious of the epic photos I would see on Instagram. I felt as though I had to go to an international location to get the coolest photos in the most jaw-dropping locations. But, as time has progressed, I am realizing a very important thing. Our national parks can be way underrated. I don’t know about you, but scrolling through these photos reminds me that these Washington hills are still alive with the sound of music (lol).
At the end of the day, these photos are not for me, my blog, my website or my social media. These photos are for some of the coolest, kindest and most adventurous people I have had the honor to capture with my camera. My hope is that every couple gets to look back on these photos in five, ten, 25, even 50 years from now and feel the same emotions of love, adventure and joy spark up in them (yes, I love Marie Kondo and I’m not ashamed).