The Best Places to Elope in Oregon
If you’ve never been to Oregon, I have one question for you – why the heck not?! You might be familiar with Portland – land of hippies and yummy donuts – but just outside of the city lie miles and miles of forests, hot springs, and lakes, and if you’re willing to drive just a few hours you’ll find everything from mountains to deserts to incredible ocean views. Oregon seriously has it all, making it an incredible place to elope. Here is my list of the best places to elope in Oregon to get you inspired!
The Columbia River Gorge in Oregon has the highest concentration of waterfalls in the United States! Which means you’ll have no shortage of great waterfalls to choose from, including everything from drive up overlooks to long hikes. The Gorge is just a 30 minutes drive from Portland, making it a perfect destination for a day of adventures.
Latourell Falls is one of the most popular destinations in the Columbia River Gorge, but for good reason! After a quick quarter mile walk down from the parking lot, you’ll be greeted by a gorgeous waterfall. At the lower falls, you’ll be right at the base of the waterfall – and if you’re up for a little adventure, you can feel the mist of the falls on your skin. There is also a 2.5 mile hike to the upper falls, which gives you a different view of this spot.
This is a 2.4 mile round trip hike with just a little bit of elevation gain, making it the perfect spot if you don’t want to work too hard for a good view, but want to avoid some of the crowds at Latourell Falls. From the trailhead, you’ll walk through a forest of cottonwoods, alders, big-leaf maples, and Douglas firs. About halfway to the main attraction, you’ll be greeted by Munra Falls. At the end of the trail, you’ll see moss covered rocks and Wahclella Falls, which features two drops and runs through a rocky canyon.
Bridal Veil Falls is a 1.4 mile hike, and is rated easy. If you’re eloping with family or bringing guests along, this is a great spot that’s not too difficult to get to! The trailhead is right off the highway, and the trail will take you past clifftop overlooks and sweeping vistas, and ends with the two tiered falls.
While Oregon may be best known for its forests and greenery, you definitely don’t want to miss out on its desert landscapes!
Located in the Southeast corner of Oregon, the Alvord Desert is a dry lake bed surrounded by towering mountains in all directions. This spot is hours away from any large city, so while it isn’t the most easily accessible location, that makes it perfect for stargazing because there is so little light pollution. On this huge stretch of land, you’ll have no problem finding a private spot to say your vows. There are also several hot springs nearby, so you can spend your elopement day relaxing in nature’s hot tubs!
Just a few hours east of Portland is the cute little town of Bend, which is surrounded by many desert destinations, including Smith Rock State Park. This park has a variety of different trails, along with some amazing spots to go rock climbing, if you’re into that! You can take a short hike to an overlook, or hike down into the valley and explore the rocky formations for a more secluded ceremony location.
The painted hills are one of the most unique locations to elope! You’ll feel like you took a trip to Mars as you wander through layers of red, yellow, gold, and black soil that make up the hills. The trails through the Painted Hills are short and easily accessible, and this location is close to Bend!
Oregon’s rugged coastlines and amazing views of the ocean are a huge tourist destination, and even just a drive down the coast is well worth the trip! The coast features many of my favorite places to elope in Oregon, and while many of these spots are very popular, you can’t go wrong with a sunrise elopement to avoid the crowds!
With an inn right on the ocean and a brewery next door, Cape Kiwanda has everything you need for an Oregon elopement! You can take a walk along the beach, dip your toes in the water, and surf in the chilly ocean waves, or you can take a quick walk up to the cliff that faces the ocean. There, you’ll be greeted by dramatic views of the Pacific Ocean and the waves crashing on the rocks below.
At Hug Point State Park, you can climb on the rocks and explore caverns and tide pools. When the tide is low, you can even wander a little ways down the beach to see a waterfall coming down the cliff face! Hug Point is located just 10 minutes from Cannon Beach (another great elopement location), but is much less crowded and less popular than its neighbor. With no hiking required, Hug Point is easily accessible and perfect for any elopement!
This spot on the Oregon coast gets its name from the bowl shaped rock formation that is carved into the cliffside. The bowl fills with waves from the Pacific, and really showcases the power of the ocean as the waves churn and swirl around before disappearing back with the lowering tide. You can walk down a short trail to the beach and see small waterfalls coming down the cliffside, as well as explore the rocks and caverns that line the coast.
Crater Lake National Park is one of Oregon’s most iconic locations. Crater Lake features crystal clear blue waters, surrounded by mountains on all sides. You can cliff jump off of rock faces, hike up for a birds eye view of the water, or take a boat ride through the crater itself. As Oregon’s only national park, this place gets a lot of foot traffic – but don’t be discouraged! With so many trails to explore, it’s easy to find a hideaway for a private elopement ceremony.
Mt Hood often peeks through when you’re driving around Oregon, and as majestic as it looks from far away, it’s even better up close! In the wintertime, Mt Hood is a gorgeous winter wonderland, and in the summer, it offers fields of wildflowers and reflective lakes. There are a ton of trails and beautiful spots to explore, so if you’re eloping at Mt Hood, your only issue will be narrowing down the best place to tie the knot!
Broken top is located right outside of Bend, Oregon, and is actually an eroded stratovolcano! You can take a quick hike up to a turquoise blue lake surrounded by jagged mountain peaks, and elope in one of the most beautiful places in Oregon! During the winter, Broken Top is usually covered in snow, but you can still snowshoe to the lake. July and August are your best bet for a snow free elopement at Broken Top!
Oregon really does have something for everyone, whether you want mountains, oceans, deserts, waterfalls, or whatever else your heart desires! It’s an amazing elopement destination, and while this list barely even begins to cover all of the gorgeous places to elope in Oregon, if you’re ready to start planning your own elopement, contact me! Let me know which one of these is calling your name, and we can begin planning your epic adventure.
Adventure elopement photographer, planner, charcuterie expert and artist living in the good ol' PNW.