Best Places to Elope in Yosemite
Eloping in Yosemite National Park has become increasingly popular in recent years and has become one of the top National Parks in the United States to elope in. With its majestic trees, cliffs, and valleys, it has become a popular destination in California for both those who want an adventure-filled elopement, as well as outdoor enthusiasts. Utilize this guide of the best places to elope in Yosemite National Park to help you plan your epic adventure!
Yosemite Elopement Locations
Taft Point is one of many amazing locations to have a wedding ceremony in Yosemite National Park. This viewpoint has an outstanding view of the valley floor and is located near the iconic Half Dome. Taft Point is located along the Taft point trail which can be accessed off of Southside Drive. This trails begins at the parking lot for Washburn Point and is considered easily accessible since it only requires about a 2.2 mile hike. During 2022, accessing Taft Point will require a more strenuous hike due to construction.
El Capitan Meadow
El Capitan Meadow is another popular location to have a wedding ceremony in Yosemite National Park. This massive meadow is on a hillside on the east side of El Capitan. This location also offers stunning views of the valley floor while also boasting views of the well-known El Capitan. El Capitan Meadow is one of the more easily accessible locations in Yosemite and offers drive up access to those who want an epic view without the hike. This is also one of the most beautiful locations in Yosemite to have a fall wedding, when all of the trees are at their peak color.
Glacier Point is one of the most iconic images in all of California and offers an amazing view no matter what time of year you elope in. Glacier Point is one of the most beautiful locations to have an elopement in Yosemite National Park. This is a highly desired location of many and offers some of the best views in the park of Half Dome, Yosemite Valley, and Vernal Falls. It is one of the most accessible locations to elope in Yosemite, making it one of the most popular locations within the park. Glacier Point can be accessed by taking Glacier Point road off of the Wawona Road and after a short hike from the parking lot, you’ll be rewarded with jaw dropping views without the hike. The access from Glacier Point Road will be closed in 2022, making the trip to Glacier Point more difficult for couples wanting to elope here. While Glacier Point is still accessible in 2022, it will attract smaller crowds than usual due to the level of difficulty and that it will only be accessible via the Four Mile, Panorama and Pohono Trails.
Half Dome is the most iconic and recognizable landmark in Yosemite National Park making it a truly epic location to elope, or even just visiting to check off your bucket list! At over 4,000 feet tall it has a unique shape and offers amazing views of Yosemite valley and beyond during the day and at night as well. Half Dome is the ultimate elopement location for the truly adventurous couple who is well versed in the outdoors due to the fact that it is not an easy location to access, and requires a strenuous hike of about 16 miles round trip.
Bridal Veil Fall
Bridal Veil Fall is one of the most popular waterfalls in Yosemite National Park which also doubles as an amazing place to elope. With a beautiful cascade over 1,000 feet tall and a breathtaking view, Bridal Veil tends to be on every list of “places you have to see” when visiting Yosemite National Park. This location is situated in a very picturesque spot on the Merced River and one of the best locations for portraits due to the amount of greenery and beautiful scenery. Bridal Veil Fall is one of the most accessible locations to elope at in Yosemite National Park which is why it has become one of the most popular for both couples that don’t want to hike or those eloping with guests. As of right now, Bridal Veil Fall is currently closed until Fall 2022
Yosemite Falls is one of the most iconic waterfalls in all of Yosemite and offers beautiful views that are truly overwhelming. This gorgeous location is well known as it holds the record for the tallest waterfall in North America measuring 2,425 ft high.
Eloping at Yosemite Falls is very popular during the late spring time when the water flow is highest and fall for obvious reasons. Yosemite Falls is yet another one of Yosemite National Park’s most accessible spots, with a direct route from your parking lot to your ceremony location.
Tunnel View is one of the most popular places for guests to stop at on their way out of Yosemite National Park, but it also offers couples eloping in Yosemite an amazing view of both El Capitan and Half Dome. With Tunnel View being located off of Highway 41, it’s become a popular viewpoint for both couples and tourists, so if you’re considering eloping here, I definitely recommend considering a sunrise ceremony to beat the crowds.
When to elope in Yosemite
While Yosemite National Park doesn’t experience extreme weather like other parts of the country, there are still some seasons to consider when you elope. It’s also important to note that during certain times of the year, some locations may be inaccessible due to weather or construction.
Winter Elopement in Yosemite
While winter is not the best time of year to visit in general, it does make for some absolutely stunning photos and offers a unique challenge for couples. Yosemite National Park typically closes access roads to areas by early November and doesn’t open them back up until late March, limiting the locations to elope at, however there are still plenty of great options to choose from, each with their own stunning landscape.
Fall & Spring Elopement in Yosemite
While these times of year offer amazing views of the beauty Yosemite National Park is known for, be aware that there will obviously be more visitors. To elope in the spring, I recommend choosing one of the waterfalls that are not as popular in order to have a more intimate experience.
Eloping in the Fall in Yosemite
Autumn is without a doubt the best time to elope in Yosemite National Park if you want to experience the landscape changing with the season. The autumn colors make some of the best views in the park, truly stand out with their bold and earthy tones. The summer season is still going strong throughout September, so to experience the best transition into the fall, I recommend eloping towards the middle to end of September when the crowds are beginning to die down.
How much does it cost to elope in Yosemite National Park?
To elope in Yosemite, you will need a special use permit which costs $150. You can apply for a permit no less than 21 days before your ceremony and up to a year in advance. Since Yosemite has become a popular location for couples eloping, it’s important to apply for a permit as early as possible to secure your ceremony location. Whether you are having a legal or commitment ceremony, you will need to secure a permit in order to elope in Yosemite. You can apply for your permit here for any of the approved ceremony sites that are allowed within the park. Once your application is reviewed, you’ll receive the permit in the mail where you will need to sign and mail it back to the Yosemite Parks office for review and processing. Upon approval, you’ll receive the final permit via mail and are required to carry it with you while in the park for your elopement.
Please note that park entrance fees are not associated with the special use permit and couples eloping within Yosemite will still need to pay the required entrance fees.
Book your Yosemite Elopement Photographer
Contact me to learn more about how I’ll capture your day authentically while guiding you on everything you need to know to have an unforgettable elopement experience while creating the connection-centered wedding celebration you’ve always dreamed of!