How To Plan Your Wedding In Olympic National Park
When you think of having a wedding in the Olympic National park, do you picture rugged peaks? This is the first thing that comes to mind for a lot of people - but in reality, the landscape of the Olympic National Park in Washington is filled with so much diversity, that you can honestly experience any type of scenery you can think of.
I might be a little biased, being an elopement photographer in Washington, but this state is really one of the most beautiful places to elope and if you’re planning your wedding in the Olympic National Park, it’s bound to check all your boxes. From mountain peaks, to rugged coastline, rainforests, and hot springs the Olympic National Park has it all.
With so many amazing and picturesque locations to elope, the ONP will be sure to leave you jaw dropping and in love. Here is my guide to planning an Olympic National Park Wedding or Elopement.
ULTIMATE GUIDE ON HOW TO ELOPE IN OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK
FROM WHERE TO ELOPE, TO FINDING THE PERFECT ACCOMMODATIONS FOR YOUR ELOPEMENT. THIS GUIDE WILL HELP PREPARE YOU FOR AN EPIC ELOPEMENT IN THE OLYMPICS!
1) Decide on your location and time of year, check out this guide for amazing locations to help you get started!
2) Pick your photographer. Finding your photographer can be one of the harder parts of planning your elopement, however if you want a photographer who specializes in elopements and intimate weddings, and someone who is going to be your elopement guide and photographer, As a born and raised Washingtonian, I would freaking love to not only document your special day but help you plan your incredible elopement! Fill out my contact form to inquire with me :)
3) We’ll craft your one of a kind elopement experience and go over all the details so that you can have the best day ever!
4) You’ll decide on your accommodations and lodging. I go over a bunch of campgrounds, lodging and RV details in this guide but you’ll want to pick a place to stay that aligns with your plans and is near your elopement location.
5) You’ll want to make sure you apply for a Washington State Marriage license. It’s covered in this guide but you can check out my other resource on How to Elope in Washington for more info.
6) Kick back, relax and celebrate your love and commitment to one another in a unique and adventurous way!
A run through on the steps to elope in Olympic National Park
Ceremony locations in Olympic National Park
If you want an easily accessible trail but don’t want to sacrifice the gorgeous view, Cape Flattery in Olympic National Park is an amazing spot for your elopement! Cape flattery is managed by the Makah Tribe and located on the tip of the coast in the Olympics. If you crave the rugged coastal vibe and want to feel like you’re cliffside to the ocean, A Cape Flattery wedding is for you! Learn more about visiting Cape Flattery on the Washington Trail Association website.
If you’re wanting the rainforest vibe with a gorgeous waterfall, Marymere Falls in Olympic National Park is for you! Marymere Falls is located 20 miles west of Port Angeles and has a magical 90 foot waterfall surrounded by luscious sword ferns and moss. If a waterfall elopement is on your bucket list, check out the Olympic National Park site specific to waterfalls in the park.
ALPINE LAKE ELOPEMENTS
If you’ve never seen an alpine lake before, then you’re in for a treat. Lake Crescent is one of my favorite alpine lakes in the ONP and absolutely stunning for ceremonies, portraits and engagement sessions. Situated about 18 miles west from Port Angeles, Lake Crescent also has tons of nearby trails that climb the surrounding mountains. This spot also has several picnic areas as well, making it easily accessible and family friendly. Marymere Falls is also closeby so if you’re wanting a lakeside elopement followed by stunning waterfall portraits, you’re in for a treat. For more info on planning your Lake Crescent elopement check out the Olympic National park site for Lake Crescent
If mountain views are high on your list, you might want to consider Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park. Hurricane ridge is located just 17 miles south of Port Angeles. Hurricane Ridge is one of the most accessible trails in the park and on a clear day, has some of the most stunning views and can be accessed year round. The trail has a wide range of trail types from ridgetop traverses and steep trails that descend to gorgeous valleys and subalpine lakes. During the spring and summer months, you can find yourself amidst subalpine meadows and an abundance of wildlife. Hurricane ridge is easily one of my favorite locations for a wedding in Olympic National park given the jaw dropping sunset and sunrise giving panoramic views of the mountains.
Lake Cushman is situated in the Olympic National Forest and encompasses a 4,000 acre reservoir and overlooks stunning views of mountain peaks such as Mt. Elinor, Mt. Rose and Lightning Peak. If you want the best of both worlds (peaks and lake), an Elopement at Lake Cushman is an epic spot. It also helps that the area is large enough that you can easily find privacy, making your intimate wedding secluded while getting married amidst gorgeous landscapes. For more information on planning your Lake Cushman Elopement check out the Olympic National Forest website for details on the area and nearby trails.
If an elopement among alpine meadows, jeweled lakes and beautiful glacier peaks sounds like your jam, eloping at Lake Quinault may be the spot! Located in the southwestern area of Olympic National Park, Lake Quinault is about a 3 hour drive from Port Angeles and an hour from Forks, WA. Lake Quinault, just like the HOH is a temperate rainforest and a perfect location if you’re looking for seclusion, this is a great elopement location! For more info on planning your trip to Lake Quinault for your elopement, check out the Olympic National Park site for details.
In the town of La Push lies three beaches that are absolutely stunning and make for a dreamy elopement or intimate wedding. The first beach of La Push is accessible by car, making it a popular spot for surfing, hiking and fishing. The second and third beach of La Push are some of the best spots for a ceremony because they are not accessible by car, allowing you to have a private beach ceremony and celebration without the added tourism. Luckily, the hikes to the second and third beach are not too difficult and both are just shy of 2 miles long for hiking. For more info on planning your La Push wedding check out the La Push All Trails site.
RUBY BEACH AND KALALOCH BEACH
Located on the Southern Coast of the Olympic National Park lies Ruby Beach and Kalaloch Beach. Both beaches are known for their abundance of marine life and long spanning sand filled beaches. These spots tend to be more popular, however the accessibility makes it great elopement location for couples that plan to have guests. It’s also a plus that Kalaloch Beach is so vast, leaving plenty of room to get away from the crowds and have a more secluded ceremony. Nearby is Kalaloch Lodge which sits right on the beach, making it a great spot for your all-inclusive getaway. If you prefer to camp, Kalaloch also has a large campground nearby so you don’t have to travel far from your elopement to your campsite. For more information on accessing Ruby and Kalaloch beach check out the Olympic National Park website.
THE HOH RAINFOREST
Situated 75 miles from Port Angeles is a gorgeous sand beach with giant rock pillars overlooking the ocean. Rialto is perfect for those that want the beach access for their elopement in a peaceful area with a low tide. Only about 3 miles from Rialto lies the Mora campground. Mora campground sites are on a reservation basis during the summer months (June through September) and one of the larger campsites in the park, with 94 campsites in total. During the non-summer months, Mora Campground is on a first come first serve basis. Rialto is a short 30 minute drive from Forks, WA and only an hour from the HOH Rainforest and southern coast. Learn more about planning your Rialto Beach wedding and requirements by visiting Mora and Rialto on the Olympic National Park website.