Are you eloping in Washington, but want to know where you can enjoy towering pine trees, snowy mountain peaks, rainforests or even the desert for your special day? Maybe I’m a little biased being born and raised here, but this state is really one of the most beautiful places to tie the knot. You can drive a few hours from the city and reach the rainforest, or drive a few hours in the other direction and find yourself in the desert. With so many amazing places to elope, it can definitely be challenging trying to find the perfect location to have your elopement, so here’s my guide of the best places to elope in Washington state to help!
Where can you elope in Washington state?
Washington is home to some of the most scenic views in the country, and there are plenty of opportunities to get married surrounded by natural beauty. While many couples choose to elope in well-known national parks like Mount Rainier or Olympic National Park, there are actually dozens of parks to choose from, all throughout the state. Whether you want to exchange vows in front of a glacier or in a lush forest, you can find the perfect spot here in Washington. And with so many parks to choose from, you're sure to find one that fits your style and desired travel. So if you're looking for an unforgettable place to elope, consider one of Washington's many beautiful national parks or another great location from this list of the best places to elope in Washington!
Washington elopement locations
Eloping in Mount Rainier National Park
If you’ve been to Washington, you’re definitely familiar with Mount Rainier. It’s the one that peeks out when you’re driving down the I-5 on a clear day. While Washington does see a lot of rain and cloudy days, summer months usually bring clear skies. Once you get a peek of Mount Rainier from farther away, it’s hard not to want a closer look!
Entrance into Mount Rainier National Park is $30 per vehicle - but if you’re a frequent flier at the United State’s national parks, an interagency pass will get you into any national park, and is good for one year. At $80, it pays for itself pretty quickly!
This national park is usually covered in snow from mid-fall to mid-spring, and while for experienced adventurers this could be fun and a great way to avoid crowds, the best time to elope is generally summer. Crowds typically flock to the park in the summer, but when all the trails are open, it’s easy to find a secluded part of the park for your ceremony. Mount Rainier has everything from easily accessible overlooks that you can drive up to, to long backpacking trails with solitude and epic views.
Where to get married in Mt. Rainier National Park
1) Reflection Lake
Reflection Lake is one of the alpine lakes located on the Paradise side of Mt. Rainier. The view of the mountain reflecting in the still water is an experience that you will never forget, making for the perfect backdrop for your ceremony. There are a few things to keep in mind if you decide to elope at Reflection Lake. The lake is only accessible by hiking, so you will need to be prepared for a bit of a hike (2.5 miles roughly), however, the trail itself is a loop so it’s considered fairly moderate.
2) Grove of Patriarchs (for a forest elopement)
For those eloping in Rainier that want a location where you can also experience the forest, consider eloping at the Grove of Patriarch. The Grove of Patriarchs is a stand of old-growth Douglas fir and western red cedar trees. This is a great location to elope for those that want a light hike since it’s 1.5 miles out and back trail. Located in the SE area of Mount Rainier, along the Stevens Canyon/Cayuse Pass near Ohanapecosh. While this trail is currently closed due to the winter, It’s worth checking out in the summer months once it's reopened!
The Paradise trail in Mt. Rainier National Park is a beautiful and popular hike that offers stunning views of the mountain and the surrounding areas. The best time of year to elope at the Paradise trail is in the summertime. Although the summer is the busiest time to visit, you’ll have more flexibility with your itinerary with the longer days.
4) Fremont Lookout
Eloping at Fremont lookout in Mt Rainier National Park is a very popular spot for weddings. The park offers stunning views of the glacier-clad volcano and the surrounding valleys. The lookout can be reached by a short hike from the Sunrise parking lot, making it one of the most popular places to get married in the park.
5) Tipsoo Lake
If you're looking for a beautiful and romantic spot to elope with majestic mountain views and wildflowers, look no further than Tipsoo Lake. Tipsoo is a popular spot for hikers and is located on the eastern side of the park. The hike to the lake is about 5 miles round trip and is a moderate hike with some elevation gain. Tipsoo Lake is a great option for those that are eloping with guests. Tipsoo Lake is typically only accessible from June-October and the best time to visit Tipsoo Lake is in the summer months, when the wildflowers are in bloom.
Eloping in Olympic National Park
Olympic National Park is west of Seattle and takes up the northwest corner of Washington. The expansive wilderness of this park offers everything from rainforests, to rugged coastlines and tide pools, to mountains and glaciers. When looking at the best places to elope in Washington, Olympic National Park definitely provides the most variety. You can have a picnic at an alpine lake, spot some mountain goats, and dip your toes in the ocean, all in the same day!
Olympic National Park costs $25 per vehicle to enter, but just like Mount Rainier National Park, you can get an interagency pass for just $80 and visit our country’s national parks as often as you want!
While Olympic National Park is very popular, because it’s so big and offers such a variety of scenery and things to do, there are many less-traveled trails and hideaways for a more intimate elopement ceremony. Summer is the most popular time to visit this park, but because so much of it is on the coast, those areas of the park remain accessible in the winter, because it rarely snows. However, the coastal cities definitely see a lot of rain.
If you were (or are) a Twilight fan, you can visit the town of Forks, where the story takes place. The town has a lot of cute lodging options and great hiking trails nearby. La Push is just a short drive away and full of incredible, movie-worthy beaches.
Check out my complete guide on How to Elope in Olympic National Park for everything you need to start planning your Olympic National Park elopement.
Where to get married in Olympic National Park
1) Hurricane Ridge (for a mountain elopement)
A beautiful location within the park that offers expansive views over the park's mountain range. It's a great option for eloping, as it's a fairly short hike and can often be accessed year-round. Hurricane Ridge is best to visit in the late spring, summer, and fall to avoid the snow. In the summer you can often find wildflowers in full bloom and likely a visit or two from the local wildlife.
2) Lake Cushman
Situated on the southeastern part of the peninsula, Lake Cushman is a great location for those that want to incorporate outdoor activities into their wedding day. Whether it's boating, kayaking or paddleboarding, Lake Cushman is great for groups of all sizes and a stunning location to celebrate!
Want to learn how to get married here and discover 15 more epic places to elope in the Olympics? Check out my full guide on How to Elope in Olympic National Park for everything you need to start planning your special day.
If you drove into Leavenworth without knowing anything about it, you might be a little confused. The town is known as the “Bavarian Village” - meaning that everything is designed in the old German style. They actually won’t allow buildings that don’t fit the theme, so even chains such as Starbucks and McDonald's are designed to fit in with the unique style. The story is that in the 1900s, the town was struggling - the railroad no longer. They decided to change the town to draw visitors. Leavenworth became the Bavarian Village, and not just with their aesthetic. The town hosts festivals throughout the year, with Christmas lighting festivals drawing the most crowds each year. And it definitely worked - Leavenworth is a huge tourist destination in Washington.
In Leavenworth, you can eat German food and stay in a cute rustic cottage, but just outside of the town are the Wenatchee mountains. You can explore different parks and trails in the mountains, which tend to be much less crowded and less popular than the national parks. Leavenworth is one of the best places to elope in Washington if you’re looking to combine a relaxing stay in town with an adventure or a hike.
North Cascades National Park Elopement
North Cascades National Park is the least popular park in Washington - but definitely not because it isn’t beautiful! The fact that it’s less crowded means that you can find a secluded spot for your elopement ceremony. This park has everything from ADA-accessible overlooks that you can drive up to, to long hiking trails through the mountains. The Heather-Maple Pass Loop is a popular and beautiful hike that would be perfect for an elopement ceremony. You can end the hike with a dramatic view of the mountain ridges around you and the alpine lakes below.
Unlike most national parks, North Cascades has no entrance fee! The trails inside the park are totally free for everyone to enjoy - all the more reason why this gorgeous park is on my list of the best places to elope in Washington!
North Cascades Elopement Locations
1) Washington Pass Overlook
Washington Pass overlook is a popular spot for elopements for a number of reasons. Firstly, the landscape is absolutely stunning. The overlook provides sweeping views of the Cascade Mountains, complete with glaciers, waterfalls, and evergreen forests. Secondly, Washington Pass is easy to access; it's located just off of Highway 20, making it a convenient choice for couples who want to elope without having to travel far. Lastly, Washington Pass is relatively secluded, providing a feeling of privacy and intimacy for couples who want to exchange their vows away from the crowds that some of the nearby trails attract. Whether you're looking for an epic mountain backdrop or a simply beautiful place to say "I do," Washington Pass overlook is definitely worth considering!
2) Artist Point
Eloping at Artist Point in Mt Baker is a great choice for couples that want a location that offers a mountainous landscape that can be easily accessed. The trailhead is located at the end of the parking lot at the Artist Point scenic viewpoint. From there, the path winds its way up through the forest, crossing several small creeks along the way. The hike is about 2 miles long and takes about 1-2 hours to complete, and offers some of the most gorgeous views in the Pacific Northwest. Once you reach the top, there are incredible views of Mt Baker and the surrounding area. This is an amazing place to elope and with small towns nearby, it's a great option for folks wanting to have a honeymoon nearby.
3) Heather-Maple Pass Loop
Heather-Maple Pass Loop is the perfect place to elope for anyone who wants to escape or anyone who wants to enjoy a more intimate ceremony surrounded by natural beauty. The landscape is picturesque, with towering mountains, pristine forests, and alpine meadows. Plus, Heather-Maple Pass Loop is easily accessible from Seattle, making it a convenient option for couples who live in the area. And, because it’s located in a popular recreation area, there are plenty of nearby hotels and restaurants for guests to enjoy. So if you're looking for a beautiful and convenient place to elope, Heather-Maple Pass Loop should be at the top of your list!
4) Picture Lake
Picture Lake is a beautiful landscape located in the North Cascades of Washington state. It's a popular spot for elopements because of its stunning mountain views, serene lakefront setting, and easy access. The lake is situated at the base of Mount Shuksan, one of the tallest peaks in the Cascade Range, and is surrounded by evergreen forests. Picture Lake is also one of the few lakes in the region that allows dogs, making it a great destination for couples who want to include their furry friends in their elopement.
Snoqualmie Pass Elopement
If you’re hoping not to get too far from the city, Snoqualmie Pass is probably the closest place to Seattle where you can go to get epic nature views and pacific northwest vibes. Being so close to the city, many of these trails get crowded, fast! But, if you elope at sunrise or sunset (but especially sunrise), you’ll be able to avoid people. Some amazing places to elope in Snoqualmie Pass include Gold Creek Pond, Franklin Falls, and Rattlesnake Lake. There are also a ton of hidden, lesser-known gems around!
Most of the parking lots in this area require a Forest Pass - but check the exact trail or park you’re visiting, as some are free, and some require a Discover Pass instead.
Best Wedding Locations in Snoqualmie Pass
1) Gold Creek Pond Trail
The Gold Creek Pond Trail is a great place to experience the beauty of nature. The trail winds through a woodland area and provides a view of Gold Creek Pond which overlooks the mountains. Gold Creek Pond is a popular spot for couples eloping, since it’s a beautiful and secluded area that is just off the i90 interstate, making it easily accessible for those staying in Seattle or the nearby area. Gold Creek Pond is a great elopement location for couples that plan on having guests or for those that need a paved trail for accessibility. The most popular time to visit Gold Creek is in the summer months, however, it has become a popular area to snowshoe during the winter time and is still an option for couples in the winter, before there’s heavy snowfall.
2) Rattlesnake Lake & Rattlesnake Ledge
If you're looking for an intimate and scenic spot to elope, Rattlesnake Lake is a great option. With its jaw-dropping views of the Cascade Mountains and easy access from Seattle, this spot is a favorite for couples looking to tie the knot in an epic landscape that’s not far from the city. Rattlesnake Lake is a location that offers several areas for a ceremony, whether you want to hike up to the ledge and elope on the cliffside or stay by the lake.
Waterfalls in Snoqualmie, Washington for Eloping
1) Snoqualmie Falls
Snoqualmie Falls is a 266-foot waterfall located in Snoqualmie, just outside of Seattle. The falls are a popular spot to get married and offer several areas to view the falls, as well as a path that goes behind the falls. Snoqualmie Falls is an easy-to-access location for those that want to be close to the city, while still having a romantic background for their elopement.
2) Franklin Falls
Franklin Falls is located in the Chattahoochee National Forest and is an easy drive from Seattle. It's a beautiful location situated in the forest and offers many areas to stop along the way for portraits. The hike to Franklin falls is fairly easy, being only .7 miles, and is a great location option for those wanting to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, while still being close to town. If you're looking for a place to elope that offers waterfalls, forests, and a quiet location that’s not far from Seattle, Franklin falls is a perfect choice!
Eastern Washington Elopement Locations
1) Columbia River Gorge (river elopement)
The Columbia River Gorge is a stunning landscape located in the Pacific Northwest and runs in between both Washington & Oregon. The Gorge is known for its dramatic cliffs, waterfalls, and rivers. It's also a popular spot for outdoor activities like hiking, kayaking, and camping. Eloping in the Columbia River Gorge would be an unforgettable experience. The scenery is absolutely breathtaking, and there are plenty of romantic places to exchange vows. Whether you want to elope at a waterfall or in front of a river, the Columbia River Gorge has it all.
2) Palouse Falls (waterfall elopement)
Palouse Falls is a hidden gem located in southeastern Washington. The falls are nestled in a canyon and surrounded by steep cliffs and a desert landscape. There are several hiking trails that wind through the canyon, providing breathtaking views of the falls. The secluded location and unique desert landscape make it the perfect setting for a ceremony, that’s different from the typical Pacific Northwest vibe most couples elope at. In addition, the falls are easily accessible from Spokane, making Palouse Falls an ideal choice for couples looking for a unique and easy-to-access elopement destination.
3) Wallula Gap Overlook
Wallula Gap Overlook is a secluded spot located in southeastern Washington state. The landscape is peaceful and picturesque, with rolling hills, grassy meadows, and a river winding through the valley below. Wallula Gap is the perfect place to elope for couples who are looking for a private, romantic setting. The overlook is accessible by a short hike from the parking area, making it easy to get to without spending all day on the trail. Once you reach the top, you'll be rewarded with stunning views in all directions. Wallula Gap Overlook is a beautiful place to elope for those that want accessibility while enjoying an intimate ceremony.
What time of year should you elope in Washington?
Fall [all seasons: rain, snow, sun]
Fall is a beautiful time to elope in Washington. The leaves are changing color and the air is crisp and fresh. There are many romantic locations to choose from, including forests, mountains, and waterfalls. Fall is also a great time to get married because the weather is cooler and there are fewer crowds. If you elope in Washington in the fall, keep in mind that there may be snow in some of the more mountainous locations, and the rainy season tends to start, so the weather does vary a bit from early to late fall in the Pacific Northwest, which is something to keep in mind when deciding where to elope!
Winter [rain, snow]
Eloping in the winter can be a magical experience. The snow creates a beautiful backdrop, and the cooler temperatures make it more comfortable to spend time outdoors. Washington is a great place to elope, as there are a number of stunning locations to choose from. The Cascade Mountains provide a dramatic setting, while the Puget Sound offers stunning views of the water. Eloping in the winter also has its benefits, as there are typically fewer people around and you can save money on your elopement when it comes to lodging. However, it is important to be prepared for the cold weather and have a backup plan in case of bad weather (Don’t worry, I’m here to help with this, plus providing you with all the info you need to be best prepared!).
Spring [some snow in areas, rain, sun]
Eloping in the springtime can be a lovely way to celebrate your love and avoid the stress of planning a large wedding. Washington state is a beautiful place to elope, with its verdant hills, rainforests, and snow-capped mountains. There are a number of ways to elope in Washington, from getting married at a state or national park to exchanging vows in front of a waterfall. The Spring can be a little more on the rainy side (at least in the early months), but with the trails being less crowded, it’s the perfect opportunity to have an intimate experience even in the typically more crowded locations.
Summer [mostly sunny]
Summer in Washington is the perfect time to elope. The weather in most of the state is warm but not too hot, and the days are long, providing ample opportunity to explore all that your location has to offer. From its stunning mountain peaks to its idyllic coastal towns, Washington is a truly diverse state, and we’ll work together to find a location that is perfect for your elopement! Whether you are looking to explore a well-known trail or you want to find a hidden gem that is off the beaten path, eloping in the summer is one of the best times to celebrate!
Washington Elopement Photographer
As someone who's spent the majority of my life in this beautiful place, eloping in Washington is seriously so magical and as a Washington elopement photographer, my priority is to help guide you on everything you need to celebrate your love in a way that is a true reflection of your relationship. From helping you find the perfect locations to itineraries, activity ideas, vendors, and more, as your elopement photographer, my goal is to help you bring your vision to life and enjoy a one of a kind celebration. Get in touch to schedule a consult and I’ll walk you through the logistics of planning & how I'll help make eloping in Washington a breeze, so you can sit back, relax and focus on your love.
Washington Elopement Packages
If reading this list of my top places to elope in Washington got you feeling inspired, check out this post to learn how to get married in Washington. If you’re ready to explore this amazing state and want some more specific location ideas, reach out for information about Washington elopement packages, pricing, and how we'll bring your special day to life!
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