There’s a reason — or a dozen reasons — why mountain backdrops are quite possibly the most popular scenery for eloping couples. For those who love to hike, completing a new (or your favorite) trail together is a beautiful, although sometimes challenging, symbol for starting your marriage. It can highlight how well you support one another even while exploring “the unknown” and give you that “top of the world” feeling of committing to the one you love the most.
But even if you aren’t much of a hiker, finding a mountaintop overlook either easily accessible or via a 4WD road can still be the best spot to celebrate your elopement. Luckily, there is no shortage of mountain views in the US. Here are our top recommended mountain locations for an epic elopement day.
The Pacific Northwest
The western portion of Washington and Oregon is some of the dreamiest landscapes in the world. This lush, green region is the only temperate rainforest in the US, and is loaded with fantastic mountains for your elopement.
In Washington, you have the Olympic mountains on the peninsula, the North Cascades towards the border of Canada, and Mount Rainier outside of Seattle. In Oregon, the Cascade range continues, and places like Mt. Hood and Crater Lake also top the list of great places to elope. Head on over to our list of places to elope in Washington to inspire you.
Out of any state in the US, Colorado has the largest collection of 14,000-foot peaks. But even if you aren’t planning to hike a 14er for your elopement, there are nearly endless mountains to explore for your big day. The San Juan mountain range on the western slope are our favorites, being the most dramatic and eye-catching. However, other great spots along the front range near Colorado Springs and Boulder are often best for anyone not used to the elevation. Check out our list of the best places to elope in Colorado to give you more ideas!
Grand Teton National Park
Most people have heard of Yellowstone, but the national park right next door is a truly iconic place to have a mountain elopement. The Grand Tetons offer some challenging hikes, yet most couples opt for a location like Schwabacher Landing where they can have the Tetons be the perfect natural backdrop for their ceremony. We love this spot at sunrise, since the sun rises in the east above the plains, lighting up these peaks all shades of pink and purple first thing in the morning.
Want something less crowded? Consider another spot in Wyoming like the Snowy Range Scenic Byway, which made it onto our list of the most underrated places to elope.
This state’s name is derived from the Spanish word “montaña” — meaning mountains or mountainous — making it truly fitting for a mountain elopement. It’s also home to the famous Glacier National Park, where you can experience sweeping mountain views, glaciers, rivers, and lakes all in one place.
Smoky Mountains National Park
Although much smaller in scale than the mountains of the West, the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina have a special place in our hearts. These lower forested mountains can often be seen with mist and fog rolling through the peaks and valleys, giving the region its “smoky” name. The national park is one of the best locations in the US to elope for mountain views. While here, we also recommend checking out the town of Asheville and the Blue Ridge Parkway (another mountain location we love for elopements here).
Commonly called the “last frontier,” Alaska is home to some of the most striking mountain ranges you’ll ever see. And even in its busiest season of summer, there is so much space and far fewer crowds than most other mountain locations, making it an ideal spot for those who truly want to “get away” from everyone else on their elopement day. The best part? From some locations like in the image above, only accessible by helicopter, you can get a combination of mountain and glacier views! See more images from Kim + Bryan’s helicopter elopement here.
Although most mountain locations can be quite cold and snowy, even into the summer, the tropical mountains of Hawaii on islands like Kauai and Maui are much warmer. Hawaii is an amazing destination for elopements, especially if you don’t want to settle for just one type of scenery. From these mountains, you can also see the Pacific Ocean, as well as thick forests, waterfalls, canyons, and open fields. It’s the type of place where a two (or even three) day elopement can even come close to doing the place justice, because there’s just so much to see and do.
There’s no way we could leave out California on this list. For one, the Sierra-Nevada mountains include some of the most unique spots in the US, like Yosemite and Tahoe. But there are also other truly underrated locations like Lassen Volcanic National Park that could make for one unforgettable elopement experience.
Get all the insight you need for elopement locations in California on this list!
Your Elopement Photography + Videography Team
Skyewater Photo + Film is an adventure elopement and destination wedding photo and video team based in Colorado. We help couples plan elopements all over the US, and offer insight for more than just photography: from planning assistance, finding and booking locations, vendor references and more! Reach out to our elopement photography and videography team today to get more info!