The entire Pacific Northwest (PNW) attracts couples eloping from all over the world — and for so many great reasons. Between the combination of mountains and coastlines, stunning national and state parks, wildflowers, misty forests, and wide open views, Washington and Oregon have so many dreamy places to elope!
Whether you’re hoping to stay closer to Seattle and Puget Sound, or you just already know you want to elope in Washington, we have compiled some of the best location options for your big day. And for planning assistance and to capture it all on camera, our elopement photo + video team is here to help!
We’ve also broken down our ultimate location list below into regions so you can more easily figure out the most ideal place to say your “I do’s”.
Please note: be sure to check with all local parks, national forests, and/or municipalities regarding permits that may be required before eloping to one of these locations. We provide general permit information below, but these requirements change often, so reach out to the appropriate place for the most up-to-date info.
Places to Elope in Northern WA
North Cascades National Park
For some of the most dramatic mountain views in the state, your best option is North Cascades National Park, hands-down. This park is less than three hours from Seattle, but feels like a world away. Rocky cliffs, jagged peaks, and over 300 glaciers make this place feel truly magical and impressive.
However, you’ll want to note that some parts of the park are open year-round, while others are only open seasonally during the summer months. Ideally, you’ll want your wedding date in this park to be between July and September or October at the latest for the best weather.
To top it off, it’s one of the least visited national parks in the US, which means far fewer crowds around for your intimate ceremony! And as a bonus, if you’re hoping to have your dog(s) with you, there are even a few locations that allow pets, such as the Pacific Crest Trail.
Some of the top spots in North Cascades for eloping include Sourdough Mountain Trail, Cascade Pass, and Hidden Lake Peak. Or check out some of the best fire lookouts in the state, several of which are in this region!
Although the open meadow you see across Pinterest and other websites for elopements at this spot is no longer allowed for use, you can still elope along the shores of this stunning turquoise green lake in the North Cascades. Diablo Lake even has a trail by the same name (Diablo Lake Trail), or you can take a boat tour such as the Seattle City Light if your elopement date is between June and October.
Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest
If you want to stay a bit closer to Seattle, but still want those epic Cascade views, consider this national forest, with the Maple Pass Trail near Lake Ann and Rainey Lake. You’ll be surrounded by tall, sharp peaks, and can even bring your dog(s) with you as long as they are kept on a leash. There is no camping allowed near the lakes, but it’s still well worth it for a full-day hiking elopement.
San Juan Islands
Another top choice for a more coastal option in northern Washington is the area near the San Juan Islands. Here are just a few beautiful spots in this region for your elopement:
- Friday Harbor, Lime Kiln Point State Park, San Juan Island
- San Juan Islands National Monument, Lopez Island
- Shark Reef Sanctuary, Lopez Island
- Spencer Spit State Park, Lopez Island
- Moran State Park, Orcas Island
Deception Pass State Park
Another absolutely dreamy place to elope is Deception Pass. Although this place is the most-visited state park in Washington, it’s so easy to see why. You can have access to stunning sunsets over the water, a variety of hidden coves and cliffs, forests, and miles of scenic coastline along Puget Sound. Since it is so popular, you’ll likely want to aim for a weekday elopement here. Get all some initial information on eloping at Deception Pass on our elopement guide here.
Places to Elope Near Seattle + Central Washington
If you’re looking for a scenic location within a few hours to Seattle for an epic mountain elopement, Mount Rainier is likely going to be at the top of your list. This 14,400+ foot peak is one of the most popular areas in the state, so a weekday elopement here is best. Some of our favorite things to see at this location include wildflowers and waterfalls during the summer, and plenty of snow sports in the winter. And one of the best trails in the area for scenery is the Sourdough Ridge Trail.
Crystal Mountain Resort
If you think the only way to get mountaintop views is by hiking, think again!
Crystal Mountain Resort isn’t just for skiing and snowboarding in the winter. They even offer summertime rides on the scenic gondola with endless views of Mt. Rainier. And if you’re eloping with family and friends, or opting for an intimate wedding with 10-30 people, we definitely suggest reserving one of their ceremony locations, such as the Mt. Rainier Platform or the Sundeck. To top it off, it’s less than a 2-hour drive to Seattle!
Another favorite spot of ours in Washington State is Snoqualmie Pass. This small ski town has no shortage of mountain views, but you can also get the perfect combination of forest vibes and lakefront scenery as well! And if you’re planning an all-day elopement with hopes of getting some dramatic waterfall time in, definitely make the short drive over to Snoqualmie Falls!
Mount Adams (known by some Native American tribes as Pahto or Klickitat) is the second tallest peak in Washington at over 12,000 feet. Although it’s a potentially active volcano, it hasn’t erupted in over 1,000 years. This region has over 10 active glaciers, which all support running water such as streams and waterfalls into the forests and meadows below. It’s definitely another super scenic spot for elopements, and only
Discovery Park + Magnolia Bluff
If you love the outdoors but want something very easy to access and close to the metro area, we highly recommend checking out Discovery Park. Managed by the city of Seattle, this park has over 500 acres to explore, with plenty of views overlooking Puget Sound. From Magnolia Bluff, you can see wide open views of the water, the Cascade and Olympic mountains, meadows, and wildlife — all of which make for a beautiful, local backdrop for your elopement. And for a bonus: you’ll also get to see the West Point Lighthouse!
For those who enjoy watching the sun set over the Seattle skyline, nothing quite beats the city views from Kerry Park. It’s a perfect, easy-to-access spot right in the city for an urban elopement.
As you may have noticed from our name (Skyewater Photo + Film), we absolutely love anything that gets us closer to the water. If you’re anything like us, that even means being on the water for an amazing day, such as your elopement day!
Taking a ferry ride from Seattle is the best way to get out onto open waters, and might be the right fit for your vow ceremony.
Seattle Space Needle
Nothing quite says “Seattle” like its iconic Space Needle. Open year-round, this 600+ foot tall observation deck gives you amazing views of the city for your elopement, and even features a rotating restaurant for a romantic end-of-the-night dinner experience.
Peshastin Pinnacles State Park
Located in central Washington, Peshastin Pinnacles is farther away from the rainforests of the PNW, offering a more dry climate for outdoor elopements. These tall rock formations are a popular spot for rock climbers, so if that’s one of your favorite activities to do together, consider climbing up in your wedding attire for some truly epic photos!
Only 30 miles east of Seattle, the Rattlesnake Lake Recreation Area is perfect for any elopements that involve boating, swimming, picnics, or hiking. We love the combination of lake and mountain views here, and think the old tree stumps and rocks create such a beautiful, moody and dreamy vibe you’ll love!
Gold Creek Pond
Gold Creek Pond has such great views of the surrounding mountains and is really more like a small lake than a pond. The water is such a pretty crystal-clear blue, and the loop trail around the lake is ADA-accessible, making it a fantastic option especially if you have any older guests or kids joining you on your elopement day.
However, please note that different passes are required for times of the year when snow is present on the ground.
A Small Wedding Venue in WA
If you’re inviting anywhere between 10-30 guests, we highly suggest having a designated space reserved for ultimate privacy and to ensure you don’t have to stress about permit restrictions (since most public parks and outdoor spaces won’t allow for that many people). Head on over to our other post on the top wedding venues in the Pacific Northwest to get some great ideas!
Places to Elope on the Olympic Peninsula + Western Washington
Olympic National Park
Of all national parks in the US, Olympic NP is quite possibly the most biodiverse, since it covers a variety of landscapes from the coast all the way up to the peaks of the Olympic mountain range. It’s one of the only places you can elope and be able to explore the beach, lush rainforests, waterfalls, lakes and mountaintops all in one region. Our favorite spots to elope here include Ruby Beach, Kalaloch, Hoh Rainforest, Lake Crescent, and Hurricane Ridge.
Please note: like most other national parks, you do need a special use permit to elope here.
Sequim + Port Angeles
On the north side of the peninsula, these two small towns are actually in a somewhat drier climate than the wetter (coastal) side of the region. It’s something about the way the mountains capture most of the rain before it reaches here! 🙂
There are some nice beaches in Port Angeles for a coastal elopement, and if you elope in Sequim during the summer, you might be able to get some portraits and celebrate your elopement among the lavender fields here! They’re both also super close to the northern entrance of Olympic NP, so you can explore this whole region on an all-day or two-day epic elopement adventure.
Rocky Brook Falls
Located inside the Olympic National Forest, the trailhead for Rocky Brook Falls is fairly easy to get to while you’re eloping in this region. It’s not even a true “hike” but more of a short walk of only 200 yards to the waterfalls, and make for some beautiful elopement portraits.
Places to Elope Near Spokane + Eastern Washington
Riverside State Park
Only a short drive from Spokane, Riverside State Park is a great option for couples hoping to do a variety of outdoor activities, from mountain biking and hiking to rock climbing and horseback riding.
Spokane Falls + Huntington Park
Right in the heart of town, Spokane Falls is truly a beautiful sight. You can easily see why Native Americans consider this place sacred. If you opt for this spot, you can even take the Skyride gondola over the water!
Best Waterfall Elopement Locations in WA
One of the best parts about the PNW is just how many waterfalls there are! Whether you’re hoping to find one for your ceremony, or you want to get some epic waterfall elopement portraits during your day, here are some of the top waterfalls to explore in the region. As always, be sure to check with the appropriate land manager(s) before you go, in case any permits are needed.
In the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, near the Columbia River Gorge. No parking pass/entry fee. Less than a quarter mile roundtrip, with only 100 feet of elevation gain. Also by Falls Creek Falls (a 3+ mile roundtrip hike) if you want to do both in one day!
Inside Mount Rainier National Park, so a national park pass is required. 3.8 miles roundtrip with 1200+ feet of elevation gain.
Located inside Olallie State Park. 2.6 miles roundtrip, 500 feet elevation gain.
In Underwood, WA, and less than a mile roundtrip but rated as difficult since the paths are often described as “unofficial” and some cross private property while others do not. Best to follow trail apps like Alltrails for this one.
One of the biggest waterfalls in the state and perfect for elopements! Easy to access from the upper observation deck or lower observation deck. Short walk (no hiking) involved, or reserve a space at the Salish Lodge & Spa for views from above.
At Mt. Rainier, permit required. Moderate half-day hike, with 6 miles roundtrip and 1300 feet elevation gain.
Requires state park pass to enter. There are a few viewpoints, all easily accessible. Even includes a 0.1 mile ADA walking path.
Located in the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. A popular option for those with families/kids, since it’s only 2 miles roundtrip, with less than 400 feet of elevation gain.
A popular option near Bellingham, WA. Has a pretty bridge that can make for beautiful portraits. 4 miles roundtrip.
Inside Olympic NP, so park pass required. 1.8 miles roundtrip and 500 feet elevation gain.
Mount Rainier National Park. Almost 1 mile roundtrip on an easy hike.
Top Beaches in WA for Elopements
For the top coastal locations in Washington state, here are some great beaches to consider for your elopement day:
Places to Elope Just Outside of Washington
And if you love the idea of being near Washington, but haven’t found what you’re looking for, we definitely suggest these nearby options for your elopement, too:
Your Elopement Photo + Video Team in Washington
Skyewater Photo + Film is a photography and videography team that specializes in destination weddings and adventure elopements all over the US. We’re also very familiar with Washington, since it’s one of our favorite places in the PNW to visit!
Whether you’re looking for a meaningful wedding video or an adventurous elopement photographer, contact Skyewater Photo + Film for your big day!