cascades elopement photographer

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!

But it’s Washington in particular that’s completely stolen our hearts. It’s why we’re based here, and why we’ll always opt to photograph in Washington over nearly every other state any day of the year.

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, starting with the top 10.

And for planning assistance and to document it all on camera, our elopement photo + video team is here to help!

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.

Up First: The Top 10 Best Places to Elope in Washington

cascades elopement photographer
North Cascades Elopement

1. The North Cascades

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.

You can also elope on the national forest side of these mountains, like Artist Point. Ideally, you’ll want your wedding date in this area to be between July and early October for the best weather, since most of it is not easily accessible the rest of the year. Or check out some of the best fire lookouts in the state, several of which are in this region!

2. 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 may need a special use permit to elope here if you have 5 or more people (including vendors).

mt rainier elopement locations washington
Mt. Rainier

3. Mount Rainier National Park

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.

san juan islands washington

4. 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:

5. Cape Disappointment State Park

You don’t have to head all the way to Oregon for dramatic cliffsides and small hidden beaches! Located on the southwestern most point of Washington is Cape Disappointment, which features two historic lighthouses (one of which allows you to go inside!), a few beautiful sandy beaches, wide open ocean views, and even the option to stay in the historic lighthouse keeper’s lodge. It’s a dreamy option for a coastal elopement in the PNW.

The North Head Lighthouse is available for wedding/elopement reservations between September 16 – June 14 for up to 25 guests at $1000 plus tax for up to one hour.

How to Plan a Relaxing Elopement Day
Deception Pass State Park Elopement

6. 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.

7. A Fire Lookout / Tower in Washington

There are some truly epic views from a variety of fire lookouts across the Cascades. The placement of these lookouts (sometimes “towers”) are usually at locations where they need to be able to see out far and wide in case of fires in the wilderness, which means they have some of the best mountaintop views in the state. Check out this fire lookout hiking list to get some initial ideas!

ferry ride seattle

8. Ferry Ride

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.

9. TreeHouse Point

One of the most unique venues in Washington also offers elopement packages!

TreeHouse Point is in Fall City, a town outside of Seattle, and features custom-made treehouses in a mini forested “resort” that is the true PNW vibes you might be seeking.

Their elopement package includes a 2-night stay, and there are plenty of photo opportunities on site, including down by the river or among the ferns and tall trees.

10. 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.

20+ More Amazing Places to Elope in Washington

…in no particular order.

Rattlesnake Lake engagement photos seattle
Rattlesnake Lake, Washington

Rattlesnake Lake

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!

Want a view from above and looking for a bigger adventure? Consider hiking up the 4+ miles roundtrip to Rattlesnake Ledge!

Mount St. Helens

Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument might be an ideal mountain elopement location for couples who want a lesser-visited alternative to scenery like Mt. Rainier, or for any geology lovers.

This active volcano most recently erupted from 1980-1986, and permits are currently required for anyone visiting above 4800 feet. In winter, it’s a great place for cross-country ski and snowmobile elopements!

panther creek falls waterfall washington
Panther Creek Falls

Panther Creek Falls

Panther Creek Falls is 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!

mt adams washington state elopement photographer
Mt. Adams, WA

Mt. Adams

Mount Adams (known by 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 in Washington State.

W.W. Seymour Conservatory, Tacoma

Alternatively, there’s also the W.W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory for another affordable indoor ceremony option through Metro Parks Tacoma, perfectly suited for micro-weddings and elopements. The nice thing about the conservatory is accessing an indoor green space even when the weather outside isn’t the best.

Availability: Year-round (hours vary: April – September: 4:30 – 10 pm; October – March: 3:30 – 9 pm)

Capacity: 45 max, 25 guests with seats

Price Range: $375/hour

sequim lavender fields
Lavender Field, Sequim, WA

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.

ruby beach olympic np
Ruby Beach, Olympic NP

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:

Alki Beach, Seattle
Ruby Beach, Olympic National Park
Rialto Beach, Olympic National Park
Long Beach + Cape Disappointment
Rosario Beach, Deception Pass State Park
Seabrook Beach

diablo lake washington state photographer
Diablo Lake

Diablo Lake

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.

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!

Snoqualmie Pass

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!

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!

Kerry Park

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.

space needle seattle elopement photographer
Space Needle

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!

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 posts on the top wedding venues in the Pacific Northwest or small wedding venues in Washington for micro weddings to get some great ideas!

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.

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 skyride gondola
Skyride in Spokane

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!

Comet Falls

Cornett Falls is inside Mount Rainier National Park, so a national park pass is required. 3.8 miles roundtrip with 1200+ feet of elevation gain.

Twin Falls

Located inside Olallie State Park, you can visit Twin Falls with a 2.6 miles roundtrip hike, 500 feet elevation gain.

Snoqualmie Falls Washington
Snoqualmie Falls

Snoqualmie Falls

Snoqualmie Falls is 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 to see it from above, or reserve a space at the Salish Lodge & Spa for views from above.

There is a separate way to access the base of the falls. Contact us for more info!

Palouse Falls

Palouse Falls

Requires state park pass to enter. There are a few viewpoints, all easily accessible. Even includes a 0.1 mile ADA walking path.

Spray Falls

At Mt. Rainier, permit required. Moderate half-day hike to Spray Falls, with 6 miles roundtrip and 1300 feet elevation gain.

Franklin Falls

Located in the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. Franklin Falls is a popular option for those with families/kids, since it’s only 2 miles roundtrip, with less than 400 feet of elevation gain.

Whatcom Falls

Whatcom Falls, Bellingham

Whatcom Falls is a popular option near Bellingham, WA. Has a pretty bridge that can make for beautiful portraits and the hike to the falls is very short.

A great easy to access location close to town!

Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho

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:

Coeur d’Alene, ID
Portland, OR
Columbia River Gorge
Vancouver, Canada

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Looking for a Washington Elopement Photographer / Videographer?

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!

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