Eloping in the Pacific Northwest is perfect for couples who want a moody, ethereal vibe for their ceremony. The landscape of Washington has so many stunning views to choose from, that it’s almost impossible to pick just one location for your elopement!
We think eloping in a Washington state park is a smart choice for people who want all of the views without the crowds of some of the well-known national parks in the area. A bonus? Eloping in a state park is usually cheaper, so you can save that money or spend it on other things to make your day even more special.
Can you get married at state parks in Washington?
Yes! Several state parks in Washington have dedicated spaces for weddings and elopements. Always check with the park to get the most up-to-date information on event spaces, permits, fees, and restrictions.
As with any outdoor activity, be sure to practice Leave No Trace principles to keep the area clean and thriving for other park visitors.
Why Elope in a State Park vs a National Park
There are a variety of reasons why you might want to elope in a Washington state park instead of a national park, including:
- They’re often less crowded than national parks.
- You’ll often save money on the entrance fee, special use permit fees, and/or reservation or event fee costs.
- You can find a scenic location closer to home.
- While you can’t bring dogs to most national parks (you can check out our dog-friendly elopement guide for a few that do!), most state parks have trails and campgrounds that do allow dogs.
State parks are one of the top destinations we list in our list of great alternatives to eloping in a national park, and we’ve compiled a list of the best Washington state parks for an unforgettable elopement. Once you choose your park, take some time to hike around and pick out your favorite spots, then ask a park ranger if it’s covered by your permit.
Please note: For up-to-date information on permits, fees, and rules/regulations, be sure to contact the state park directly through their official phone number or email.
Deception Pass State Park
The awe-inspiring coastal coves and cliffs, plus the general variety of the scenery make Deception Pass State Park a great place to elope in Washington. With lakes, beaches, and forests, there’s something for everyone.
Manchester State Park
Manchester State Park is a historic location that features a very unique picnic shelter in a former torpedo warehouse, making it a great location even for a larger group! Reservations for the picnic shelter are available for approximately $200-300 for dates between April 1 and Oct 31, fits up to 150 guests, and dogs are allowed. However keep in mind that parking is located in the day use area and is shared with other shelters and day use visitors, so carpooling is recommended, and check out is required an hour before dusk. At this park, there’s also over 100 acres of forested areas to explore, and even a small beachfront!
Dash Point State Park
Located in Tacoma, this little gem of a state park is perfect for a local elopement spot in the city while still offering a serene outdoor setting.
Dash Point has a handful of great forested trails with moss-covered trees, running creeks, old bridges, and lots of greenery, as well as an open beach area with picnic tables, large driftwood, and a few fire pits. The campground also features an amphitheater for the park’s seasonal events, although you may be able to contact the park to ask about hosting a ceremony there for weddings.
Peshastin Pinnacles State Park
Peshastin Pinnacles State Park is known for its towering sandstone rock formations — perfect for those who love rock climbing. If you elope in this state park, you’re sure to catch an incredible sunset view of the Wenatchee River.
Riverside State Park
Close to Spokane, Riverside State Park offers any outdoor activity you can imagine, including biking, hiking, fishing, horseback riding, and more. Rivers, lakes, marshes, and wildlife make for a serene elopement setting.
Palouse Falls State Park
Palouse Falls State Park is one of those dreamy places you can’t seem to visit just once. The tall stretches of basalt and tumbling waterfall make for an otherworldly elopement landscape. Palouse Falls was actually named Washington’s state waterfall in 2014. Parking is limited, so get there early!
Lake Chelan State Park
Eloping in Lake Chelan State Park gives you a scenic view of the crystal blue lake and the mountains on the horizon. It’s the perfect base camp to kick back and relax, enjoy hikes in the North Cascades, or explore the nearby wineries and breweries.
Larrabee State Park
Enjoy picturesque views of Samish Bay and the San Juan Islands from Larrabee State Park. There are plenty of spots to enjoy the peaceful seaside and find romantic solitude on the expansive coast for your elopement.
Cape Disappointment State Park
Don’t let the name fool you — you definitely won’t be disappointed if you choose Cape Disappointment State Park as your Washington elopement destination! Full of lighthouses, dramatic cliffs, and fascinating history, it’s a true Pacific Northwest gem.
Lake Wenatchee State Park
Choosing Lake Wenatchee State Park for your elopement gives you so many options. In the summer, enjoy paddling, swimming, windsurfing, and boating on the lake. In the winter, you can take advantage of the skiing, sledding, and snowshoe trails.
Bonus: It’s close to Leavenworth, Washington, the iconic Bavarian-inspired village that will make you feel like you’ve been transported to the alpine hills of Europe as soon as you arrive.
Costs to Keep in Mind for Your Washington State Park Elopement
No matter which park you choose, you’ll have to apply for a Special Activities Permit before you can say “I do.” This permit fee does not include the entrance fee, so make sure you take that into consideration, too.
Overall though, eloping in a state park is definitely less expensive than eloping in a national park (and even more so than a traditional venue!).
Planning Your Washington State Park Elopement?
Skyewater Photo + Film is a photography and videography team that specializes in destination weddings and adventure elopements across Washington and the PNW. We also have plenty of other resources to help you plan your elopement, like our list of best places to elope in Washington.
Whether you’re looking for a meaningful wedding video or an adventurous elopement photographer, contact Skyewater Photo + Film for your big day!