The Pacific Northwest is the perfect place to elope year-round, regardless of the season! From the epic views at Mt.Rainier, the vast greenery and rainforests throughout Olympic National Park, and mountainous region within North Cascades National Park, you’re bound to find the best places to elope in Washington (or Oregon!).
Whether you choose winter or fall, summer or spring, be sure to pack for the weather, as the change in altitudes can often drastically change the temperature. The higher you choose to hike, the more layers you’ll want to wear! Hiring an elopement photographer who understands how to properly prepare for the seasons is paramount. Cough cough, that’s me! When we work together I send you a custom guide filled with everything you need to not only find the best places to elope in Washington but also how to dress for them!
While you’re planning your PNW elopement, check out some of the cool eateries and breweries surrounding the states of Washington and Oregon. Plenty of locations also offer takeaway for those of you who love to lounge at home.
If you’re the slightly adventurous type and don’t mind a short hike, there are plenty beautiful elopement spots tucked away within these parks that are accessible year round. Check the list below for some of my favorites!
Where can I elope in Washington State?
Location: Olympic National Park
Length: 3.1 miles w/o snow
Packing Recommendations: Throughout all seasons, be sure that your clothing is sweat-wicking materials, such as rayon, viscose, or tencel, which will keep you cool as you hike. Materials such as cotton or polyester trap sweat, taking far too long to dry. Since this hike is a bit longer, bring plenty of snacks with minimal waste such as energy or protein bars, to keep you energized during your hike.
Dog friendly? No
Hurricane Ridge is an elopement photographer’s dream and one of the best places to elope in Washington for epic views! If you want to hike up the mountains, the hike is perfect during the summer and fall months in Washington. If winter is more your calling, this hike is also accessible during the winter months, too. If neither of those options sound like fun, at the top close to the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center, you can park your car and soak in an exceptional view of Olympic National Park, perfect for anyone looking to elope in Washington.
Since this location tends to be busy, plan your elopement either in the early morning or closer to sunset to help avoid the crowds.
Franklin Falls Trail
Location: Snoqualmie Pass, Washington
Length: 2 miles
Packing recommendations: During the warmer months, a layer or two of sweat-wicking material will do with some light snacks. Throughout the winter months, bring waterproof boots and gloves/hats/mittens.
Dog friendly? Yes!
If waterfalls snuggled between gorgeous trees is your kind of elopement backdrop, this is the hike for you. In the winter, the hike can be longer due to road closures, but it’s absolutely worth the frozen waterfalls you’ll see once you arrive at your destination. In the summer and fall, the area boasts an incredible environment of trees and wildflowers, making this the ultimate summer elopement spot in Washington.
When you’re planning for this route, it’s worth doing some research on the flowers or downloading an app to compare with along the way. Many of the wildflowers in this location can’t be found anywhere else, and you won’t want to miss researching what they are.
Location: Mt Rainier, Washington
Length: 4.1 miles
Packing recommendations: Due to the altitude of this hike, you’ll want to bring light, sweat-wicking layers that you can easily take on and off as you go along the hike. During the wintertime, you’ll also want to consider trekking poles and a first-aid kit as well as warm hats/gloves/socks.
Dog friendly? No
If you’re searching for one of the best elopement spots in Mt. Rainier, this is it. Once you reach the top of this hike, elope amongst the mountains, many of them still covered with a bit of snow even in the summer. If you’re an elopement photographer wondering where to bring your couples, this spot is a definite recommendation.
Since the altitude is high, bring a light sweater to help keep you cozy, regardless of the time of year. The winds can pick up throughout the day, causing swoon-worthy breezes for your hair, but they can also be chilly as well.
Rainy Lake Trail
Location: Close to North Cascades National Park, Washington
Length: 2 miles
Packing recommendations: During the warmer months, bring a few light layers in case it becomes breezy. During the winter months, you’ll still want to carry light layers but also hats and gloves to keep you warm. If it’s snowing, waterproof hiking boots or snow boots will keep your feet dry.
Dog friendly? Yes!
Not as busy as some of the other trails, the Rainy Lake Trail is an easy hike, even during the winter, throughout a serene area of North Cascades National Park. Traverse throughout the forest for a few miles (and maybe snap a few elopement photographs on the way!) until you reach the lake, surrounded by mountains. If you’re looking for a perfect spot to elope in North Cascades National Park without too much foot traffic nearby, this is it.
Because this is an easy hike, this is also a perfect hike to bring along a picnic since you won’t need to worry about drastic elevation gains. As with most hikes in the PNW, it’s worth bringing a rain jacket as well just in case light showers rain down.
Hoh Rain Forest Hall of Moss
Location: Olympia National Park, Washington
Length: 1.1 miles
Packing recommendations: Since this trail is quite easy during the warmer months, you should only need to bring a few snacks along the way and possibly a rain jacket should it start raining. In the wintertime, a few layers, as well as waterproof boots or shoes, will do just fine.
Dog friendly? No
This wouldn’t be a list of some of the best places to elope in Washington state without a mention of the Hoh Rain Forest! The Hall of Moss is a fairytale elopement dream come true with ancient, tall trees wrapped in moss creating a mystical, magical elopement destination. Exchange your vows underneath the changing colors of the leaves in the fall and in the winter, the whimsical mist of the winter fog creates a perfect atmosphere for your Washington elopement.
Because this hike is lush and green, this is also a fantastic location for those looking to have a moody organic, and stunningly beautiful elopement. The weather doesn’t change too much throughout the hike, so you shouldn’t need to worry about bringing extra layers unless you’re planning to hike in the winter.
Of course, these are just a few out of many beautiful and, in my opinion, best locations to elope in Washington and the PNW. An important part of eloping is choosing the right elopement photographer for you. When we work together I help you with expert location guidance to find you the perfect locations that will add that magical outdoor experience to your elopement. I know a bunch of the hidden and off-the-beaten-path elopement locations for all hiking skill levels that I reserve for my clients…
Also, check out this guide to elopement locations in California.
Hey, I’m Evangeline an adventurous Pacific Northwest elopement photographer based in Seattle, Washington helping couples plan meaningful experiences for their wedding day in nature. I focus on capturing the vibe of your day and the epic landscape views all over Washington, California and beyond.