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Top 10 Best Places to Elope in the Pacific Northwest

Elopement Resources and Tips

The Pacific Northwest (otherwise known as the PNW) is known for it’s incredible natural beauty from jagged coastlines, to the snow peaks of Mt Rainier and of course the desert mountains in the South (yes – there is a desert region of PNW). This section of the United States is full of some of the most breathtaking landscapes and easily houses some of the most epic places to elope. Since there’s so many amazing areas, it can be hard to narrow down to a specific park or region of the PNW to choose as your elopement spot. With using this free guide filled with the top 10 best places to elope in the Pacific Northwest, I have a feeling that you’ll get all the info you need in order to pick a spot and start planning for your epic day.

Washington State elopement at Mt Baker

Mt Baker National Forest, Washington


  • Nearest Airport:
    • 2 hours drive from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport
  • Marriage License and Permitting
    • Washington marriage license is $69 and is valid for 60 days. There is a 3 day waiting period before you get married; you can not get married on the same day you get your marriage license.
    • Many national forests do not require a permit for elopement. You only need a permit if you’re going to hold a gathering of more than 75 people, but a letter of approval is required from the forest service despite group size.
    • $5 day pass or $30 annual pass 
  • Hiking Trails
    • There are 1,500 miles of hiking trails for all levels of hikers! There are day hikes and backpacking hikes. Some are accessible for people with disabilities and some offer a rugged hike. Check out the list of all the hiking trails here!
  • Accommodation
  • Food
  • Nearby Activities
    • Bicycling, camping, climbing, fishing, hiking, horse riding, hunting, nature viewing, OHV riding, outdoor learning, picnicking, scenic drives, water activities, skiing, and snowboarding
  • Crowd Levels 
    • The crowd levels can be the highest during winter due to popularity of the ski resort, however due to the nature of the national forest you can get intimate privacy for your elopement session all year round
  • Weather
    • Mt Baker National Forest is fantastic to visit all year round depending on the style of elopement you want and the activities you want to do. In general, summer and fall are the best times to visit, since it’s not too hot and not too cold. Mt Baker is most popular during the winter season for skiing and snowboarding. Most trails will require snowshoes in the late fall, winter and early spring. It’s a great time to visit if you are looking for a winter wonderland elopement
  • For more info on this location, check out How to Elope in Washington State

North Cascade National Park Elopement overlooking Diablo Lake
Photo by Getty Images

North Cascade National Park, Washington


  • Nearest Airport
    • 2-2.5 hours drive from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport
  • Wedding License and Permitting
    • Washington marriage license is $69 and is valid for 60 days. There is a 3 day waiting period before you get married; you can not get married on the same day you get your marriage license
    • $30 entrance fee
    • If you are eloping inside the park, then you need to get a $50 permit for an approved location (applications are on the National Park website).
  • Hiking Trails
    • There are hiking trails that range from under half an hour to a full day hike. There is a hiking trail for everyone. Check out the list of all the hiking trails here!
  • Accommodation
  • Food
  • Nearby Activities
    • Horseback riding, ranger-led programs, climbing, bicycling, hiking, camping, bird and wildlife viewing, boating, and fishing
  • Crowd Levels 
    • Fall and Spring are the most crowded times of the year because of the car tours
    • Recommending to go during Summer and Winter, weekdays, and/or early in the mornings for less crowd
  • Weather
    • The best weather for visiting the North Cascades generally occurs between mid-June and late-September. 
    • Storms are common and it’s good to prepare for rain and wind
  • For more info on this location, check out How to Elope in Washington State

Olympic National Park, Washington


  • Nearest Airport
    • 2 hours drive from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport
  • Wedding License and Permitting
    • Washington marriage license is $69 and is valid for 60 days. There is a 3 day waiting period before you get married; you can not get married on the same day you get your marriage license
    • $30 entrance fee
    • If you are eloping inside the park, then you need to get a $50 permit for an approved location (applications are on the National Park website).
  • Hiking Trails
    • There are a ranges of low to high elevation trails for all levels of hikers
    • You can find the hiking trail guide here 
  • Accommodation
  • Food
  • Nearby Activities
    • Audio tour, boating, climbing, fishing, hiking, ranger-led programs, tidepool activities, wildlife viewing, skiing, and snowboarding
  • Crowd Levels 
    • The highest crowd levels of the year are in the Spring and Summer, so it’s recommending to visit during the other seasons for less crowds
  • Weather
    • The weather is unpredictable all year round, so it’s recommended to be proactive checking the forecast before visiting. Mid summer to early Fall is typically the best time of year due to cold weather and snow.
    • For a better understanding of the weather during different seasons, check out this page 
  • For more info on this location, check out How to Elope in Washington State
Elopement at an alpine lake in Leavenworth by a Washington elopement photographer

Leavenworth, Washington


  • Nearest Airport
    • 45 minutes drive from Pangborn Memorial Airport; 2.5 hours drive from the Seattle International Airport
  • Permitting
    • Washington marriage license is $69 and is valid for 60 days. There is a 3 day waiting period before you get married; you can not get married on the same day you get your marriage license
    • Many national forests do not require a permit for elopement. You only need a permit if you’re going to hold a gathering of more than 75 people. Some locations do still require a letter of approval from the forest service
  • Hiking Trails
    • There are over 117 hiking trails in the Leavenworth area for all hiking levels. Click HERE for hiking trail ideas!
  • Accommodation
    • There are a variety of accommodations in Leavenworth from hotels, bed and breakfasts, camping grounds, vacation rentals, and more
    • Top recommended accommodations
  • Food
  • Nearby Activities
    • Rock climbing, bicycling, camping, river float, swimming, skiing, snowboarding, ziplining, offroading, kayaking, visiting wineries, horseback riding, brewery tours, and more
  • Crowd Levels 
    • The highest crowd levels are in the Summer, however there are so many areas to elope in Leavenworth that you are able to get an intimate elopement experience all year round
  • Weather
    • The best time of year at Leavenworth is Fall. It’s not too hot or too cold out, the leaves are gorgeous and orange and red, and it’s the perfect time to enjoy an elopement there. If you’re looking for a winter wonderland elopement, then Winter might be the season for you—with the snow on the ground and all around you, it will feel like you’re getting married in a fairy tale!
    • Summer is also a great time to elope at Leavenworth. It can get busy with tourists during this season, but it’s warm and sunny out, so if you don’t mind crowds, it’s the perfect time to have your nuptials there. The only season that might not be ideal is Springtime—that’s when the snow melts and things can get pretty wet and muddy.
  • For more info on this location, check out How to Elope in Washington State
Mt Rainier National Park during wildflower season for an elopement
Photo by Danny Seidman

Mt Rainier National Park, Washington


  • Nearest Airport:
    • 1.5-2 hours drive from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport
  • Wedding License and Permitting
    • Washington marriage license is $69 and is valid for 60 days. There is a 3 day waiting period before you get married; you can not get married on the same day you get your marriage license
    • A permit is required for all wedding ceremonies held within Mount Rainier National Park
    • $30 single vehicle fee
    • $175 application fee must be paid before the permit; applications must be submitted at least four weeks before the requested elopement date
    • Party size will determine which areas in the park can be used for elopement and marriage ceremonies; find more info on these restrictions here
    • Things that are not allowed: 
      • Impede the activities of other park visitors
      • Areas may not be roped off or blocked in any way to the general public
      • Modest decorations may be allowed (additional permissions required)
      • The setting up of chairs, tents, or awnings is not permitted
      • Throwing of rice, confetti, etc. is not allowed
  • Hiking Trails
    • There are hundreds of hiking trails for all levels of hikers! You can find out more about the day hikes here
  • Accommodation
  • Food
    • Rainier Guest Services operates two restaurants, two snack bars, a cafe, and a small general store within the park. There are restaurants at the National Park Inn, Paradise Inn, Paradise Camp Deli, and Sunrise Day Lodge inside the park
    • Top recommended restaurants outside the park
  • Nearby Activities
    • Hiking, camping, climbing, bicycling, fishing, boating, skiing, snowboarding, discovering wildflowers, ranger-led programs, and citizen ranger questions
  • Crowd Levels 
    • Summer is the most crowded season of the year and it will be difficult to find parking. Visiting on weekdays, and arriving in early morning or late afternoon, can help avoid crowds
    • Spring and Fall are the best times to visit for crowd levels 
  • Weather
    • Weather can be unpredictable and it’s recommended to be proactive on checking the forecast before visiting
    • Summer is hot and dry while winter can get a significant of snowfall, however the area can get wet and cold at any time of the year. Late summer to early Fall is a gorgeous time of year – the wildflowers bloom typically in August!
  • Don’t forget to check out my blog post on How to Elope in Washington State
How to Elope at Cape Kiwanda in Oregon

Cape Kiwanda, Oregon


  • Nearest Airport
    • 2 hours drive from the Portland Airport
  • Wedding License and Permitting
    • Oregon marriage license is $60 and is valid for 60 days. There is a 3 day waiting period before you get married; you can not get married on the same day you get your marriage license 
    • You do not need a permit if you have less than 50 people at your elopement. If you have more than 50 people or will be tables, chairs, or any furniture, then you will need to call the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department at (541) 994-8152
  • Hiking Trail
    • Cape Kiwanda is known for its relaxing and dreamy beach more than their hiking trails, but you’re still able to go on the Cape Kiwanda 1-2 miles hiking trail that is perfect for everyone of all ages
  • Accommodation
  • Food
  • Nearby Activities
    • Fishing, swimming, coastal tours, beach bonfires, wine tasting, off roading, horseback riding, spa treatments, cooking classes, food tours, brewery tours, and picnicking
  • Crowd Levels 
    • Cape Kiwanda can get crowded all year round, so it’s recommended to go early in the mornings during the weekdays
  • Weather
    • Cape Kiwanda truly is beautiful all year round, so the best time to visit your elopement will depend on how you want it to be. In the summer you get more clear blue skies but in the winter there’s more fog and rain. Both can provide you with a magical experience for your elopement!
Cannon Beach at sunset for an elopement location in the PNW

Cannon Beach, Oregon (+ other nearby beaches)


  • Nearest Airport
    • 2 hours drive from Portland International Airport
  • Wedding License and Permitting
    • Oregon marriage license is $60 and is valid for 60 days. There is a 3 day waiting period before you get married; you can not get married on the same day you get your marriage license 
    • You do not need a permit if you have less than 50 people at your elopement. If you have more than 50 people or will be tables, chairs, or any furniture, then you will need to call the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department at (541) 994-8152
  • Hiking Trails
    • Cannon Beach is not necessarily known for their hiking, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some incredible hiking trails in the area
    • The hiking trails in the area are more catered towards beginner to novice level hikers
  • Accommodation
  • Food
  • Nearby Activities
    • There are so many activities available at Cannon Beach! Activities ranges from shopping, beach walks, museums, food and beer tours, hiking, surfing, bicycling, and more
    • Here are the top things to do in Cannon Beach
      • The Beach & Haystack Rock
      • Ecola State Park
      • Arcadia Beach
      • Hug Point
      • Oswald West State Park
  • Crowd Levels 
    • Summer season is the most crowded of the year where the weather is the driest and warmest. It’s recommended to come early in the mornings or on the weekdays for the least amount of crowds
  • Weather
    • It can always be wet and rainy in Oregon throughout the year, however at Cannon Beach the weather can create a charming and magical atmosphere for your elopement. The best weather is during the Summer months but keep in mind that this is also when it is the most crowded
  • For more info on this location, check out How to Elope on the Oregon Coast

Waterfall elopement in the Columbia River Gorge by an oregon elopement photographer

Columbia River Gorge, Oregon


  • Nearest Airport
    • 30 minutes drive from the Portland Airport
  • Wedding License and Permitting
    • Oregon marriage license is $60 and is valid for 60 days. There is a 3 day waiting period before you get married; you can not get married on the same day you get your marriage license 
    • You do not need a permit if you have less than 50 people at your elopement. If you have more than 50 people or will be tables, chairs, or any furniture, then you will need to call the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department at (541) 994-8152
  • Hiking Trails
    • There are no limits when it comes to adventure and hiking trails in this area! There is wondrous nature all around you and the hardest part may be choosing which trails to try out first
  • Accommodation
  • Food
  • Nearby Activities
    • Camping, bicycling, hiking, beaches, whale watching, ranger-led tours, and swimming
  • Crowd Levels 
    • The area is vast enough where you can have enough space and privacy to enjoy your elopement session all year round
  • Weather
    • The weather in Oregon can be wet and rainy all year round, however it tends to be more dry and warm during Summer and Fall 
Smith Rock State Park in Oregon

Smith Rock State Park, Oregon


  • Nearest Airport
    • 3 hours drive from the Portland Airport
  • Wedding License and Permitting
    • Oregon marriage license is $60 and is valid for 60 days. There is a 3 day waiting period before you get married; you can not get married on the same day you get your marriage license 
    • You do not need a permit if you have less than 50 people at your elopement. If you have more than 50 people or will be tables, chairs, or any furniture, then you will need to call the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department at (541) 994-8152 
    • $10 day pass or $30 annual pass
  • Hiking Trails
    • Smith Rock State Park is known for their incredible rocking climbing and trails! If you’re an avid hiker, then this is the place you want to be
  • Accommodation
  • Food
  • Nearby Activities
    • Camping, bicycling, hiking, beaches, whale watching, ranger-led tours, swimming, picnicking, fishing, and wildlife watching
  • Crowd Levels 
    • This state park can be busy all year round, especially during the Summer, due to the popularity with the hiking trails and rock climbing sites, so it’s recommended to arrive early in the morning and/or on a weekday
  • Weather
    • The best times to visit are Spring and Fall since the weather will be mild. The worst time is Summer since it can get VERY hot. If you go during the Summer, then you need to prepare for the hot weather

Brookings, Oregon


  • Nearest Airport
    • 2 hours drive from the Crescent City Airport
  • Wedding License and Permitting
    • Oregon marriage license is $60 and is valid for 60 days. There is a 3 day waiting period before you get married; you can not get married on the same day you get your marriage license 
    • You do not need a permit if you have less than 50 people at your elopement. If you have more than 50 people or will be tables, chairs, or any furniture, then you will need to call the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department at (541) 994-8152 
  • Hiking Trails
    • Hiking in Brookings means that you’re able to have a special hiking experience along the grand ocean and I can tell you the views are absolutely breathtaking and stunning
  • Accommodation
  • Food
  • Nearby Activities
    • Camping, bicycling, hiking, beaches, whale watching, ranger-led tours, swimming, picnicking, fishing, scenic drives, and wildlife watching
    • Here are the top things to do in Brookings:
      • Harris Beach State Park
      • Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor
      • Azalea Park
      • Lone Ranch Beach
      • Natural Bridges Viewpoint
  • Crowd Levels 
    • It will be wildly crowded during the Summer, so it’s recommended to go during Spring and Fall on the weekdays early in the mornings, however there are enough areas to enjoy a private elopement
  • Weather
    • Oregon is a place where it can always be wet and rainy throughout the year, however at Brookings the weather can create a charming and magical atmosphere for your elopement. The best weather is during the Summer months but keep in mind that this is also when it is the most crowded.
  • For more info on this location, check out How to Elope on the Oregon Coast

You honestly can’t go wrong when choosing a spot from these top 10 best places to elope in the Pacific Northwest. From snow capped mountains to alpine likes, jagged coastlines, moss filled forests, misting waterfalls and expansive beach lines, it’s safe to say that each location is incredibly breathtaking in its own way. One thing’s for sure – your PNW elopement will be epic.

For more free resources, click HERE

  1. Sam says:

    I just made it to Oregon for the first time and this is so helpful for finding cool hiking locations! Thank you!

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