Mount Rainier is one of the most stunning locations in all of Washington! This iconic volcano holds some of my all-time favorite hiking trails and views that never grow old. Mount Rainier national park is loaded with gorgeous wildflower fields, epic campsites, cute A-frame cabins, and stunning landscapes that are sure to leave an impression on you. One of the greatest things about having a Mt. Rainier Elopement is that there are no dedicated ceremony spots. Meaning you can elope literally anywhere in the national park!! This is amazing because certain parks have dedicated areas that can be a bit of a bummer as it holds you back a bit, but you won’t have that problem when eloping at Mount Rainier!
So, without further ado let’s dive into my ultimate guide on how to elope at Mount Rainier!
Ultimate Mount Rainier Elopement Guide
1. Hire an Elopement Photographer
Hiring an experienced Adventure Elopement Photographer early on in the planning process would be a very smart thing to do. I can’t speak for any other elopement photographer, but I personally work closely with you through planning out your entire elopement experience. I totally don’t expect you to have it all together and to know how to plan an entire elopement. That’s what I’m here for!
An experienced elopement photographer will be able to help you with all the logistics, permits, locations, etc., and make your planning process super easy!
2. Choose the season you want to have your Mount Rainier Elopement during
One of the greatest parts about eloping at Mount Rainier is that you can access the park year-round and there are amazing accessible locations no matter if you choose to elope in the summer or during winter! There are definitely a few things to take into consideration as you choose the season for your elopement. The park receives about 2 million visitors per year! How crazy is that?!
SPRINGTIME AT MOUNT RAINIER
Since the spring is what’s considered shoulder season, this means that the weather can be a bit unpredictable. You can have beautiful sunny days in the 70’s and then snowy cold days! The mountain peaks are usually capped in snow which always creates a gorgeous backdrop. The lower elevation trails are still open and typically snow-free!
SUMMER ELOPEMENTS AT MOUNT RAINIER
Summer is the peak season and for a good reason of course. The weather is perfect and the wildflowers are in full bloom! It’s truly one of the prettiest sites when the flowers are in full bloom in the mountains. The downside to this is that the trails are much busier, but there are totally ways to avoid crowds during your outdoor elopement when eloping at Mount Rainier in the summer. A weekday is definitely the only way to go and having a sunrise or sunset centric elopement will help you have more privacy.
Even though it’s a busier time of year, it’s 100% worth in my opinion! The greenery and florals will blow you away!
FALL ELOPEMENTS AT MOUNT RAINIER
Fall colors will be in effect during this time of year! The beautiful reds, oranges, and yellows will start to appear. Similar to spring you’ll have sunny days and stormy days so you just have to go in with a mindset to embrace whatever that day holds. You’ll definitely want to bring layers! They can be your saving grace when you’re up the mountains. Depending on when the first big snowstorm rolls in is when road and trail closures will start to occur so having a backup plan just in case is definitely a must!
WINTER ELOPEMENT AT MOUNT RAINIER
If you’re looking for a location that will have a dreamy winter wonderland vibe then this is the time of year for you to elope at Mount Rainier! Two of the 4 park entrances are closed. The 2 that remain open are Carbon River: Northwest Entrance and Nisqually: Southwest Entrance. Come prepared for cool weather and bring all the layers to stay warm!
3. Pick your epic Mt Rainier Elopement location
As I mentioned at the very beginning of this post, there aren’t any dedicated spots to hold your ceremony so the options are endless! This is your wedding day so dream big. There are no rules for your elopement! You can choose to have your ceremony at a cabin in the woods and then head to an epic lake or overlook for exploring. You can go on a gorgeous hike and find the perfect place to say your vows as you hike. I’ll be able to help you find the perfect location for your Mount Rainier elopement, but here are a few ideas to get your wheels turning!
TAKE A HIKE
Hiking is one of the greatest ways to get privacy and epic views during your elopement! You’ll be able to enjoy stunning views along the way and make an adventure out of it!
AT A FIRE LOOKOUT
Fire lookouts became a thing when fires broke out in 1910 and devoured multiple regions and states. They are placed high up in elevation created stunning 360-degree views that seem to go on forever!
Mount Rainier’s forest is a stunning place to elope! Just imagine being surrounded by massive trees towering above you. The tranquility you get when all you can hear is the wind rustling through the trees and the birds chirping… How magical!!
Taking a drive through the park and hitting up stunning overlooks can be a super easy and fun way to explore and adventure around the park. This will allow you to hit up multiple locations that are further apart as well!
I can’t help but mention it, but A-frame cabins are one of my all-time favorite parts about Mount Rainier Elopements! They make for such a cute backdrop and a great Homebase for your adventure! Keep scrolling, because I’ll list some of my favorite places below!!
4. Apply for your Elopement permit
Once you have your location picked out it’s time to apply for your Special Use Permit. You can find out all the information you need to know here. This isn’t always the fastest process to be sure to get this done ASAP so you aren’t waiting forever or sadly you don’t get the permit in time.
5. Book your accommodation
Once you have your location picked out it’s time to book your accommodation for your Mount Rainier Elopement! Here are some of my all-time favorite Airbnb’s in the area! You can also check out my guide on How to Plan an Airbnb Elopement!
Airbnbs near Stevens Canyon: Southeast Entrance (Packwood, WA)
- Knotty Cedars Retreat
- Cozy River A-frame Cabin
- Uncommon Bear Cabin
- Millards Cabin
- Alpine Anne’s A-frame
Airbnbs near Nisqually: Southwest Entrance (Ashford, WA)
- Cabin with Hot Tub
- Little Blu A-frame Cabin
- Cozy A-frame Cabin Where Nature & Adventure Meet
- Hebe’s Hideout A-frame
- A-frame Cabin with Hot Tub
Airbnbs near White River/Sunrise: Northeast Entrance (Greenwater, WA)
6. Get prepared for your Mount Rainier Elopement
There are a few things you don’t want to forget to pack for your elopement at Mount Rainier! Here are my recommendations!
- The temperatures up in the mountains vary quite a bit as you change elevation and as the sun sets or rises. You’ll definitely want to bring layers that you can easily add or take off during your elopement experience!
- Again, since elopements are typically planned around sunrise or sunset you’ll probably be hiking or adventuring around at some point while it’s dark. So, having headlamps will be the best way to make your way safely through the mountains when the sun isn’t out!
- Permits & Passes
- Be sure to have the necessary park passes if you bought them ahead of time and definitely don’t forget to have your Special Use Permit with you at all times!
- Bear Spray
- You never know what you might encounter up in the mountains so being prepared is always a must! While I’m at it, you should have bug spray and anti-itch cream. Thank me later! 🙂
- Snacks & Water
- You’ll definitely want to take a few snacks in your pack and plenty of water to stay hydrated! I don’t know about you, but I, when I’m hungry my energy levels dip down tremendously so always having a granola bar, nuts, or trail mix with you, is always a good idea.
7. Things to take into Consideration when eloping at Mount Rainier National Park
Remember, this is a national park and public space so go in knowing you might have people walk by as you say your vows. I’ll definitely help you find locations that fit exactly what you’re looking for with as much privacy as possible, but it’s a gorgeous place that brings all the adventurous and outdoorsy people!
It’s important to go into your elopement day with flexibility and an open mind – especially when it comes to the weather! While we’ll do our absolute best to plan around optimal weather things can change in a flash. One minute it might be clear skies and the next it might be raining or even snowing! Going into your day with an open mind knowing and willing to embrace whatever gets thrown your way will only make your elopement experience that much better.
Phew!! That was a lot of information on eloping at Mount Rainier! This is a place that will never cease to amaze me no matter how many times I’ve been. I would absolutely love to help you plan and create an unforgettable Mount Rainier Elopement experience. I’m here to guide you through every single step! I’d love to hear from you!! You can CONTACT ME HERE and view my services here!
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