Ultimate Mount Rainier Elopement Guide - Courtney Lynn

Ultimate Mount Rainier Elopement Guide

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!

Mount Rainier Elopement Guide

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?!


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 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 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!


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!

adventurous couple elopes in the mountains at mount rainier

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!


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!


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.

how to elope at Mount Rainier

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)

Airbnbs near Nisqually: Southwest Entrance (Ashford, WA)

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!

  • Layers
    • 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!
  • Headlamps
    • 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.

Couple embraces each other during their elopement

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!

Want more elopement tips?!

Best Places to Elope in Montana

10 Best Places to Elope in the PNW

11 Most Common Questions About Eloping Answered!

How to Plan the Epic Elopement Timeline of Your Dreams

How to Elope at Mount Rainier | Courtney Lynn



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Courtney made the process SO easy! She does more than just photograph your day. She cares about you having the BEST elopement experience possible! I'll never be able to thank Courtney enough for making our dream day happen!

Contact me about your Elopement!

You probably have a million thoughts running through your head making you a bit overwhelmed.

How does this work? What can I do during my elopement? How do I choose my location? Is the ceremony legal? Can I elope with family?

One of the reasons you're probably eloping is because you want to have a stress-free day, but with so much uncertainty on how to plan an elopement how is it even possible?!

No need to stress, you're in the right place! This is where I come in and do the heavy lifting for you.

I'm Courtney, and I specialize in documenting adventurous elopements for couples who love the outdoors, but role is so much more than just an elopement photographer.

I'm here to guide you through every single step of planning your elopement and to give you a clear path tossing that stress out the window!

So, if you're ready to have a unique elopement experience that's actually focused on you, then let's friggin' do this!!

You know you want to elope,

and you know you want it to be meaningful and adventurous, but where do you start?!

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"When my now husband and I started planning our elopement, we were confused to the max. We didn’t know where to start or how to go about planning anything. 

COURTNEY MADE THE PROCESS SO EASY! She is organized, professional, sweet, and so so funny!! She does more than just photograph your day, she cares about you having the BEST elopement experience possible!

She helped us plan EVERYTHING! Even down to the little details! She helped us narrow down where, giving us her informative opinions on each of our options! She gave us cool ideas that we could incorporate into our special day. No idea was too big! When the day came, we had the absolute best time exploring and getting married!

Our elopement was an absolute DREAM COME TRUE! I will never be able to thank Courtney enough for making our dream day happen. 

So, for anyone on the fence, swaying back and forth about whether or not work with Courtney, SWAY NO MORE! You’ve found your person!! My day couldn’t have been any better and my pictures are beautiful and capture the fun we had!!! I can’t wait to work with her again!"

Taylor & andrew

"Planning for our day and the day itself would have been completely different without Courtney. We only knew that we wanted to share our vows in the Tuscan countryside and have beautiful photos, and Courtney planned the perfect agenda for that to happen.

She coordinated our timing around sunset, and not only were the photos breathtaking, but the actual evening was too. I remember looking out over the vineyards as the sun set, the view becoming more and more stunning by the minute. There were no moments that felt forced or posed, every shot was comfortable and fun and full of love.

Courtney is such a sweet, kind, fun person and we truly enjoyed spending the day with her. Courtney helped us to turn our dreams into reality, and we hardly had to do a thing. She allowed us to be in control of our day but gently took all of our wants and needs into consideration while making everything happen. Lastly, our pictures are just magical. Courtney is an incredibly talented photographer, and I feel so lucky that we were able to work with her. I would recommend her over and over again to anyone eloping."

Ellie & Zac

"Let. Me. Tell. You. It's not the technical aspects of photography that are the most difficult. It's the human aspect. Remembering that as a Photographer, you may be behind the lens but you are still a human, in front of other humans, in some of the most raw and intimate of moments.

Courtney balances both of these necessities (but rarities) with poise, great direction, and an overall kind calmness that just makes you breathe a sigh of relief. If you've come across Courtney's page and see what you like already, BOOK HER NOW. Don't spend another second looking for another Photographer that doesn't bring anywhere near the amazing light and spirit that this girl brings right here. Thank you again Courtney for allowing my husband and I to marry each other all over again! The images are stunning and I can't wait to blow them up and hang them in our home."

Shannon & Brandon

"Working with Courtney was an extremely easy experience, seamless, positive and obviously fun. My wife and I went on our honeymoon and wanted to surprise her with a surprise honeymoon adventure session.

Courtney worked with me to make that dream gift for my wife a reality. Meeting and posing for a photographer for the first time can be intimidating, but with Courtney it was anything but that.

Courtney is extremely positive and helpful and made us feel very comfortable in front of the camera. She played some of our favorite songs and before we knew we were just having fun and she was catching them every second. Perhaps the best part of our session was that Courtney knew all the characteristic and peaceful places of where we were, which made our photos even more extraordinary.

She kept the focus on my wife and me. When we shared our images with friends and relatives, everyone complimented on Courtney's aesthetics and the emotion she was able to capture. I can't thank Courtney enough for exceeding all our expectations with this photo shoot!!"


"Pick her -- she's the best! Courtney is amazing! Seriously! If you're thinking about eloping you should snatch her up to capture your day. She makes the entire experience fun and relaxed plus the pictures just blew us away. I will never forget our magical time in Venice and I'm obsessed with the gorgeous photos Courtney took of us. She's so so good!"

Jami & Tim

Courtney is not only a talented photographer, but she makes you feel so comfortable even though being in front of the camera can be nerve-wracking! She did such an amazing job with our day and if I had to pick my favorite photo it would take FOREVER, because I love so many! Definitely consider her if you want adventurous and beautiful photos coupled with an amazing experience!

walker & mac

Don't just take it from me, Take it from my past couples!

You’re in the right place!

I’m here to guide you through EVERY. SINGLE. STEP.

Let’s toss that’s confusion out the window and focus on how you want to get married!

Let me relieve those feelings of being lost, save you time, tell the story of your day and let’s get started creating a day that you’ll never forget!

So, if you know you want to elope,
but feel unsure on where to start, 

contact me & let's get starting creating your dream elopement!

...and you want an amazing storyteller to document your day


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Let's freaking do this!!