Are you looking to have an Olympic National Park Elopement?! WHOO-HOO!! This place will leave a mark on your heart and you’ll fall in love the moment you set your eyes on this stunning national park.
Olympic National Park is one of the most incredible and versatile locations to elope! The Olympic Penninsula is truly one of the best places to elope in the PNW. It holds a wide variety of scenery, is open year-round, and is easily accessible! No matter if you’re looking for sweeping mountain views, old-growth forests, stunning beaches, or peaceful alpine lakes Olympic National Park has it all.
As a Washington Elopement Photographer, I’m here to guide you through every step of planning your Olympic National Park Elopement! Let’s dive into my ultimate guide and you then you can contact me to get started creating an unforgettable experience!
How to Elope at Olympic National Park
1. Hire an Olympic National Park Elopement Photographer
Hiring the right Olympic National Park elopement photographer for you is SO important! I would definitely suggest bringing a professional early on in the process because it will make everything so much easier for you.
As an experienced elopement photographer who specializes in elopements, I’m able to guide you throughout the entire planning process. Everything from helping you pick out the perfect location to say your vows to creating a stress-free timeline to helping you handle the logistics and everything in between! I want to help you create the most incredible and memorable experience that’s completely focused on the two of you. If you’d like to learn more about what I do you can check it out here!
The other aspect to take into consideration when picking out a photographer for your Olympic National Park Elopement is to go with someone that you click with. Your photographer will be there with you throughout the entire day and if it’s someone that you connect with they’re going to enhance the experience of your elopement rather than take away from it.
This is one of the reasons I hop on a call with all my couples before moving forward to make sure that we’ll be a great fit! I want to make sure that we’ll get along great and have a fantastic time together. Imagine having a photographer that you feel awkward around or someone that you don’t vibe well with… your day wouldn’t that great. So, be sure to find someone whose style you love and someone that you can imagine hanging out with!
2. When is the best time to elope at Olympic National Park?
Deciding what season is best for you to have your Olympic National Park Elopement is a super important aspect to figure out. Since it’s the only national park that stays completely open year-round there truly isn’t a bad time to elope at Olympic National Park, but here is the rundown of what you can expect!
During summer the peninsula gets more sunny days than rainy days making it a great time of year to elope! The sunsets along the coast are to die for and the mountains are filled with stunning greenery. There isn’t any snow so getting everywhere is super easy!
The weather gets much cooler this time of year so packing those layers to stay warm is a must, but it’s 100% worth it! The mountains are covered in snow creating a magical backdrop and the fog and clouds are typically present throughout the day making it perfect for all-day moody PNW pictures and vibes!
The weather in the springtime is a bit more fickle and unpredictable. You’ll have beautiful sunny days and then rainy days! It’s a great time of year to embrace the adventure and go-with-the-flow of whatever happens!
3. Pick your location
There are endless amounts of gorgeous locations and hikes to have your adventurous elopement experience! Take a minute to think of what type of scenery you want for your elopement day. What would be your dream backdrop as you say your vows? Do you want sweeping mountain views? Do you want to be surrounded by trees? An alpine lake? Moody coastline? Let’s dive into some of the most epic locations that Olympic National Park has to offer.
Don’t worry, you don’t need to make an official decision! I’m here to help you pick out the best location for you! There are many hikes and drive-up locations for you to choose from and I’ll guide you through it all! You can contact me and I’d be stoked to help you plan an epic adventure!
Alpine Lake Elopement Locations:
Most of these require some type of “hiking” and by hiking, I mean more of a peaceful walk! These are all very accessible and great spots especially if you have guests at your elopement!
- Lake Cushman
- This is a gorgeous alpine lake for your Olympic National Park Elopement! It’s a pretty lake surrounded by towering mountains. You can hike to a peak for a beautiful and peaceful view or you can simply enjoy the lake and lollygag around!
- Lake Crescent
- Lake Crescent is a lower elevation lake meaning it’s typically snow-free year round making it a super accessible location no matter when you want to elope! There are many hikes all around for all levels, so there’s a place for you!
- Lake Quinault
- This is a great lake to get those rain forest vibes! There’s a fun walk around the lake and through the forest and along the rivers that will create epic backdrops for your elopement in Olympic National Park!
Mountain View Elopement Locations:
- Hurricane Ridge
- Hurricane Ridge is an epic drive-up location that is accessible year-round! You explore the area around the visitors center or picnic locations which will give you sweeping mountain views. If you want a bit more privacy there are many hikes that jet out from the visitors center!
- Mount Storm King
- This is a 4.7-mile round trip hike that isn’t the easiest, but the views are epic! The trail is fairly steep at the end, but you just gotta come prepared, take your time, and not push yourself.
- Lots and lots of other hikes
- There are SO many hiking options that will give you the privacy you want along with epic views! I keep some of the most epic locations a secret and reveal them only to my couples. So, if you’re looking to go on a hike for your day, I’d be stoked to help you!
Olympic Coastline Elopement Locations:
The coastline in Olympic National Park is to die for! The rugged cliffs, moody forest vibes, and sea stacked rocks mixed together creates the ultimate PNW vibe. The number of locations for your Olympic National Park Elopement is endless. You have easy drive-up locations and spots with minimal ‘hiking’ making them some of the best places to elope in Olympic National Park!
- Ruby Beach
- Ruby Beach is a pretty well-known beach in Olympic National Park, but for a good reason! It’s a super short hike and has lots of driftwood, forest vibes, and has beautiful sunsets during the summer! This is where the Hoh River runs into the Pacific Ocean as well. It’s an absolute stunner! Dogs are allowed here as well!!
- Kalaloch Beach
- I have 3 words for you – Dogs allowed here! If you’re looking to include your furry friend then this is a fantastic option for you! It’s also home to the famous Tree Root Cave. It’s right by Ruby Beach so it’s totally worth making a stop here to check it out!
- Cape Flattery
- Although not a beach it is on the coastline! There are multiple hikes that lead to stunning overlooks on the coast through the beautiful PNW forest. It’s a gorgeous place to explore with easy hikes for everyone!
- La Push Beach
- La Push beach consists of 3 different beaches. The first you can park and walk to while the other 2 you have to hike to get to. I HIGHLY suggest going the adventurous route and hiking to the second or third beach where you can get privacy and all the same epic views! Don’t worry, I’ll help guide you through all of the decisions when picking out what beach is best for you!
- Rialto Beach
- This is another beautiful beach location! It’s a great place to plan around low tide so that you can walk out to the sea stacks and enjoy all the epicness that this beach has to offer!
Olympic Forest Locations
The home run here will definitely be Hoh Rain Forest, but all along the coast and through many hikes you’ll come across magical forests with massive trees! Just let me know what you’re looking for and I got you covered!
- Hoh Rain Forest
- Looking for a forest filled with moss-covered trees, loads of ferns and greenery galore? Then this is the magical land for you! There are many trails and waterfalls for you to explore. The amount of green is astounding here. I promise you, you’ve never seen so much green in your life!
4. Book your accommodation in Olympic NP
I will always suggest staying in a cabin instead of a hotel during your elopement for a couple of reasons! They provide a great space to get ready, have a first look, and celebrate afterward! You’ll have a wide variety of options and cute places to stay. You’ll typically be able to stay closer to your location in a cabin versus a hotel as well! Airbnb and VRBO are great sites to dive into to find the perfect place to stay! You can check out my other article on How to Plan an Airbnb Elopement for more in-depth advice on this subject!
Be sure you wait to book your accommodation until your location has been picked out and your permit is approved! You don’t want to book a place and then fall in love with a location that’s 2 hours away. So, be sure to wait for this step, but here are some ideas to help you get started!
- Thompson Point on Lake Crescent
- Peaceful Retreat with Sea Views
- Creekfront Cabin
- Secluded Getaway
- Private Tinyhouse
5. Permits and Marriage License
How to get legally married in Olympic National Park?
If you live in Washington or if you arrive in the state a minimum of 3 days before your elopement day, you can head to any local county clerks office to get a marriage license. If you’re coming from out of state the easiest scenario would be to apply online and have it mailed to you. Keep in mind you can’t apply any more than 60 days before your elopement date! You can check out all the information about getting legally married here.
You will also need to have 2 witnesses and an officiant to make it legal. If you want to go this route I can definitely recommend officiants to you! I’d also be happy to sign as a witness!
Symbolical Elopement Ceremony
If you want to have a ‘just us’ elopement I would highly suggest going the route of having a symbolical ceremony. What is that you ask? A symbolical ceremony means not legally binding. So, you would get legally married where you live and handle all the paperwork there, and then when you’re elopement day rolls around you don’t have to worry about dealing with paperwork.
Olympic National Park Elopement Permits
Depending on where you are getting married in the Olympic Penninsula will determine what kind of permit you might need. Certain permits may or may not be needed depending on location and guest count, so it’s always best to contact the appropriate people and ask to make sure you have every squared away that needs to be! You can find all the information here.
6. Everything else you need to be prepared for your Olympic National Park Elopement
It’s always wise to be prepared for everything when eloping! Here are my top recommendations for you, but I’ll be sure to send you a complete list of everything before your elopement!
- National Park Pass
- Rain jacket
- Layers of clothes
- Bear spray
- Bug spray
- Anti-itch cream
- Extra socks (always!)
Phew!! That’s a lot of information! I hope this has helped you get an idea of how to elope in Olympic National Park! It’s an absolutely breathtaking park and you truly can’t go wrong when choosing to have an Olympic National Park Elopement! If you’re looking for a photographer to help you and guide you through planning out your epic adventurous elopement you can CONTACT ME to get started!!
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