Planning your dream Olympic National Park Elopement
I’m your photographer friend & diehard fan of a good ol Olympic National Park elopement, and here’s why: the first time I visited, it legitimately changed my heart for the better. I had never been amidst scenery that so accurately represented feelings I had within myself, made more known to me in the physical manifestation of its deep green landscapes & hazy ocean shores. It’s a place that truly tugs on your heart, and because of that, it’s the perfect place for your outdoor adventure elopement. Sharing more of its beauty & knowledge with you today, so you can plan your own Olympic National Park wedding experience.
Olympic National Park Elopement Guide
- The Landscape
- Locations by Time of Year
- Elopement Vendors
- Places to Stay
Olympic National Park Landscape >>
Olympic National Park is located on the Olympic Peninsula and is home to temperate rain forests, snowy mountain peaks, hot springs, and giant coastal cliffs. Its landscape is hugely diverse, making parts of it accessible throughout the entire year– a huge plus when trying to plan your outdoor elopement. From Seattle, it’s only a ferry ride & scenic drive away, yet still giving you an exciting getaway/destination wedding weekend. Although it’s an easy venture, you will still feel deeply surrounded by breath-taking wilderness and the peace of its remoteness.
Top Olympic National Park Elopement Locations by Time of Year >>
- Winter — WA Coast & Lake Crescent
- Spring — Hoh Rain forest & Hoh River
- Summer — Hurricane Ridge
- Fall — Royal Basin
Washington Coast Elopement, Winter
Both the WA Coast & Lake Crescent tend to stay fairly mild in the winter, giving you the opportunity to explore its land without treacherous snow or frigid temperatures. If you’re looking for a great sunset, the coastal cliffs all up and down Washington’s coastline are incredible. Some of my favorites starting from the north include: Shi Shi Beach, the Ozette Triangle, Rialto Beach, La Push, & Ruby Beach. Each feature vast, wide space, beautiful rock formations, and contain many options for easy to moderate hikes leading you to more secluded spaces. Be aware of the tides & map your trip accordingly so you don’t find yourself in an unsafe situation.
Lake Crescent Elopement, Winter
Lake Crescent holds some of the most vibrantly aqua & crystal clear waters I’ve ever seen. Several hikes surround the lake, highlighting lake front views, waterfalls & evergreen mountaintops. There’s also lots of campgrounds & recreational areas along the waterfront and would be a fun weekend trip for those you love, linked here under places to stay.
Hoh Rain Forest Elopement, Spring
The winter and spring are typically the Hoh Rain forest‘s rainier season, making the moss & greenery its lushest. If you can time your elopement in the rain forest for the late spring, you’ll miss the heaviest seasons of rain in the winter and early spring which often lead to washouts in the road. This will give you the greenest of green surroundings & the moodiness of the lingering rainfall. Another plus of this time of year is the abundance of Roosevelt elk that move to higher elevations in the summer.
Hoh River Elopement, Spring
The Hoh River, like Lake Crescent, holds vibrant aqua waters that make it a picturesque backdrop to your spring elopement. Its color will also be significantly more milky in the spring from glacial runoff. Several riverside trails line the water, giving you ample space to choose your elopement site.
Hurricane Ridge Elopement, Summer
Hurricane Ridge is by far my favorite stretch of peaks in WA. The first time I visited, it was so visually inspiring that I felt all of my senses were heightened breathing it in. In the summer, the snow on the trails will have cleared, instead showcasing colorful wildflowers. You are almost guaranteed to see deer roaming the mountaintop meadows and are more likely to see the Olympic marmot during this time of year. A summer elopement on Hurricane ridge is a must though because the radiance of the sunsets from its high vantage point. The ridges will turn quickly into a gradient of color– warm yellows fading into soft pinks & purples then on to the cool blues of the mountains. You’ll find a range of trails, from easy to hard, to choose your mountaintop elopement location!
Royal Basin Elopement, Fall
Okay, the Royal Basin is an elopement spot for all of you more seasoned adventurers. This is a 16 mi, 3,766 foot elevation gain hike. Nothing too challenging, as it is a moderate hike, but it’s a long trail and you’ll feel the elevation. However, if you’re up for the journey, it will make an unforgettable, fall backpacking elopement experience. The trail features many glacial basins and grand mountain ridges as well as meadows of colorful vegetation, giving you an excess of truly humbling scenes of beauty for your elopement site.
I recommend timing this in the early fall before the first snowfall, so you’re not dealing with low temperatures & snow on the the path. If you schedule your elopement around the changing leaves, you’ll behold landscapes so full of color they’ll feel like rainbow gradients. There are campsites along the various lakes, providing you with a romantic night’s stay under the stars. What you lose in convenience or ease with this longer hike, you’ll gain in privacy & epic views.
Olympic National Park Elopement Vendors >>
Well, I know a photographer that’s crazy about Olympic National Park and sharing unforgettable memories with her couples…
It’s me! I’d be honored to be a part of the exchange of such intimate moments. In fact, it’s the basis of my business– braving the wilderness. If you’re unfamiliar with the philosophy, it boils down to this:
Braving the wilderness is finding the courage to share your most authentic self with the world, even if that means going against the grain. It’s about risking comfort for boldness to unashamedly be who you were made to be. Yep, it’s digging deep and finding freedom in belonging to yourself because that’s how we honor ourselves and ultimately love others well >> when we allow ourselves to operate out of this raw, sort of scary, but real and remarkable place.
That’s why I love elopements. I truly believe in its ability to cultivate a day that is yours and not anyone else’s. There’s something about venturing into the wilderness that gives you clear perspective and unbridled freedom. So sign me up, I’m here and psyched to help you cultivate your Olympic National Park elopement day. Here are my elopement packages, and you can book here!
Other elopement vendors I love include:
- The Greatest Adventure Weddings, your one stop shop for planning your adventure wedding or elopement
- Ondine, an elopement & wedding florist whose inspiration is rooted deeply in the earth & nature
- Nordeen Bridal, a wedding dress line made specifically for adventure weddings & elopements
- Kassidy Sherburne, a videographer whose focus is on adventure weddings & elopements
Places to stay in Olympic National Park >>
There’s a ton of options for lodging all over Olympic National Park, from campsites to lodges & cabins to airbnbs. You could spend a weekend with a few of your adventurous pals, backpacking & picking campsites along the way. The family lodges & campgrounds make a great weekend trip for you and your family. You may even want to rent a large Airbnb, giving you and your loved ones the ultimate destination wedding experience.
Booking your Adventure Elopement
The options may seem endless, but I hope this how-to-guide helps you to plan a meaningful & wonderful Olympic National Park Elopement. Here is a full wedding weekend within the park for inspiration. If you get stuck, I’d love to hear from you and help you create and commemorate the start of your life together. Happy, happy planning!