November 22, 2021 /

The Top 4 Places to Elope in The Sawtooth Mountains (Idaho)

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Bride and groom hold hands and face each other during their elopement at Sawtooth Mountain; image overlaid with text that reads The Top 4 Places to Elope in The Sawtooth Mountains

Sawtooth Mountains Elopement Locations

The Sawtooth Mountain Range encompasses a vast expanse of wild, intense beauty. This section of the Rocky Mountains is 678 square miles packed full of glacial lakes, dramatic slopes, & deep forests. With 57 peaks and over 300 lakes, if you want to elope in the Sawtooth Mountains, you are absolutely spoiled for choice! You could get totally lost here and stumble from mountain glen to wildflower meadow. This is without even trying to create the perfect elopement plan.

With that said, though, there are some spots that are truly special. And if I’ve learned anything from my time as an elopement photographer, it’s that having a little bit of a plan is a good thing. Doing your research & dreaming about what the specifics of your elopement will look and feel like actually lets you fully sink into the day when it arrives, instead of worrying about the little details that aren’t figured out. That’s why I’ve put together this list of the top places to elope in the Sawtooth Mountains!

Elope in the Sawtooth Mountains: Your Starting Point

When you’re planning to elope in the Sawtooth Mountains, you have so many options when it comes to ceremony locations and photo spots. There are over 700 miles of trails! For your overnight accommodation and your overall home base, you are mainly deciding between two different options: Stanley & Sun Valley. These towns are both on the I-75, and they both offer amazing access to the Sawtooth Wilderness.

Couple kissing with mountain view behind them, captured by Alexa Ann Photography

One of the wonderful things about choosing to elope in the Sawtooth Mountains is that you have such a range of options for the kind of experience you’re longing to have. If a wild & down-to-earth elopement is your kind of thing (think hiking boots & starry skies) then there are campsites and trails galore. If you want to be stunned by beauty but experience it with a little more luxury (think ski lifts & champagne) then there are adorable Airbnb cabins and gorgeous lodges and hotels here, too!

Eloping in Stanley, Idaho

Whether you want to elope in the Sawtooth Mountains or just explore them as a visitor, you’ll probably see Stanley featured in guides and blogs. Mostly because, even though it has just over a hundred year-round residents, it’s the best the gateway into the Sawtooth Mountains. In the summertime, this picturesque mountain town balloons with vacationers. However, with so much access to winding dirt roads & sprawling campsites, it’s easy to escape from other hikers and crowds. Stanley is such a good launch point for your adventure!

Eloping in Sun Valley, Idaho

About an hour south of Stanley you’ll discover the town of Ketchum in the beautiful Sun Valley. Surrounded by incredible slopes and peaks, this is the heart of skiing and snow sports in the Sawtooths. Sun Valley is a dreamlike little village with plenty of accommodation and resources to create your perfect elopement! For more information on how to elope in Sun Valley, check out my guide.

The Top Places to Elope in The Sawtooth Mountains

If you’re coming to this corner of the world to elope, I’m going to guess that you want something epic in scope. Something dramatic, enveloping beauty. Lush landscapes & striking skylines. While the Sawtooths are sure to deliver on this, let’s look at some starting points you might want to consider when you’re figuring out where to say your vows when you elope in the Sawtooth Mountains.

#1 – Baker Lake Trail

 

The hike up to Baker Lake heads through a forest that is filled with wildflowers in the spring. This makes for an utterly breathtaking exploration. It’s a shorter hike by Sawtooth Mountain standards – only 1.8 miles up – but it is uphill. The lake itself is a burnished aquamarine, surrounded by woods and climbing slopes. In my opinion, it’s well worth the walk!

#2 – Fishhook Creek Trail

 

If you want to soak up the colors & textures of fall in the Sawtooth Mountains without taking on a difficult hike, you’ve got to check out Fishhook Creek Trail. Follow the winding twists of the rushing creek through the forest until you emerge into a meadow. Sometimes, it’s full of wildflowers, other times flooded with snowmelt. However, all the time with a stunning view of seven peaks.

#3 – Sawtooth Lake

 

Just fifteen minutes from Stanley, Sawtooth Lake is a glorious landmark in this area. It’s a great spot to elope in the Sawtooth Mountains because there are so many trails looping around & leading off of it. The views over and around this lake are some of the best. It’s surrounded by mountains on all sides!

#4 – Redfish Lake

 

This is the biggest lake in the Sawtooth Recreational Area, and it is nothing short of majestic. If you chose this spot to elope in the Sawtooth Mountains, your elopement pictures would be full of vast skies. Imagine crystalline reflections, and light dancing on the water as the sun goes down. There’s nothing quite like the peace that rolls over a huge alpine lake at sunset. It’s a peace that would perfectly suit the intimacy & romance of a mountain elopement.

Finding the Right Places to Elope in The Sawtooth Mountains

Bride posing in her dress in the middle of Baker Lake Trail during their elopement shoot

These spots are the perfect jumping-off points for you to explore as you dream about how to elope in the Sawtooth Mountains. But, there are so many other incredible places. Alturas Lake, White Cloud Vista, Indigo Lake, and Lady Face Falls are all worth considering, too. And as much as planning is key to having an amazing elopement, there’s always something to be said for jumping in the car, turning off onto a dirt road, and seeing what you’ll find. When you elope in the Sawtooth Mountains, make sure you give yourself enough time to do just that!

For more ideas on how to pull off a remarkable elopement in the Pacific Northwest, I’d love to talk to you – get in touch, and let’s start a conversation!

 

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A collage of photos of couple posing during their Sawtooth Mountain elopement shoot with Alexa Ann; image overlaid with text that reads The Top 4 Places to Elope in The Sawtooth Mountains

 

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