Locations, guides, and all the important things to consider when planning AN Olympic National Park elopement & wedding


Sunset beach portraits during Olympic National Park elopement

Being the only National Park in Washington state that OPENS YEAR ROUND and offers unlimited views of evergreen mountains, alpine lakes, rainforest, fog, and everything that gives you the ultimate PNW mood, Olympic National Park truly has the most versatile locations for all your adventure elopement and intimate wedding needs. When we think of a true PNW elopement, we immediately think of Olympic National Park.

Not only it is one of the best places to elope in Washington State, we believe Olympic National Park is one of the best places to elope in the United States

In addition, Olympic is the only national park in the Pacific Northwest that offers a rugged coastline. It’s not only breathtaking but also mesmerizing. Plus, who doesn’t want a Twilight wedding/elopement? We guess we’ll start learning to photoshop Edward and Jacob into your adventure elopement photos 😘

Located in the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State, Olympic National Park is so huge there really isn’t a main entrance like what you probably have seen at other national parks. You will need to do research and plan on what beautiful viewpoints you want to visit so you can plan a route that’s efficient. If not, in order to circle through the whole entire park, it will take a whole day (and this is only from driving; we are not even talking about hiking yet).

So yes, if iconic places like Lake Crescent or Ruby Beach (the two most popular locations for tourists and hikers) already blow your mind, we cannot wait for you to read through this whole entire Olympic National Park Elopement Guide to learn more about other gorgeous locations as well as how to get married here.

Explore Some Of The Most Adventurous and Beautiful Olympic National Park Weddings, Elopements, and Engagements

HOW TO ELOPE AT OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK IN 7 STEPS

1) Choose the best location(s) in Olympic National Park that speaks to your heart

2) Book an elopement photographer you can connect with. Send us an inquiry for a FREE consultation

3) We’ll talk and plan on EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW to make your elopement at Olympic the best day ever

4) Apply for a Washington marriage license

5) Apply for a permit to get married inside Olympic National Park

6) We’ll adventure around the location you picked, take in the beauty of Olympic Peninsula, create memories, and we’ll photograph the heck out of you two.

7) Eat the cake, pop the champagne, and celebrate your marriage! Yay!!!


Step 1: Choose The Best Locations and The Best Time To Elope at Olympic National Park

Bride and groom holding lanterns during their Olympic National Park elopement

WHERE ARE THE BEST AND MOST BEAUTIFUL PLACES TO ELOPE INSIDE OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK? AND HOW LONG DO WE HAVE TO HIKE?

Being the only national park in Washington that can offer anything you can think of, it is important for you guys to think of what kind of views you want to have on your wedding day. Would you like the feeling of “on top of the world” from a mountaintop? Would you like a cozy vibe from a cute lake house? Would you like to have a dramatic backdrop of the Washington coast along with gigantic rocks? How about a snow-filled mountain with a view of the cascades?

You might wonder how to approach this when Olympic has so much to offer. This is why we always encourage all our couples to read 6 Things To Consider Before Eloping. In that article, we composed a little guide so you can feel confident about making the decision to elope and actually learn how to plan an adventurous elopement.

Once you have some sort of image in your head, the following list will be extremely helpful:

For alpine lake elopements, consider one of these beautiful places:

Most of these lakes require very minimal hiking (we would consider it more like walking a path). Since these lakes are usually next to a campground or a visitor center, their roads are paved and a lot of time wheelchair accessible. They are perfect for intimate weddings and elopements that involve guests and family members. Then afterward, we can go on a more adventurous hike (if you wish) for more epic and moody photos 🙂

For the mountaintop intimate weddings and elopements, you’ll fall in love with these beautiful locations:

Mount Storm King Elopement

  • A bit of a hike, we are not gonna lie. With 4.7 miles roundtrip and a 2,065-foot gain, this trail can be very steep and challenging at the very end. To safely get there, we have to pay attention to time and weather. But don’t worry, during the planning process, we’ll walk through everything we need to consider + pack. The view is so worth it though. You’ll get to see Lake Crescent with its beautiful Olympic mountains. The teal color of the lake among the blue sky is out of this world.

Hurricane Ridge Elopement

  • Just 17 miles from Port Angeles, it is super easy to get here but, in our honest opinion, it also provides some of the best mountain views around for adventure hiking engagement and elopement photos. As for hiking, you can go as minimal as walking around the visitor center for 0.3 – 0.5 miles (on the path always of course because of Leave No Trace) or we can even go on further trails like 3 – 8 miles.

Other off-road trails with way fewer hikers and tourists

Bride and groom jump into the air during their Hoh Rainforest elopement in Olympic National Park

For old-growth forest adventure elopements and intimate weddings, the Olympic Peninsula has you covered:

Hoh Rainforest Elopement

  • What’s more iconic than this moody rainforest? The first time we drove through this forest road, the sun kept coming in and out from the clouds, creating a crazy cool ray of light through the fog. To this day, it is one of our favorite drives in the Olympic National Forest. Besides the forest vibe, with just a small hike, you can get to a river inside the forest. Plus, it is quite close to some other iconic beaches like Kalaloch, and Ruby Beach.

Rialto, La Push, and Kalaloch Forest Elopement

  • Yes, you might have heard of these names before because they offer pretty awesome Instagram and Pinterest-worthy beach photos. Something not a lot of people are aware of is that these beaches are surrounded by lush green forests with some giant cedar trees. These forests are perfect elopement venues for your intimate vows. After that, with a quick hike through the forest, you can get down to the beach for your first dance, a picnic reception, adventure portrait session, and so so so much more

For Washington Coast beach adventure elopements and intimate weddings, these beautiful locations will not only satisfy your eyeballs but also your souls 🙂

Ruby Beach Elopement

  • Located around 25 miles from Forks (yes, like the town from the Twilight movie, and yes it’s a real town, and yes there’s a poster of Bella, Edward, and Jacob in town, and yes we’ve seen all the movies 🤣). Being the most iconic pacific coastline of the whole Olympic National Park, Ruby Beach consists of a small hike, driftwood, and big standing rocks, and will give you all your PNW elopement dreams come true.

Kalaloch Beach Elopement

  • Located next to Kalaloch Lodge, one of the most iconic viewpoints at this beach is the Tree Of Life (aka Tree Root Cave). The first time we saw this tree on the Internet, we knew we had to go all the way out here to witness this tree in real life. It’s one of those things where you see nature and you keep on asking yourself how Earth is so darn beautiful and how nature is so epic in every single way. Being so close to Ruby Beach, it’s totally worth the drive to stop by and see this with your own eyes (this is exactly what we did for Tiffany and John for their engagement session here at the Olympic National Park)

La Push Beach Elopement

  • Or we should really call it beaches since La Push is a series of 3 beaches next to each other. First Beach is more well-known to Seattle people since people often go camping around this area. It is also next to Quileute Oceanside Resort where you can stay in a beachfront cabin that overlooks the dreamiest views for your Twilight wedding (😘). Our honest opinion is: Go on an adventure with us, yes we can do First Beach but we should also hike through Second or Third or even another beach around this area because each of them has such an iconic look but you don’t want to miss out. During your elopement planning, we will talk more about this, don’t worry!

Rialto Beach Elopement

  • If you’re looking for a black sand beach within Olympic National Park, this beach is perfect for an intimate wedding/elopement. During low tide, we can even hike along the beach and get to a viewpoint that provides a different perspective on the beach.

Shi Shi Beach Elopement

  • Located a bit more distant than all the other beaches listed above, from the parking lot to Shi Shi Beach also takes around 2 – 4 miles. With that being said, of course, the beach is totally worth it.

Cape Flattery Elopement

  • Although this is not a beach, it’s worth mentioning here. This is the most Northwest point in the U.S. and how crazy cool would it be to tell your friends you got married at this place? There are hiking trails around this area where it leads you through a green forest to beautiful overlooks.

Besides being your elopement photographers, we are also there to plan alongside you to assist in finding and choosing a location that speaks to your heart. Therefore, we focus on and value the experience you’re going to get. The best locations are the ones we haven’t shared publicly just yet, the ones that we’ve spent hours researching and scouting, making sure that we have permission to access them. And, when we do visit, we also make sure that we follow the Leave No Trace principles while we are there. This is all part of our services to you as your adventure elopement photographers. Contact us if you’re ready to inquire 🙂

Bride and groom kiss on the beach at sunset during their Olympic National Park elopement

WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO ELOPE AT OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK?

Being the only National Park in Washington you can visit year-round, any time to elope at Olympic National Park is a good time. With that being said, what kind of sceneries and vibes speak to your heart the most will determine the time you can get married here:

  • June – September: We will get more sunny days than cloudy or rainy days, therefore, an intimate wedding or adventure elopement around these summer months would allow us to go anywhere we want. From the Olympic Peninsula beaches to high-elevation locations, you tell us where, and we’ll be right there to photograph your day 🙂
  • October – February: The weather is getting moodier around this time. From cloudy to a bit of rain, the soft even light is perfect for a whole day of perfect photos. The mountains are often covered in snow around this time and some roads are still open so we can still drive up (with tire chains of course) and we will be able to see the Olympic mountains with snow. It’s quite magical. This means you can still get married, we just have to plan on packing some extra gears to keep us warm and to keep us safe. But don’t worry, we’ll be there to help you through it all 🙂
  • March-May: The weather around this time is more unpredictable than the rest of the year. It could be sunny one day and moody the next. Sometimes, the weather can change even within hours. This is more like a heads-up. We don’t mean to scare you off. We’ve photographed countless elopements and engagement sessions at the Olympic National Park around this time.

Step 2: Find The Best Olympic National Park Elopement Photographer and Book The One You Can Connect With

Bride and groom hold hands while walking across the beach during their elopement in Olympic National Park

WHY US FOR ALL YOUR OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK ELOPEMENT PHOTOGRAPHY NEEDS?

We are huge believers in “there’s a photographer out there for everyone”. We don’t know how you ended up here reading all these words but we know you are here for a reason.

Growing up, Henry never thought one day he would become an elopement photographer. He went to school for nursing and started working as a Cardiac ICU Nurse for a while before his heart found photography and more importantly, his heart found a need for documenting memories from seeing how short life truly is.

When we grow old, photos remind us of how we once looked. When times get tough, photos let us re-live those times when life was much easier and full of hopes and dreams. When we lose our loved ones, photos are the only thing that lives on and allow us to immerse in the nostalgia and memories. Photos are timeless. Photos are sacred.

This is why we don’t mess around when it comes to creating a safe space for our couples to express themselves, to feel how they feel, to be who they are meant to be, so we can truly capture their true authentic selves.

Besides the main focus of capturing memories and moments, we are also huge believers in “Leave No Trace”

WHAT IS “LEAVE NO TRACE” AND WHY SHOULD WE CARE ABOUT IT?

As experts in adventure elopement photography, we care a whole lot about “Leave No Trace”, which is where we go on adventures for photos but also make sure we leave things the way they are by doing our parts to preserve the beauty of nature. Here are something we do and expect our couples to do (not limiting to):

  • Stay on trails
  • Not climbing over fences, roped-off areas, or places with visible signs of “Do Not Trespass”
  • No meadow stomping
  • No confetti inside National Park (doesn’t matter if they are bio-degradable or not): Each National Park has their own living organisms, plants, animals, etc… By us leaving things behind, we can harm these living organisms. Bio-degradable confetti takes a while to degrade and might need rain or water to speed up that process. In the meantime, other animals might still be able to ingest them. If you are thinking about confetti, we can do so at your cabin (if allowed)

Step 3: Transportations, Accommodations, Pets, and EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW to Elope At Olympic National Park

Bride and groom lay on the beach with lanterns during their elopement at Olympic National Park

WHERE ARE THE BEST PLACES TO STAY FOR YOUR OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK ELOPEMENT?

As mentioned previously, with the park being so ginormous, where you choose to stay will depend on where you are planning on having your elopement photographed. With that being said, please keep in mind that even with finding the perfect place to stay, we might still have to drive around for photos since these locations within the Olympic National Park are quite spread out. Please see some well-known places listed below as examples:

Hotels / Lodges [some of these places also offer services for wedding and elopement venues within Olympic National Park)

  • Kalaloch Lodge: Open year-round. Close to Kalaloch Beach, Ruby Beach, and HOH Rainforest
  • Lake Crescent Lodge: Limited cabins are available in the winter. Close to Lake Crescent, Mount Storm King, Hurricane Ridge, Hoh Rainforest
  • Log Cabin Resort: This resort is located near Lake Crescent Lodge so look above for examples of nearby beautiful places for your elopement
  • Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort: A bit more isolated from all the places listed above, however, this resort is also close to Lake Crescent and HOH Rain Forest

Campgrounds [yesss if you are feeling adventurous and want to bring your Camper Vans, RVs, Trailers, or Tent for your adventure elopement, check out these places]:

  • Fairholme Campground: near Lake Crescent. First come first serve
  • Graves Creek Campground: near Quinault Rain Forest. First come first serve
  • HOH Campground: Yes near Hoh rainforest :). First come first serve
  • Kalaloch Campground: One of the most popular campgrounds since it’s so close to Kalaloch and Ruby Beach. Reservations during the summer months. First come first serve in winter months
  • Mora Campground: near Rialto Beach, and a drivable distance to La Push. Reservations during the summer months. First come first serve in winter months
  • South Beach Campground: Also one of the most popular ones near Kalaloch. First come first serve.

Airbnbs near Olympic National Park:

  • Closest towns around the park: Port Angeles, Sequim, Forks, Hood Canal
  • These places are more flexible since you can pick a cabin based on what they offer, capacity, and amenities. Since you’re staying outside the National Park, you also have fewer restrictions on what you can do with your wedding.

Although the list above is quite extensive, we did not list everything we’ve found since we don’t want to overwhelm you with information. When we plan on your adventure elopement, we will narrow down places that are more relevant to your needs.

CAN WE INVITE GUESTS? HOW MANY PEOPLE SHOULD WE HAVE AT OUR ELOPEMENT?

We’ve photographed elopements that consist of just the couple and we have also photographed elopements where 15 family members and friends also came along with the couple. There are no rules when it comes to having your wedding day how you have envisioned it. If you want to read more on this topic, we have written a blog post on 6 Things To Consider Before Eloping.

In terms of legality and paperwork, you will need 2 adults who are 18 or older to sign as your witnesses. If you choose to not have guests, it’s ok. Oftentimes, we become one or both of the 2 witnesses and we have a list of options for the second witness if needed for when we plan together.

WE HAVE A DOG OR TWO, CAN WE BRING OUR PETS ALONG WITH US TO OUR OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK ELOPEMENT?

If you are thinking about bringing your pets to Olympic National Park, follow the BARK acronym:

  • B: Bag your pet’s poop
  • A: Always wear a leash
  • R: Respect wildlife
  • K: Know where you can go: Pets are welcome to go to all drive-in campgrounds but for beautiful viewpoints in the park, the list is quite limited

In addition, pets must be with you at all times, not tying them to trees. For a full list of rules with pets, see the official statement from the park itself.

Looking at the list of rules above, you might feel discouraged about eloping at Olympic National Park. However, don’t be. As a dog father of 3 fur babies, Henry knows how important it is to include your pets on your elopement day. This is why our job is more than just photographing your day; rather, by assisting you from day one with planning and finding the right resources for your elopement day, we can help make sure you guys can include everything that’s important to you


Step 4: Marriage License and Legality in Washington State

Bride and groom hold hands during their foggy elopement at Hurricane Ridge

HOW TO APPLY FOR A MARRIAGE LICENSE IN WASHINGTON STATE

Since Olympic National Park is within the state of Washington, you will need to apply for a marriage license to get married here. Per state law, you will need to apply for a marriage license at least 3 days before your elopement date. Please keep in mind that you can only apply for a license within 60 days of your elopement date.

If you are from Washington or if you arrive at least 3 days before your elopement date, you can visit any local office to get one. If you are from out of state and don’t have enough time to arrive early and wait, the BEST WAY IS TO APPLY ONLINE AND HAVE IT MAILED TO YOU. More Information on your marriage license can be found HERE.

HOW MANY WITNESSES DO WE NEED? WHAT ABOUT AN OFFICIANT?

You will need an officiant and 2 witnesses. If you have family and/or friends who can be there for you, that’s amazing. If not, it’s ok, oftentimes, we are one or both of the witnesses, and we can recommend a list of officiants for you.


Step 5: Apply For a Wedding Permit For Your Olympic National Park Elopement

Depending on where you are getting married within the Olympic National Park or Olympic National Forest, this will determine what kind of permit you might need. However, you might need one or both of the following permits:

1) Entrance Fee: You can choose to pay for a one-time visit or you can use your America The Beautiful Pass to enter the park

2) Permit to have a wedding inside Olympic National Park: Please fill out the Application Form and submit a $50 non-refundable application fee online (note – this fee might change over time).


Step 6: Everything Else To Prepare For Your Olympic National Park Elopement

We know that when you seek an adventure elopement, you seek an experience. An elopement does not mean the day is “less than” a traditional wedding. Therefore, we decided to dedicate a whole page to our site with multiple blog posts and resources on elopements.

Why eloping? How can we make this day unique and special? What else should we think about? If we can’t have our family with us, what are some other things we can do to let them be involved from afar? These are just some of the many questions we know you might have, and we will be there from day 1 to prepare you and plan with you for a day that none of us will ever forget. It all starts with TRUST & INTENTIONALITY.

More information, resources, and what-to-pack reminders will be sent throughout our planning process together.


Thanks for reading and we hope you consider us as your Olympic National Park Elopement photographers. You can read more About Us, Pricing, Elopement Packages, and Everything we are about. If you are ready, please head over to our Contact Page to send an inquiry.


Olympic National Park Elopement Packages

– Photograph by Henry or Sergio

– Explore anywhere within Olympic National Park

– Coverage from 4 hours to Full Day

– A personalized elopement experience with unlimited guides and resources as promised above (click here to see everything that is included)

– All your breath-taking photos in a secure & private online gallery

– Travel fees included

Starting at $6,900

(Ranges between $6,900 – $13,200)


Ready to elope? Need our help in finding the most perfect location for you? Need more clarification?


Henry Tieu & Sergio - Elopement Photographers

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