10 Most Beautiful Places to Elope in Washington State

Washington Wedding Permits & Passes

Washington National Park Wedding Permits

Special Use Permit

To get married in a Washington National Park, you’ll have to get a park-specific Special Use Permit. This permit will allow you to hold your event in certain designated locations within the park, and will let you have a certain number of guests/participants depending on the location. Below are links to specific Special Use Permit info for each of Washington's 3 National Parks!

Entrance Fee

Don’t forget about entrance fees! Typically Special Use Permits don’t cover park entrance fees, so you’ll have to pay those separately. Both Mount Rainier & Olympic National Park require you to pay either a day-use per vehicle fee of $30, or purchase an annual park pass for $55, which you can purchase at the links below:

North Cascades National Park actually doesn’t have any entrance fee, so you’re good to drive through the park and stop wherever you’d like without paying to enter!/park!

Washington State Park Elopement Permits

Special Activities Permit

The same goes for state parks in WA – you’ll need a Special Activities Permit to get married in one. It costs $45 to apply for this permit, and additional fees may apply based on the location, date, and specific details of your elopement.  Each park has a different list of designated ceremony locations that you’ll want to look into through the Washington State Parks website!

Entrance Fee

To enter & park at any Washington State Park, you’ll need a Discover Pass. A day-use pass costs $10 ($11.50 if bought online), and an annual pass costs $30 ($35 if bought online), and covers your entry into any state park. You can buy one online or in-person at most parks!

10 Most Beautiful Places to Elope in Washington State

1. Mount Rainier National Park | West-central WA

One of the most iconic locations in all of Washington, Mount Rainier is a phenomenal option for your elopement. With wildflowers blooming everywhere in the spring + summer, stunning mountain views, a huge array of hikes + outdoor activities for all skill levels, and an endless variety of diverse landscapes, it’s pretty hard to beat!

Nearest towns: Ashford, Packwood

Distance from Seattle: 81 miles (via the northeast park entrance)

Entry requirements: Mount Rainier Single Vehicle Fee ($30) or Mount Rainier Annual Pass ($55) – Purchase Here

Mount Rainier wedding permit needed: Special Use Permit ($175+)

Best season to elope at Mount Rainier: Summer (July-August)

ADA-accessibility: Minimal – not many wheelchair accessible hikes; accessible visitor centers, restrooms, picnic areas, & parking

Are dogs allowed at Mount Rainier? No

Best elopement locations at Mount Rainier:

Mount Rainier elopement activity ideas:

Other important things to know:

Higher-elevation locations at Mount Rainier stay pretty snowy late into the year, and can get fairly early snow once fall rolls around. Be sure to plan for potential snow if you elope in the spring or fall and don’t choose any high-elevation locations for your ceremony! It’s helpful to keep an eye on current park conditions through the NPS website to watch for trail & road statuses, and to be aware of potential closures due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances.

The wildflowers at Mount Rainier are one of the biggest draws to the park, as visitors travel from all across the country to see Paradise in the summertime (aptly named for its true wildflower paradise). Because of this, the wildflowers often get trampled on by visitors who want to take photos or explore an area they’re not supposed to – so it’s important that we’re mindful of where we walk, and that we stay on designated trails. Let’s protect the beautiful landscape and keep it as pristine as we can for all the future visitors who want to see it!

2. Olympic National Park | Olympic Peninsula, WA

Olympic National Park is probably one of the most rad places in all of Washington because of how diverse it is. It not only has plenty of epic mountain views, but it also boasts waterfalls, clear lakes, moody rainforests, rocky beaches, and so much more. You’ve probably seen photos of the Hoh Rain Forest or the La Push beaches on social media, postcards, and even in movies like the Twilight films!

Nearest towns: Port Angeles, Forks, La Push

Distance from Seattle: 111 miles (via the southmost park entrance)

Entry requirements: Olympic National Park Single Vehicle Fee ($30) or Olympic National Park Annual Pass ($55) – Purchase Here

Olympic National Park wedding permit needed: Special Use Permit

Best season to elope at Olympic National Park: Summer (July-August)

ADA-accessibility: Some accessible beaches & trails; accessible visitor center, restrooms, campgrounds, & picnic areas

Are dogs allowed in Olympic National Park? Yes, at certain locations

Best elopement locations at Olympic National Park:

Olympic National Park elopement activity ideas:

3. North Cascades National Park | Northern WA

North Cascades National Park is definitely the most underrated out of the 3 National Parks in Washington, spanning across a large area of northern Washington and featuring some of the most amazing mountain views in the state. It’s an incredible experience just driving along the North Cascades Scenic Highway, where you can witness the crazy beautiful mountains, valleys, and drive by super vibrant blue lakes. The Cascades are so picturesque everywhere you look!

Nearest towns: Concrete, Newhalem, Stehekin, Winthrop, Marblemount

Distance from Seattle: 107 miles (starting from just past Marblemount)

Entry requirements: None

North Cascades wedding permit needed: Special Use Permit ($50+)

Best season to elope in the North Cascades: Summer (July-August)

ADA-accessibility: Some accessible paths/walks; accessible restrooms, parking, & picnic areas

Are dogs allowed in the North Cascades? Only within 50 feet of roads

Best elopement locations in the North Cascades:

North Cascades elopement activity ideas:

  • Take a scenic drive through the mountains

  • Pull off somewhere for a roadside picnic

  • Go boating on Lake Chelan

  • Walk around the small mountain towns

Other important things to know:

One thing that you should know is that the popular dirt cliff spot at Diablo Lake for shoots/elopements is unfortunately now closed off. Even if you have the correct park permits, this location is off-limits, even though you will still see photos of it everywhere. Instead, you can hike the nearby Thunder Knob Trail to get similar stunning views of Diablo Lake for your ceremony or elopement portraits!

4. Discovery Park | Seattle, WA

Discovery Park is a great location to elope at if you’re looking to keep your ceremony local to Seattle, but you still want beautiful views. You get gorgeous views of the water, while still getting the perks of being close to the city & having lots to do! 

Parking/entry fees: None

Discovery Park wedding permit needed: No permits needed, but a ceremony site reservation is required

Best season to get married at Discovery Park: Spring-summer (April-August)

ADA-accessibility: Accessible paved park trail

Are dogs allowed at Discovery Park? Yes, on leash

Discovery Park elopement activity ideas:

  • Visit the West Point Lighthouse

  • Take the South Beach Trail down to the water

  • Bike along the scenic paved trails

Seattle Municipal Court | 5th Avenue, Seattle

Seattle Municipal Court (the Seattle courthouse) is an easy way to have a quick ceremony if you’re not looking to plan anything more complicated. Say your vows, have a judge + witnesses sign off on your ceremony, and meet up with your guests for a larger reception/party afterward. It’s pretty easy to have your ceremony here, and the city views from the spots you can have your ceremony at are beautiful!

Maximum ceremony guest capacity: 6 people (including the couple)

Courthouse ceremony time frame: Judges available at 4:30 pm on weekdays; closed on weekends & holidays

When to request a ceremony: Within 8 weeks of your desired date

Parking at the courthouse: No public parking lot; paid street parking & parking garages available nearby

ADA-accessibility: Wheelchair-accessible courthouse entrances

Seattle courthouse elopement activity ideas:

6. Rattlesnake Lake | North Bend, WA

Rattlesnake Lake is a no-brainer location if you want to elope somewhere on the water, near Seattle but not right in the city, and somewhere with access to other beautiful places like the North Cascades & Mount Rainier. The lake is surrounded by green trees, pathways for easy walking/biking, and small beach areas by the water. It’s easy to just park your car, step out, and immediately enjoy the views!

Nearest towns: North Bend, Snoqualmie

Distance from Seattle: 35 miles

Entry requirements: None

Rattlesnake Lake wedding permit needed: None

Best season to elope at Rattlesnake Lake: Summer (May-August)


Dogs allowed? Yes

Rattlesnake Lake elopement activity ideas:

  • Go for a swim in the lake on a hot summer day

  • Bring a kayak or paddle board & spend some time on the water

  • Have a BBQ or picnic on the shores of the lake

  • Hike up to Rattlesnake Ridge

Other important things to know:

Elopements or weddings are only permitted at Rattlesnake Lake if they involve 30 people or less, including the couple, vendors, and all guests.

7. Downtown Seattle

Downtown Seattle is an obvious option when it comes to taking elopement photos in Washington – there’s nothing more fun than wandering around the city and just enjoying its culture. Especially when you’re in your elopement attire and draw the attention of everyone around you! It’s super easy to explore the city together while you take elopement portraits, looking into the little shops you pass by, grabbing a bite to eat, and experiencing the city life.

8. Gold Creek Pond | Snoqualmie, WA

Gold Creek Pond has become a crazy popular elopement & photoshoot location because of how easy it is to access. The views at Gold Creek Pond are beautiful, reflecting in the large pond, and the paved loop around the water is ADA-accessible, so anybody can enjoy it! 

Nearest towns: Snoqualmie

Distance from Seattle: 56 miles

Entry requirements: Recreation Pass required at the trailhead

Gold Creek Pond wedding permit needed: Special Use Permit

Best season to elope at Gold Creek Pond: Summer (May-August)

ADA-accessibility: Wheelchair-accessible paved path around the pond

Dogs allowed? Yes, on leash

Best elopement locations at Gold Creek Pond:

Gold Creek Pond elopement activity ideas:

Other important things to know:

Gold Creek Pond has become a SUPER popular location for weddings, elopements, & photoshoots because of how dang easy it is to access without a crazy hike or any off-road driving. Because of this, I definitely recommend eloping or taking your elopement photos here on a weekday if you can, as the pond can get very busy on weekends. If you’re down to do it at sunrise, even better – that’s when the fewest people are visiting the pond!

9. Keechelus Lake (Stump Lake) | Northwest WA

Keechelus Lake, nicknamed Stump Lake for its many tree stumps that stick out of the water, is a lesser-known lake located only a few miles southeast of Snoqualmie Pass. It’s an awesome day-use area for boating & fishing if you’re into that, and offers beautiful mountain views + easy access to other pretty spots along the psas.

Nearest towns: Hyak, Martin, Snoqualmie Pass

Distance from Seattle: 58 miles

Entry requirements: Northwest Forest Pass or $5 parking fee/vehicle/day

Keechelus Lake wedding permit needed: None

Best season to elope at Keechelus Lake: Summer (June-August)

Keechelus Lake elopement activity ideas:

  • Go fishing in the lake

  • Spend an afternoon boating on the water

  • Hike the Palouse to Cascades Trail along the western shore of the lake

10. Private Airbnb’s

Finally, you can elope at a private Airbnb in Washington if you’d rather not elope outdoors in a national or state park. Washington has tons of unique Airbnb’s that you definitely need to check out, from A-frame cabins in the woods to dome-shaped homes to glamping yurts in the mountains! One of the most fun parts of having an Airbnb elopement is that you can spend such intimate time together & with your guests in a place that feels home-y + cozy.

Additional fee: Varies by Airbnb/host

Dogs allowed? Varies by Airbnb/host

Wedding permits needed: None

Airbnb elopement activity ideas:

  • Cook a meal with your guests

  • Start your elopement day slowly with coffee & breakfast in bed

  • Make s’mores or have a BBQ over a fire at night

  • Relax in a hot tub and stargaze

  • Have your ceremony and/or reception in the backyard of the Airbnb

  • Hire a private chef to come to your Airbnb & cook for you

Other important things to know:

Because every Airbnb & host is different, it’s important to make sure your Airbnb either 1) allows events/parties or 2) that you get specific permission from the host to hold your elopement there. Some hosts don’t allow events with a certain number of guests due to the cleanup required or the potential for damage, loud noise, etc. So make sure that before you book an Airbnb to have your elopement at, message the host and see if they’ll allow it. If so, there may be additional fees you’ll have to pay. 

Wedding + Elopement Planning Resources

Now that you’re familiar with all of the top places to elope in Washington state, you might be looking for more tips for the rest of your elopement planning! Check out two of my most recent blog posts below to help you find your elopement dress + to help you pick the perfect theme for your elopement or wedding reception.

Finding Your Dream Elopement Dress: 12 Best Designers & Shops

10 Wedding Reception Themes to Inspire Your Perfect Celebration

More United States Elopement Guides

If you’re not positive you want to elope in Washington yet and are keeping your options open, I have plenty more location guides that you can read through to find the best location for you. Below are in-depth guides to 3 other beautiful elopement locations in the United States!

10 Most Beautiful Places to Elope in Glacier National Park

Ultimate List of the Best Places to Elope in California

Best Places to Elope in Arizona

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