Mt. Rainier is Washington’s most recognizable peak - the one that you can see from the city on a sunny day, and the one that’s located in the state’s most popular national park. A Mt. Rainier elopement is perfect for any couple that wants an adventurous day and to get married somewhere totally unique, so this guide will be your ultimate resource to planning your day - everything you need to know to tie the knot at Mt. Rainier National Park.
The Best Places for a Mt. Rainier Elopement
You’ll find plenty of incredible places throughout the park - from hard hikes to easily accessible overlooks, and everything in between. Choosing a spot for your elopement is one of the first things you’ll do, so here are a few of the best places to elope in Mt. Rainier National Park!
AN ALPINE LAKE
Tucked in the meadows of Mt. Rainier National Park, you’ll find gorgeous alpine lakes, and the still blue water makes for a perfect backdrop for an elopement. Reflection Lakes is a great spot that’s easy to get to, and so is Tipsoo Lake - you can drive right up to both, and Tipsoo Lake has some nice trails around if you want to do some hiking!
In the Forest
Mt. Rainier has some amazing mountain views, but you can also tie the knot in a forest, surrounded by towering trees and old growth greenery. One of the best places in the park to feel like you’re in a woodland fairytale is the Grove of the Patriarchs trail - a short, easy trail through the forest.
On a Hiking Trail
There are so many beautiful hikes in the park, and some of the best, and most secluded, Mt. Rainier elopement locations can be found on the trails! If you’re looking for something not-too-strenuous, the Silver Falls trail and the Naches Peak Loop are great options, but you can also opt for something harder and go up to a fire lookout for amazing views of the mountains.
At a Cute Cabin
The area around Mt. Rainier National Park, especially the towns of Ashford and Packwood, are known for having adorable Airbnbs and cabins that make for a great place to elope! The Little Owl Cabin is a gorgeous A-frame that would make for a perfect place to celebrate with a few friends or family members.
Mt. Rainier Elopement Permits
When you elope at Mt. Rainier National Park, no matter what size your ceremony is, you’ll need to get a wedding permit! To apply, you’ll need to fill out the application form, and submit it at least four weeks before your wedding date - but I recommend applying earlier to avoid stress and to give the park time to process your application.
Along with the application, there is a $175 fee that needs to be paid. Once your application is approved, you’ll get your permit! Make sure to have this permit on you during your elopement day, just in case a park ranger asks for it.
There are some restrictions when it comes to ceremonies at Mt. Rainier National Park, and the smaller your elopement is, the more freedom you have when it comes to choosing an elopement location. But, don’t worry - even with more guests, you can still get married at pre approved spots!
Even though you have a permit, you’ll still need to pay the entrance fee on your way into Mt. Rainier National Park. This fee is per car, and costs $30 - you can pay at the ranger booth as you enter the park, or get your pass ahead of time online. If you visit national parks often, it might be worth it to pay $80 for an America the Beautiful Pass - this will get you into every national park in the country for a year!
The Best Time for a Mt. Rainier Elopement
Weather varies a ton in the mountains, so setting a date for your Mt. Rainier elopement requires some careful consideration.
Summer Elopements at Mt. Rainier National Park
Summer is the best time for a Mt. Rainier elopement for most couples. This is when the weather is best, and it’s warm and sunny. The snow melts around mid July, so you can enjoy a few months of mostly snow free trails!
This is the most popular time to visit the park, so to avoid crowds during your ceremony, I recommend tying the knot at sunrise or sunset, and choosing a weekday!
Fall Elopements at Mt. Rainier National Park
Fall can be a really magical time to tie the knot at Mt. Rainier, but it doesn’t last very long. In September, and early October, you can enjoy good weather and fewer crowds! Snow usually starts to accumulate in mid October, but early storms can happen, so be prepared with a backup plan if you want to get married at Mt. Rainier in the fall.
Winter Elopements at Mt. Rainier National Park
Tying the knot in a winter wonderland might take a little more planning, but if you love the snow, it’s so worth it! You can definitely get married at Mt. Rainier in the winter, but be prepared for snow and cold. Roads typically close in the higher elevation areas, but you can still explore lower elevation spots in the park, and you’ll see much fewer people around!
Spring Elopements at Mt. Rainier National Park
Spring is pretty unpredictable, but it can be a good time to explore as the weather warms up. The mountains will still be covered in snow, but lower elevation areas start to open up in late spring, and it can be a great time to see waterfalls in full force, and some blooming wildflowers!
Mt. Rainier Elopement Packages
If you’re dreaming of a wedding day at Mt. Rainier, I’ve got you covered! My Mt. Rainier elopement packages are designed to make sure that you have a day that’s absolutely perfect for you - so from location recommendations to tips and advice, I’ll help you create your dream wedding.
Choosing a photographer is a big deal, but I’ll be by your side the whole way, cheering you on and helping you plan! To learn more about my Mt. Rainier elopement packages, contact me!