The Pacific Northwest is known for its lush forests, lively waters, and incredible mountaintop views - and there's a place where you can experience everything that the PNW has to offer - Olympic National Park! The diversity of ecosystems found on the Olympic Peninsula will give you plenty of options for your elopement. Whether you'll say your vows on the shores of the Pacific or under a canopy of moss, this guide will tell you everything you need to know about planning an Olympic National Park elopement!
The Best Places for an Olympic National Park Elopement
Olympic National Park is full of incredible scenery! From its lush rainforests to its rocky shores, there's no shortage of beautiful things to see and do. No matter what your ideal elopement setting is, you're sure to find the perfect place to say your vows! Here are just a few of the best places to elope at Olympic National Park.
The second deepest lake in Washington is found in Olympic National Park - Lake Crescent! Sitting in the foothills of the Olympic Mountains, the lake is so clear that it reflects the landscape surrounding it. Whether you want to have a picnic on the shore or head out on a kayak, you'll have plenty to do when you elope at Lake Crescent!
Did you know there are rainforests in the US? It’s not a tropical jungle, but it is a temperate rainforest! The Hoh Rainforest is found in Olympic National Park, covered in vivid shades of greens and browns. It’s considered the quietest place in the country! Between the towering trees, thick fog, feathery ferns, and soft mossy floor, you'll find everything you need for the perfect PNW elopement.
Along the Pacific, on the south bank of the Hoh River, one of Olympic National Park's most beautiful beaches is Ruby Beach. The beaches on the Olympic Peninsula are covered in smooth rocks, giant driftwood sculptures, and lively tidepools - and the reddish shores of Ruby Beach are no different! The beach would be the perfect place for a sunset elopement.
This is probably the most popular place to visit, due to the accessibility and incredible views! While the picnic area provides spectacular views, you can also hike through fields of wildflowers in the spring or go snowshoeing in the winter on one of the many trails around Hurricane Ridge to get to other scenic spots! This is one of the best Olympic National Park elopement locations for stunning mountain views.
Olympic National Park Elopement Permits
If your Olympic National Park elopement has less than 10 people, I have some great news for you - you won't need to get a permit to have your ceremony in the park! If you do have more than 10 people, the process to get your Special Use permit is fairly simple and can be done online. You'll just need to fill out an application and email it back to Olympic National Park. Once your permit has been submitted, you'll receive a link to pay the fee.
Be sure to apply at least 4 weeks before your ceremony to make sure you get your permit in time (though even earlier is best to avoid any stress). If you need any help in the planning process, your photographer should be able to help - it's part of my job as an Olympic National Park elopement photographer to make sure your planning process goes as smoothly as possible! :)
The Best Time for an Olympic National Park Elopement
When you're planning your Olympic National Park elopement, you'll want to take a look at each season to help you decide which one is best for you. In general, you can expect lots of rain, but that's what makes the Olympic National Park so gorgeous, and the perfect backdrop for saying "I do!"
Summer Elopements at Olympic National Park
Avoiding rain in an actual rainforest is almost impossible! Your best bet for a clear day would be to plan a summer elopement at Olympic National Park. The only downside to saying your vows in the summer is that it's the most popular time to visit the park, so you may consider planning your elopement for a weekday or at sunrise or sunset to help avoid the crowds!
Fall Elopements at Olympic National Park
Early fall is the best time to elope at Olympic National Park! While you narrowly avoid the summer crowds, you'll still benefit from the beautiful weather lingering until early October. The leaves changing in the fall create a perfect colorful backdrop for all your photos, as well! You'll have to watch out for rain as it gets later in the season, so just keep an eye on the weather and be prepared for anything!
Winter Elopements at Olympic National Park
Though the coastal areas of Olympic National Park don't get a ton of snow, it's pretty rainy and cold in the winter. It snows a lot in places like Hurricane Ridge because it's at such a high elevation, so sometimes they close down the roads if there's too much snow. The upside to eloping at Olympic National Park in the winter is that you won't come across as many people, so if you're up for a little - okay, a lot - of rain, then a winter ceremony might work for you!
Spring Elopements at Olympic National Park
Another wonderful time for an Olympic National Park elopement is spring. The later it gets in the season, the better the weather will be! It's a great time to see the park coming back to life after the cold winter, especially with the rushing waterfalls and the wildflowers beginning to bloom! It does rain a lot in the spring, so just be prepared with waterproof layers. The park can get busy at times, but you're not likely to run into as many crowds as you would in the summer.
Olympic National Park Elopement Packages
Whatever adventure you choose to go on when you elope at Olympic National Park, I'll be there every step of the way to make sure your wedding day goes as planned! My goal is to help you create an intimate, meaningful elopement that reflects what your love story means to you. If you're ready to start planning your day or want to learn more about my Olympic National Park elopement packages, contact me!