How and Where to Elope in North Cascades National Park

How and Where to Elope in North Cascades National Park

The Pacific Northwest is my baby! There’s a reason we park our van out here more months of the year than others. It’s because it’s beautiful with the contrast the region provides in the weather and scenery of the entire area. Since so much of my heart goes into this region, I want to cover HOW and WHERE to Elope in the North Cascades in great detail.


WHERE to Elope in the North Cascades


Very Accessible Elopement Destinations in the North Cascades

up to 1 mile
 Marie Vanderpool Adventure Elopement Photography
Here is an accessible and easy location in the North Cascades - this spot will unfortunately be closed to the public, by this summer.

There’s multiple destinations in the North Cascades where you are footsteps away from a panoramic and beautiful backdrop for your adventure elopement, one might argue an abundance, but it truly depends on who you ask. These destinations include destinations that require 1 mile or less to get to, some being footsteps away from the road.

Perks:

-Can easily have a multi-location day for your adventurous day

- Fantastic Option for couples whose budget doesn’t fit an all-day elopement and want to have a less “rushed” experience.

-Super Accessible- not a bunch of energy exertion if you want to avoid sweating and if you forget something in your car, you’re only footsteps away.

Potential Drawbacks:

-With accessibility means that it is accessible to EVERYONE. You will likely have more crowds of people during peak times of the year

Recommendations:

Plan an elopement during shoulder or off-season for these destinations to avoid crowds, if the idea of spectators and people clapping and cheering for you sounds like an uncomfortable situation.

I would ONLY plan an elopement at an accessible location between Monday-Thursday - avoiding holidays like Memorial Day/Labor Day

Sunrise is also a great time of day to hold a ceremony at an accessible location, to again, avoid crowds.

Find a photographer who specializes in adventure elopements, to assist you with finding locations that are tucked away from the crowds. An expert knows this is a necessity!


Day-Hike Elopement Destinations in the North Cascades

Over 1 mi. 

There are SO MANY day-hikes in the North Cascades that are a bit longer than 1 mile. With more mileage brings sparser crowds and greater opportunity for more unique/off the beaten path views.

Perks:

-Less Crowds than less than 1mi hike

-You will see more than what is offered at the trailhead as you hike along the trail, seeing spots/panoramic views

-Great option for couples eloping who want more of an experience focused on the journey, instead of only on the destination.



Potential Drawbacks:

-Not as accessible: more time/planning to get to the destination



Recommendations:

Plan an elopement to a location like this during peak season for a particular experience you want to have as a memory for your wedding day. For instance, choose mid-late July if you want to experience peak wildflower blooming at higher elevations and October if you want to experience the golden larches while hiking to your destination.

Sunrise is always going to be the best time of day if you want to avoid running into people, Sunset is great if you’re not a morning person, but are okay with the idea of hiking out with headlamps.

Find a photographer who specializes in adventure elopements, to assist you with finding locations that offer diversity instead of the same scenery on every mile to one epic destination. My priority when assisting clients with planning is to help them find locations with MULTIPLE and DIVERSE offerings on a hike, so it’s not different poses in front of the same back-drop.




Backpacking Elopement Destinations in the North Cascades

Depending on Mileage + Elevation Gain
This destination required us backpacking to and staying overnight at the location. WORTH IT.

This destination required us backpacking to and staying overnight at the location. WORTH IT.

A backpacking elopement is for the client looking for a full adventurous experience. For those couples that love the idea of sleeping overnight in their mummy bags to be greeted by gorgeous light in the morning.

Perks:

Less likely to be crowds, unless if popular backpacking destination

No need to wake up at 1AM, to hike to destination

Great option for couples looking for a hardcore adventurous experience.

Potential Drawbacks:

Hike in weight of gear, attire+ any memorabilia

More energy exertion- makes for a great nights sleep though!

Have to do own makeup or have the budget for backpacking Hair + Makeup artist

Finding + having the budget an officiant that is a backpacker ( could convince a family member or friend like M+ P (in photo above) did!)

Recommendations:

Plan an elopement to a location like this during peak season for a particular experience you want to have as a memory for your wedding day. For instance, choose mid-late July if you want to experience peak wildflower blooming at higher elevations and October if you want to experience the golden larches while hiking to your destination.

Find a photographer who specializes in adventure elopements, to assist you with finding locations that offer diversity instead of the same scenery on every mile to one epic destination. My priority when assisting clients with planning is to help them find locations with MULTIPLE and DIVERSE offerings on a hike, so it’s not different poses in front of the same back-drop.

A photographer who specializes in Adventure Elopements is incredibly important in this area, as you will likely have things that only they think about like - weather planning, what you need to pack, what you need to wear, and how to get your attire up to your destination.

 

UNIQUE Adventure Elopement Ideas:

If you’re looking for a unique spin on eloping, here’s a few additional ideas, where locations can be diverse. Please inquire if you’re interested in an elopement that falls in one or more of the categories below:

Kayaking/Canoeing elopement

Climbing Elopement

Mountaineering Elopement

Snowshoeing Elopement

Skiing/Touring Elopement

Watersport Elopement


ADVENTURE ELOPEMENT PHOTOGRAPHER

HOW to Elope in the North Cascades

Now that you have an idea of WHERE? How do you elope in the North Cascades? Choose the number of people you want to attend for your day and then navigate the following

1.) Pick your Adventure Elopement Photographer.

I recommend that you reach out to a photographer and get them booked as soon as possible, especially if it’s a photographer you WANT to have capturing your day. Many photographers fill up quickly during peak seasons.

2.) Pick Date(s) / Time of Year - Reach out to Photographer

First off, find out the preferred date of your elopement. If you’re unsure, reach out to a professional adventure elopement photographer (I recommend someone who specializes in adventure elopements) to see when they might recommend a particular area or destination, especially if you’re unsure. If you’re flexible, you can often ask a photographer what they might recommend if you’re looking for a particular experience (no snow, warm temps, wildflowers, larches, etc.)

3.) Book Accommodations/ Campsites / Campervan, etc.

After you choose a date and your photographer, I recommend clients then book their hotel/cabin/campsite accommodations. The sooner you tend to book these, the better. You can often get good deals if you wait closer to the date, but I recommend jumping on booking accommodations so you’re not left with slim pickings as it gets closer. I assist my clients with finding options like these- catering to the experience they are looking for!

4.) Book your Airfare - if applicable

Airfare is all over the place as to when the best time to book is, as it fluctuates. Often, I recommend clients book at the shortest notice- about 2 months beforehand. If you find a good deal- I recommend you book it ASAP. Keep an eye on airfare policies on changes, etc as that can increase pricing if applicable to the airfare price booked.

5.) Choose your Ceremony Location + any additional locations

Choose a ceremony location that feels right for you both and fits your needs/wants. I assist all of my clients with the location scouting process, so they don’t have to do any research other than looking over the information provided. I keep highway closures, weather, and trail conditions (depending on the time of year) in mind when scouting locations. This often takes hours finding something that fits client needs/wants and ensuring it’s the best time of year to visit a particular trail. I also look for less popular trails and know backcountry navigation, to find super secluded spots for clients.

6.) What is required to get married legally?

Do you need an officiant? Do you need a permit? There is a 3 day waiting period to get a marriage license in the state of WA. These are all super important questions that you need to ask yourself. I personally assist my clients with navigating this process, to ensure that they are legally sound. Peace of mind is everything- make sure you choose a professional who does not skip out on permits, as that can throw a wrench in your wedding plans if you get caught without one. Heavy emotions you shouldn’t experience on such an important day!

7.) What are we wearing? What Details do We Want to Include?

Are you planning on wearing traditional wedding attire, like a gown + tux/suit? Or do you want to wear bold or different colors? Do you want a champagne toast/pop on your day? Do you want florals? Do you want an entire spread for a backcountry picnic? Do you want to include anything special to your relationship as a part of your day? These are some questions to ask yourself. We assist our clients with this entire planning process, including asking them questions and giving them referrals.

There’s a bit more to the planning process than that, but those are some key questions to ask when first planning your elopement. I cannot recommend choosing a professional adventure elopement photographer enough. It’s important you have someone who is knowledgable on the details required and the conditions that may be present. Adventure Elopements require someone comfortable with logistics, planning, and someone who is used to staying flexible. The planning portion isn’t any easier than planning a traditional wedding, so choosing someone to help you like a professional adventure elopement photographer who assists with planning, is going to give you space to truly enjoy your day, with little to no stress.

Interested in Hiring Me to Capture Your Elopement? I’d be Honored!

See what packages I offer and inquire by clicking here