5 reasons to elope in Bend Oregon, waterfall elopement at Steelhead Falls

There’s a lot of reasons to choose this incredible place for you’re elopement, and today I’m going to share with you the top 5 reasons to elope in Bend, Oregon. In a brief, you get a little bit (or a lot) of everything here. Bend is an interesting place. You are about 25 minutes from Alpine Lakes and Snowcapped mountains, less than an hour from badlands and the desert, and less than an hour from turquoise waterfalls, mossy forests, and hot springs. There’s a large range of places to stay while eloping here. From 5 star hotels to Airbnbs, or even a gorgeous campsite under the stars. There’s an endless amount of activities for everyone, and almost too many options for craft beer and good food. Let’s dive into the 5 reasons to elope in Bend, Oregon!

The Best Elopement Locations in Bend, Oregon.

Hold on to your butts, because there is an INSANE amount of places to elope here in Bend. As previously mentioned, you can have it all when staying in Bend. So I’m going to break some of my favorite locations down by landscape.

Alpine Lakes

Did you know there’s an entire road dedicated to Alpine Lakes here? This is easily one of the top 5 reasons to Elope in Bend, Oregon. I’m going to go over all of them here.

Sparks Lake – This is a huge lake with gorgeous views of the Three Sisters Mountains. There are 22 backcountry campsites on the sandy shore that can be used for a beautiful ceremony. This is a prime location for paddleboarding and sightseeing

Devils Lake – A gorgeous turquoise lake surrounded by hiking trails and small beaches with views of the mountains. This lake is also where the trailhead to Moraine Lake and South Sister starts. A perfect spot for an alpine lake ceremony and a hiking elopement!

Elk Lake – This lake is massive and probably the most developed lake. It has hotels, cabins, places to eat, as well as water sport rentals.

Hosmer Lake – This one is a hidden gem and probably the least frequented lake on the highway. It’s gorgeous and lush, boasting insane views of Mt. Bachelor. Most people access it by kayaking or paddleboarding as there aren’t many trails around the lake.

Lava Lake – Mountains views, high marsh, beautiful water, and a dock to jump off of. This little gem would be a beautiful spot for a “just us” elopement. This lake also offers water activity rentals and is across the road from the Six Lakes trail, or you can check out Lucy Lake trail.

Todd Lake – A shallow lake surrounded by gorgeous wildflowers, a meadow, views of Mt. Bachelor, a waterfall, and hiking trails that lead into the Sister Wilderness. Todd Lake is also the trailhead to the famous No Name Lake, a perfect hike for an all-day adventure elopement.

Forest and Waterfalls

Between the Deschutes National Forest and Willamette National Forest, we have some incredible places in the forest for some fairytale elopements. We even have the steamy and stunning Cougar Hot Springs. Interested in going on a hike to a waterfall, eloping in mossy magic, and soaking in the springs at sunset? Dope. Another one of the 5 reasons to elope in Bend, Oregon.

Blue Pool – Blue Pool is a short and fairly easy hike, but the reward at the end is beyond breathtaking. If you’re looking for an easy hike and somewhere iconic with unique views, this is an incredible spot.

Clear Lake – Surrounded by lush forest, green grass, and mossy rocks, Clear Lake makes the list for my Forest Location. This lake gets its name from being clear, obviously. What’s really unique about it is the ability to scuba dive here. This location also has cabins that are available to rent!

Sahalie Falls – This 100-foot waterfall would be a beautiful location for a short hike during an adventure elopement. This hike isn’t too hard, and the views are out of this world. This waterfall was also in the movie Homeward Bound if you’re into that kind of thing.

Steelhead Falls – This canyon gives off desert vibes as you descent down towards the waterfall. The falls are turquoise blue and would be awesome for a “just us” elopement. There isn’t tons of a room, so guests are out of the question, but is perfect for a couple wanting to say their vows privately to each other and then go cliff jumping. Hell yeah. The beautiful waterfalls here are easily one of the 5 reasons to elope in Bend!

Koosah Falls – Koosah is the first waterfall that you hit when hiking out towards Sahalie Falls. This can be perfect if you’re just trying to do something extremely short, or you can get two for the price of one and see both!

Tumalo Falls – Tumalo Falls are a pretty iconic spot here in Bend. You can either do the five-mile hike (which is well worth it, it’s damn beautiful). Or you can just drive to the upper parking lot to get there.

Proxy Falls – Another insanely easy hike, good for couples who want to look up at gigantic waterfalls and get some stunning photos, but aren’t too interested in sweating it out on their wedding day.


The Cascade Range here is truly stunning. From Bend alone and on a clear day you can see The Three Sisters, Mt. Bachelor, Three Finger Jack, and Mt. Jefferson. Let’s talk about my favorite mountain views for an epic adventure elopement in Bend, Oregon.

Todd Lake – This lake is making the list again because I wanted to include a location that you could essentially drive to and get unobstructed views of Mt. Bachelor with no hiking. Again, the meadow below the parking lot of Todd Lake is spectacular. During peak wildflower season, it’s also littered with vibrant flowers. This would be a magic spot for a ceremony and some beautiful pictures.

Black Butte – This 4-mile hike is rated moderate, but I personally think anyone could do it with some breaks. And getting to the top is well worth it. From this location, you can see Mt. Hood, Mt. Jefferson, and even Mt. St. Helens. This would be an incredible location for a ceremony if you want the mountains as your witness. One of the TOP five reasons to elope in Bend are these absolutely incredible mountains!

Green Lakes – Green Lakes is a nine-mile hike, and it’s pretty easy. The whole time you’re following a river up through a beautiful forest. Finally, you reach the top with views of Broken Top, Three Fingered Jack, and the stunning lake itself.

Three Creeks Lake – This is one hell of a location. The drive up consists of meadows with insane views of the mountains. You could easily stop there, but it keeps going. After that, you reach Three Creeks Lake. This lake sits at the base of the Sisters Mountains range, giving you insane views. There’s a short and easy hike nearby to Little Three Creeks Lake, and overnight camping at Three Creek Lake Campground, Driftwood Campground, and Three Creek Meadow Campground. This spot would be awesome for an elopement including guests as it has a bit of room on the shore.

Tam McArthur – A slightly more challenging hike, but some of my favorite mountain views here in Bend. This would be another amazing ceremony spot with views of Broken Top and the valley. There is enough room at the top to include guests. There’s also space to walk off and get changed privately if you don’t want to hike in your wedding gear.

Mt. Jefferson – There are a ton of hikes at this mountain. We get to see the mountain itself, lakes, wildflowers, and even glaciers. There are both easy and difficult hikes at this mountain, depending on what you want your adventure elopement to look like.

South Sister – South Sister is a beast. It is recommended for only experienced adventurers and it is an intense hike, no doubt. Although, if this sounds like you and you’re interested in a backpacking elopement, do it. This place will take your breath away again and again as you hike through peaks and valleys, lakes, and camp in some of the most stunning locations Oregon has to offer.

No Name Lake – A perfect spot for an all-day elopement and incredible views. Start at Todd Lake, enjoy the sights, go back roading to the trailhead, hike to the summit, have a picnic, and enjoy sunset walking around glaciers.


Painted Hills – This spot is about two hours from Bend, but it had to be included in this list. The Painted Hills are brightly colored hills that are truly one of a kind. There’s about four easy hikes in the area. One of which is a bright red cove which has been known to be a stunning location for elopements.

Alvord Desert – The Alvord Desert is a bit more of a drive. It’s around four hours away from Bend. Although, it has some seriously worthwhile attributes. The Steen Mountains paint this desert horizon line with their snowcapped peaks and provide some really cool hikes. Mann Lake is an awesome spot for a ceremony. Less than a half-hour away from the lake is the Alvord Hot Springs. This spot alone would be such a cool elopement location. If you like dirt biking, ATV’s hot springs, and exploring desert-scapes, I would highly recommend this spot. One of the 5 reasons to elope in Bend is even the places surrounding it!

Smith Rock – Smith Rock is about a twenty-minute drive from Bend. This location literally looks like Utah. The red rock canyon and river are beautiful and you could easily spend a whole day here exploring the area.

Incredible Places to Stay While Eloping in Bend

There are a lot of options for lodging depending on what you’re looking for. If you’re super into the outdoor and want to camp, there are so many options. Whether you want to find a dispersed campsite somewhere beautiful, reserve something in advance and go glamping, or you want to backpack. We have it all. For couples who want a more luxurious experience, we have Brasada Ranch, Pronghorn Resort, and Seventh Mountain Resort. With pools, spas, fine dining, golfing, and so much more, these places are sure to make your elopement awesome. Finally, you can also rent an Airbnb. There are tons of unique stays here in Bend. If you want to check out some of those Airbnbs, you can look at my list of the Best Airbnbs for your Oregon Elopement.


One of the worst feelings is expecting nice sunny weather for your elopement and ending up with a ton of rain. One of the top 5 reasons to elope in Bend Oregon is the predictability of the weather. Bend is a dry, sunny place. With an average of 300 sunny days per year, we don’t normally deal with unexpected rain. The dryness is also a huge plus for hiking elopements. No one wants to be drowning in sweat due to humidity on their elopement day.

Even in the winter, the air being dry is nice. Instead of getting that intense wet chill when being outdoors, it’s easy to bundle up and feel comfortable. During winter, we do get snow. Although, the streets aren’t normally covered with it in town. If you want snow involved in your day, it’s easy to get to a ton of snowy wonderland locations without dealing with horrifying road conditions.

Activites For your Elopement

There’s obviously a lot to do here, and there’s something for everyone. That’s another one of the 5 reasons to elope here! Options baby, I love them. We’ve already gone over a ton of the hikes in the area, but there are so many more. Go ahead and pull up AllTrails on your phone and you’ll see the endless amounts of beautiful hikes for your elopement. Outside of hiking, there’s also paddleboarding, kayaking, floating the river, nature tours, escape rooms, farmers markets, sightseeing, white water rafting, picnicking, the list goes on. There’s also constantly live music in Bend during the summer months, festivals, events, art shows, and fun nightlife.

In the winter we are famous for both the snowboarding at Mt. Bachelor and having some amazing back country options. You can even reserve a yurt at Tam McArthur and ride up via snowmobile and spend a weekend snowboarding and hanging out in the sauna. If you have kids, we have sledding at our sno-parks where you can see some sled dog teams or go snowshoeing.

Food and Drink

If you’re into craft beer, you’re in the right place. Bend has 21 unique breweries. All with awesome food, great people, and normally big fire pits on their outdoor patios to keep warm. Most of these places are also dog friendly, so if you’re trying to not leave the pups, bring them to Bend! We also have an array of fine dining in the area, as well as amazing seafood, and private chefs if you want a catered meal after your elopement. The food and drinks here are awesome, which is why I’m concluding this list of the 5 reasons to elope in Bend with these awesome options.

The 5 Reasons to Elope in Bend, Oregon and have an EPIC time

In conclusion, there’s a hell of a lot to do here. Lots of beauty, accessibility for everyone, kind people, awesome vendors, and a ton of room for adventure. I just gave you the top 5 reasons to elope in Bend, Oregon. But rest assured, there’s definitely more. If you’re looking to elope in Bend and want help curating an awesome timeline, get help with planning, permit assistance, and awesome documentation of your day, feel free to reach out to me! I’m here to help you get everything you want for your elopement day while making it bad-ass, magical, and memorable.

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I'm Emilee

I'm an elopement photographer who specializes in planning, crafting, and documenting untraditional weddings. I believe a wedding day should be filled with traditions that resonate with you. I'm here from start to finish to make that happen. Want to chat about your plans? Click below to set up a free consultation! 

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