Mt. Baker elopement

Mt Baker is an amazing elopement location for couples seeking tall peaks and stunning views. There’s things to consider such as crowds, seasons, permits, and specific locations. This elopement guide is going to cover exactly how to elope in Mt. Baker and incredible Mt. Baker elopement locations.

Where is Mt. Baker

Mt. Baker is a huge mountain about an hour east of Bellingham. It’s apart of the North Cascades, and you can see this mountain all the way from Seattle on clear days. The best way to get to Mt. Baker from out of state is by flying into the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, which is about 3 hours away. Alternatively, you can fly into the Bellingham airport and it’s only an hour and 18 minutes away.

When to Elope in Mt. Baker

The best time to elope in Mt. Baker is near the end of summer and through the beginning of fall. This would be around August through till the end of October. However, Mt. Baker is accessible year round and you should decide what weather feels like the best fit to you and your partner, and research what each season brings. Here are what the seasons look like in Mt. Baker!


Spring at Mt. Baker is similar to winter in ways. It is still within the 30 degree range through April, and entering the mid 40’s around May. You still have a chance of snow, but you’re also likely to encounter rain during this season. If you don’t mind cooler weather, this is a good choice if you’re looking to avoid crowds. Keep in mind the overcast days will block views of the mountains with clouds.


Summer is when things are fully accessible. Mt. Baker never truly gets “hot.” It stays within the high 40’s and low 50’s most of the time due to the elevation. However, this is when things are green, and there are wildflowers around. It’s also when Mt. Baker receives the most tourism. If you want warm weather, you can always opt for a more remote location with less foot traffic.


Fall is my favorite time of the year in Mt. Baker. The crowds are dying down, and the colors are changing, which is absolutely stunning. The weather is definitely a little chilly. However, trails and roads are all still open prior to new snowfall. So this means you’ll be dealing with less people, and still have full range of the elopement locations in Mt. Baker.


If you’re into the idea of a winter elopement, Mt. Baker is a good choice as parts of it remain accessible. Mt. Baker gets a TON of snowfall, making it a great winter wonderland. You’ll want to prep for a winter elopement accordingly, bringing tons of layers, hand warmers, and driving a reliable car with good snow tires.

Mt. Baker elopement

Mt. Baker Wedding Permit

You will need a special use permit if you plan to have over 75 guests at your elopement. However, if you’re planning to have less than 75 people involved in total you will not need to get a permit. Here is the link to read about permits and apply for your Mt. Baker elopement.

How to Get a Mt. Baker Marriage License

Getting a marriage license for a Mt. Baker elopement is actually very easy and straightforward. You do not need to be a resident of Washington to get married here. You will have to pick up your marriage license in person, so make sure to apply through a clerk counties office that is close by to your elopement location.

The closest county to Mt. Baker is Whatcom County. You start your application by applying online here. You will have to pay the $62 fee. Next, you will both need to appear in person with valid ID to finish your application and pick up your marriage license. There is a three day waiting period to use your marriage license in the state of Washington. So, you’ll want to call in advance when you apply and ask about waiving the three day waiting period. Otherwise, make sure to plan your elopement three days after you pick up the marriage license.

How to Elope at Mt. Baker

You plan a Mt. Baker elopement in similar ways as you’d plan any adventure elopement. There are a few major steps, and you can read about those here on my thorough guide on how to elope. For this Mt. Baker elopement guide, I’m going over the major things you’ll need to consider!


This is an imperative part of the planning process for elopements. This is because some guests won’t have the hiking ability, some might not want to drive or forest roads, and others will be apt to altitude sickness. Choosing a location will be much easier once you’ve determine who you’re inviting, and how many guests total you’ll have.


This might feel early in the planning process, but bear with me. Elopements don’t have wedding planners. Most elopement photographers have taken it upon themselves to help couples with some of the planning. Many actually help you find your location! And they will think of things you might not have considered, such as: lighting, elevation, difficulty in hiking in a dress, permits, and so much more.

Each elopement photographer offers something different. Personally, I send my couples a customized list of locations based on their preferences, hiking ability, who they want to invite, and what they want to see. I also help them determine lodging options, get permits, get their marriage license, recommend vendors, and create a comprehensive day of timeline, and offer unlimited guidance calls for any questions along the way.

The being said, hiring your Mt. Baker elopement photographer early is going to take a massive amount of planning stress off of your shoulders. Wanna chat? Contact me here!


This is going to help you choose a date and location. There are rainy seasons, dry seasons, and even seasons that you THINK would be warm, but can still be snowy and cold in the mountains. So, when you’re doing that research, you’ll already want to have in mind what kind of weather you want, which will greatly help you decide on the time of year you want to elope, and if you want a higher or lower elevation location.


Once you’ve decided on how much you’d like to hike, how many guests are coming, your ideal weather, and the landscapes you want, you’re ready to deep dive into researching Mt. Baker elopement locations. Finding the perfect spot will be a lot simpler after considering all of your needs and logistics.

This is information I collect from my couples through a questionnaire, and then use to make a customized list of Mt. Baker elopement location options for them.


Once you have your location, it’s time to consider if there’s anything you need vendors for. Do you need any event rentals? Do you want a friend or family to officiate, or do you want to hire an officiant? Will you go out to eat, or do you want something catered, like a meal at an Airbnb from a private chef?

Figure out what extra services you may want, and hire your vendors in advance!


You will need to get the correct permits for your elopement. These are usually “special use” permits that you apply for on the National Parks website, or National Forest/BLM website.

Personally, I get all permit information for my eloping couples that hire me. With that, all you need to do is fill out the application when it’s sent to you and pay the fee. Fee’s vary, but are usually around $150 or less.


Activities are such a fun part of an elopement. When you choose to elope, you’re opening yourself up to having a wedding day celebration that feels unique and resonates with you. Incorporate things that will elevate your elopement day experience. Here’s just a few ideas to get you brainstorming:

  • Going on a hike
  • Having a bonfire
  • Having a picnic on a mountain top
  • Star-gazing or astrophotography
  • Swimming
  • Cliff jumping
  • Visiting waterfalls
  • Camping
  • Glamping
  • Hiring a private chef
  • Hot air balloon ride
  • Helicopter tour (landing on glaciers, mountains, etc)
  • Kayaking
  • Paddleboarding
  • Sightseeing
  • Scenic driving with time to stop for pictures
  • Visiting hot springs
  • Exchanging gifts
  • Reading letters from friends or family


Making a timeline is an important part of any elopement. It strings together all of your locations, activities, and lets guests know where to be and when. Creating a well thought out timeline will help you feel relaxed during the day, instead of stressed or rush. Make sure to include drive times as well as buffer times between each “event.”

Here are the things I include in the timelines I make for my couples:

  • All addresses
  • Sunrise time
  • Sunset time
  • Drive times
  • A linke to Accuweather
  • A list of all names for group shots
  • Vendor info
  • Emergency contact info
  • A packing list

Lodging in Mt. Baker

Lodging is important when it comes to elopements. A lot of couples incorporate their lodging into aspects of their wedding day. For example, getting ready + getting ready photos, a first look, an intimate reception with friends, a dinner made by a private chef, etc. Once you’ve decided what you’ll incorporate in your day, pick a location that will allow everything you want to include.

If you want to host an intimate reception, I highly recommend a vacation rental such as a cabin or an Airbnb. You can also stay at hotels, resorts, chalets, campgrounds, etc. Here are some amazing lodging options near Mt. Baker:

Mt. Baker elopement

How Much Does it Cost to Elope in Mt. Baker

A marriage license costs $62, so it costs $62 to elope in Mt. Baker. That being said, most couples spend an average of $5000-$20,000 on their elopement. This includes flights, lodging, permits, vendors, wedding attire, meals, and anything extra a couple might want.

Mt. Baker Elopement Locations

There are a ton of stunning Mt. Baker elopement locations. It’s honestly one of my favorite places. There are so many spots that are easy to access with very little hiking. Even if you love hiking, doing it in wedding attire can be a bit tricky. There are no hike locations on this list, moderate hike locations, and a few that are great for couples seeking a true adventure and want to spend their day on the trail! Here are my favorite Mt. Baker elopement locations:

Artist Point

Mt. Baker elopement locations

This Mt. Baker elopement location is super easily accessible. That being said, it can get seriously crowded. This elopement location is better in mid-fall, or you could also consider a sunrise elopement if it’s important to you to be away from crowds!

Picture Lake

Mt. Baker elopement locations

Hello beautiful, this Mt. Baker elopement location is absolutely stunning. Especially when the wildflowers are at their peak. You would think that this is a hard hike, but it’s not even a mile long. Somehow, it’s oddly not all that crowded during the mornings and evenings. An absolute hidden gem.

Fire and Ice Trail

Another wildly stunning location this easily accessible. This Mt. Baker elopement location is only 0.6 miles and provides absolutely stunning views for an elopement ceremony. This would also be a great place to celebrate with a picnic!

Heather Meadows

Heather meadows, we love her, we are obsessed with her. This place is wildly stunning. This one includes an actual hike, but it’s only 3.2 miles. A perfect location for couples who want to add some adventure into their day.

Bagley Lakes

Mt. Baker elopement locations

This Mt. Baker elopement location is stunning in the summer with the wildflowers. However, it’s amazing with the fall colors as well. It’s an easy 2.1 mile loop. It can be popular, but less so in the early evening and morning.

Chain Lakes Loop

Mt. Baker elopement locations

This one is going to be a good fit for more adventurous couples, as it’s a 6 mile hike with a little over 1000 feet of elevation gain. This Mt. Baker location isn’t accessible until later summer. I wouldn’t plan to elope here any earlier than mid July.

Franklin Falls

Mt. Baker elopement locations

This short 2 mile hike is incredible if you’re looking for a Mt. Baker elopement location that features a waterfall. Waterfall ceremonies are beautiful. However, I’d recommend a very small group if you’re planning to elope here.

Mt. Baker Hot Springs

Mt. Baker hot springs might not be an ideal elopement location for an actual ceremony, however, this could be an incredible way to end an elopement. Imagine soaking in this beautiful pool after your wedding day! It’s an easy add on as it’s only 0.6 miles round trip.

Packing for a Mt. Baker Elopement

Packing properly for an elopement is super important. Especially in places like this where rain could show up whenever, and it never gets super hot in the mountains. That being said, layer are really important. Here are some things to pack for a Mt. Baker elopement:

  • Rain jacket
  • Warm jacket
  • Thermal layers to go under suits
  • Thermal nude colored leggings to go under dresses
  • Plenty of water
  • Backpack
  • Camel pack
  • Bug spray
  • Bear spray
  • Hand warmers
  • Clear umbrellas

Mt. Baker Elopement Packages

Elopement photography by Emilee Setting Photo, and everything included in my packages:

  • Explore anywhere within Washington, all travel fees included in the price!
  • Packages from half day elopements to multi-day elopements
  • Receive a customized location list
  • Help finding lodging that suits your needs if you’re having an intimate reception
  • Included comprehensive timeline design
  • Help obtaining your permits
  • Help obtaining your marriage license
  • A planning checklist
  • Unlimited planning and guidance calls 
  • All of your stunning photos delivered under three months
  • Day of polaroid sneak peeks

Mt.Baker elopement packages starting at $5800. Want more information on my pricing and what’s included? Click here

Mt. Baker elopement

Ready to Elope at Mt. Baker?

This Mt. Baker elopement guide is a way to get you excited about all the possibilities of what your day could look like. Although, this amount of information can be overwhelming. I’m here to help. I can answer any and all questions you have on a complimentary low pressure consultation call. If you then choose you’d like to work together, I’ll do all of this planning right by your said to alleviate any stress, and bring your xxx elopement vision to life. We can chat here!

Don't forget your free elopement planning checklist


You see a stranger’s puppy & it takes everything in you not to run up & cuddle it.

Your dress gets dirt on it, and you shrug.

You think ice cream & wine is always an acceptable dinner option. Always.

You LIVE for the feeling of sunshine on your skin & wind in your hair.

You’re already screaming YASSSS WHERE DO I BOOK YOU?

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! 

You see a stranger’s puppy & it takes everything in you not to run up & cuddle it.

Your dress gets dirt on it, and you shrug.

You think ice cream & wine is always an acceptable dinner option. Always.

You LIVE for the feeling of sunshine on your skin & wind in your hair.

You’re already screaming YASSSS WHERE DO I BOOK YOU?

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