North Cascades elopement

This North Cascades Elopement guide is here to help you find out how to elope in North Cascades, all of the logistics, and even show you stunning North Cascade elopement locations. This is one of my absolute favorite parks in the US. It’s has very “wild” terrain, with gorgeous views in every direction, clear alpine lakes, mountain towns, and you run into way less tourism than in other National Parks.

Read on to learn how to elope in North Cascades National Park!

Where is North Cascades National Park

North Cascades National Park spans across 500,000 acres of mountains throughout Northern Washington. This park is unique in that there’s a lot of charming mountain towns throughout it, which makes finding lodging for your elopement easy.

The best way to get to North Cascades National Park is by flying into the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and renting a rental car.

When to Elope in North Cascades National Park

The best time to elope in North Cascades National park is between late June and Early October. In the winter, the roads are closed making many of the locations in-accessible. Things begin to re-open in late May. However, there’s still usually quite a bit of snow until late June.

North Cascades Wedding Permit

There’s no fee to enter this park, and the application fee for a North Cascades wedding permit is only $50! You will have to email the park to get the application, and fill it out to be able to elope here. However, this is a super easy process and North Cascades has less restrictions for weddings than most National Parks.

How to Elope at North Cascades

You plan a North Cascades 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 North Cascades 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 North Cascades 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.


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 mountain 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 couple through a questionnaire, and then use to make a customized list of North Cascade 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 want a friend or family member to officiate, or will you need an officiant? Do you want a bouquet from a florist or are you down to make your own from Trader Joe’s flowers? 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 you 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 or National Forest websites.

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 $100 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
North Cascades elopement

Lodging in North Cascades National Park

When deciding where to stay for your North Cascades elopement, consider being close to the park. Mazama and Winthrop both have the most services, and are incredibly close to the park. This is important if you want to be able to go in and out of the park easily, and have accessibility to things you might need in these small towns. Here are some options in these locations

  • The Inn at Mazama
  • Firestone Inn
  • Mazama Ranch House
  • Rolling Huts
  • River Run Inn
  • Sun Mountain
  • Rivers Edge Resort

You can also choose to stay at a vacation rental for your North Cascades Elopement. A lot of couples who want to have a private intimate reception after their elopement opt for this option. Here is a list of nearby Airbnbs! A-frames, cozy cabins, and hot tubs!

How Much Does it Cost to Elope in North Cascades?

A permit application to elope in North Cascades National Park is $50. 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.

North Cascades Elopement Locations

There is a plethora of stunning North Cascade elopement locations. Wether you want to spend a lot of your day hiking, or prefer easily accessible drive up spots. There is something for everyone in this park. Take a look at my list of North Cascade elopement locations! These just scratch the surface of what this park has to offer.

Artists Point

This is an area that can be reached by driving, however, the drive up location can be quite crowded. Maybe couples choose to hike to this location or from this location to get more privacy and beautiful views away from crowds.

Diablo Lake

North cascades elopement

Diablo lake is a stunning bright blue reservoir in the mountains. This North Cascades elopement location is an easy drive to get to the overlook, or you can actually go down to the lake. This is a perfect location for couples who want to incorporate a kayak or canoe ride into their day.

Methow Valley

This North Cascades elopement location is warmer and drier than other regions of the park. That being said, snow melts sooner and you can visit earlier in the year. There is a ton of incredible drive up spots if you have guests and don’t want to hike, as well as a ton of Airbnb’s nearby, all this breath taking views.

Blue Lake

North cascades elopement locations

This is an absolutely stunning elopement location in North Cascades. It’s a 4.4 mile hike. This is a perfect location for couples who do want to hike, but not spend the entire day doing it. This is also a beautiful place to see wildflowers if you go earlier in the summer.

Maple Pass Loop

This North Cascades elopement location is for couples who want a bit of an “all-day” adventure. It’s a 7.7 mile hike. Typically, 7 miles might not take all day. However, hiking with your wedding gear, or possibly in it, will make this a much slower process. Especially if you’re stopping to get photos, to relax, and say your vows.

Washington Pass Overlook

North cascades elopement locations

Washington Pass is an amazing stop for your North Cascades elopement. Wether you want a “no-hike” elopement location, or you just want to add in another gorgeous place to visit and get some photos. It has picnic tables which makes it a great place to eat some food, and it has a short 0.3 mile hike for couples who just want to add a short walk into their day.

Stehekin Valley

If you’re looking for a remote location, Stehekin Valley is a great option for you. You can take a ferry or boat to this location that has no service or internet. You’re able to stay here and spend an entire day exploring this gorgeous location and really stepping away from everything else for your elopement day.

Rainy Lake

If you want a North Cascades elopement location that has insane views, but not too into hiking, this is the perfect location for you. It’s a paved trail that is only two miles round trip with very little elevation gain. Since it’s paved, it’s even wheelchair accessible. The reflection of this lake is stunning and makes for absolutely jaw-dropping photos, as well as a perfect place to say your vows.

North Cascades 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

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

Ready to Elope in North Cascades National Park?

This North Cascades 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 Washington 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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