Looking to elope in a lush Oregon forest? Maybe you’re looking for a lot of greens, moss climbing up trees, and the quintessential babbling brook? Well, if you’re interested in finding out the best forest elopement locations in Oregon, then read on. Most National Forests and National Parks allow for elopements and intimate weddings. It’s always important to follow Leave No Trave guidelines and double-check what these forests allow prior to planning your wedding day. That being said, it’s still a whole heck of a lot easier than spending 9k on a place to host your wedding! The world is your oyster (and venue.)
Umpqua National Forest
Umpqua National Forest is one of the best forest elopement locations in Oregon. First off, it surrounds Crater Lake National Park. This National Park is an insanely beautiful wedding destination. Coupled with the features of the National Forest, there’s an endless amount of things to see. One of these things are the Umpqu Hot Springs. Including hot springs in your wedding day plans is a boss move. Also, probably pretty romantic (or steamy.) Alternatively, maybe just looking at some water is good enough for you and your partner. There are a ton of beautiful waterfalls in the Umpqa National Forst. Although, Toketee Falls takes the cake.
Not to mention, both of these hikes listed are incredibly short and easy. I personally love short and easy. On that note, there are still tons of other waterfalls in the forest that would make for beautiful ceremony locations or portraits: Clearwater Falls, Whitehorse Falls, Warm Springs Falls, etc. And, for those of us who like a challenge, there definitely are harder hikes in the area. Something for everyone!
Mt. Hood National Forest
Mt. Hood is one of the best forest elopement locations in Oregon, and I’ll tell you why. (Obviously, this is just my opinion, but I’ve been doing this for a while.) Mt Hood is only about an hour away from Portland. For those of you who want to pair your wedding day with some city exploring and outdoor adventuring, this is one of the best Oregon elopement forest locations for you. Mt. Hood also has some spectacular venues that offer elopement and intimate wedding packages. I’m talking about Timberline Lodge as well as Mt. Hood Ski Bowl which features a freaking alpine slide.
However, if you’re looking for a bit more of a private and adventurous elopement, there are tons of options for that as well. One of my favorite hikes, Zig Zag Canyon, which features a river, great mountain views, and wildflowers. There’s also the famous Trillium Lake. This lake is popular for showing off epic views of Mt. Hood and also reflecting the mountain in the pristine water. Or, take a soak in these incredible and primitive hot springs. With that being said, there are so many more beautiful locations in this national forest. I highly recommend hopping on an app like AllTrails to see the different scenery options.
Willamette National Forest
The Willamette National Forest is another one of the best forest elopement locations in Oregon. This National Forest is about an equal distance from Portland, and Bend Oregon. These two places both offer a ton to do, and a bunch of different lodging options. The Willamette National Forest is an extremely lush place with some unique scenary.
An example of the eccentric locations out there include Blue Pool, Sahalie Falls, and Detriot Lake. Each of these places could be used as a ceremony location, a place to take portraits, or whatever your heart may desire for your wedding day. Alternatively, if you’re looking for something a bit more adventurous there are a lot of options. Clear Lake is a hot spot destination for divers. Enjoy 100+ feet of visbility in a non-motorized lake. Or, keep and it simple and take a canoe ride. Maybe you’re looking for a tough hike and unique place to stay? Check out Indian Ridge Lookout (a decomissioned firelookout.) If you book in advance, you can eve sleep here!
Deschutes National Forest
My personal favorite. Let me tell you why the Deschutes National Forest made my list of the best forest elopement location in Oregon. Again, it is my absolute favorite. Located just outside of Bend, Oregon, there is a ton of things to do nearby. Breweries, shops, floating the deschutes river, food and more. Inside of the National Forest, we have rivers, lakes, mountains, wildflowers, and it’s all breathtaking. Let’s start with the Cascades Lakes Scenic Byway. There are 14 pristine alpine lakes on this road. Ones that include hikes, as well as others that you can simply drive up to and be amazed.
Find yourself exploring waterfalls and standing between the tall pines of this national forest. Wether you’re looking for a simple and relaxed day, or you want a hike with epic views, we have it all. While you’re at it, check out Tumalo Falls. An easy hike that leads to what feels like a mini-Niagra Falls. All of the hikes lead to seriously stunning locations and this specific part of Oregon recieves 300 days of sunshine on average! Worried about rain on your wedding day? Have your elopement or intimate wedding here and deal with way less weather stress.
Ochocco National Forest
The Ochocco National Forest is quite a bit more central, and likely a lot less populated. The privacy and beauty this national forest offers qualifies it to be on my list of the best forest elopement locations in Oregon. Although, there are a lot of trails here that are not maintained. In the event that you’re not an experienced adventurer, this might not be the best forest elopement location for you.
As a result, this place is definitly less crowded. Additionally, if you like a moderate hike than this place has some incredible views for you. These include: Twin Pillars and Desolation Canyon. In addition to all of the hikes in this National Forest, it’s also very popular for biking and OHV trails. Ultimately, this foest elopement location is best for those wanting more of a challenge and some privacy. In the event that you like this national forest but want something a bit easier, you have options. The John Day Fossil beds are right nearby. Even though they aren’t technically inside of the National Forest, The Painted Hills and Blue Basin are absolutely worth considering for your elopement location.
The Best Forest Elopement Locations in Oregon!
In conclusion, Oregon forests likely have anything and everything you could be looking for. Again, these are just the forests. We still have wilderness areas, mountains, and the absolutely beautiful coast. Furthemore, if you’re thinking of having your elopement or intiamte wedding in this incredible state, don’t forget to check out my list of Airbnb’s for Oregon elopements! These are awesome places to stay in the area, and even possibly hold a small reception! Meanwhile, if you’re looking for a photographer to document and help plan your day, head on over to contact to get your free consultation!