July 6, 2022
When it comes to dreaming up your adventure elopement in Washington state, the North Cascades is an amazing region to consider. From stunning mountain ranges, alpine lakes, raging rivers and more, it truly has so much to offer. When planning your North Cascades elopement, there’s a lot that goes into the decision making process…
Which is why I’m sharing 10 of the best locations for eloping in the North Cascades. While some of these locations are located inside of the National Park, most are actually outside of the park. That means they are dog friendly!
Although the whole loop is 7.2 miles, there are so many beautiful views along the way. You don’t have to worry about doing the whole trail unless you want to! We can go part way if that’s your style, or we can work our way throughout the entire loop, taking gorgeous photos as we find intimate, secluded locations along the way.
If you are looking for a partial route – going both directions leads you to different alpine lakes about 2 miles in. To find out more about the route and to see if this would be the perfect one for your North Cascades elopement, you can read more here.
Located in the Ross Lake National Recreation Area of the North Cascades, ThunderKnob is a great location if you’re looking for a hiking adventure that’s not too intensive. This trail is 3.6 miles roundtrip with only 635 feet elevation gain. There are incredible mountain views and alpine overlooks, making this a beautiful place for your elopement.
If you do choose a location within the North Cascades National Park, you’ll want to make sure you get a Special Use Permit.
One of the best perks to eloping in the North Cascades outside of the National Park is that these locations are dog-friendly! Many of my clients have dogs that are important parts of their families, which is why I’ve listed so many options in case you want to bring your pups along too!
This is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places to elope in the North Cascades. It’s perfect if you’re looking for an adventure! With a 4+ mile round-trip hike it’s a great option for a bit of adventure, a little more intimacy, and a ton of fun! If it’s not July-Early September, you can expect this adventure to be in snowshoes.
For a few short weeks out of the year, the highway opens to a parking lot where you can easily access this location with a short walk! If the road isn’t open, there are ways to work around involving family in your day that aren’t willing to hike. One couple I worked with had an intimate ceremony in Heather Meadows with family, followed by photos at Artist Point. It was the perfect combination to have more loved ones be a part of their day, while still getting more secluded moments together, incredible photos, and the adventure they were hoping for. To learn more about that elopement and to see if these two locations would be the right combination for you, check out my blog post here.
Picture Lake is a great location if you’re wanting to elope in the North Cascades in a place that is easy-to-access. It’s only a .5 mile walk on an ADA accessible path, making it a great option for bringing your loved ones along. If you’re wanting a little more intimacy, I’d recommend planning for off seasons or a sunrise shoot before the crowds get there.
This is another great option if you’re looking for an easy-to-access location. There is a 2 mile loop trail around the lake, giving you a variety of photo locations with minimal elevation gain. Bagley Lakes is a very popular area, so it can get packed pretty quickly. If you’re looking for more privacy I would recommend a sunrise elopement at this location.
Ptarmigan Ridge is definitely one for the hikers! The whole trail is 9 miles roundtrip, but there are stunning views of Mount Baker along the way if you don’t want to do the whole trail. This is a great option if you’re looking for a more remote, intimate, and dog-friendly elopement in the North Cascades, that will also give you an all-day adventure.
With panoramic views of the North Cascades and beautiful alpine lakes below, this is an amazing location. The trail is 3.8 miles round trip. The hike is well worth it for all of the beautiful, secluded views along the way.
One thing to consider is that it is recommended to have a high-clearance vehicle to get to the trailhead. But with a little extra planning in this regard, Winchester Mountain makes for a beautiful and secluded North Cascades elopement.
If you choose any of these locations to elope in Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, you’ll need to apply for a Non-Commercial Group Use Permit.
Cutthroat Lake is about 3.8 miles round trip. It’ only a little over 400 feet elevation gain and has beautiful views of the lake and Cutthroat Ridge. This is a great option if you’re wanting a more relaxed hiking adventure for your North Cascades elopement that will still give you a sense of seclusion and privacy.
With a 4.4 mile roundtrip hike, Blue Lake is another great location for an adventure. The alpine lake is gorgeous! About halfway through the hike there is also a meadow that makes for a beautiful and intimate photoshoot location.
If you’re not too worried about avoiding crowds and are looking for an accessible location that still offers amazing views, Washington Pass Overlook is a great option. It’s only a quarter-mile walk, and is wheel-chair accessible.
To elope in the Okanogan Wenatchee National Forest you will need an Event/Commercial Use Permit.
There is no exact formula for the perfect elopement, and the beauty of it is, that you get to create your day specifically for the vision you and your partner share. And one of the best things about eloping in Washington State in the North Cascades is that there is truly a perfect location for everyone whose heart is set on eloping there!
Interested in eloping in the North Cascades? Email me today for information and to reserve your date!
To see more elopements photographed by MMP, click here!
Megan Montalvo is a PNW Elopement Photographer based out of Seattle, Washington. Megan offers intimate wedding and elopement photography to surrounding PNW destinations such as Tacoma, Olympia, Mount Storm King, Lake Crescent, Hurricane Ridge, Mt. Rainier, Lake Quinault, Snoqualmie, Snoqualmie Pass, Cle Elum, Suncadia, Leavenworth, Ruby Beach, Cape Kiwanda, Canon Beach and the San Juan Islands.
Welcome to the blog! I’m a small-town Florida girl and Army wife relocated to the Seattle Suburbs, documenting love from one coast to the other. I live for a good PNW mountain breeze, sweat pants, and local eats. Let's be friends!