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6 Places to Elope in Washington With No Hiking

Updated: Jul 14, 2022

bride and groom embracing on their elopement day in the Washington  mountains

Best Places in Washington to Elope without Hiking

It's no secret that Washington is full of epic, jaw-dropping scenery- which makes it the perfect state to say your vows and get married. With hundreds of trails, three national parks, multiple national forests and state parks, there are countless places to have your elopement. From cascading waterfalls, mossy rainforests, rugged coastal beaches, pristine alpine lakes, and endless, breathtaking mountain ranges- it can be hard to narrow down where you want to elope!

This is where I come in. As an adventure elopement photographer and avid adventurer, it's my job to help YOU find the perfect spot to say your vows. Location scouting and exploring this beautiful state is one of my favorite things to do (you might even say finding epic elopement spots is my passion). Which is why, I created this list of six locations to elope in Washington with little to no hiking required. So, if you're looking to elope in nature, buuuuut don't quite want to hike 8 miles on your wedding day- I've got you covered.

It's a common misconception that in order to have an adventure elopement, you must go on this huge, grueling hike. While you certainly can do that, it is definitely not a requirement. The term "adventure" can be defined many different ways. But the most important definition? What it means to you.

Adventure isn't just hiking up giant mountains and jumping off of cliffs. It's a state of mind. It's taking the path less traveled and forging one of your own. It's choosing to create a life that you want to live. If you're considering having an elopement, you're probably someone who isn't afraid of going against the grain and ignoring societal pressures. Having an elopement and a nontraditional wedding day is brave- no matter what it looks like, or how you do it. If you want to go on a huge hike for your wedding day? Great! If you want to get married surrounded by nature, but would prefer not to hike and do other activities instead? Also great! The amazing thing about elopements is that there are no rules. You can truly do whatever you want to do and create your perfect day with your partner. And if you ask me, having a wedding day that is 100% what you and your partner want, a day that is completely focused on the two of you and celebrating your unique relationship- that's pretty badass, and pretty damn adventurous.

These locations on this list are just a few of many beautiful places in Washington that would be perfect for your elopement (and they require very little, if any, hiking to get there). While these places are admittedly more well known, I do know of many more locations that are more secluded and would also make perfect elopement locations.

Pro-tip: If you're flexible with your date and want to avoid the crowds, elope on a weekday! Trails in Washington can get very busy on the weekends and can make it harder for you to have an amazing experience.

So, if you see a spot where you'd like to elope and want to make it official (or even if you want to elope somewhere not on this list), reach out to me and we can get started planning your dream elopement day!

***Leave No Trace Disclaimer***

We have a massive privilege in being able to access such amazing public lands in general and for your elopement day. Instead of paying thousands of dollars for a wedding venue, public lands are able to be used for nearly free. With that comes great responsibility- not only to care for the land, but to ensure it's protection and longevity.

Leave No Trace is a set of outdoor ethics and best practices that we should all follow to not only enjoy our public lands, but to protect them as well. Simply put, leave it better than you found it!

Why should you care?

If you're getting married outside, it's probably because you're drawn to nature's beauty and love being outdoors. The way we ensure that nature stays beautiful (so we can continue coming back to these places over and over again) is to make sure that we enjoy them sustainably and responsibly. We're all in this together.

The seven principles of Leave No Trace are:

  1. Plan Ahead and Prepare

  2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces

  3. Dispose of Waste Properly

  4. Leave What You Find

  5. Minimize Campfire Impacts

  6. Respect Wildlife

  7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors

I encourage you to learn more about how to keep our outdoors safe and best practices for recreating outdoors at

Alright, now into the good stuff...

1. Gold Creek Pond

Gold Creek Pond is one of my favorite elopement destinations in Washington. Accessible throughout the entire year, this spot is beautiful no matter the season. In summer there's wildflowers, reflections, and lush vegetation. And in the colder months, it transforms into a winter wonderland perfect for snowshoeing. This spot is only an hour from Seattle, and is right off the I-90.

The Details:

Location: Snoqualmie Pass

Length: 1.0 miles roundtrip (the main viewpoint of the lake is much shorter, the 1.0 mile is if you hike around the entirety of the lake)

Elevation: 10 feet

Parking Pass: Northwest Forest Pass (or the America the Beautiful pass)

Permit required: None

Other: In the summer, this path is ADA accessible. There are many spots to explore, open spaces, and picnic tables available. In winter, the road to the main parking lot is closed and extends this hike by approximately 0.75 miles.

Gold Creek Pond in Washington is the perfect spot to elope
A couple during their Gold Creek Pond engagement photos

2. Artist Point

This is hands down, one of my favorite places in Washington. If you're looking for a minimal effort, maximum reward location- this is the spot.

Note: This location is also accessible during the wintertime and is a very popular snowshoe! However, it is not as easy to access as it is in the summer. The snowshoe is 4.0 miles roundtrip and 1000 feet of elevation gain.

The Details:

Location: North Cascades-Mount Baker Area

Length: 1.2 miles

Elevation: 200 feet

Parking Pass: Northwest Forest Pass (or the America the Beautiful Pass)

Permit required: None

Other: Make sure to stay on the trail here- the alpine meadow and vegetation are extremely fragile!

A couple and their reflections at Artist Point in Washington

3. The Coast

The Washington coast is like nothing I've ever experienced before. The towering sea stacks in the water, and the driftwood scattered around the beach is absolutely gorgeous. A perfect place to watch the sunset, I know of many beautiful beaches on both the Washington and Oregon coast that would make for an epic elopement day.

The Details:

Location: Olympic Peninsula

Length: 0.5 miles

Elevation: 40 feet

Parking Pass: None

Permit required: Yes

Other: You can walk for however long you'd like along the beach- there are many beaches to explore that are beautiful! Just remember to check the tides while planning your timeline out, you don't want to be caught in high tide.

A couple during their engagement photos on the Washington coastal beaches
A couple looking at one another during their engagement session on the Washington coast

4. Franklin Falls

Franklin Falls was one of the first hikes I did when I first moved to Washington, and it remains a favorite today. Winding through an impressive forest next to a river, you eventually arrive at the base of a massive waterfall.

The Details:

Location: Snoqualmie Pass

Length: 2.0 miles roundtrip

Elevation: 400 feet

Parking Pass: Northwest Forest Pass (or the America the Beautiful Pass)

Permit required: None

Other: If you hike this in the wintertime, you will add approximately 1 additional mile to your trip. Don't forget to pack micro spikes when it's cold- the rocks leading to the waterfall are steep and will get icy!

Franklin Falls is another perfect elopement destination
A couple having their first dance on their elopement day at Franklin Falls

5. Lake Wenatchee

This spot is also very close to Leavenworth, an adorable Bavarian style mountain town that would be a fun addition to any elopement day! While this lake is beautiful during the summertime, I think it's at it's best during the winter (when it looks like a scene straight out of a winter wonderland!).

The Details:

Location: Leavenworth area

Length: Right by the parking lot

Elevation: minimal

Parking Pass: Discover Pass

Permit required: Yes

Other: If you want to add on to your day and hike a little, there are many trails in the park you can go on! Additionally, in the winter you can snowshoe around near the lake shore.

Photo from Unsplash

6. Hurricane Ridge

One of the most iconic views in the state, this location has some of the most breathtaking mountain views you'll ever see. You don't need to go far or work to get your reward either, it's gorgeous from the moment you step out of your car! If you do want to extend your day, there are several nearby hikes and other beautiful locations not too far away. A prime destination for any season, Hurricane Ridge makes a perfect elopement spot.

The Details:

Location: Olympic National Park

Length: Right by the parking lot

Elevation: minimal

Parking Pass: America the Beautiful Pass

Permit required: Yes

Photo from Unsplash

Want more location recommendations that aren't on this list? Reach out to me, and become one of my couples here! I absolutely love hiking in Washington state and am always exploring new trails. I know many beautiful places and would love to share them with you. One of my favorite parts of this job is helping couples find their perfect, dream elopement spot!

I do custom location scouting and recommendations for every couple who hires me based on a variety of factors (desired scenery, length of hike, elevation, number of guests, proximity to other desired locations, etc.) to help you find your dream spot to say your vows.

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Want More Resources?

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Hire a Photographer for Your Washington Elopement

Hi! My name is Kathleen and I'm an adventure wedding and elopement photographer (and your new friend!). I'm here to help guide you to having the ultimate wedding day experience, and to document every single moment of it. I would love to help you plan your elopement and answer any questions you may have! Learn more about me or my Washington Elopement Packages.

Get in touch with me and let's start planning your dream adventure.

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