Leavenworth, Washington is known for being a small German town in the Washington mountains. Proudly home to many beer gardens, beer cheese and pretzels, mountain ranges full of skiing, climbing and hiking galore. It is a Mecca for adventures and places to relax back to after being in the outdoors. It is located about two hours east of Seattle and full of sunshine, on most days. It is a perfect place to elope if you’re looking for family fun and adventures for just you two and this blog will guide you through everything you need to know about eloping in Leaventhworth!
You will for sure need to rent a car to go to this location if you are not local to Washington and plan to fly in. The best Airport would be SEA TAC in Seattle, Washington. From there drive two hours East taking the HWY 90 or interstate 2.
The area is visited really all year, as long as there are no road closures. In the Winter, folks are there for skiing and the summer folks are there for floating the river. We recommend late June to mid September for your elopement as most of the trails will be accessible during those months. Note that the summer can be hot in this region of Washington so plan accordingly.
A winter elopement in Leavenworth would be best at one of the local ski resorts like Stevens Pass Mountain Resort, Mission Ridge Ski or Leavenworth Ski Hill. After your big day on the slopes together you could end the evening at sunset taking a horse drawn carriage around the downtown German village. Be sure to be flexible in the event that snow has closed off any of the roads in or out of the mountain areas.
A spring elopement in Leavenworth would still be a good time to hit the slopes depending on the temperatures and weather conditions. You could also consider snow shoeing into a location or hitting one of the lower elevation trails. Know that even towards the end of spring and early summer some roads will still be closed.
A summer elopement in Leavenworth is prime time if you avoid the heat of the day. Most of the trails at this point should be clear of snow. You could float the river, hike the Enchantments, off road to some awesome overlooks or go bar hoping.
As the temperatures start to cool off in the early fall months it’s a nice time for a horseback ride, zip lining, rock climbing or hiking to Colchuck lake! In October you could check out the Octoberfest held yearly in town, for sure expect crowds in the area during this time.
Leavenworth is in the state of Washington. In this state you will need an officiant and two witnesses to get married. You can pick up your marriage license at any clerk office in the state, but know there is a three day holding period. Be sure to plan your travel with that information in mind. For more information be sure to check out King County’s information: https://kingcounty.gov/depts/records-licensing/recorders-office/marriage-licensing.aspx
There are many hotels right on the “strip” close by to all of the restaurants and bars. There are also plenty of Airbnbs and VRBOs offering cute cabins to stay in or nice vacation homes. Don’t be afraid to be a little bit out of town, closer to the Lake Wenatchee State Park area as there are nice river and lake access points out this way. You can also camp finding spots with tools like Hipcamp and iOverlander. We stayed a few days at the Squirrel Tree Inn and it was a very nice pet friendly option! Here are a few epic stays that would be perfect for getting ready for you elopement or for relaxing at the end of the day:
Leavenworth is probably the most accessible of mountain elopement locations in Washington with its close proximity to great places to stay and eat. A lot of other mountain locations can be one to three hours from a decent sized town, giving this place some extra brownie points!
There are so many epic places to elope in and around the Leavenworth area! A lot of it comes down to how much you want to adventure and what kind of adventure you want to have. Some of the elopement locations in this region are close to town and some may require an hour drive or so, because well, driving in the mountains sometimes takes a while :). Those treks are worth the views though!
What to do during your Leavenworth elopement?
If you are looking for a climbing adventure and a somewhat mountain/desert vibe you could consider Peshastin Pinnacles State Park.
There are a few really awesome back packing trails in the area for your elopement like the Enchantments, Lake Colchuck or Wildcat Lake. There are many other hikes in the area that are perfect to elope on ranging from 3 to 15 miles. There are some off-roading trails as well that will lead you to overlooking lake views.
Also, let’s not forget about a near by fire tower accessible via a short hike and on a clear day will show off the enchantments and mount rainier!
Is finding the perfect spot to elope looking a little overwhelming? Don’t worry, that is what we are here for! We have feet on the trail experience in the area and are here to assist you in finding where would be perfect for you two and helping with logistics of putting the plan together!
Plan ahead! This is a popular area for folks to vacation in the summer and on the weekends since it is an easy place for adventurers and sight seers to escape to. Airbnbs, hotels and other stays can be booked out a month or even longer in advance. This goes for adventures you may be wanting to go on that take a reservation as well like zip lining, horse rides, etc.
Know that you are heading into the mountains, prepare for your adventures by packing bear bells, bug spray, sun screen and as always expect to not have service going into you elopement day.
Depending on the time of year, have a back up plan in place for your elopement plans. Coming out of the winter there may be snow still covering roads up to trials or left over avalanche mess blocking roads.
We always suggest to our couples to arrive at least two days ahead of your elopement so you can acclimate to the mountain elevation, air and get familiar with the area. Having a day before and after open allows for some wiggle room if needed due to bad weather on the elopement day or anything else that may come up. Remember, you can’t control the outdoors.
Pull permits early! Most state park and Forest service lands require a permit to get legally married on the land. Many areas in Leavenworth, Washington currently do not require permits. However, it is important to email/contact the local rangers and get everything approved. We recommend doing this as soon as you decide where you want to elope. Most offices require a minimum of 45 days in advance, and while it may still be possible to acquire one in less time, it isn’t guaranteed and getting it ahead of time gets all of that stress out of the way.
Do not worry, we have a whole guide we provide our couples with about the area and the best vendors/restaurants/etc to check out when in the area! However, here are a few of our favorite place to grab a drink, coffee or dinner in the area:
Ready for an epic I Do in the mountains?
Thinking of eloping in Leavenworth, Washington, but not sure where to start? Welp my friends, you are in the right place! We are Traci and Bill, a husband wife team capturing and planning elopements because we believe marriage is the most valuable adventure you can have in life and because we love helping couples have a space to freely express themselves and enjoy a wedding day that best fits them. We are avid hikers, campers, climbers and hopeless romantics. We are here to help you bring your adventure wedding to life. We have explored the Leavenworth area well and know many of the trails, best eats and more. We can not wait to connect with you and hear your love story!