July 27, 2020

How to Elope in Olympic National Park

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A Guide to Planning your Elopement in Olympic National Park

by a Washington State Elopement Photographer


Olympic National Park in Washington offers so much variety when it comes to planning an adventure elopement. It is one of the most diverse National Park in the United States. The park itself has mountains, clear lakes, beaches, a rain forest and a variety of wildlife and activities to do. The park offers locations to anyone for any level of adventure. The accessibility to stunning places is unreal. If you are looking to elope somewhere that is super dreamy, easy to get to and filled with beauty and wildlife you have found the right spot. It is one of the top places to elope in Washington and this guide is here to tell you everything you need to know about how to elope in the National Park. Check out the check list below to help you in planning in the most basic form and then read the blog for ideas, and more!

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When to Elope in Olympic National Park:

Late June to Early August is the best time to elope here due to colder temperatures the other months. During the busy season of the Summer, I recommend eloping at certain locations at sunrise. For example the Hurricane Ridge area is less busy and has active wild life in the morning. At sunset, the coast is at its peak in beauty. During the summer months you can expect clouds, rain, and temperatures in the 60s. The weather can change drastically throughout the park during the day. If you want to elope in the winter Hurricane Ridge again, is perfect for snowy mountain views and winter activity.

Where to Elope in Olympic National Park:

From a half day, full day or even a two day elopement there are so many epic locations in the park. Many locations in the park are not far from each other so it is easy on your elopement day to be in two different ecosystems. Some of my favorite areas in the park are:

  • Rialto Beach
  • Ruby Beach
  • Lake Crescent
  • Hurricane Ridge
  • Secluded trails reached by backpacking
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Things to do on your elopement day in Olympic National Park:

  • Sleep under the stars right on the shore
  • Surf
  • Picnic on the beach
  • Explore the coast
  • Kayak, boat, or paddle board on the lake
  • Relax in some hot springs
  • Back Pack to hidden lakes
  • Hike to an overview
  • See a waterfall or two
  • Go Fishing
  • Go Rock Climbing
  • Enjoy a sunset from a mountain peak
  • Have lunch in Port Angeles
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How to Get to Olympic National Park:

The park has many access points! Getting to the park from Seattle is either a 2.5 hour drive to the park entrance or you could take a ferry ride into the Port Angeles area and drive in from there. Port Angeles is the closest town, nesting just outside of the park on the North East side. Coming from Portland, Oregon it is a 4 hour drive which will bring you into the Western side of the park, driving up and along the beautiful coast. Portland or Seattle are your best airports to fly into when traveling further than driving distance. If you are coming from Canada you could consider taking the ferry from Victoria to Port Angeles.

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Where to Stay in Olympic National Park:

Within the park there are many campgrounds you can stay in that are privately owned or you can stay at a campsite within the park. One of the best campgrounds in the park is Mora, which is located near Rialto Beach and Fairholme Campground, on the rim of Lake Crescent. You can also stay right on the beach! You have to have a permit to do so, but this is easily obtained by booking on reservation.gov, but make sure you have a tide chart to make sure your tent does not get swept away in the night! If back packing or camping is not your jam check out some of these super epic Airbnb’s in the area:

How to get Legally Married in Olympic National Park:

In the state of Washington you will need an officiant and two witnesses to legally become married. There are several officiants that are fantastic in the area that I recommend out to my couples, or you can get one of your guests to become ordained and they can hold your ceremony for you. Prior to the ceremony you will need to apply for your marriage license, which you can do at at the county government's auditor's office or online. There is a three day waiting period to obtain your license so if you plan to apply for your permit in person you will need to be there several days in advance. You must get married within 60 days of obtaining your license, or it becomes invalid. Fees for your marriage license are different per county. After you have held your ceremony and the documents are signed, do not forget to mail them back to the county office!! Since marriage license in Washington are based by county you can visit this goverment site to direct you to the right county for you elopement.

As far as legally getting married within the park you will need to download the permit form on the National Park’s website and either mail or email it in after filling out all of the information requested. I recommend doing this at least 3 weeks in advance from your elopement day.

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What to bring with you on your elopement day in Olympic:

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Now you are all ready to start planning you elopement at Olympic National Park! The only thing missing is your photographer!!

Hiya! I am Traci, your pacific northwest elopement photographer! I believe that Olympic National Park is magical and an amazing place to get married. I have explored the park countless times scouting out trails that would be perfect for your day and familiarized myself with the area. I am your go to gal when it comes to finding the perfect place to elope here, helping you plan and connect with other vendors and authentically capturing your love story. So if you’re looking for someone who will be just as stoked as you on your elopement day, contact me!

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20 comments on “How to Elope in Olympic National Park”

  1. Olympic National Park is one of my favorites in the PNW! Super comprehensive article about adventuring and planning a magical event in this magical place!

  2. Ummmm these tips are perfect and the shots are absolutely amazing! Considering getting married again to enjoy this stunning location!

  3. That waterfall looks AMAZING! I can't tell the scale of it but it looks awesome. Great resource and tips for anyone looking to even visit here!

  4. Oh wow, this guide is amazing!!! Also the photos truly have me drooling! I loved that you mentioned you could sleep under the stars on the show. It sounds so peaceful and an awesome way to get married.

  5. Hell yes!! ONP is the BEST place to elope! You did such a great job of preparing couples for a session in one of my favorite national parks 🙂

  6. This article was so helpful! I had no idea Olympic National Park was so diverse, I can totally see myself surfing and camping out there. Your photo of the couple running along the beach is so happy it makes me want to run along the water! I also want to steal your denim jacket - so cute. Thanks for all the tips on how to get married in Olympic National park!

  7. So beautiful! I could see myself having a beach fire just like the one photo you took of your couple! I love that campfire smell and I can totally picture us doing that! The tips on things you can do is very useful too. Way to think outside the box and make the most of your couples day!

  8. OK im married but if I had to do it all over again I would 100% elope at this park! I love your list of "things you can do on your elopement day" like surf? hell ya!

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