How to Plan a Wedding at Mount Baker

A couple stands watching sunset with Mt baker behind them.

(Updated for 2024)

There is a reason why this region of Washington is one of our top 5 places to elope in the state! With over 100,000 acres of pristine wilderness land, the Mount Baker Wilderness has so many places for you to explore for your adventure wedding or elopement. This wilderness is located in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. The Cascade Range of northern Washington state has a lot of rugged beauty in these remote mountains. Mount Baker is also considered an active volcano. Because of the thermal activity in the area, there are also a lot of great natural hot springs that you can soak in at the end of your wedding or elopement day. This area of mountains is a truly special place to skiers, hikers, backpackers and more. It is a place of adventure, solitude and beauty.

Why You Should Get Married at Mount Baker

While the national parks in the area such as North Cascades National Park make for more popular wedding locations, if you want something a little less popular and a little more remote, private, but just as stunning, then Mount Baker makes a great wedding or elopement location in Washington. When you choose to elope or even if you want to have an adventure wedding with a few guests, you probably don’t want a lot of tourists around. 

If you want to include your dogs or other pets at your wedding or elopement at Mount Baker, you can! National parks have restrictive rules around pets, but being in the national forest, Mount Baker makes a great pet friendly elopement location in Washington. 

The national parks in Washington do require permits for ceremonies. While it is always good to double check if permit rules change, currently the national forest and wilderness surrounding Mount Baker does not require permits. When permits aren’t required, it can make planning out locations and timing for your wedding or elopement easier. It allows you to have a lot of flexibility and less restrictions when planning out your day. Just be sure to follow Leave No Trace!

Mount Baker is also a super family friendly elopement location where you do not have to give up the view for accessibility or your own adventure on a split day or multi day elopement in this region.

The basic break down of planning your wedding in Mount Baker:

  • Decide to elope in Mount Baker, woot woot!!!!!!!
  • Pick a date (we recommend a day in late July, August or September! If you are love snow pick the Winter months!)
  • Book a photographer
  • Dive into planning with this photographer to narrow down locations + ideas
  • Book travel: Flight, Car + Stay
  • Get Marriage License for the state of Washington (Whatcom county is closest to the Mount Baker area + you can do it online for this county!)
  • Book other vendors needed if any + purchase attire
  • Pack – make sure you have everything for the wedding aspect + the adventure
  • Travel + Arrive
  • Have a freaking epic day in the mountains together getting married!!!
  • Looking back on those photos forever as you go through life together <3
A couple explores the waterfalls after their first look.

What is the difference between the North Cascades National Park and Mt Baker?

A lot of folks confuse these three places: North Cascades, North Cascades National Park + Mt Baker. Part of this confusion comes from how popular areas are geo-tagged on social media, which is not a bad thing folks tag general locations to protect sensitive, high trafficked areas. Let’s clarify and explain the differences when it comes to getting married!

  • North Cascades – This is a general description of the mountain range. Technically the Cascade Mountain range runs from Northern California into Canada. The Northern Cascades start in the Snoqualmie and Leavenworth area and go into Canada. This includes Mt Baker + the North Cascades National Park.
  • Mt Baker – Typically when people refer to Mt Baker they are referring directly to Mt Baker Peak or the direct region including places like Artist Point and Baker Lake. However, Mount Baker National Forest and Wilderness ranges much further than that. The National Forest land rangers throughout a big portion of the North Cascades. What is really awesome about this area is that there are A LOT of places to elope. Also, compared to eloping in National Parks it is a lot easier to elope in this area and most of the locations are dog friendly.
  • North Cascades National Park – The North Cascades National Park is one of the least visited National Parks in the US! The park itself is typically most known for Diablo Lake, Sahalee Arm and Hidden Lake trail. The park is pretty remote with little places to stay outside of it. The downside to eloping or getting married here is there are very limited locations to where you can hold your ceremony. The most known locations are off limits to ceremonies and in some cases professional photography due to Leave no Trace rules. However, there are some incredible big distance hikes here making for a great elopement location, we would just recommend doing your ceremony elsewhere or being okay with doing it at Diablo Lake beach area.
A couple shares a romantic kiss on a fall day in North Cascades National park.

Mount Baker Wedding and Elopement Locations

Mount Baker has so many options for weddings and elopements. Some locations require a bit of hiking (Looking for tips when hiking for your wedding?) and other locations are more easily accessible if you are having guests. The Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest has some of the best mountain views in the United States. Whether you want snow capped peaks, wildflowers, lakes, or waterfalls, Mount Baker has a lot to offer! There are tons of different trails and options to elope in this area, due to Leave No Trace we do not like to name names for places that aren’t super well known or popular, but here are a few epics you have probably already seen photos of and didn’t even know.

When looking at getting married in the Mt Baker area it is important to understand there are two main access areas to the trails and the mountain. You have the North side which is closer to Glacier, Maple Falls, Deming and Bellingham. You have the South side which is closer to Burlington, Concrete, North Cascades National Park and Sedro-Wooley.

Artist Point

Artist Point is located at the ending of the Mount Baker Scenic Byway. The views from Artist Point are absolutely stunning. Some people even say that Artist Point offers the best panoramic views of mountains in the entire state of Washington! You’ll have great views of both Mount Baker and Mount Shuksan here. This location is also in our opinion the most family friendly elopement location in the state, the most views with the easiest access. Don’t get me wrong there are some epic trails leaving from this area too!

Artist Point is a popular location though so you want to plan for the right time. We recommend avoiding weekends if you want to elope here. This location is very popular at sunset, but it is also super beautiful, and more quiet, at sunrise. From about July to late September, you can drive all the way to Artist Point. You can also snowshoe to Artist Point in the winter, late fall or late spring. But we do have to watch the avalanche risk to determine if it is safe. Working with us as experienced elopement photographers can take a lot of the pressure off of you!

Heather Meadows and Picture Lake

Located just down the road from Artist Point is Heather Meadows and Picture Lake. Heather Meadows and Picture Lake offer some very similar views to Artist Point but are more accessible year round. Did you know that Mount Baker is one of the snowiest places in North America? With over 600 inches of snow a year, this place truly is a winter wonderland. The great thing about this area is that it is plowed year round. So if you are looking for those top of the mountain views in winter, Heather Meadows is a great area. Picture Lake really is stunning in summer or fall when all the snow and ice melts. These areas are also great for family elopements due to the fact that they are easy to access and there are less restrictions than a national park.

Fire Towers Around Mount Baker

There are about a dozen fire lookout towers throughout the Mount Baker region that make for epic elopement locations. These used to be used during the 1900s to watch for forest fires in the region. But now they can make for some really unique wedding venues and elopement locations if you’re up for some hiking! If you want to backpack around Mount Baker, you can even stay overnight in one of the many fire towers.

The fire towers can be busy and the first come first serve ones can be hard to get. However, there is almost always tent camping locations open near by. We have a few favorites that are epic for an elopement. You can expect to hike anywhere from 3-9 miles to elope at one of these.

A bride holds her groom close as they sit in Winchester Mountain's fire tower on their wedding day.

Baker Lake

Baker Lake is just down from the mountains and offers camping, kayaking, paddleboarding, hiking, and other adventures. This lake is a popular place due to being able to easily access but with the lake being 9 miles long, there are a lot of areas to still find some solitude along this lake. Multiple hikes even go up above the lake. Old growth forests, lake shores, and great views of Mount Baker make this a beautiful location for weddings and elopements. The different types of scenery also make this a great location because of all the diversity in locations.


the bride holds onto the arm of the groom, smiling. they stand on the ede of the seaplane, with snowy mountains in the background.

Natural Hot Springs

Due to its volcanic nature, Mount Baker has a number of natural hot springs in the area. Some of these areas are more popular than others and it is important to know the best times to go if you want to take elopement photos at these hot springs. Keep in mind that some of the hot springs are technically warm springs, meaning that they aren’t as hot but are warm, usually around 80-85ºF or so.

A bride dips her hair back into a hot spring one spring morning near Baker Lake.

Silver Lake State Park

Silver Lake state park is just outside of Glacier, WA. This borderlines as an elopement location and a wedding venue for the area. We love this location because you can camp here or stay in one of the cute cabins overlooking the lake, you can paddle boat here or canoe with 360 mountain views and more. This is great for a group ceremony or dinner. There is an open field perfect for a ceremony. There is also a gazebo you can rent that is massive with a center point of a beautiful stone fire place, tables with tree stump seating and a kitchen area. I imagine a couple having an epic day up on the mountain and then coming here to dine with their guests.

A couple canoes together on a lake on their wedding day.

Mount Baker Wedding Venues

The region immediately surrounding Mount Baker doesn’t have a ton of options for wedding venues. If you want to get married at Mount Baker, it’d be better to have a smaller adventure wedding or elopement. There aren’t a lot of areas that can support larger weddings. We specialize in smaller weddings and elopements and can help you find the perfect spot! We recommend looking into the less traditional wedding venue options for Mount Baker such as Vrbo, the national forest, campgrounds, picnic shelters, state park, and lodges.

We typically recommend to our couples if they have over 12 people in total to consider renting a private space for anything they are doing with the group whether that be the ceremony, dinner and/or mini reception. This helps a lot with logistics on the mountain like parking, space and following Leave No Trace and following the guidelines the local Forest Service has presented for outdoor gatherings.

Check out some of the below wedding venue options…

  • Mount Baker Getaways – In the mountains this option is for up to 40 people and includes a night stay at the cabin!
  • Wandering Waters – This option is for up to 90 people. Located in Maple Falls it is super easy and has access to trails and mountains. This is a beautiful venue to host a romantic sheltered dinner after being up in the mountains.
  • Mount Mountain Lodge – Close to the mountains, this option is on the higher end price wise of this list, BUT you can stay here and there are camping options on property as well. Hey, it’s 20 acres! Perfect for an evening celebrating the day!
  • Twin Sisters Brewery – located in town (Bellingham) so this is great if you want to go on a morning adventure out in the mountains and come back to town to party with your guests. They have many options for space and a guest count ranging from 20-150 people.
  • Van Wyck Farm in Bellingham – This is perfect because your guests can stay close to town you can do a ceremony and/or reception here. What we love most is that you can stay on property in their glamping tent!
  • The Boathouse Bellingham – Go from the mountains at sunrise to the coast for sunset! You can rent this space pending your needs, great views for a large group dinner.
  • Camp Saturna – This is likely our favorite one in the area for many reasons. We live just about 15 minutes from this beautiful location! This is situated on Silver Lake and used to be an old Boy Scout Campground. It is MASSIVE!!! Perfect for hosting a bigger group. Because it used to be an old campground, it still is 🙂 You can glamp here with all of your guests in the main house, guest house, tent camp or sheltered camp. There is a massive kitchen for you to cook in or hire a chef. There is lake access and plenty of canoes. Truly this is a hidden gem for a dream camp wedding weekend!

When to Elope in the Mount Baker Region

Mount Baker makes a good year round elopement location. It really just depends on what kind of weather you like and what kind of adventures you prefer! Keep in mind that the full snowmelt sometimes doesn’t happen until August. But thanks to the ski resort, parts of the region are accessible most of the year.

In short the very best time to elope in the Mount Baker area would be July to mid September.


Particularly during May and June, is a good time if you want a little less snow but want to avoid the busier tourist season. Due to being located further north and being at higher elevations, don’t expect spring to be all warm weather and wildflowers! Snow sticks around long into summer, so most wildflowers don’t bloom until summer. Higher elevations may still be not accessible or only accessible by snow shoe.

A couple holds each other close near a waterfall in the forest.


This is the best time if you want to elope at one of the higher elevation lakes, if you want to hike at some of the higher elevations, or if you really want to get married among the wildflowers around Mount Baker. This can be the busiest time of year so keep that in mind when selecting your locations and planning. For Summer we recommend late July to mid September. Snow melt here can be late in the season as Mount Baker gets the most snow in the lower 48. Do not be fulled though summer can be quite warm.

A bride and groom ride horseback mid day on their wedding day.


This time of year sees less tourism and you can catch some great colors when the huckleberry bushes change color in their leaves. Some trails have become “insta famous” for their fall colors and larches here, but there is so much beauty all around the area this time of year. If you’re lucky, you may even be able to catch fall colors at the right time when there is a dusting of snow on Mount Baker and the surrounding mountain peaks. I would say October is the best Fall month to get married at Mt baker.

A couple stands in the distance with a fall sunset mountain landscape.


Winter in the Cascades truly is a sight to behold. When we say it looks like a winter wonderland, we really mean it! If you’re down for snowshoeing or cross country skiing and can deal with a bit of cold and the snow, it really is worth it to plan a snowy winter elopement around Mount Baker. Keep in mind that some higher elevations have more of an avalanche risk. Lower elevations in this area typically have less avalanche risk and you can always soak in a hot spring afterwards! I would ideally say in the Winter December is your best option!

How to Get to Mt Baker?

This is the most North Mountain Range in the state of Washington. The most popular airport to fly into Washington state for most visits is SEA-TAC airport in Seattle. If you are going to the North Side of the Mountain versus the South side the drive difference is about 1.5-2 hours depending where you are going. A closer option in general to the area is Bellingham Airport. It is smaller and can cost more to fly into. If you are looking for a fun idea, you can always fly into Seattle and then take a sea plane to get closer to the area.

Maybe you are coming from Alaska (pre honeymoon!? Heck yea!) you can fly or ferry right into the Bellingham area. You will for sure need to rent a car for your visit here as there is public transportation from Bellingham and Seattle the buses stop running at Maple Falls on the North side and the same with the South side.

Where to stay in Mt Baker?

When looking for an Airbnb for your elopement or wedding day there are a few things to consider: light, space, experience (drive times, amenities) and comfort. Here are a few of our favorite selections from the area:

  • This beautiful romantic cabin is super close to the trails, comes with a hot tub, suana and a great space to hangout and for getting ready photos! In this past elopements and dinners have been okay on this property, just always be sure to ask!
  • This Airbnb has photos of a small weddings, so you can stay here and potentially hold your wedding here if you have too many guests to go up the mountain with. Be sure to ask the host permission before booking!
  • On the other side of the mountain (South) you will find this cute A-frame with river views! This is perfect of anything in the North Cascades or this side of Baker.

If Airbnb’s, camping, backpacking, or glamping is not what you are looking for I would suggest considering staying closer to the town of Bellingham where you can find a nice hotel!

A couple walks together up to their Airbnb after their elopement in the mountains.

Adventure Ideas for Mount Baker Elopements and Weddings 

The great thing about Mount Baker, is there are so many things to do in the area! The thing is though, there are so many options it can be a bit overwhelming. When it comes to choosing what activities you may want to include, think about what you enjoy in your everyday life and choose something you’re experienced at and love.

Or, depending on the activity, you could choose to experience something totally new together to make a truly memorable elopement or wedding day around Mount Baker! Here at Adventure and Vow, you guessed it, we focus on wedding days centered around experiencing a place and the wedding together purposefully.

We believe adventure weddings offer folks the chance to have an authentic day to what marriage is all about: taking what life hands you, helping each other, supporting each other, connecting and ticking things off of that bucket list together!

  • Snow Shoe
  • Ski
  • Kayak, Paddle Board, Boat in Baker Lake or an alpine lake
  • Climbing Near Bellingham or the North Cascades National Park
  • Hiking into the Mountains of Washington
  • Take Flight on a Seaplane on a lake in the mountains or on the San Juan Islands
  • Relax in a hot spring or a cute cabin’s hot tub
  • Have a picnic
  • Go for a horse back ride

How to Get a Marriage License & Get Legally Married in Washington

To get legally married in Washington is pretty straightforward but there are a few important steps to follow and regulations to know about. Mount Baker is in Whatcom County in Washington, but a marriage license obtained from any county in Washington State can be used to get married anywhere in Washington. You do not have to reside in the state to apply for a marriage license. 

The easiest way to get the marriage license is to apply online within 60 days of your wedding date. Fun fact, Whatcom county is the only one in WA state you can get the paperwork online! There is a 3 day waiting period which happens the day the license is processed at the county office. So if you are getting it in person be sure to plan your travel with this in mind. Your marriage license will then be valid for 60 days following the 3 day waiting period. Your ceremony will require an officiant and 2 witnesses. 

No matter if you are using us as your officiant or an elopement guest they have 30 days from the date of the ceremony to return the marriage certificate to the county office. They will then make a record of the certificate and mail you a certified copy. Learn more on the Whatcom County website.

Mount Baker Wedding Permit

Outside of the marriage license you may also need a permit to elope in the Mount Baker area. It is important either way to be aware of Leave No Trace and the rules Mount Baker National Forest Lands has in place surrounding elopements. We stay as up to date as we can with permits and information, but it is always important to contact the appropriate forest service office prior to your wedding day. To contact the FS ranger for the Mount Baker NF please send an email to this email address: Currently, they are restricted group sizes to 12 people total and only allowing ceremonies to be up to 20 minutes. In this area seeded floral arrangements are not allowed, but fake flowers area allowed.

Mount Baker Elopement Packages

It is important to understand when you book an elopement photographer you are booking someone who will intimately spend this day with you two. You want to book a photographer you like their work and you connect with them well. Elopement photographers are all different, if you are doing a hiking elopement you need to hire someone with hiking experience when photographing an elopement, same with backpacking, kayaking, etc. It is also important when eloping in the mountains to book a photographer familiar with the area as weather effects so much of your day out there. It also helps to work with someone that knows the area to help you find secluded places to share private vows. We live about as close as you can live to the top of the Artist Point area, these mountains are our back yard. Home.

All of our packages include:

  • Two international award winning photographers epically excited to adventure with you, help you craft this day and capture it!
  • An officiant, not just one to sign off on your paper work, but who can preform the ceremony for you
  • Drone coverage, location pending
  • Connections to the best vendors in the state
  • Location guides
  • Unlimited access to our brains via zoom or email
  • Elopement planning guide
  • LNT Guide
  • Same day sneak peaks sent to your phone
  • Full gallery delivered within 5 weeks
  • much, much more

Our packages are designed for couples who built their relationship on epic adventures and want to craft an intentional day. Our packages start at a half day and go up to multi-day options perfect for backpacking or combining a traditional wedding with an elopement. However, we do offer the option for a custom built package, we which we most commonly use for Winter elopements in the area.

Current remaining availability for 2024:

  • June 22-30th
  • July 5-20
  • August 3-10
  • September 11-28

Mount Baker Wedding Videos

We also offer video add on to any of our elopement packages. Video is a great way to share your elopement day with those who were not there and/or to simply have for yourselves to re-watch + hear the day.

Below is an example of some of our video work from Jenifer + Taylor’s elopement. They did a two day elopement where day one was spent here in the Mt Baker mountains exploring waterfalls, on horseback and hiking to an incredible spot to share their vows. Day two was spent in Olympic National Park exploring beaches, rainforests and lakes.

A man and woman stand together with their dog with a large mountain in the background

Your Mt Baker Elopement Photographers

We are Traci and Bill, your adventure elopement photographer team. We’re local to Mount Baker and live just down the road from Artist Point! We love these mountains and can not wait to share them with you on your wedding day!

We believe your elopement day should be intentionally crafted around your relationship and how you want to start off your marriage. Just like you, we eloped, on a 6 day backpacking trip! We can not wait to co-create with you and tell your story through timeless images!

“Traci and Bill were an absolute joy to work with. Not only were our photos out of this world gorgeous, but they made the whole day/experience fun and easy yet special and intimate. Their guides, notes, planning and date night suggestions for helping us turn our vision into a reality were so detailed and great and really helped make a situation that could be stressful, fun and into its own adventure! We ended up doing a combo private ceremony in the morning with a family celebration in the afternoon and it was a blast fromg start to finish 🙂 they were a huge huge part of making our day so special – thank you from the bottom of our hearts!!!” – Carmen + James
A couple floats around a glacier in their packraft.

Nearby Locations to Check Out or Have your Honeymoon!

Whether you are looking for other places to get married at or you want to visit different areas or include various adventures, the greater Mount Baker area has so many other spots to explore! There’s a lot of things to do and places to go. That is one of the most wonderful things about eloping in Washington, because there are so many places to go and visit and different things to do you can get married and honeymoon all in one.

The Town of Bellingham, Washington

The closest city with amenities to Mount Baker is in Bellingham, Washington coming from the North side. It’s an hour’s drive but with stunning mountain views the entire way, it really isn’t that bad of a drive. Bellingham is a coastal town, with a port for getting to and from Alaska by water, with lots of outdoor activities as well. Bellingham also has a cheap, short direct flight to Alaska!

The quaint downtown has lots of coffee shops, restaurants, farmers’ markets, shops, and grocery stores. Some of our personal favorites in the area are Makeworth Market for coffee and Black Sheep for tacos and drinks. We highly recommend staying here if you want to be in town or at least stopping by for a visit. If you are visiting the South side of Mt Baker your closest town with amenities is Burlington or Sedro-Woolley, which are lovely, but not as quaint and fun 🙂


Mt Baker (the North Side) is about 10 minutes to an hour away from the Canadian border. Some areas easily accessible from this part of the US to Canada that would be worth the honeymoon trip would be: Vancouver, Whistler, Pinecone Burke Provincial Park and/or the climbing mecca of Squamish.

Mount Rainier

Mount Rainier National Park has miles upon miles of trails, endless waterfalls, stunning glaciers, as well as quieter little nooks. Alpine flower meadows surround Mount Rainier at the higher elevations and beautiful old growth forests grow at slightly lower elevations. We actually eloped at Mount Rainier ourselves

A couple shares their wedding vows with each other at an overlook of Mt Rainier at Sunrise

Olympic National Park

Olympic National Park in Washington offers so much variety when it comes to planning an adventure elopement. As one of the most diverse national parks in the states, it has mountains, beautiful lakes, beaches along the ocean, a rainforest, and a large variety of activities to do. We really think it is underrated as a national park and more people need to come experience the beauty of this place!

A couple holds hands and runs down the beach together as brides fly away.

The San Juan Islands

The San Juan Islands is a super romantic place to elope or spend your honeymoon after being in the mountains with stunning sunsets, beautiful ocean views, and lots to do. You can get married along the beaches, on of of the many trails, or even near a lighthouse. Not to mention boating between islands whale watching as an epic day to end the evening.

a couple looking at each other on kayak, with the sun setting in the background and everything cast in shadows

Leavenworth, Washington

Leavenworth could be described as a Bavarian style village located in the beautiful Cascade Mountain range. The town is known for beer gardens, beer cheese, and pretzels, along with mountain ranges full of skiing, climbing, river floating and hiking. It’s a great year round destination. There’s no shortage of fun adventures along with great places to eat at in Leavenworth!

Leavenworth Elopement Wedding


You may be thinking, hey, that’s a whole different state!!!! Well yes, but you can ride the ferry from Bellingham to Alaska. Or you can take a cruise from Seattle to Alaska. Otherwise flights from Seattle or Vancouver to Alaska are cheap and very short! It is a great way to elope in one state and honeymoon in another! Alaska also has about the same weather as Washington state, so pairing them together is super easy.

A couple explores a glacier as the photographer takes a photo from inside the helicopter.

We can not wait to chat with you about your day!

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