Elope in North Cascades National Park
There are so many beautiful places to explore in the Pacific Northwest, and North Cascades National Park has it all! When you plan a North Cascades elopement, you’ll find lush old-growth forests, mountain peaks with incredible views, and brilliant blue glacial lakes – the perfect place to say “I do!”
From deciding when to tie the knot to getting a permit for your ceremony, this North Cascades Elopement Guide will tell you everything you need to know about having a North Cascades National Park wedding.
From secluded valleys to towering peaks, there are so many places to get married in the Cascades – each bringing its own adventure. Whether you want to go kayaking on Lake Chelan, hike to see alpine glaciers, or check out the cascading waterfalls, there are tons of beautiful places for you to say your vows! Here are a few of the best North Cascades elopement locations to help you narrow it down.
For a gorgeous loop trail with vast alpine meadows and lakes, Heather-Maple Pass Loop is the perfect spot for your elopement! Snow covers the trail in the winter, but when it melts in the summer, you’ll see fields of wildflowers through the valley. The hike is 7.2 miles round-trip, giving you plenty of spots to say “I do” and take your photos with stunning backdrops. This hike is especially amazing in the fall, in the few weeks when the larches show their bright yellow needles!
This North Cascades elopement location is one of the best places in the park to reach alpine peaks and glacial views. At 6.7 miles out and back, the Cascade Pass Trail is one of the most beautiful trails in the park. The trail gets snowy in the winter – and sometimes until July – so it’s great for snowshoeing or cross-country skiing. At other times of the year it can get pretty crowded on the weekends, so planning for a sunrise or sunset elopement can help!
Though not inside the park itself, Stehekin is a small town on the northern end of Lake Chelan. Because no roads go into the town, it’s only accessible by boat, plane, horseback, or on foot. Once you arrive, you can explore one of the gorgeous trails and check out all the charming little shops – just make sure to have a plan before you go since there’s usually no cell signal once you arrive!
Another incredible location that’s not exactly in the park, but super close and absolutely worth the drive is Artist Point. Sitting at the end of Mt. Baker Highway, just past the seasonal ski resort, you’ll find a 360-degree view of the Cascades. Though there are multiple trails that begin at this parking lot, you don’t have to go far to find jaw-dropping views – which is perfect if you and your partner aren’t big hikers! The road from the ski resort to Artist Point is covered in snow between November and June, so you’ll have to snowshoe up if you want to catch a glimpse of those winter mountain views.
Because there’s such a dramatic elevation change, you’ll want to know what to expect in each season. To help you figure out what the best time for your elopement in the North Cascades is, I’ll tell you a little bit about each one!
The North Cascades turn into a snowy wonderland in the winter, especially in higher elevations. This means that many of the roads will close, like the road to Artist Point, so once you decide where you want to elope, it’s important to look at the typical conditions for your wedding day. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can go snowshoeing or cross-country skiing to reach some of those snowy spots!
Spring in the North Cascades brings lots of rain in the mountains, and fields of wildflowers! The snow starts to melt in lower elevations, but higher elevations can have snow throughout the spring – this can cause avalanches, though, so make sure to stay safe. Since the weather is starting to warm up, this is a great time for a North Cascades elopement!
The best time for a North Cascades elopement is summer! By July, all of the snow has melted from most of the trails so if you’re looking to go into the mountains, you’ll have the most luck in late summer. This time of year is also drier and much warmer than the rest of the year, especially east of the mountains, so if you want to avoid rainy weather, summer will be your best bet! The only downside to eloping in the North Cascades in the summer is that it’s also the most popular time to visit the park, so you’ll want to plan your elopement for a weekday or at sunrise or sunset to avoid the crowds!
Warm shades of reds and yellows cover the mountains and valleys in the fall, creating a beautiful backdrop for tying the knot! It doesn’t start snowing until late fall, so you should be able to reach some of the higher peaks for most of the season. This is also a great time to avoid crowds since peak season typically ends after early September!
If you want to have your ceremony in the park when you elope in the North Cascades, you’ll need to get a special use permit from the National Park Service. I would recommend applying for your permit as soon as you can, either as soon as you decide on a date or when the application opens for your date, so the day that you want for your elopement is available and you don’t run into any hiccups as you get closer to your ceremony. Certain locations have specific requirements to get married there so you can contact the Park Service Office for more information. You’ll have to pay the non-refundable $50 application fee when you apply for your permit!
Planning weddings, no matter how small, is a big deal! That’s why I’ve made it my number one priority to help you every step of the way!
My North Cascades National Park elopement packages are specially curated for you to help make your wedding day go smoothly – from permit processes to making a timeline, you can count on me to make your elopement a breeze!
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