If you’ve been dreaming of holding your adventure elopement at Mount Rainier National Park, then you’ve come to the right place boo!! Here’s your ultimate guide to having a Mount Rainier elopement in 2022, filled to the brim with location ideas, permit info, & sooo much more.
Table of Contents:
- About Mount Rainier National Park
- Most Beautiful Places for a Mount Rainier Wedding
- Getting your Mount Rainier Wedding Permits
- Best Time of Year to Elope at Mount Rainier
- 5 Fun Mount Rainier Elopement Ideas
- Where to Stay in Mount Rainier National Park
- Elopement Packages
- Final Things to Know
- More Washington Adventure Elopement Resources
About Mount Rainier National Park
Where it is
Mount Rainier National Park is one of Washington’s three freaking incredible national parks (yes, THREE – hello Olympic NP & North Cascades NP), located 2 hours from Seattle & 2.5 hours from Portland. The park sits near the west-central part of the state and is a pretty accessible location from all the larger cities on the western side of WA.
How to get there
To get to Mount Rainier National Park by plane, it’s easiest to fly into SeaTac, rent a car, and drive the 2 hours to get to the park. You could also fly into the next closest major airport, PDX in Portland, and drive north 2.5 hours!
There are a few different ways to access Mount Rainier NP by car depending on the entrance you want to go into!
Mount Rainier National Park entrances
- Southwest (Nisqually) Entrance – via SR 706
- Northwest Entrance – via Carbon River Road
- East Entrances
Most Beautiful Places for a Mount Rainier Wedding
Where can I get married at Mount Rainier?
There are so many types of spots to choose from throughout this beautiful national park, including:
- At the top of a mountain
- At a fire lookout
- In an alpine meadow
- Next to the wildflowers
However, it’s important to make sure that the location you choose is somewhere ceremonies are permitted! Most ceremonies (depending on the amount of people involved) are permitted at certain pre-determined occasions such as select trails, picnic areas, & roadside locations. Skip down to the Mount Rainier Wedding Permits section for further permitting deets!
Best Hikes in Mount Rainier National Park
Here are some of the absolute best hiking opportunities throughout Mount Rainier National Park depending on the level of difficulty & length you’re lookin’ for!! Keep in mind that not all of these hikes are permitted for ceremonies, but they’re great for a pre or post-ceremony adventure if you want to take some epic mountain wedding portraits.
- Nisqually Vista Loop – 1.1 miles; easy
- Myrtle Falls Viewpoint – 0.8 miles; easy
- Frozen Lake via Sourdough Ridge Trail – 2.9 miles; easy
- Naches Peak Loop Trail – 3.3 miles; moderate
- Silver Falls Trail – 4 miles; moderate
- Mount Fremont Lookout Trail via Sourdough Ridge Trail – 5.7 miles; moderate
- Glacier Basin Trail – 7.8 miles; moderate
- Skyline Trail Loop – 6.2 miles; hard
Drive-Up Scenic Viewpoints in Mount Rainier National Park
If you’d rather park your car & immediately be at a beautiful location than hike a few miles, I got you!! Luckily Mount Rainier has plenty of scenic spots that don’t require a multi-mile hike, or even a walk more than 10-15 minutes long.
Here are some of the best locations to visit at Mount Rainier that don’t require any hiking, or just take you on an easy 5-15 minute walk!
Getting Your Mount Rainier Wedding Permits
One of the most important aspects of getting married in ANY national park is getting the correct permits for your wedding!! It’s the best way to make sure you can enjoy a safe elopement & familiarize yourself with the park guidelines while also being super respectful of the land you use for your big day. There are a few different passes & permits you need to be prepared to get for your Mount Rainier wedding or elopement!!
Since it’s a national park, Mount Rainier has an entrance fee of $30 per vehicle per week, or you can buy a $55 annual pass instead. You can pay the $30 entrance fee online ahead of time or in-person at a park entrance!
Special Use Permit
If you want to get married at Mount Rainier you’ll need a Special Use Permit, which is basically a permit required for any visitors holding any type of event or activity.
Here’s how to get a Special Use Permit for your Mount Rainier elopement:
- Complete this application form.
- Submit your application form at least 4 weeks in advance via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. But def do it as early as possible to make sure they have enough time to process your application & permit!!
- Once your application is received, they’ll give you instructions on paying the non-refundable $175 application fee
- Once your permit request is approved, you’ll be sent a permit. Sign & return this permit to the park office for final approval!
Make sure you’re respectful of park rules & regulations and help keep the land safe by remembering what’s not allowed at ceremonies within the park:
- Anything that impedes the activities of other park visitors
- Large decorations
- Chairs, tables, tents, etc.
- Throwing confetti, rice, flowers, etc.
- Roping off or blocking any areas to the public
Best Time of Year to Elope at Mount Rainier
Weather is a really important factor when visiting Mount Rainier!! Snow stays at the higher elevations much longer than you probably think it does, and can start pretty dang early on in the fall.
The best time of year to elope at Mount Rainier is typically June-August since those are the absolute safest months where you can avoid snow for the most part at all elevations!
The park is technically open all year, but the weather is warmest in July & August, and that’s also when the wildflowers are blooming.
You’ll want to make sureee you keep an eye on current weather, trail, & road conditions in the time leading up to your elopement, and have a backup plan (or two or three) in place in case snow or bad weather closes off a trail or road you were planning to use!
Use these links to check out current, updated conditions at Mount Rainier NP:
5 Fun Mount Rainier Elopement Ideas
Now that your creative juices are flowin’ and you’re getting excited for your Mount Rainier elopement, it’s time to come up with some fun ideas & activities to incorporate into your day and make it super special!!
There are tonsss of ways you can personalize your elopement day, but here are 5 fun ideas to consider for your big day plus some real-life examples from my past couples!
1. Pack your favorite flasks for a post-ceremony shot
2. Have your first dance in a wildflower meadow (on a marked trail)
3. Host your reception at a nearby Airbnb
4. Revolve your food around the great PNW
5. Have a slow morning in your cabin with coffee, food, & snuggles
Looking for unique ceremony ideas for your Mount Rainier elopement?? Click here to see 8 ideas you can incorporate into your day!!
Where to Stay in Mount Rainier National Park
Airbnb’s Near Mount Rainier
1. Hebe’s Hideout
Guest capacity: 2
- Beds: 1
- Bedrooms: 1
- Baths: 1
Since this cabin only fits 2 people, it’s perf for any couples looking to spend the nights around their elopement alone. So basically it’s a great excuse if you have a parent or friend who desperately wants to share a space with you after your elopement – sorry, there’s only space for two!! 😉
Amenities + features:
- Beautiful patio – a dream for a vow exchange in the woods
- Outdoor firepit – perfect for making s’mores + drinking beers after you say your vows
- Indoor fireplace – cozy up indoors when it’s too chilly to be outside
- Well-stocked kitchen – no need to bring the basics!
- Wi-fi (no cell reception)
- Wood stove
- Cute AF loft-style bedroom
Cost: $167/night + taxes/fees
2. The Little Owl Cabin
Guest capacity: 4
- Beds: 4
Amenities + features:
- Cedar soaking hot tub – come back from your elopement in the mountains to the most beautiful hot tub nestled in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest!! Seriously – you HAVE to see photos of this hot tub (below).
- Outdoor firepit – bring your friends & fam for an evening of celebration
- A gorgeous balcony – sit out on the balcony the morning of your elopement and breathe in alllll the fresh mountain air
- Naturally-lit living room
Cost: starting at $179/night + taxes/fees
3. Chateau Marmot
Guest capacity: 5
- Beds: 7
This one does fit one more person than the Little Owl Cabin, if you have someone extra to bring along 🙂
Amenities + features:
- Cedar soaking hot tub – must I drool over this hot tub again??
- Wooden balcony with deck chairs – perfect for your vow exchange, or just to relax & look out into the woods
- Tons of natural light – there’s no shortage of yummy light here!
- Wood-burning stove
Cost: starting at $179/night + taxes/fees
4. Cozy River Cabin
Guest capacity: 6
- Beds: 3
- Bedrooms: 1
- Bathrooms: 1
Amenities + features:
- Unobstructed river & mountain views
- Wood-burning fireplace
- Large deck
- Modern amenities
- Firepit by the river
Click here to see even more gorgeousss Airbnb cabins in Washington for your elopement!!
Campgrounds at Mount Rainier
Lodges & Resorts at Mount Rainier
Mount Rainier Elopement Packages
Hiiii friend, I’m BreeAnna and I’d freaking love to be your Mount Rainier elopement photographer 😉 Take a look at my Mount Rainier elopement package below & make sure you look at my Services Page for updated package info at the time you inquire!!
When you’re ready to start chatting about all things your dreammmm elopement day, reach out here & let’s start plannin’!
Final Things to Know About Eloping at Mount Rainier
How many guests can we have for our Mount Rainier wedding ceremony?
The amount of guests allowed at your ceremony depends on the location you’re holding it at! This is something you’ll want to talk to the park office about when you’re applying for your permit.
In general here’s what the NPS website says about party sizes:
- 1-12 participants: may use certain pre-determined locations, which may include select trails, picnic areas, roadside locations, and campground amphitheaters.
- 13-24 participants: may use certain pre-determined locations, which may include picnic areas, roadside locations, and campground amphitheaters.
- 25-60 participants: may use certain pre-determined locations, which may include roadside locations and campground amphitheaters.
- 60+ participants: may use campground amphitheaters.
Where are wedding ceremonies allowed at Mount Rainier?
Aaand this depends on how many guests you have!! You’ll be able to hold your ceremony at lots more spots if it’s just the two of you, but if you bring guests along you’ll be restricted to certain trails & areas within the park. Ask the park office about this when you apply for your permit 🙂
Are dogs allowed at Mount Rainier National Park?
Sadly pets are prohibited on all trails & wilderness areas at Mount Rainier NP 🙁 But you can totally hang out with your pet(s) at a nearby Airbnb if you rent one for getting ready, or for your reception!
More Washington Adventure Elopement Resources
Lookin’ for more top-notch PNW elopement resources & inspo?? I got you covered!!
Oh wow. Mount Rainer looks like such an incredible place to elope!
This is incredible Bree!! So many amazing photos and the info is so helpful!! Mount Rainier is so beautiful!!
wow Mount Rainier looks like a gorgeous place to elope! love your ideas!
What a great guide for couples considering a Mt. Rainier elopement! I love all the gorgeous spots and images you shared as well! Mt. Rainier is the best!
This is a great guide! I absolutely love all of your images with the mountains and the cabin recommendations are amazing!
From location ideas to permit info and lodging suggestions there is so much helpful info! Mt. Rainer National Park looks like the perfect place for an elopement – all of your photos are beautiful!
wow! This Mount Rainer Elopement Guide is jam-packed with some amazing information!
You nailed this guide! I love all of your cabin suggestions, the info on hikes that you provided, and all of these gorgeous photos!
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