How to Elope at Mt. Baker: Permits, Best Locations, & More

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bride and groom holding hands mount baker

Baker? I hardly know her!! 😉 Ok ok enough of that, I think I’m funny sometimes. Today I’m gonna give ya all the deets that you need to know about eloping at one of Washington’s most epic landscapes, Mt. Baker & the surrounding Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest!! You should leave this blog post with all the info + knowledge about how to elope at Mt. Baker, from the best Mt. Baker elopement locations to how to get your Mt. Baker wedding permits alllll the way to the best Airbnbs near Mt. Baker to cozy up in.

Ready to see why I love this part of Washington soooo much, and to get some photo inspiration for your own Mt. Baker adventure elopement??

couple holding hands mount baker

Best Places to Elope at Mt. Baker

First let’s explore 6 of the best places to elope at Mt. Baker.

1. Picture Lake

The name pretty much says it all. Picture Lake is a, well, picturesque lake that you access via a quick & easy 0.6 mile round trip trail. You only gain 45 feet of elevation and this “hike” will literally take you 10 minutes each way (if not less), and gives you some of the most beautiful views of Mt. Shuksan out there!! Picture Lake is pretty hard to beat for its ease of access + stunning scenery with barely any effort required. It’s a great one to visit with any guests you have at your elopement who may not be able to do a major hike, and is extraaa beautiful in the fall thanks to the foliage surrounding the lake.

Wanna see what your Mt. Baker elopement at Picture Lake could actually look like?? Check out Marissa & Stanley’s elopement – they said their vows at Picture Lake after getting ready in a super cozy A-frame cabin in the woods. Talk about a dreamyyyy mountain elopement for the books.

bride and groom reading vows mount baker

2. Artist Point

Artist Point is probably the first location you’ll come across when you search “where to go at Mt. Baker.” And for good reason. Artist Point is located at the end of the Mt. Baker Highway and boasts absolutely epic views of Mt. Shuksan, Mt. Baker, and even the jagged peaks of the North Cascades. You’ll want to elope at Artist Point during the summer, as the last 1.8 miles of the highway to Artist Point closes off for the winter, often staying closed through the first part of the summer & closing down as early as the beginning of fall. There are a few trails nearby that you can take, but the most popular is the 2.9-mile Heather Meadows & Artist Point Trail loop. Make sure you bring snowshoes if you’re unsure of whether there’ll be snow on the trail or not!

bride and groom kissing mount baker

3. Chain Lakes Loop

If you’re avid hikers and are looking for more of a challenging adventure to get to your ceremony spot, Chain Lakes Loop is an epic option!! The trail is 6.5 miles total with 1,900 feet of elevation gain, making it moderately difficult & typically completed in around 4 hours. You’ll get great views of the Chain Lakes, Mt Baker, & Iceberg Lake, as well as Mt. Shuksan & the North Cascades. It’s also an amazing trail for wildflower viewing in the spring/early summer! There are two loop options: one starting at Artist Point, and one starting from the Austin Pass/Heather Meadows area. Take whichever one you want!

4. Winchester Mountain Lookout

The hike up to Winchester Mountain Lookout is phenomenallll from start to finish. It’s less than 2 miles to get up to the lookout, a total of 3.4 miles round trip, with a moderately-challenging 1,300 feet of elevation gain. The panoramic views at the top are so worth the journey, where you can see manyyy different mountain peaks + the Twin Lakes. If you want to take this hike, make sure you have a high clearance vehicle (four wheel drive is even better) so you can access the road to the trailhead – or be ready to park a ways away from the trailhead + walk an extra 2.5 miles along the road each way.

Jared & Cameron chose Winchester Mountain Lookout for their elopement ceremony and hot damn was it a good choice. You can see their full Washington Mountain Elopement here to get a feel for what Winchester Mountain Lookout looks like as an elopement ceremony location!

couple eloping mount baker

5. Fire & Ice Trail at Heather Meadows

The Fire & Ice Trail at Heather Meadows is one of the more popular trails in the area, since it’s super short & easy to access and complete. You can park at the Heather Meadows parking area (where there’s bathrooms, picnic tables, & pretty views right away), and then take the 0.5 mile round trip trail through the alpine meadows and lush greenery. It’s an interpretive trail, so it’s great for learning more about the Mt. Baker landscape and how everything around you was formed!

bride and groom hiking at mount baker

6. Skyline Divide

Finally, the Skyline Divide Trail is another awesome hike option if you’re down for a longer (& steeper) adventure. It’s considered a challenging route, so be prepared to get a bit of a workout in – I definitely recommend changing into your elopement attire once you get to the top because you will notttt want to do this hike in a tight-fitting dress or suit. It’s 7.2 miles long out & back with a nearly 2,500-foot elevation gain, so it’s def not a trail for the faint of heart. The journey is SO worth it though for the incredible mountain views you get at the top – trust me, you won’t want to go back down!

couple holding hands mount baker

Where to Stay for Your Mt. Baker Elopement

Airbnb’s + Cabins Near Mt. Baker

No matter which of the rad cabins you choose from the list below, you’ll end up with a cozy place to stay in the middle of a luscious green forest, listening to birds chirping all around ya. Highly recommend choosing one that has an outdoor hot tub for some nighttime R&R + stargazing!!

bride and groom kissing at cabin

Where to Camp Near Mt. Baker

Wanna literally sleep under the stars instead of having a warm cabin with a bed & blankets to crawl under? Check out some of the best campgrounds near Mt. Baker below and get ready to pack up that tent + sleeping bag.

couple drinking champagne

When to Elope at Mt. Baker

Generally speaking, the best time to elope at Mt. Baker is between June-August. This is because the mid-late summer is when you’ll have the best chance of sunny, clear skies to get those mountain views you’re dreaming of, and wildflower season will be upon us! Trust me, nothing beats the wildflower meadows of Washington in the summertime. Summer is also when the entire road up to Artist Point will be open, unless there’s some crazy early snowfall that closes the road off before mid-late September, or snow that stays on the ground into late spring. You can monitor the status of the Mt. Baker Highway here!

couple kissing in grass

Best Times to Elope at Mt. Baker For. . .

Clear skies (for those mountains viewsss): June – August

Wildflowers: June – August

Fall colors: Late September – early October (before the road to Artist Point closes for the season)

Fog (because misty skies can be magical, too): Early mornings between August – March

bride and groom hiking at mount baker

When NOT to Elope at Mt. Baker:

In the winter! Unless you want to go skiing, snowshoeing, or incorporate other winter activities into your elopement, I’d suggest avoiding winter due to all the snow Mt. Baker gets. You won’t be able to access higher elevations and most of the trails will be covered + not walkable.

couple hiking at mount baker

FAQ’s About Getting Married at Mt. Baker

Can you get married at Mt. Baker?

Yes, yes, 1000x yes you can get married at Mt. Baker! I’ve photographed sooo many couples at Mt. Baker, so I’ve seen just how amazing of an elopement location it really is. It also makes for a great place for engagement photos, anniversary photos, you name it!

bride and groom getting married at mount baker

Do you need a permit to get married at Mt. Baker?

You don’t need a permit to get married at Mt. Baker UNLESS you’re having a wedding that involves 75 people or more (which, let’s be honest, is way too big of a realistic group size for a hiking elopement). If you are having that many people then you need to get a Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest Special Use Permit.

You also need to make sure you get your Washington marriage license, which you can learn more about here!

couple hiking near mount baker

Do you need a pass to access Mt. Baker?

You may need a Northwest Forest Pass to access certain trailheads & parking areas, which you can purchase for either day-use or annual use.

bride and groom holding each other at mount baker

Can I bring my dog to Mt. Baker?

Hell yeah you can! Most trails in the Mt. Baker area allow dogs on leashes to tag along, so bring your 4-legged bestie(s) along with you. Just double check the details for whatever hike(s) you’re planning to take, to make sure that specific trail allows pets!

bride and groom kissing in forest

Mt. Baker Elopement Packages + Pricing

Hiii it’s me, your Mt. Baker adventure elopement photographer, hiking buddy, friendly neighborhood cat lady. . . whatever you wanna call me. If you want to find out how I can help you take the stress out of your elopement, guide you through the process of planning your dream day, and what it looks like to invest in me as your elopement photographer, check out my Mt. Baker elopement packages + services! I can’t wait to hear all about what your dream elopement looks like and to help you make it happen.

For more insight into how much a Mt. Baker elopement might cost ya, head to my recent blog post where I answer the question you’ve been asking from the beginning: How Much Does it Cost to Elope in Washington State?

couple kissing silhouette

More Epic Washington State Elopement Locations

Because there are sooo many incredible places in WA to elope, it can be really hard to narrow it down and figure out where the hell to go. I’ve been doing this for a while now, so I can confidently say I’m somewhat of an expert in Washington elopement locations 😉 Take a look at more of my fave locations + elopement guides below!

Ultimate Guide to the 7 Best Places to Elope in Washington State

10 of the Best Trails in Washington State for a Hiking Elopement

Your Guide to Having a Mount Rainier Elopement

  1. Oh wow! What a great guide for eloping on Baker!

  2. Kathy Unkie says:

    mt baker is my favorite mountain!

  3. […] out my Mt. Baker Elopement & Wedding Guide for more […]

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