5 Best Forest Elopement Locations in the Pacific Northwest

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bride and groom walking together forest landscape

Imagine saying your vows in the middle of a quiet, peaceful forest, surrounded by lush trees everywhere you look as birds are chirping, the sun rays shining through the foliage. Forest elopements are truly so magical and dreamy, and have so many amazing opportunities for outdoor adventure + to be present in the moment with an insane amount of beauty surrounding you! This is a guide to how to have a forest elopement + the best forest elopement locations in the Pacific Northwest!

bride and groom kissing forest landscape

What is a Forest Elopement?

A forest elopement is simply an elopement ceremony that takes place in the middle of a forest!! Pretty self-explanatory, yeah? 

Here are some more questions about forest elopements that you may be wanting answers to.

Can you elope in a forest?

Heck yeah you can!! As long as the location allows elopement ceremonies and you’re not trespassing on private land, do itttt.

bride and groom holding each other forest landscape

Why elope in a forest?

There are soooo many reasons that eloping in a forest is amazing. Forests in the PNW have a ton of epic trails for hiking, backpacking, & camping, and you can find a cozy Airbnb in the woods or reserve a campsite if you wanna sleep under the canopy + under the starry night sky. Bring your hammocks and gather around a campfire, drink with all your fave people as the trees tower over you, and say your vows in the middle of one of the most magical landscapes that Mother Earth has to offer!

bride and groom reading vows forest landscape

Do you need to get a permit to elope in a forest?

If the forest is located in a national park, you’ll need a Special Use Permit. If it’s a national forest, or a state park, you may need a special permit depending on the rules of that specific forest/park + the number of people you have in your group. You can look on the NPS website or Recreation.gov to find details!

bride and groom hugging forest landscape

Can you have guests at your forest elopement?

Yes!! Forest elopements are great for super intimate elopements, since there usually aren’t big clearings in forests that can fit large groups of people. I would recommend keeping your guest count under 10 so that you can all hike together and fit on the trail + at your ceremony location, while also being respectful of other visitors. Also keep in mind that if you have to get a special permit for your location that there may be group size restrictions you need to follow.

bride and groom holding hands forest landscape

What forest elopement attire should I wear?

There’s too much for me to say in one small paragraph, so check out this Guide to Picking Your Perfect Elopement Outfits for help choosing your forest elopement attire!!

bride and groom kissing forest landscape

5 Best Forest Elopement Locations in the PNW

1. Hoh Rainforest

You’ve probably seen photos of the Hoh Rainforest before, especially if you’ve searched anything like “most beautiful rainforest elopement locations” on Google, because it’s one of the most enchanting, magical rainforests in the freaking country. It’s sooo easy to walk through this lush rainforest, and you’ll be surrounded by moss-covered tree branches and bright green ferns that make you feel like you’re in a literal fairytale. Trust me when I say that exploring the Hoh Rainforest is an absolutely ethereal experience, plus it’s also close to many other stunning locations within Olympic National Park!

2. Mount Rainier National Park

Mount Rainier is honestly one of the most iconic places in all of WA, so you’re probs familiar with it already. It’s covered in snow most of the year, so you’ll definitely want to have your elopement between July and September when all of the snow has melted. You’ll be rewarded with a vast array of amazing hiking trails that cover the mountain and take you through lush trees + fields of purple wildflowers if you time it right! The forests are filled with western hemlocks, western red cedars, and douglas firs with needle-like leaves and provide suchhh an epic backdrop for elopement ceremonies or portraits.

I’m so obsessed with Mount Rainier elopements that I made a whole separate guide for you. If you’re considering eloping in Mount Rainier National Park, check it out here!!

3. Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest

The Mt. Baker area is one of my favorites in the state and is usuallyyy a bit less crowded than Mount Rainier or Olympic National Park. You’ll love the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest if you’re dreaming of eloping among breathtaking glacier-topped peaks, magical mountain meadows, and old-growth forests. 

Peak season at Mt. Baker depends on what your version of “peak” is: it’s one of the most epic skiing destinations in the country, so if you want to incorporate skiing into your elopement, winter is obviously the season for you. But if you want to hike through the amazing meadows & mountains, I recommend eloping between July-August! 

Check out my Mt. Baker Elopement & Wedding Guide for more ‘tails!

4. Mt. Hood National Forest

Moving down south to Oregon!! The Mt. Hood National Forest is sooo dreamy, featuring the iconic & uber-picturesque Mt. Hood. Fun fact, Mt. Hood is actually the highest point & mountain peak in Oregon, and is the second most climbed mountain in the world! The mountain and forest scenery around Mt. Hood is sooo scenic, plus there’s tons of opportunities for outdoor recreation, including hiking, camping, skiing, and fishing. You’ll have no trouble finding a cozy Airbnb in the area or finding a trail that fits the level of challenge you’re lookin’ for! Hood River is also a really adorable town to explore & stay in during your time in the area.

You already know what I’m going to say next – make sure to check out my How to Elope on Mt. Hood guide if you’re considering it for your big day!

bride and groom kissing mt. hood national forest

5. Columbia River Gorge

The amazing landscapes along the Columbia River Gorge are gorgeous and offer both short AND long hikes, so you can easily find an amazing view no matter what length or difficulty of hike you’re willing to do! The forests are so lush and green, and are filled with massive, epic waterfalls literally right off the side of the road (one of my favorites that’s super easily accessible is Latourell Falls). Even if you just drive along the Historic Columbia River Highway you’ll get to see absolutely incredible scenery, and then you can stop wherever you feel like it + venture into the forest.

bride and groom kissing forest landscape

BONUS: Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park

This is a bonus because it’s not technically in Washington or Oregon, but it’s at the tippy-top of California, only 30 minutes south of Brookings, OR. And it’s one of the most beautiful forest elopement locations in the area for sure! The Jedediah Smith Redwoods are the northernmost of Cali’s redwood parks & feature a crazy dense forest of massive old-growth redwoods. Seriously, there’s nothing dreamier than saying your vows under these enormous, vibrant green redwood trees while the birds chirp in the canopy around you!

bride and groom kissing forest landscape

How to Plan a Forest Elopement

1. Pick your favorite forest elopement location

2. Choose a time of year for your elopement

3. Hire your forest elopement photographer & other vendors

4. Invite your guests

5. Get your forest elopement permit

6. Book a cozy Airbnb in the trees

7. Plan fun activities for your elopement day

8. Say your vows beneath the magical canopy & celebrate!!

bride and groom opening champagne forest landscape

Washington & Oregon Forest Elopement Packages

Hiiiiya I’m Bree, a Washington & Oregon forest elopement photographer!! I’m obsessed with couples who elope in the beautiful forests of the PNW and know these amazing forest elopement locations like the back of my hand because of how many elopements I’ve photographed. I’ve even got some more secret spots up my sleeve 😉 If you’re ready to say your vows under a dreamy canopy of trees & hire an adventure elopement photographer to document it, I’m your gal! You can take a look at my packages here and contact me at this link – let’s do thissss.

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