How to elope

Where to elope



Content Day

How to Elope at Diablo Lake

couple twirling at diablo lake

Table of Contents:

diablo lake couple kissing

YOU GUYS I am OBSESSED with this Washington lake: Diablo Lake! Have you heard of her before?? It’s one of the prettiest lakes in the PNW and also one of the 3 lakes that provide electricity to Seattle. So she’s pretty important! But anyway – Diablo Lake is defs one of the best places to elope in the North Cascades National Park. Here’s the full guide for you on how to elope at Diablo Lake!

I’ve compiled all my best tips + advice based on the Diablo Lake elopements I’ve photographed over the years, from the best time of year to elope at Diablo Lake to the coziest, cutest places to stay nearby. Let’s jump right in (pun intended lol)!!

For even more bomb AF locations near Diablo Lake, check out my guide to the Best Places to Elope in the North Cascades!

elopement at diablo lake

Where is Diablo Lake?

Okay, so where even IS this lake?! Diablo Lake is a lake that sits right along the Skagit river, inside of the North Cascades National Park. Not only is the blue lake itself SUPER gorgeous and vibrant, but the mountains surrounding it make for a truly breathtaking landscape. The turquoise-hued water reflecting the mountains on a clear day is seriously unreal! Also there are plenty of hikes & biking trails nearby as well as campsites and boat launches if you want to do a little more exploring.

Diablo Lake is located at an elevation of 1,201 feet above sea level. So if you want to find a place to stay in Concrete or Rockport & explore the charming little towns, Diablo Lake is a perf place to hit up for your elopement. And if you’re coming from Seattle, Diablo Lake is about a 3-hour drive.

diablo lake eloping couple
couple drinking champagne at diablo lake

Diablo Lake Elopement FAQ’s

Can you get married at Diablo Lake?

Yes! I would hope I wouldn’t be writing this blog post if you couldn’t get married there, lol.

Do you need a permit to get married at Diablo Lake?

Yup, you’ll need an North Cascades Park entry pass and a Special Use Permit. Skip down to this section for the ‘tails!!

Can you swim in Diablo Lake?

Yes you can!! If you elope at Diablo Lake in the summer, I definitely recommend jumpin’ in for a swim or bringing a boat/paddle board/canoe out on the water to enjoy the view from the water.

Are dogs allowed at Diablo Lake?

Pets are allowed on a leash within the Ross Lake and Lake Chelan National Recreation Areas. Pets are also allowed on most surrounding national forest lands.

diablo lake elopement

Why Elope at Diablo Lake?

There are sooo many reasons to elope at Diablo Lake, but here are a few of the top ones to help you decide if it’s the right place for you (besides the amazing views, because that’s a pretty obvious one).

1. It’s easy to access

One of the biggest pros of eloping at Diablo Lake is that it’s super easy to access, especially compared to some of the other adventurous locations inside of North Cascades National Park, or the locations that require a hike to reach. So if you and your guests need an accessible location for your ceremony, orrrrrrrrr you just don’t feel like hike, then Diablo Lake is perf! There’s an ADA-accessible ranger station as well as restrooms nearby!

diablo lake elopement

2. There are lots of other gorgeous locations nearby

YOU GUYS KNOW that I love when couples hit up multiple locations for their elopement: maybe one place for their first look, another for their ceremony, and a third for sunset portraits. It’s tons of fun to explore different locations and to get a variety of photos + experiences on your elopement day! So the fact that Diablo Lake is close to other amazing locations in North Cascades National Park is a huge plus. 

Some other cool spots within a about an hour drive of Lake Crescent:

couple eloping at diablo lake

3. It’s close to Winthrop

Finally, I love that Diablo Lake is so close to Winthrop (about a 1 hour drive) because it’s a super cute little town to stay in, or just to explore during your time in the area. If you and your guests are looking for things to do before or after your actual elopement, you can walk around town and check out some of the old hotels, yummy local restaurants, and find more spots with beautiful scenery!

diablo lake couple elopement
diablo lake couple elopement

When to Elope at Diablo Lake

Now that you know why you should elope at Diablo Lake, when should you elope at Diablo Lake?

In the summertime Diablo Lake is such a fun place to go! Since it is water in the middle of a mountain range it gets pretty chilly, easily once temperatures drop. Def not a place you want to go swimming in the middle of the winter unless you’re down for a polar bear plunge – in which case, GO FOR IT BABBYYYY & I’ll stay warm while grabbing all the good pics haha!

So if you want warm weather & want to be able to enjoy time out on the water, you should elope at Diablo Lake in the summer, between June-August.

If you want to avoid crowds as much as possible and you’re not looking to take a swim after you say your vows (and you don’t mind snow), elope at Diablo Lake in the winter, between November-February.

bride and groom eloping at diablo lake
couple eloping at diablo lake
couple eloping at diablo lake

As far as what time of day to elope at Diablo Lake, I’d recommend having your Diablo Lake elopement ceremony in the late afternoon, if you want to take sunset portraits at the lake afterward.

If you want to say your vows on the lake and then drive to Washington Pass for sunset portraits instead, then you’ll want to elope around mid-afternoon to give yourselves time to make the drive in time for sunset.

If you elope during the summer (busy season!) and want to get away from crowds, have your ceremony earlier in the morning when all the tourists aren’t quite out yet.

Couple eloping at Diablo Lake

Diablo Lake Elopement Permits

Ok baby let’s talk permits!! Because yeah, you do need a specific permit to elope at Diablo Lake, since it’s part of a national park. Here are the two things you’ll need to get to have your elopement ceremony at Diablo Lake.

America is Beautiful Pass

First, you’ll need to get the America is Beautiful Pass to even get into the park. If you visit multiple national parks in a year, you’ll love the America the Beautiful Pass, which costs $80 and covers entry into any national park & federal recreational land!

Note that you’ll have to print your entry pass and bring it with you to enter the park.

Special Use Permit

Next, you’ll need a North Cascades National Park Special Use Permit to hold your elopement/wedding in the park. You’ll need to fill out this application form, pay the non-refundable processing fee of $50-100, and submit the application to the park. If you have any questions, you can email the park office!!

couple eloping at diablo lake
couple eloping at diablo lake

Where to Stay Near Diablo Lake

Airbnbs Near Diablo Lake

And here are some amazingggg Airbnbs near Diablo Lake that would be so rad for just the two of you, or you and a few of your fav guests to stay in for your elopement!

If you’re still considering other parts of WA for your elopement, def check out my blog post featuring 5 of the Best Airbnbs in Washington State for Elopements!

airbnbs near diablo lake
airbnbs near diablo lake

5 Fun Diablo Lake Elopement Ideas

Here are 5 ideas for your Diablo Lake Elopement to make your day as special and FUN as possible at this amazing location!

1. Bring kayaks/paddleboards/boats for you & your guests

2. Have a lakeside picnic on the dock (or on the beach)

3. Pop a bottle of champagne at sunset

4. Hike to Blue Lake

5. Have a first dance in the forest nearby

couple floating on diablo lake on their elopement day
couple floating on diablo lake on their elopement day

Diablo Lake Elopement Outfit Inspiration

I wanted to include a few photos showing off couples who have recently eloped at Diablo Lake to give you some outfit inspo! Since this is a beachy location, I loveee flowy, casual outfits that embrace the carefree lake vibes – but it’s totally up to you and your style, of course!

For more elopement outfit inspo & tips, check out my Guide to Picking Your Perfect Elopement Outfits!

couple standing at diablo lake saying their vows

Diablo Lake Elopement Photographer

Alrightttt so now that you’ve learned all about Diablo Lake and why it’s such an epic elopement location, you might be looking for a Diablo Lake elopement photographer to document your day here 😉 I’d love to tag along and capture all the magic for you!! Reach out to me here and let’s hang!

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