Mount Rainier Elopement Guide

Mount Rainier Elopement Guide

The Complete Guide to An Epic Mount Rainier National Park Elopement!

One of our favorite parts about Mount Rainier National Park (and it’s a long list!) is the fact that the park is accessible year-round. No matter the time of year, you can plan a beautiful elopement at Mount Rainier. Located two hours south of Seattle, Mount Rainier National Park is home to the active volcano of the same name and the most glaciated peak in the contiguous U.S. It’s also home to world-famous wildflower fields that magnificently bloom at the end of each summer. 

So why elope in Mount Rainier National Park? Well, there’s something for everyone in this national park: peaceful alpine lakes, old growth forests, sprawling subalpine wildflower meadows, isolated fire lookouts, and countless hiking trails for all levels. You’ll be able to find the perfect spot to spend some time with your partner in Mount Rainier.

Your Mount Rainier Elopement Checklist

Your Mount Rainier Elopement Checklist

  • Step One
  • Step Two
  • Step Three
  • Step Four
  • Step Five
  • Step Six

Find Your Mount Rainier Elopement Photographer

We highly recommend finding a photographer first to make sure that he or she is available during the timeframe that you plan to elope in Washington. We recommend choosing a photographer that you feel relaxed and confident that you’ll be able to be your natural selves. Every photographer has a different approach to how they capture moments throughout the day, so we think that it’s a good idea to ask how the photographer will guide you throughout the entire experience.

Our photography style is documentary focused to create a safe space for you and your other half to share authentic moments on your wedding day. We create a balance of guiding you if we have a specific vision for a shot, and allowing you both to melt into a private moment or experience. Our goal is to make you feel as if you’re adventuring with good friends that happen to take epic photos as we explore together!

Choosing the Best Time of Year to Visit Mount Rainier

The best time to elope in Mount Rainier National Park is July, August, and September because it’s the time of year with the best weather! These three months have minimal amounts of rain and few cloudy days, especially compared to other months. It’s the perfect time to enjoy all the park has to offer, from sprawling fields, alpine lakes, seas of wildflowers, and so much more!

Mount Rainier National Park is famous for its gorgeous, sprawling fields of vibrant wildflowers. Avalanche lilies, paintbrush, asters, daisies, cinquefoil, fireweed, purple shooting stars – there are so many beautiful flower fields! Fun fact: Mount Rainier has 16 different trails around popular wildflower areas for prime wildflower viewing! 

If you’re looking for the perfect winter wonderland elopement, Mount Rainier is THE spot. This national park is low key, basically Narnia during the winter, and the region has lots spots that will provide a magical backdrop to your vows.

Book other wedding services

We will provide a detailed guide for you immediately after booking with us! The elopement guide will have our recommendations from years of visiting this incredible part of the country. We’ve worked with several other wedding vendors that we highly recommend, which helps speed up your research process and allows you to book whichever vendor that you connect with the most.

We do not recommend booking an all-in-one elopement package because it doesn’t allow you to have options. We’ll share recommendations for videographers, officiants, florists, hair + makeup artists, musicians, and specialty bakeries.

How to Get Your Marriage License for Your Mount Rainier Elopement

One of the most crucial steps in planning your Mount Rainier elopement is the marriage license! But before we get into that, you’ll need to decide whether you want to get legally married in Washington or your home state. If you plan to get legally married in Washington, we’ll file your paperwork in King County. Plus, we can file the paperwork online to make the whole process faster! 

Fun fact about Washington marriage licenses: you can get your license from any county, and the license will be valid in any part of Washington. The only thing you need to do is return the license to the country by mail or in-person drop off. Regardless of where you want to file, Washington state has a three day waiting period for marriage licenses. Licenses cost $69 and the fee is nonrefundable. Once you receive your license, it will be valid for the next 60 days. 

In Washington, you’ll need an ordained officiant to sign your marriage license as well as two witnesses to sign your license. We can sign as your witness, of course!

How to Obtain a Mount Rainier Wedding Ceremony Permit

If you’re planning to elope in Mount Rainier National Park, you’ll need a special use permit for the park for the “special event.” Here’s what you need to know: 

  • You’ll need to fill out a Special Park Uses application
  • Pay the $50 non-refundable application fee online
  • You’ll then receive your official, signed Mount Rainier National Park wedding permit to bring on your wedding day!

You can do this up to a year in advance! It takes officials around a month to process the paperwork, so don’t get too worried if the process takes a while. Sound overwhelming? Don’t worry, it’s not! We’re here to help you with the whole process, so don’t get too stressed out about fees and paperwork and technicalities.

How to get to Mount Rainier

There are a few different ways to get to Mount Rainier National Park, depending on the type of adventure you want to plan. 

For the most direct route, opt to fly into Seattle’s Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and rent a car for your road trip. You can spend a few nights in Seattle, or head directly to the national park. The drive to the Carbon River park entrance will take around two hours. 

If we pick a spot on the southwestern side of the park, near the Stevens Canyon park entrance, you may want to consider flying into Spokane, Washington. From Spokane, you will need to rent a car and drive four hours to the park entrance. 

You can also fly into Portland International Airport, spend a few days in the quirky city, and road trip up to Mount Rainier. It’ll take around three hours to get to the Nisqually park entrance with plenty of beautiful sights along the way!

Best Places to Stay Near Mount Rainier

Best Places to Stay Near Mount Rainier

Our Top 6 Accommodation Recommendations

Cougar Rock Campground

Located on the southwest side of the park, Cougar Rock Campground is a popular jumping off point for some amazing areas in the park.

A-Frame Cabin

This insane A-Frame cabin, right by the river, comes with plenty of space for a small, intimate gathering.

National Park Inn

The historic National Park Inn, located inside the park for perfect access to the Paradise area

Paradise Inn

Designated as one of the “Great Lodges of the West,” Paradise Inn is a relaxing getaway with direct access to several trails.

Deep Forest Cabins

Deep Forest Cabins are located adjacent to the park, nestled into an old growth forest with serene forest views.

The Cornerstone Cabin

If you’re looking for a spot with a bit more space, the Cornerstone Cabin can sleep up to 8 people in the sweet getaway – and it has a hot tub, of course!

Best Activities for your Mount Rainier Elopement

Best Activities for your Mount Rainier Elopement

Top 6 Activities Near Mount Rainier

Enjoy the Gondola

If you’re not planning to hike much during your elopement, take a ride up the gondola and enjoy some of the stunning mountain top views in the park! At the top, you can enjoy a nice lunch or dinner at Summit House. The gondola operates year round, and you can enjoy wildflower fields in the summer and snowy peaks in the winter. 

Ride Mount Rainier Scenic Railroad

All abroad!! This 18-mile scenic ride on this vintage logging locomotive takes you through the countryside near the mountains. It’s no luxurious train, but it’s such a fun atmosphere and it’s a wonderful option to see the park in a completely different light. 

Take a Horseback Ride

Take a horseback ride: Giddy up! One amazing way to explore the countryside? Horseback! There are a number of different options for scenic horseback rides through the mountains, from trail rides in the valley to longer trails through the mountains.

Zip Lining Through the Park

Zip lining through the park: Zip lining isn’t just for kids… This adventure park offers zip lining, log bridges, tightropes, and more, no matter your desired adventure adrenaline level.

Try a Snow Activity

Snow activities: If you’re planning a winter trip, check out some of the skiing, snowboarding, cross country skiing, sledding, or snowshoeing in Mount Rainier! The snowy season has so many awesome winter activities, no matter your skill level.

Go Fishing

Fishing: Mount Rainier is home to several major rivers, and one of the coolest ways to take in the serene nature is fishing. You can go fishing in one of the many lakes or rivers in the park.

Even if you don’t see your perfect adventure here, we can plan out the best elopement no matter what you have in mind!

Best Places to Have Your Wedding Ceremony

Best Places to Have Your Wedding Ceremony

Top Places to Elope Near Mount Rainier

A Fire Lookout

Pick a fire lookout! Only four fire towers remain in Mount Rainier National Park, one at each corner of the park. These fire lookouts require a bit of a hike to reach, but the views are outstanding! Washington State’s fire lookouts have been popular for decades for everyone from elopement couples to day hikers. These spots can offer a really private, secluded mountain top elopement spot for hikers willing to make the trek – and in some cases, we can even book these in advance! 


A Scenic Lookout Point

If you’re not looking to hike very long, Mount Rainier has a number of easily accessible lookout points. Lookout points around the park provide a great way to get an absolutely epic view with minimal effort – sometimes, the view is just a few steps from your car! This is a great option if you plan to have a few guests, or need something more accessible. The Scenic Byways Loop has a ton of great spots on the drive!

Wildflower Fields

Mount Rainier is famous for their amazing wildflower fields, so this might seem like an obvious choice – but hear us out. The wildflower meadows at Mount Rainier National Park are literally once-in-a-lifetime. Avalanche lilies, paintbrush, asters, daisies, cinquefoil, fireweed, purple shooting stars – what better place to say your vows? If you’re dying to elope among the wildflowers, keep reading for more about wildflower season!

The Paradise Area

Mount Rainier’s Paradise area is one of the most popular areas in the park – for a reason. The park’s busiest and most dramatic visitor center offers such a dramatic and stunning view to the park. Paradise is nestled into the southern slopes on the volcano among wildflower meadows. You’ll find snowfields, fir groves, hemlock groves, and absolutely incredible views. There’s really no place as beautiful! 


Elope lakeside: Mount Rainier has so many gorgeous lakes tucked away in the park! Eloping lakeside can be a perfect way to pick a more isolated spot. We can work together to find the perfect lake, depending on how much you want to hike. Tipsoo Lake, Sheep Lake, and Reflection Lake are some of our favorite, more easily accessible lakes – but there are dozens we have flagged for elopement destinations! 


Best restaurants to celebrate your elopement

Best restaurants to celebrate your elopement

Top 5 Dining Experiences Near Mount Rainier

Snorting Elk Cellar

The Austrian-inspired Snorting Elk Cellar by Crystal Mountain has more casual dining options with a great selection of draft beers. Give their specialty pizzas or tall order nachos a shot!

Summit House Restaurant

Summit House Restaurant is Washington’s highest restaurant, and the views are out of this world! They serve up locally sourced, elevated meals for a nicer meal out.

White Pass Tacqueria

The casual White Pass Tacqueria serves up delicious TexMex-style food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Charlie's Cafe

The cozy Charlie’s Cafe makes a sweet spot before (or after) your way through the park.

National Park Inn

If you’re not staying at National Park Inn, consider stopping by their casual dining room or a relaxing meal. They cook with local, organic food and their menu features home-style dishes.


Chinook Coffee Company

Chinook Coffee Company is an adorable little spot with amazing coffee and homemade pastries near Crystal Mountain.

Bullwheel Pub

Check out Bullwheel Pub for that upscale, apres-ski vibe and classic Canadian comfort food.

Sift & Gather

If you want a wedding cake, big or small, we’d recommend checking out Sift & Gather. This Olympia-based bakery makes some absolutely gorgeous (and tasty!) cakes. They also make huge cinnamon rolls which may or may not be worth the extra room in your bag, too.