If you haven’t been to Mt. Rainier, can you even say you’ve been to Washington? Mt. Rainier National Park is one of the most breathtaking places in the country. Just imagine drinking coffee on the porch at an a-frame cabin surrounded by evergreens, followed by an epic ceremony overlook Mt. Rainier herself, only to end the night walking hand-in-hand throughout the wildflower-lined trails. If this sounds like a dream, it can be a reality at a place like Mt. Rainier.

Whether you’re looking for the best places to elope in Mt. Rainier, closest towns, or how to obtain a permit for your elopement, you’ve come to the right place. This is the ultimate Mt. Rainier National Park elopement planning guide.

Why Elope in Mt. Rainier National Park?

Let’s face it. You have endless locations to choose from when it comes to choosing an elopement location, so why should you choose Mt. Rainier? Well, it has over 25 glaciers, 250 miles of hiking trails, and is the tallest mountain in the contiguous United States, but those aren’t the only reasons you should consider eloping in the park…

It’s Close to Seattle

Mt. Rainier is only 1.5 hours away from Seattle. If you’re flying in from out of state or have friends and family members flying in for your elopement, Mt. Rainier is a great location to choose due to it’s short driving distance from the city.

It Has Lots of Diverse Landscapes

Whether you love wildflower meadows and alpine lakes or mountaintop peaks and old-growth forests, you can find them all in Mt. Rainier National Park. This means lots of variety in your wedding photos!

Tons of No-Hiking-Required Locations

If you’re not into hiking or simply want an accessible location for friends and family, Mt. Rainier has a gold mine of locations that require no hiking whatsoever.

Amazing Wildflowers and Fall Colors

Mt. Rainier experiences all 4 seasons. Take advantage of the incredible wildflower meadows in August or visit in October to find yourself surrounded by reds, oranges, and yellows.

How to Elope in Mt. Rainier National Park in 9 Easy Steps

I’ll cover each step of this process more in-depth, but for now, here’s a quick overview of everything you need to do in order to elope in Mt. Rainier. Feel free to click on any step below to jump to that specific section.

  1. Choose your location
  2. Choose your season
  3. Book your vendors
  4. Get your permit
  5. Book your travel, activities, and lodging
  6. Get your marriage license
  7. Create a timeline
  8. Prepare and know the important information
  9. Elope!
A couple in wedding attire hugging and laughing in front of Mt. Rainier.

2024 Update – Timed Entry Reservations Are Required

If you’re visiting the park in the summer of 2024, you will need to purchase a timed entry reservation. This applies if you’re visiting the Sunrise or Paradise corridor. Due to crowding, traffic, and damage to the meadows, Mt. Rainier is testing out a new reservation system to see if this will help.

Technically, if you have a special use permit, you won’t need to purchase a timed entry reservation. However, I still recommend you purchase a reservation in order to forgo any complications, especially if you’re bringing guests, as everyone would need a copy of the permit before entry. Here’s what is required along with what I personally recommend you do.

If you’re eloping in the park between 7am-3pm, you will need to purchase a timed entry reservation for the following dates and locations:

  • Paradise (via the Nisqually or Stevens Canyon entrance): May 24th through September 2nd
  • Sunrise (via the White River Entrance): July 3rd through September 2nd

If you elope before 7am or after 3pm on these dates in either of these locations, you do NOT need to purchase a timed entry reservation.

The cost of a reservation per vehicle is $2 and will allow you to enter the park anytime within a 2-hour window.

Reservations can be made on recreation.gov.

Here is a helpful table to see when the reservation times open.

Paradise Corridor
Booking window opens for advance reservations
(Reservations open at 8:00 am PT.)
Reservation Date Range
(Reserve a permit for dates in this period.)
February 21, 2024May 24 – June 30, 2024
April 1, 2024July 1 – July 31, 2024
May 1, 2024August 1 – September 2, 2024
Sunrise Corridor
Booking window opens for advance reservations
(Reservations open at 8:00 am PT.)
Reservation Date Range
(Reserve a permit for dates in this period.)
April 1, 2024July 4 – July 31, 2024
May 1, 2024August 1 – September 2, 2024

If you need more information, check out the official NPS website here.

A couple in wedding attire kissing in front of a mountain range.

The 4 Entrances of Mt. Rainier National Park

Before we dive into locations, let’s cover the different entrances to Mt. Rainier. The park is over 235,000 acres, so knowing the different entrances is important, as it can affect where you choose to stay during your trip, as well as what locations you want to see.

There are a total of 4 different entrances to the park, the 2 most popular being Nisqually and White River/Sunrise, which you can see on the map below.

  • *Nisqually: Southwest Entrance
    • Open year-round. This is the most popular park entrance. It leads to the Paradise Visitor Center, which is the hub for Rainier’s most popular hiking trails like the Skyline Loop Trail and the Nisqually Vista Trail. Paradise is especially known for their wildflower meadows and family-friendly trails.
  • Carbon River: Northwest Entrance
    • Open year-round. This entrance isn’t as widely traveled, as this area of the park is mainly used for hiking and biking. According to the park, “this part of Mount Rainier National Park receives consistently high amounts of rainfall so the climate and plant communities found here resemble that of a temperate rainforest.” However, don’t skip out on this area. It has some of the best vantage points of Rainier.
  • *White River/Sunrise: Northeast Entrance
    • Open July – October. This entrance is the second busiest. Sunrise is the highest point that can be reached by vehicle at Mount Rainier National Park. The views here are epic and the wildflower meadows here are amazing. There are lots of short hiking trails with jaw-dropping views and picnic tables for leisure.
  • *Stevens Canyon: Southeast Entrance
    • Open May – October. This entrance is mainly known for its access to the “Grove of the Patriarchs” trail and Reflections Lake. It doesn’t have the best views of Mt. Rainier compared to the others on this list, but it still is worth exploring, especially if you have guests, as many of the locations here are easily accessible for groups of all ages.

*Requires a timed entry reservation in 2024.

A groom kissing his bride on the temple in front of Mt. Rainier.

Step 1: Choose the Best Place to Elope in Mt. Rainier National Park

With hundreds of hiking trails, alpine lakes, fire lookouts, and more, you truly can’t go wrong choosing any location for your Mt. Rainier elopement. However, these are the top 6 places to elope in Mt. Rainier National Park.

Pro tip: If you want to see a map of all pre-approved ceremony sites for your elopement, check out this super helpful map on the national park website!

Mount Fremont Lookout Trail

The Mount Fremont Lookout Trail is perhaps one of the most rewarding hikes in all of Washington. This elopement location begins at the sunrise visitor center with wildflowers lining the trail and ends with sweeping views of the nearby mountain range. The hike is 2.4 miles long each way (5.7 miles roundtrip) and is fairly steep and rocky, but the views are well worth the effort. Mt. Rainier is known for having some of the best fire lookouts in the state. Fire lookouts often have the best 360 degree views and make for great portrait or ceremony locations. The Mount Fremont Trail specifically is really popular, so don’t expect to get this location to yourself no matter what time of day you’re here.

  • Max capacity: 8 people.
  • Best time of year to elope: July-October. I personally recommend the months of July or September. The road up doesn’t open until July.
  • Hiking required: Moderate 5.7 roundtrip hike, 1,108 ft. elevation gain.
  • Crowd level: Very busy no matter the time of day. Expect people sunrise-sunset.
  • Pro tip: While the fire lookout can be busy, there are lots of pull-offs and roomy spots at the top for more privacy.

Tolmie Peak Trail

My personal favorite elopement location in Mt. Rainier is the Tolmie Peak Trail. This 5.6 mile roundtrip hike is well known for its ending view at the Tolmie Peak Fire Lookout. On the trail, you’ll journey pass alpine lakes, forests, and never-ending mountain ranges. There are endless areas for pictures and exploring. This spot is particularly beautiful during sunset and after dark. If you want to go stargazing, this is the spot to do so. However, be prepared for steep inclines and lots of hikers, especially during the busy summer months.

  • Max capacity: 8 people.
  • Best time of year to elope: July-October. I personally recommend the months of July or October. The road up doesn’t open until July.
  • Hiking required: Moderate 5.6 roundtrip hike, 1,555 ft. elevation gain.
  • Crowd level: Pretty busy no matter the time of day. Expect people sunrise-sunset.
  • Pro tip: The road to get here is 15 miles of gravel with lots of potholes and rocks. Doable in a sedan, just go slow. Bring bug spray!

Skyline Trail

Mount Rainier National Park’s most famous hiking trail is called the Skyline Trail Loop. It’s a 5.7 mile roundtrip loop that takes you through some of the most scenic spots of the park such as Myrtle Falls and Panorama Point. You don’t need to hike far to get some epic views of Mount Rainier. The trail is a must-do, even if you decide to skip it for your ceremony. However, this is the most popular trail in the park, so don’t hike it mid-day if you’re hoping for something more a bit more intimate. Instead, plan for sunrise or sunset where you may get entire sections of the trail to yourself.

  • Max capacity: Certain sections have different max capacity limits, but 15 guests seems to be the average.
  • Best time of year to elope: August-October. I recommend October, but the trail is open year-round.
  • Hiking required: Hard 5.7 mile roundtrip hike, 1,768 ft. elevation gain. However, you do not need to hike the entire thing to get stunning views. You don’t even need to hike a mile!
  • Crowd level: Busy, but visiting during sunrise or sunset will result in less people on the trail.
  • Pro tip: This is one of the best hikes in the park to get a glimpse of everything Rainier has to offer – mountains, meadows, and marmots (oh, my)!

Silver Forest Trail

If you’re looking for a more accessible elopement location, the Silver Forest Trail is a great option. The 2-mile roundtrip loop is perfect for elopements with older guests or for couples who aren’t wanting to hike a ton on their wedding day. In fact, you don’t even need to walk very far to get great views. This trail is lined with wildflowers and pine trees and is popular to explore during wildflower season (August). This is one of my personal favorite trails for portraits.

  • Max capacity: 12 people.
  • Best time of year to elope: July-October. I recommend August if you’re hoping to see wildflowers.
  • Hiking required: Easy 2 mile roundtrip hike, 321 ft. elevation gain.
  • Crowd level: Not super busy, but plan for sunrise or sunset for less people on the trail.
  • Pro tip: The trail itself isn’t super large unless you’re at the lookout which can get a little busy. For this reason, I only recommend this spot for portraits or 2-person ceremonies.

Tipsoo Lake

Tipsoo Lake is one of the most popular and accessible ceremony sites within the park. It also happens to be one of the many alpine lakes you can access without hiking. This easy-to-find lake has a small loop that provides you with different views of the mountain. This isn’t the best spot to get an epic view of Mt. Rainier herself, but it’s still a stunning location for an elopement ceremony. The trail around the lake isn’t the largest, so it’s best for elopements with a smaller group or for portraits.

  • Max capacity: 8 people.
  • Best time of year to elope: June-October. I love June crowd-wise, but there is still snow in the area. I also recommend October.
  • Hiking required: No hiking required, just a short walk from the parking lot.
  • Crowd level: Busy, plan for sunrise or sunset.
  • Pro tip: Parking here is a bit limited. You may have to park up the street and walk a bit down towards the lake.

Grove of the Patriarchs

If you’re looking to experience multiple landscapes on your wedding day, the Grove of the Patriarchs trail is a great spot to stop at. This highly accessible and paved trail goes through an old-growth forest just past the Ohanapecosh Visitor Center. This hike tends to get busy due to its accessibility, so be sure to plan your ceremony around the peak times of day. There isn’t a whole lot to see in the area of the park, so if you’re hoping for more jaw-dropping locations, I recommend driving up to the Paradise section of the park located a few minutes up the road for more location options.

*As of March 2024, part of the trail is closed due to flooding damages. However, it is expected to be open summer 2024.

  • Max capacity: 12 people.
  • Best time of year to elope: June-November. I personally love this area in June.
  • Hiking required: Easy 1 mile roundtrip walk, 52 ft. elevation gain.
  • Crowd level: Busy, plan for sunrise or sunset.
  • Pro tip: This is my go-to recommendation for elopements with kids. It’s a great family-friendly area!

How Many Guests Can You Bring to Your Mt. Rainier Elopement?

While there is no limit on the amount of guests you can bring to your elopement, having less than 12 people (this includes vendors like your photographer, officiant, etc.) grants you access to more ceremony sites within the park. Here is what’s available on the park’s website in terms of how many guests you’re allowed to bring to your elopement.

  • 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.

Pro tip: Check out this map of all pre-approved ceremony sites (with max capacity numbers) for your elopement!

Step 2: Choose the Best Time of Year to Elope in Mt. Rainier

Overall, the best time of year to plan your Mt. Rainier elopement is going to be August for wildflower season or at the beginning of October for minimal crowds and beautiful fall colors. However, each season has it’s perks. Read about each season below to see what would be best for you.

June

While June is considered summer in most places, in Rainier, it’s spring. While June can be a great month to visit, I usually advise against planning your elopement during this month. In June, most of the roads are still closed, leaving you with limited location options. The snow in most places of the park doesn’t melt until July. Regardless, its a good time to visit if you don’t mind the snow, but also want to avoid the inevitable summer rush.

  • Pros: Less crowds, warm weather, waterfalls are at their peak
  • Cons: Snow, closed roads, unpredictable weather

July

In my opinion, July is one of the best months to visit the park. The weather is nice, the wildflowers are beginning to bloom at the end of the month, and most trails are snow-free by late July. This month is one of the busiest months in the park though, so if you’re looking to avoid the crowds, hold off until the fall season.

  • Pros: Warm weather, snow-free trails, wildflowers
  • Cons: Crowds, snow in higher elevations, bugs

August (Wildflower Season)

August is Mt. Rainier’s famous wildflower month. It’s truly a magical time of year in the area. Unfortunately, it’s also the busiest month in the park. Due to its proximity to Seattle, the park sees thousands of people a day. It can get so congested with traffic, that many people end up having to park 1-2 miles away from the start of a trailhead or even wait 2-3 hours to enter! If you have any flexibility with your elopement, consider the fall months. If not, plan your ceremony during sunrise or sunset to avoid the crowds.

*Note: The 2024 season may not see as much traffic due to their timed entry reservations, so waiting in line shouldn’t be an issue.

  • Pros: Warm weather, snow-free trails, wildflowers
  • Cons: Crowds

September and October

The fall is a beautiful time to visit the park and my personal favorite time of year for elopements. The gorgeous fall colors sweep the park, creating blankets of reds, oranges, and yellows. After Labor Day, the park sees a significant decrease in crowds which is always a plus. While you’ll still encounter groups of people, it’s much easier to find parking, lodging, and emptier trails. The weather is a bit chillier and snow can come as early as October, so be sure to bring layers and plan ahead.

  • Pros: Snow-free trails, beautiful colors, less crowds
  • Cons: Unpredictable weather in October, the mountain may be obstructed by clouds, little chilly

November-May

If you love the snow, you’ll love Mt. Rainier in the winter. This park is notorious for its snowfall. One year, the Paradise area got 703 inches! Even in the winter, there is a ton to see and explore. Take a ranger-led snowshoeing tour or try skiing. While it’s a great time to visit, it requires a lot of planning. Chains are required for all vehicles, and only two park entrances remain open throughout the winter; Nisqually (Southwest Entrance) and Carbon River (Northwest Entrance).

  • Pros: No crowds, cheaper lodging, airfare, and rental car costs
  • Cons: Unpredictable weather, dangerous driving conditions, cold

Step 3: Book Your Mt. Rainier Elopement Vendors

Looking for a list of elopement vendors in the Mt. Rainier area? You’re in luck! If you’re looking for the perfect dream team to help your elopement vision come to life, these are a few of my top recommendations.

Planners

Florists

Hair and Makeup Artists

Officiants

Bakers

Photographers

Hey, that’s me! I’m Brianna, a Pacific Northwest elopement photographer who specializes in creating one-of-a-kind, personalized personalized elopement experiences for couples all around the world who want to explore all the beauty the PNW has to offer. I create customized location lists, build timelines, secure permits, and so much more to guarantee that your elopement day is unforgettable! I only work with 18 couples a year to ensure that every couple gets a completely customized experience. See everything included in my Mt. Rainier elopement packages here.

Step 4: Get a Special Use Permit

If you want to have a ceremony in Mount Rainier National Park, you’ll need to obtain what’s called a “special use permit.” A special use permit grants you permission to have a ceremony in the park.

The process of getting a special use permit is extremely easy. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Fill out the special use permit application found on the park’s website.
  2. Once completed, email it to the permit coordinator, Mora, at mora_special_use@nps.gov at least 4 weeks before your wedding date.
  3. Once your permit has been accepted, you will be sent a link to pay the $175 permit fee online.
  4. You’ll get the final copy of your permit. Don’t forget to bring this with you to your elopement!

In order to secure your preferred ceremony location and time, submit your permit application as soon as you can, especially if you’re planning your elopement during the busy summer months.

To get more detailed information about how to obtain a permit, check out the park’s permit page here.

Step 5: Book Your Flights, Lodging, and Activities

To get to Mt. Rainier National Park, you’ll want to fly into the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and rent a car. A standard sedan will work just fine in the park. The Seattle airport is located just 1.5 hours away, making it the closest airport to the park.

You can also fly into the Portland International Airport, which is 2.5 hours away from the park, or the Yakima Airport, which is also 2.5 hours away. However, both the Portland and Yakima airports have more expensive flights since they’re smaller airports than Seattle.

Best Places to Stay for Your Mt. Rainier National Park

The towns near Mt. Rainier are famous for their charming a-frame cabins, off-grid lodges, and peaceful chalets. Below are some of the closest towns to the park with some of my personal recommendations on where to stay.

Ashford

Ashford is just 6 miles outside the park’s Paradise entrance station and is the place most people stay at when visiting the park. While there’s not much to do or see in the town, it does have some small diners, a grocery store, and lots of beautiful scenery.

Iron & Vine Treehouse – Located on a private half acre of land nestled in a towering grove of 100-year-old Douglas fir’s. A truly once-in-a-lifetime experience right at the base of Mt. Rainier.

The Little Blue A-Frame – A small and cozy a-frame cabin nestled in the trees with a wood stove and beautiful deck for photos or coffee in the morning.

Echo House – A luxurious and modern a-frame with a nice hot tub, outdoor fire pit, and room for some guests.

Packwood

Located just 13 miles from the park’s Steven’s Canyon entrance, Packwood is another popular place for couples to stay for their elopement. Similar to Ashford, this small town doesn’t offer tons of activities, but it has all the basic essentials you’ll need for a cozy stay. This is one of the cutest mountain towns in the area and a crowd favorite for visitors. This is my personal favorite town in the area.

Treehouse Packwood – A must-see luxurious Airbnb nestled in the woods with modern touches and off-grid vibes. One of the best places in the area if you’re looking for a larger place that can accommodate guests.

Heartwood Cabin – A black modern a-frame cabin with earthy tones, a cedar hot tub, and an outdoor fire pit. Plus, it’s pet friendly! This is one of my favorite simple places to stay.

The Shady Frame – One of my favorite pet friendly rentals in the area! Unwind after a long day in the hot tub, warm up by the wood fire, or read on the indoor swing at this gorgeous Airbnb in the woods.

Tacoma

If you don’t mind the drive and want to stay somewhere with more to do and see, consider the Tacoma or Seattle area. You can visit the park and come back for a nice dinner in the city all in one day! Lodging in this area is also much more affordable than lodging you may find right outside the park.

Cozy Cottage on the River – A secluded cottage with an outdoor fireplace, cozy spaces, and beautiful views outside every window situated along the Puyallup River.

Modern Victorian Home – A 1900s unique home with lots of charm and history like the penny tile kitchen floor or the original wood floors in the living and dining room. This is a great location if you have guests!

Waterfront Cabana – A luxurious and roomy home on the water with kayaks, a dock, and hot tub.

Enumclaw

Enumclaw is the place to stay if you’ll be frequenting the Sunrise Visitor Center or Carbon River area of the park. With a population of just 12,000, Enumclaw is the picture-picture small farming town to stop at and explore during your trip. It’s about an hour drive to the park and one of my favorite places to stay during my trips to the park.

A-Frame Cabin – A cozy crowd favorite a-frame cabin nestled in the forest just 25 minutes from Mt. Rainier and home to a variety of wildlife.

Luxury Mountain Cabin – A modern, luxurious cabin perfect at the base of the mountain with convenient touches like a game room and car charger.

Enumclaw’s First Church – A historic 1800s church right in the heart of downtown. When I’m back in the area, this is the first place I’m going to stay at. I mean how cool is this?

A couple in wedding attire kissing on a forested trail in Mt. Rainier National Park.

Mt. Rainier Elopement Activities

If you’re looking for things to do in the area, maybe on or after your elopement day, I’ve got you covered. Take a look at my list of things to do in the Mt. Rainier area for your elopement.

  • Have a picnic by Tipsoo Lake
  • Grab a bite to eat at Blue Spruce Saloon and Grill
  • Venture up to Tacoma and visit the drive-thru wildlife park in the area
  • Go on a waterfall tour around Mt. Rainier
  • Book a private horseback riding tour around the Nisqually River
  • Rent out an Airbnb for the night to have s’mores with friends and family
  • Hire a personal chef for a intimate dinner in the woods
  • Take your dog on a hike right outside park boundaries in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest
  • Enjoy some delicious coffee and pastries at The Mountain Goat Coffee Company
  • Take a short hike to an alpine lake to avoid the crowds
  • Rent a Jeep and go off-roading through the back country
  • Have a champagne pop on the mountain
  • Stay after sunset and go stargazing (Rainier has some incredible stargazing spots)
  • Visit in the winter and go snowshoeing

Step 6: Get a Washington Marriage License

If you want to elope in Mt. Rainier, you’ll need to get a Washington marriage license.

To get a marriage license in Washington, you’ll need to visit a County Clerk’s office within the state 3 days before your wedding with your photo ID and $72. Simply fill out the application, wait 3 days to pick up the license, and you’re good to go! You can get a marriage license at any county in Washington. It doesn’t need to be the one you’ll be getting married in.

If you don’t live in Washington, you can fill out the online application, have it notarized, and then send it back with a check or money order via mail.

To see more information and step-by-step instructions on how to get a marriage license in Washington, check out this County Clerk’s site, or my SUPER helpful and detailed blog post all about the three different ways to get a marriage license in Washington State.

Do You Need an Officiant and Witness for Your Mt. Rainier Elopement?

Yes, you will need an officiant and two witnesses in order to elope in Mt. Rainier.

Pro tip: I’m ordained and officiate my couples ceremonies for free! Want a friend or family member to officiate? They can easily become ordained through the Universal Life Church for free. As for witnesses, folks on the trail, park rangers, or even friends from home can sign your marriage license.

Step 7: Create a Mt. Rainier Elopement Timeline

Not sure how much coverage you need for an elopement in Mt. Rainier National Park? Check out some of these examples below utilizing the two most popular ares of the park: Paradise and Sunrise.

12-Hour Hiking Elopement

  • 7:00am – Brianna arrives at the Airbnb in Ashford for getting ready images
  • 9:00am – First look
  • 9:15am – Head to Paradise for a ceremony with friends and family
  • 10:00am – Begin the ceremony
  • 10:15am – Family portraits
  • 10:45am – Couples portraits around the wildflower meadows
  • 12:00pm – Hike half of the Skyline Loop Trail, stopping for pictures along the way
  • 1:45pm – Stop halfway for an intimate picnic while you read letters from friends and family
  • 3:00pm – Continue along the trail, taking photos along the way
  • 5:00pm – Head back to the Airbnb
  • 5:45pm – Dinner, drinks, cake, and celebrations with friends and family at the Airbnb
  • 7:00pm – Photo coverage wraps up, Brianna leaves

8-Hour No Hiking Elopement

  • 12:00pm – Brianna arrives at the Airbnb in Enumclaw for getting ready images with friends and family
  • 2:00pm – First look between the couple, parents, and siblings
  • 2:15pm – Head to Sunrise for a ceremony with friends and family
  • 3:30pm – Begin the ceremony
  • 3:45pm – Family portraits
  • 4:15pm – Quick couples portraits around the nearby trail
  • 5:00pm – Family picnic at the nearby picnic area
  • 6:30pm – Golden hour couples portraits at a nearby alpine lake
  • 8:00pm – Photo coverage wraps up, Brianna leaves
A couple in wedding attire with their backs to the camera looking at Mt. Rainier.

Step 7: Prepare by Knowing Important Tips and Tricks

Whether you’re visiting for the first time or have been to the park hundreds of times before, these are some of my best tips to make sure your experience is as smooth and stress-free as possible.

Service Is Limited

Like most national parks, cell service can be a bit spotty. Be sure to download maps offline and coordinate with your vendors to be sure everyone is on the same page about parking and meeting spots.

There’s Lots of Traffic

Okay not so much in the fall, winter, or spring, but in the summer, it can get very congested. I’m talking having to park 1-2 miles away from your location just because there’s no parking. Be sure to plan a sunrise or sunset ceremony during the busy summer season!

Bring Layers

It can get quite chilly, especially after the sun goes down. To stay warm, bring lots of layers, hand warmers, and accessories.

Expect to See Other Couples

Mt. Rainier is an extremely popular spot for weddings. Depending on your location, we may run into other couples getting married. If you’re hoping for a more secluded spot, it’s possible, but make sure you communicate that to your photographer as they’ll know all the secret places.

Leave No Trace

One of the main reasons you chose your elopement location was because of its beauty. To help keep the park beautiful, especially during wildflower season, be sure to practice the 7 principles of Leave No Trace by staying on the trails and not veering off into the meadows.

Soak It All In

This national park is truly a special place. Consider adding more length to your trip to check out the other two national parks in Washington State: Olympic National Park and North Cascades National Park.

A couple in wedding attire kissing at Tipsoo Lake.

Can You Bring Your Dog?

Unfortunately, Mt Rainier is not the most dog-friendly national park. Dogs are not permitted on any trails, amphitheaters, buildings, etc. Parking lots and campgrounds are the only places where dogs are allowed, so it’s best to leave your furry friends at home.

If you’d really like your dog to tag along, consider locations just outside the park that allow dogs but still have views of Mt. Rainier, such as the Gifford Pinchot National Forest which offers a variety of lakes, forests, and overlooks of Mt. Rainier.

Pro tip: The Gifford Pinchot National Forest is a great option to explore if you want to views of Mt. Rainier but without all the people!

Mt. Rainier Elopement Packages

I’m Brianna, a Pacific Northwest elopement photographer who specializes in creating unforgettable elopement experiences for couples in Northern California, Oregon, and Washington. To see my all my different packages, check out my pricing page here. To get an idea of what’s included in each and every Mt. Rainier elopement package, take a peek at my pricing below.

Mt. Rainier Elopement Package Pricing

  • 4 hours – 1.5 days of elopement coverage anywhere in Washington
  • A personalized elopement planning experience with unlimited assistance
    • Personalized elopement location recommendations
    • Vendor, lodging, and activity recommendations
    • Assistance and information to help you with permits, licenses, etc.
    • 90+ page elopement planning guide filled with tips and tricks
    • Customized elopement timelines
    • Optional complimentary officiant services
  • Online gallery with full resolution images and printing rights
  • Complimentary album design
  • 24-48 hour sneak peeks to share with the world
  • Travel fees to anywhere in Washington are already included
  • Starting at $6,500

Want more elopement inspiration? Check out my Olympic National Park Wedding Guide, North Cascades National Park Elopement Guide, and my Mt. Shasta Elopement Guide.

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Wait! Don’t forget to pin these graphics to your Pinterest board so you can come back to this guide as much as you need to.

FAQ

How much does it cost to get married at Mt Rainier?

It costs $175 to get married at Mt. Rainier. The $175 is from the special use permit fee. However, most couples end up spending $5,000-$15,000 for their elopement in Mt. Rainier National Park after travel expenses, vendors, attire, etc.

Where can I elope in Mt Rainier?

According to the NPS website, you can elope almost anywhere in Mt. Rainier. The two most popular places include the Paradise and Sunrise Visitor Center areas.

Can you get married on Mount Rainier?

Yes, you can get married on Mount Rainier. However, the trek up the mountain is difficult and should only be done by experienced hikers.

Do you need a permit to get married on Mt Rainier?

Yes, you need a special use permit to get married on Mt. Rainier. The permit is $175 and can be applied for online on the national park’s official website.

Don’t forget your FREE elopement guide!

An all-in-one planning guide for all things elopements! Whether you’re hoping to hike through the mountains of Washington or sip a margarita on the beaches of California, this comprehensive elopement guide has everything you need to know about how to plan the perfect elopement.


A girl holding a camera and smiling.

You? You’re the kind of person that gets a lil’ teary eyed looking at an epic view…

That moment when you turn to the person you’re with and ask, “Are you seeing this?” I live for it. Places with trees and mountains and soft breezes that make you say, “I can’t believe this place exists,” I spend pretty much all of my free time searching for and exploring them.

These places have always felt like home to me. And if you’re the kind of person who also feels more at home surrounded by trees than by people? Then we’ll get along really well. The Pacific Northwest is full of secret spots that are too special to share with just anyone. But it would make me happy to share them with you on your wedding day.

If the mountains/beaches/redwood forests are calling your name, go ahead…

(I promise you won’t regret it.)

P.S. I’m Brianna. My mission is to create custom, one-of-a-kind elopement experiences in the Pacific Northwest that allow couples to fully immerse themselves in the highest levels of excitement and wonder on a day designed exclusively for them.

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