If I could live anywhere in the world, I would live in Mt. Shasta. Wait, I already do (kind of). I live an hour outside of Mount Shasta in Redding. I’m a local to the area who put together the most comprehensive elopement guide to date about one of the most beautiful and underrated places for an elopement.
Mt. Shasta is located in Northern California just south of the Oregon border. The mountain itself is the second-tallest mountain in the Cascade Range and the fifth-tallest in California. It’s known for being both a spiritual place along with a potentially active volcano. Mt. Shasta is home to a variety of different landscapes, from mountain-backed lakes and waterfalls to dense forests and valley overlooks.
If you’re curious about how to plan your very own Mt. Shasta elopement or wedding, you’ve come to the right place. As a Northern California elopement photographer (and Mt. Shasta local), this is the ultimate Mt. Shasta elopement guide filled with everything you need to know about planning your very own elopement in the area, from locations to permits. Without further adieu, let’s begin.
How to Elope in Mt. Shasta
We’ll cover each step more in-depth, but here’s a general checklist of everything you need to do in order to elope in Mt. Shasta.
- Choose your perfect location
- Determine the time of year you want to elope
- Hire your vendors
- Book your travel
- Apply for a special use permit
- Apply for a marriage license
- Elope in one of the most beautiful places on Earth
6 Unforgettable Places to Elope in Mt. Shasta
Mt. Shasta is full of incredible places to elope. As a local, this is a list of my top 6.
Lake Siskiyou is known as the “jewel of Northern California” and boy does it live up to it’s name. This is one of my favorite little gems in Northern California. It sits at the base of Mt. Shasta and is accessible year-round. This location does experience all four seasons. Enjoy warm sunny weather in the summer, beautiful fall foliage in the fall, a dusting of snow in the winter, and lush greenery in the spring. If you’re hoping to bring the family along, consider staying on the resort right along the shoreline. There’s a hiking trail that goes around the lake and has a variety of gorgeous viewpoints. In the summer, this location is busy with swimmers and kayakers, so I recommend a sunrise or sunset elopement at this location. If you can visit during the off-season, even better!
If you’re anything like me, you want to be as close to the mountain as possible. Bunny Flat will allow you to do just that. This is a trailhead right at the base of Mt. Shasta. This specific trailhead branches off to a few other trails, but I love this location because ironically, it doesn’t require any hiking to get some epic views. This is one of my favorites for small weddings or Mt. Shasta elopements because the views are unreal! I recommend avoiding this area mid-day, as it can get super packed with hikers on the trails.
Dunsmuir is probably my favorite mountain town ever. With a population of around 1,700, everybody knows everybody and the locals are super friendly. Dunsmuir is famous for two things: Yaks on the 5 and their endless supply of waterfalls. Dunsmuir also borders on Castle Crags State Park, a popular park for hiking and climbing (another great spot for your elopement). The town also has a super unique train hotel where you can actually stay in an old caboose. How cool is that?!
McCloud Falls is a popular waterfall just outside of town. In fact, McCloud Falls makes up 3 different unique waterfalls. If you’re up for some hiking, there’s a few trails around the area, but most of the falls are easily accessible and require minimal walking to reach. Similar to Lake Siskiyou, this location is super popular during the hot summer months since everyone wants to escape the heat. Consider eloping in the off-season (like the spring when the falls are at their peak) or during sunrise or sunset.
If you’re looking for a modern cabin in the woods for your small wedding or elopement, look no further than Basecamp Lodge. Basecamp Lodge is an 8-cabin mountain lodge that can accommodate up to 50 guests. It’s close to town, the views of Mt. Shasta are incredible, and of course, it’s the perfect place for your guests to stay so you can celebrate all weekend long.
The McCloud Hotel is a historic 1916 hotel on Main Street. This timeless venue is perfect for weddings of all sizes, big and small. Located conveniently close to Mt. Shasta and other must-see sites, the McCloud Hotel is a favorite amongst couples in the area. This particular spot hosts anywhere from 20-180 guests.
Best Time of Year to Elope in Mt. Shasta
The best time of year to elope in Mt. Shasta is during the fall or spring. However, each season has its perks. Here is my personal experience with each season along with the pros and cons of it.
The summer months in Mt. Shasta (June-September) are quite hot, with average temperatures around 80-90 degrees. Most people getting married in Mt. Shasta tend to stay in Redding, where triple digit days are not uncommon. With the hot temperatures, the snow on Mt. Shasta tends to melt. While it’s not any less beautiful, the mountain in photos tend to look a bit less dramatic. The summer season is also quite busy, especially at the base of the mountain. While summer is a great time to take advantage of the nearby lakes and snow-free trails, I personally don’t think it’s the best time of year for a wedding. I recommend waiting until the fall if possible.
The fall season in Mt. Shasta (October-November) is incredible. The temperatures are cooler and the fall colors in the area are breathtaking. All the must-see locations are still snow-free, and more importantly, crowd-free. The top of the mountain starts to get a dusting of snow, which looks incredible in-person and through photos. By the end of October, the highest spots in Mt. Shasta tend to close their roads for the winter season.
Winter is a great time to visit if you’re into winter sports like skiing or snowboarding (December-March). Mt. Shasta gets quite a bit of snow in the winter months. If you’re up for a winter wonderland wedding, this would be the time to do it. However, if you’re just looking for views of Mt. Shasta, don’t discount the winter season! Make your way south a bit to the Redding area for some epic snow-free views of Mt. Shasta!
Spring is a short but sweet season in Mt. Shasta (April-May). This is my personal favorite time to visit the area and most recommended season for elopements. The waterfalls this time of year are at their peak (we have over 50) and the wildflowers around the area are beautiful. The weather can be a little unpredictable this time of year, but it’s an incredible time to visit before the summer rush. Some of the higher elevations in Mt. Shasta won’t be snow-free until June or July.
Do I Need a Permit to Elope in Mt. Shasta?
Generally, no. Mt. Shasta is mainly made up of forest service land. The only time you would need a permit is if you’re eloping with more than 75 people present at your wedding. However, always ask your photographer and double-check to see if a permit is required for your chosen location.
How to Get a Marriage License for Your Mt. Shasta Wedding or Elopement
Luckily, you can get a marriage license in any county in California. However, if you’re hoping to get one close to Mt. Shasta, I recommend getting one in either Siskiyou County or Shasta County. For this example, I will use Siskiyou County, which is the county Mt. Shasta is located in.
All you need to do to get a marriage license is to show up together in-person at the County Clerk’s Office in Yreka (311 Fourth Street. Room 201 Yreka, CA 96097) anytime from 9am-12pm or 1pm- 4pm Monday through Friday. Once you get there, you’ll fill out an application. You’ll need to present your ID and pay the $71 fee with cash or a money order, and that’s it! You’ll get your marriage license the same day.
To get more information about getting a marriage license in Siskiyou County, check out their site.
Pro tip: You need an officiant and at least one witness to elope in California!
Can I Bring My Dog?
Most likely, yes! Mt. Shasta is a very dog-friendly location. Most areas are dog-friendly since their on forest land. However, be sure to double-check that your furry friend can come along, and always remember to practice B.A.R.K. principles.
Does Mt. Shasta Have an Airport? Where Do I Fly Into?
The easiest way to get to Mt. Shasta is by flying into the Redding Regional Airport, renting a car, and making the 1-hour drive up north. However, the Redding airport is quite small and doesn’t offer many direct flights unless you’re coming from Seattle or San Francisco. If you’re looking for a more accessible airport, consider flying into the Medford (1.5 hours away) or Sacramento (3 hours away) airport. Most of my couples choose to fly into Sacramento.
Where to Stay for Your Mt. Shasta Elopement
Here are some of my favorite places to recommend if you’re looking to elope in Mt. Shasta!
Of course, the town of Mt. Shasta is the preferred place to stay. This adorable mountain town has cute coffee shops, stores, and is close to all the must-see sights. While you won’t find large stores like Target or Best Buy, you will find down-to-earth locals and lots of small businesses. Oh, and the most adorable Airbnbs.
- Oasis at the Nest – A jaw-dropping home on a few acres with one of the best views of Mt. Shasta you’ll ever get.
- Elegant Central Cottage – A cute and quaint cottage in the heart of downtown Mt. Shasta with a wood barrel hot tub.
- Mountain Hideaway – An eco-friendly, modern home with a private bathhouse and unforgettable views.
- Shasta A-Frame Cabin – One of my favorite Airbnbs of all time! Great views, decor, and location.
- Railroad Park Resort – Technically located in Dunsmuir, sleep and eat in an old train caboose for a unique stay.
Redding is located an hour south of Mt. Shasta and is a fan-favorite for couples in the area. This town has everything you need for your trip, along with a few extras like fancy restaurants, fun art studios, and lots of shops to check out. There are also lots of lakes and hiking trails to check out in the area too.
- Hope Inn – Most of my couples tend to stay at Hope Inn, which is a gorgeous property on 3.5 acres of land.
- Dream View Lake House – Located a bit north of Redding you’ll find a one-of-a-kind view of Shasta Lake from your hot tub.
- 5 Acre Modern Retreat – A place where contemporary European styling and natural beauty combine.
- The Artsy Abode – A simple and stylish home equipped with a hot tub and hammock.
- Sheraton Inn – Stay on the edge of the Sacramento River near the famous Sundial Bridge for a romantic stay.
Yreka is a small little town about 30 minutes north of Mt. Shasta. The town was found during the gold rush, so there’s a lot of charming and historic buildings downtown. While there isn’t a ton to do or see in the area, it’s still worth a stop. It’s close to the Klamath National Forest and to Ashland, Oregon, which is a popular destination for art and nature lovers.
- Victorian Mansion – Splurge on the largest private owned home in Siskiyou County, built in 1895.
- Little Creek Tiny Home – A cozy little tiny home located on a quiet and peaceful 10 acres on the outskirts of Yreka.
- Farm Stay Home – Live out your homesteading dreams on a 250 acre ranch with horses, cattle, and beautiful views.
Mt. Shasta Elopement Activities
If you’re interested in incorporating some fun activities on your elopement day, or simply looking for suggestions on what to do in the area, these are my top picks (from a local)!
- Grab a bite to eat at Yaks on the 5 (their sticky buns are a MUST)
- Plan a post-elopement picnic at Lake Siskiyou or Castle Crags
- Visit the Mount Shasta Sisson Museum
- Go waterfall exploring around town
- Head south to Redding for some breakfast at Deja Vu (my personal favorite breakfast spot)
- Visit the first ever Black Bear Diner
- If you have time, drive to check out Burney Falls
- Extend your trip and head out to Lassen Volcanic National Park
- Drive south and explore Shasta Lake Caverns (super cool and amazing views)!
- Rent a kayak or paddle board and enjoy the water on Lake Siskiyou
- Rent a houseboat for the day on Shasta Lake
- Enjoy a romantic dinner on one of Shasta Lake’s dinner cruises
- Have a fancy dinner at Nellos or View 202 in Redding
- Go stargazing
- Have a fire with s’mores
- Enjoy a first dance under a full moon
Mt. Shasta Elopement Vendors
As a local, I have a long list of vendors I trust and love to work with. Below are just a few I highly recommend checking out for your own elopement!
Hair and Makeup Artist
That’s me! I’m a Northern California elopement photographer helping couples all around the world plan once-in-a-lifetime elopements in the Mt. Shasta area. Let me help you plan the elopement of your dreams by providing personalized, locals-only elopement locations, vendor recommendations, permit and license assistance, customized timelines, and so much more.
Mt. Shasta Elopement Packages
I’m Brianna, an elopement photographer who specializes in adventurous outdoor elopements in Northern California. Check out everything included in my elopement packages and how I can help you plan the Mt. Shasta elopement of your dreams below. For more pricing information, check out my pricing page here.
- 4 hours – 1.5 days of elopement coverage at Mt. Shasta
- 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 California are already included
- Starting at $6,500
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.
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.
(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.