In this guide, How to Elope in North Cascades National Park, we’ll take you through the essentials of eloping in North Cascades National Park, ensuring your special day is nothing short of magical. North Cascades NP is one of the most underrated parks in America. The park offers breathtaking mountain views, glacial lakes, and easy to access views. One thing to keep in mind is that accommodations near North Cascades are in fairly small remote towns without a ton of hotel options.
Start your journey by flying into Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA). From there, rent a car to enjoy a scenic drive to the park. The North Cascades National Park is approximately 120 miles northeast of Seattle, offering you a chance to soak in the stunning Pacific Northwest scenery.
Where to Stay:
North Cascades Lodge at Stehekin – Great for a super remote stay away from the outside world. You can only reach Stehekin by foot, boat, or plane. The easiest way to get to this lodge is the Lady of the Lake ferry from leaving from Chelan.
Glacier Peak Resort & Winery – This resort offers cabins as well as spaces for tents and RVs. Located on the river you can also enjoy the winery and restaurant inside of the resort. Glacier Peak Resort is about a 2 hour drive from SEA-TAC.
Airbnb Cabin – There are tons of beautiful Airbnb stays near North Cascades National Park. Modern luxury cabins with amazing views, cabins tucked away in magical forests, adorable A-frame cabins and more.
Top Locations to Elope:
- Diablo Lake Overlook: Exchange vows with the turquoise waters of Diablo Lake as your backdrop. The overlook offers panoramic views, making it a picturesque setting for your elopement ceremony. Perfect for anyone who doesn’t want a strenuous hike.
- Washington Pass Overlook: This spot is an easy pull-over-and-park location with a short walk of just a few minutes before you get to see one of the most beautiful views in the park. Perfect if you want photos with the mountain range.
- Rainy Lake: Rainy Lake is an easy, paved “hike” that is also wheelchair accessible. Perfect for couples with guests who don’t want to sacrifice views for accessibility.
- Maple Pass Loop: If you’re up for a hike, Maple Pass Loop provides breathtaking vistas of alpine lakes, wildflowers, and rugged mountains, making it an unforgettable place to exchange vows. This is a popular hike especially during lark hunting season so keep that in mind when planning for your ceremony. Perfect for more adventurous couples who want to hike and explore for several hours.
- Artist Point: Artist Point is popular for good reason. Easy hikes with amazing pay-offs make this location super busy during the weekend especially. If you’re thinking about Artist Point for your ceremony I recommend sunrise/sunset during the week. *BONUS* Artist Point doesn’t require a permit since it is just outside of the national park boundaries.
Permit Requirements: To get your Special Use Permit you’ll need to contact the office at North Cascades National Park. They don’t offer much information on your website so my advice is to send them an email with your wedding details (date, guests, locations you’re interested in for the ceremony) and wait to hear back from the park. Keep in mind that some locations may have specific restrictions to protect the natural environment, so it’s crucial to plan ahead.
You’ll have to pay an application fee before the park (typically $50) before your application can be processed. The park accepts payment through Pay.gov for EFT, credit or debit payment methods. A copy of your payment confirmation receipt from pay.gov must be forwarded to the Commercial Services Office. Then you’ll want to reach out to the Commercial Service Office through the website for the required application forms. You can also call them at 360-854-7213.
Best Time of Year to Elope in North Cascades National Park: Since most trails are closed during the winter and State Route 20 closes off, the only time of year you can elope in the park and be able to see most of the sights is June – September. Weather conditions are unpredictable in the mountains so always have a backup plan in mind in case of road/trail closures.
North Cascades National Park Elopement Photographer
I absolutely love Washington and all of the variety of scenery that it has to offer. I hope this guide on How To Elope in North Cascades National Park has been helpful to you! If you need a photographer who can help guide you through planning your elopement in the North Cascades then I would love to help you. See my Washington Elopement Packages here and if you want to schedule a call with me to talk about your elopement, you can reach out here.
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