The Best places to elope
You’re looking for the best places to elope and we happen to be experts on the matter…
We’re a team of dog loving, peak bagging, photography award winning adventure junkies – working together to help plan and document incredible elopements in the best elopement destination around the world.
Together we’ve photographed 300+ elopements! This is our definitive list of the absolute best places to elope, so get ready to see some incredible options for your elopement day.
Before we get into the best places to elope...
Keep these pro tips in mind when picking the best place to elope for your wedding day:
1. what's your elopement vibe?
We always ask our couples “when you close your eyes and dream about where to elope, what’s the vibe around you?” Are you on top of a mountain feeling the crisp alpine air? Are you surrounded by ancient trees with golden light spilling through the canopy? Do you feel the sun’s warmth on your skin as you stare out over a vast desert canyon?
Best Advice: Don’t pick where to elope based on one photo. Instead, try to imagine the vibe of your entire elopement day, what’s surrounding you, and the kind of scenery that excites you two most. Check out our different location boards on Pinterest to get a vibe for the different elopement landscapes!
2. are guests attending your elopement?
Some of the best places to elope are great for inviting guests, others aren’t. If you’re inviting guests to your elopement, you’ll want to pick a location that isn’t too remote and has good lodging options nearby. The ceremony spot needs to be easily accessible and able to sustain the impact of your group.
Best Advice: Keep things easy for your guests at the elopement. Trust us, it will be way less stressful! This can limit your location options, so if a big elopement adventure is a priority consider eloping without guests. Then have a reception with loved ones later in the week. Check out our advice from real couples on how to tell your family you’re eloping.
3. when should you elope in your location?
Every elopement destination has a best time to elope there. Some areas have longer seasons than others, which gives you more flexibility with your elopement date. Other areas, like the mountains, have a shorter elopement season because snow limits access much of the year.
Best Advice: If your date is the priority, elope somewhere that works well with that season. If location is the priority, be flexible with your elopement date.
4. do you want to have an elopement mini-moon?
Let’s be honest, you don’t want an elopement location that’s only fun to visit for just one day. You want to elope in a place that has days or weeks of adventure! Because if you’re going all out on your adventure elopement, why not turn your elopement into a bad-ass honeymoon too?!
Best Advice: All of our best places to elope also make for excellent mini-moons. Many of our couples rent campervans and road trip out to their elopement destination so they can explore all there is to see. If you work with us, we’ll load you up with all our favorite recommendations near these elopement destinations!
OUR LIST OF THE BEST PLACES TO ELOPE
Here’s our list (in no particular order) of the best places to elope for an unforgettable experience and jaw-dropping photos.
And if you want specific information on how to elope in these locations, check out our elopement guides by state!
1. Utah Public Land
BLM (Bureau of Land Management) land is public land that is not part of any state or national parks. There is BLM land all over the country, but the BLM land in Utah contains some of the most incredible places to elope in the whole country. You can find cliffs, desert towers, slot canyons and natural arches galore, with none of the crowds you typically find in the parks. One of the best features of BLM land is all the free camping. You can park your rig on the edge of a cliff and end the elopement night grilling over a fire while the stars come out! We actually did that for an elopement one time. Sounds pretty amazing right?
2. Redwoods National Park
California’s Redwoods are a natural wonder we think everyone should experience at some point in their lives. There’s no describing how massive these trees are, it’s otherworldly. That’s probably what Stephen Spielburg must have thought when he decided to make these forests the setting for the planet Endor in Star Wars. On sunny days, light streams through the canopy like sunlight through stained glass windows of a cathedral. On rainy days, mist floats through the prehistoric forest. No matter what the weather does, it’s always a good day to elope in the Redwoods.
3. North Cascades National Park
The North Cascades in Washington State is one of the most dramatic landscapes in the world. With thousands of glaciers, rugged peaks, colorful wildflowers, and pristine alpine lakes you’ll quickly see why it’s called the “American Alps”. Standing atop a summit of one of these mountains, you’ll get a view commonly referred to as the “sea of peaks” where the layers of jagged mountain peaks seem to stretch on forever. How’s that for a place to say your elopement vows?
4. Oregon Coast
There isn’t a bad spot on the entire Oregon coast – all the way from the border of California to the border of Washington there are postcard-worthy views. At the far southern coast you can see a plethora of sea stacks and natural arches poking out of the ocean, and towering redwoods lurk just inland. As you head north, you’ll encounter rolling sand dunes, grassy bluffs that look like a scene from Scotland, dramatic sea cliffs, massive sea stacks, and pristine beaches. And the whole coast has cute little beach towns with great seafood, ocean-front Airbnbs, and the must see (and eat) Tillamook Cheese Factory!
5. Canyonlands national park
Canyonlands is our favorite national park in Moab, Utah and one of the best places to elope for so many reasons. It’s like the Yosemite of the desert, with thousand-foot cliffs and overlooks galore. There’s white-knuckle off-roading, white water rafting, ancient petroglyphs, and plenty of places to find solitude amongst a breathtaking landscape for your elopement ceremony.
6. San Juan Mountains, CO
The San Juan mountains are a rugged range in the southern Colorado Rockies. Venture up into the mountains and you’ll discover a world of incredibly scenic views featuring abandoned gold mines, epic 4×4 roads (jeep rentals in town!), turquoise alpine lakes, and snow-capped peaks. Jeeping over the mountain pass between Telluride and Ouray is hands down one of the funnest adventures we’ve ever been on, and it’s no surprise that these mountains have been featured in many motion picture productions.
7. Joshua Tree
The artsy desert community of Joshua Tree makes it such an amazing elopement destination. Not only do you have Joshua Tree National Park, which is a desert wonderland of flowering cacti, monolithic boulders, and some of the most consistently beautiful sunsets we’ve ever seen. But you also have a vibrant community of artists who have made the funky little town of Joshua Tree a worthy destination in its own right. You can go shopping, stay in adorable Airbnbs, eat fantastic food, see cool art, and elope in a truly magical environment. It really ticks all the elopement boxes.
8. Columbia River Gorge
Hop on I-84 in Portland heading east and in less than an hour you’ll find yourself in the stunning Columbia River Gorge. Home to Oregon’s most breathtaking waterfalls (and lots of them!), wildflower-covered hikes, and scenic bluffs overlooking the massive Columbia River, there’s no shortage of places to explore out here. Hood River is a super cool town in the heart of the Gorge, with some fantastic breweries and restaurants that make for a great place to wrap up the elopement day. And you’re never far from Portland, which is a foodie’s paradise.
9. Olympic Mountains
As if the North Cascades and Rainier weren’t enough, Washington also boasts the Olympic Mountains out on the Olympic Peninsula. The mountains rise up from the coast through a temperate rainforest filled with mossy, ancient trees and waterfalls. This means you can often start the day exploring the beach, wander through the forest, visit a waterfall, and end it with sunset high on a mountain peak! Being a little lower elevation than the Cascade range, the snow melts earlier in these mountains, so we love hiking here in June and July.
10. Big Sur
Big Sur is a scenic stretch of coastline south of the San Francisco area. Highway 1 famously winds along this coastal clifflines, offering up views of rolling hills plunging into the ocean, where the waves crash against rocky outcroppings. It’s consistently ranked as one of the most scenic drives in America. A whole elopement day can be spent just cruising along the road and stopping to explore the beautiful roadside views. If you head inland a bit, you’ll even find Redwoods! And if you love a little luxury on your elopement day, there are some suuuuuuper nice Airbnbs along the coast 😉
11. Zion National Park
Zion is a remarkable national park and one of the best places to elope for couples who want varaiety in the desert. From expansive overlooks to narrow slot canyons, you can easily fill your days with nonstop adventure. Zion is even home to one of the most dangerous hikes in the world if you’re up for It! (Photo pictured from the top of that one) Winter, spring, and fall are the best times to elope here when the weather is a bit cooler and the summer crowds die down.
12. Mount Rainier National Park
If we had to pick one word to describe Mt. Rainier National Park, it would be “enchanting.” The trails meander through whimsical forests of tall evergreens dotted with colorful wildflowers, set against the backdrop of the behemoth Mt. Rainier. Did you know Mt. Rainier is an active volcano? Don’t worry, the experts are keeping a close eye on her 😉 Mid July through mid August is wildflower season at Rainier, while September brings fall foliage with wild blueberries covering the hillsides. Eloping here, the feeling of awe and wonder will leave you swooning over this place as much as each other.
Alaska needs no introduction. It’s known for its larger than life landscape and amazing wildlife, two things you’ll definitely witness on an Alaskan elopement. One of the coolest things about Alaska is all the helicopter companies that will literally fly you into the backcountry and land you on a glacier or remote mountain peak where you can say your vows in total solitude. Just you two and the wild Alaskan frontier. From Seward to the Chugach Mountains to Hatcher Pass, there are endless places to elope in Alska. While the summer brings the most predictable weather, fall and winter can also be an great times to elope here.
14. Utah Slot Canyons
You don’t have to go to the world-famous and insanely crowded Antelope Canyon to elope in a slot canyon. Arizona and Utah are full of hidden gems that provide a much better experience for your elopement day. We love exploring these narrow sandstone passages and have found some pretty incredible spots that we had all to ourselves! Wandering through these canyons and finding sacred little pools of light shining through the narrow canyon openings is truly a magical experience. And they can always be looped into multiple locations to get a variety of desert scenery in your elopement photos.
15. Ruby Beach
The Washington coast has miles and miles of rugged beaches and ocean cliffs. Old growth forests with giant trees border these beaches and create an incredible diversity of landscapes to explore. This area is beautiful year round, from perfect summer sunsets to moody winter days that are straight out of Twilight. Ending the day with a beach bonfire just might be our favorite way to cap off an epic elopement before retiring to your cozy PNW lodge on the coast.
Sedona is a desert environment unlike any other we’ve encountered during our travels around the US. It’s a desert, but it’s also green and lush. The richness of the reds and greens here is so striking, making it a perfect backdrop for elopement photos. There are some seriously cool Airbnbs and hotels to stay at here if you want a little pampering on your elopement day. To complete the trip, don’t forget to pick up some crystals, find one of Sedona’s famous energy vortexes.
17. Hoh Rainforest
The Hoh is one of the biggest temperate rainforests in the world, receiving a whopping 140 inches of average rainfall every year! But most of this precipitation is in the form of a light mist that makes everything glisten in the most magical way. A good rainy day is honestly the best time to elope in the Hoh Rainforest. The dew drops glisten on the moss and ferns and you can feel the plants living their best life all around you. This is why we prefer to visit this area in the spring, fall or winter, when our chances for getting a nice overcast day are higher. Oh yeah, and they say Sasquatch lives here 😉 If so, he’s got some pretty gorgeous stomping grounds.
So this list is mostly US destinations, but we had to include one international spot in our best places to elope: Iceland. It blows our minds how one little arctic island can have such a crazy variety in its landscape. It has volcanoes and geothermal activity, which creates natural hot springs everywhere. There are more waterfalls than you can imagine, glaciated mountains, black sand beaches, barren moonscapes, cute little viking cottages, rolling green fields, wild Icelandic horses…we can’t even list all the variety here or else this description would go on forever.
It’s a famous elopement destination, and for good reason. You’ll be hard pressed to find a place to elope that has as much variety. And surprisingly enough, it’s incredibly easy to travel to Iceland. Icelandair has affordable direct flights from cities all over the US. Check out these travel hacks to make your Iceland elopement even more affordable.
There you have it, the best places to elope!
We’re Gabi and Brandon (aka the Foxes) and Hannah and Zoe. Toegether we make the Foxpack – a team of adventure elopement photographers. Together we’ve shot over 300 elopements (and counting) and are experts on planning and documenting epic days for our couples. We can help guide you through the nitty gritty details of your dream adventure elopement!