Y’all already know I’m obsessed with my PNW home! One of my freaking favorite parts of living in the PNW is the insane amount of gorgeous forests everywhere you go. Oregon has no shortage of incredible beaches, mountains, and deserts, too. But there’s just something magical about standing in the middle of a forest, surrounded by tall trees & lush greenery. Especiallyyy if you’re exchanging vows to the love of your life – talk about a dream. That’s why I’m giving you the BEST locations for a Washington or Oregon forest elopement!
Ecola State Park is the perfect option for couples who don’t want to choose between the Oregon Coast & a beautiful forest – it’s the best of both worlds!! The park wraps around Tillamook Head between Seaside and Cannon Beach, two of my fav small towns along the coast. It spans 9 miles of coastline and offers incredible scenery at every single step. Seriously, you can just park along the side of the road somewhere and you’ll find gorgeous views of the ocean. You’ll probably find Haystack Rock down the coastline! Plus, it’s just a 1.5-hour drive from Portland, so it’s a totally doable day trip.
I know you can already tell that Ecola State Park has amazingggg beaches for your elopement, but where’s the forest, you may be asking?!
All you have to do to get to the lush rainforest of Ecola State Park is walk up from whatever beach you’re on, or turn your car away from the coast & into the trees. There are TONS of hiking opportunities throughout the forest if you’re looking for an adventure, but no matter how much or little you want to hike, you’ll be able to experience the vibrant green leaves, ferns, and even views of the ocean if you peek through the trees.
Imagine finding a spot in the Ecola State Park forest where you’re surrounded by greenery, with a viewpoint of the coast. You can say your vows right in front of that viewpoint, with your loved ones standing in the forest in front of you. You get the beauty of the Oregon Coast AND a gorgeous forest all in one. If you’re lucky & get a sunny day, wowww the light shining through the trees can be incredible!
Just like all State Parks in Oregon, you may need to get a Special Use Permit to hold your ceremony in the park. Especially if you have a group of over 50 people! I’d contact the office before starting any sort of application procedure, just to double check the current rules/regulations, because usually it won’t be required if you just have a small group.
Mt. Hood National Forest is one of the most popular spots to visit in Oregon, and for good reason! It’s just a 1.5-hour drive from Portland, and covers more than one MILLION acres of the state. Mt. Hood has incredible scenery in every season, from wildflowers to waterfalls to fall colors and snow-covered trails. It’s a must-visit for anybody coming in from out of state. The amazing views are easy to access, since you can just drive along the Columbia River Gorge for the first stretch of the Mount Hood Scenic Loop & get gorgeous scenery!
Not only is the actual mountain an epic sight to see, but the national forest has sooo much gorgeous forested land (duh, hence the name) to explore. There are endless hiking opportunities, like the 2-mile Trillium Lake loop or the shoreline Lost Lake trail, as well as more challenging ones if that’s what you’re into. Picture the two of you holding hands under the green trees of the forest, with a view of Mt. Hood in the background
The Mt. Hood area actually has some super stunning “formal” wedding venues, if you’re looking for a venue to host your elopement at instead of just a ceremony in the forest! Here are a few of the best wedding venues near Mt. Hood:
To get married in the national forest, you only need a Special Use Permit for groups over 75!
The Columbia River Gorge is one of the most INCREDIBLE areas of Oregon (and Washington). There’s too much to talk about in this one little section, so I went ahead and wrote an entire guide to the Top 5 Best Places for a Columbia River Gorge Elopement! Check it out for tons of beautiful spots in the forest!
Did you even know that Oregon had any redwoods?! Yup! We’ve got some gorgeous areas of redwoods in Brookings, the wayyyy southern part of Oregon right next on the California/Oregon border.
One of my favorite things to do with my couples who want a magical elopement experience not only in the redwoods, but also on the coast, is travel to both the Oregon redwoods (or Jedediah Smith Redwoods), AND the southern Oregon Coast!
The Samuel H. Boardman Scenic Corridor is just an hour away from the redwoods of Cali, or you can explore the redwoods near Brookings. So we can hit up one of the most gorgeous areas of the coast & experience the magic of the redwoods. Talk about a dream elopement day!!
Travis + Magen eloped on the southern Oregon Coast, and then we traveled south to explore the redwoods. Take a look at their Coastal Microwedding for all the dreamy Redwoods elopement inspiration!
The Jedediah Smith Redwoods are technically in California, but they’re close enough that I’ll still give you info about getting a permit! For a ceremony in this state park, you’ll need to get a Special Use Permit for a pre-approved location listed on the National Park Service’s website.
Here’s how to get your permit:
Make sure to read the rules & conditions of the permit toward the bottom of this page!
The Woodlands House is actually an Airbnb in Sandy, Oregon, about 30 minutes from Mount Hood & 45 minutes from Portland! It’s the most DREAMY Oregon forest Airbnb and is legit the perfect setting for an Airbnb elopement in the middle of nature.
The Woodlands House is perfect for any couple who wants the adventure of eloping in the outdoors, but also wants the luxury of a cozy, modern place to stay & celebrate either by themselves or with loved ones.
The chalet sits on five acres of a private forest, so you get tonssss of space to yourselves to explore! And it sleeps 7 guests, so you can bring your loved ones along with you to enjoy the Scandinavian-inspired cabin that truly gives you the most enchanting space to elope.
Katii + Taylor recently eloped at the Woodlands House and I got the honor of photographing their special day for them – check out their Forest Elopement at the Woodlands House for some real-life inspiration!!
I bet you probably haven’t even heard of Black Butte if you’re not from Oregon. It’s a scenic volcano right in the middle of Central Oregon, a little over 3 hours from Portland. Honestly it feels like such a random place for such a beautiful-looking mountain. Yet, it’s the perfect location for couples who want to stay closer to Central Oregon for their elopement AND still get incredible greenery + mountain views!
Black Butte is an amazing elopement location if you’d like to stick to the area of Oregon near Redmond rather than further north near Mt. Hood. There are two fire lookouts you can stop at, and if you like hiking, you can take the moderately-challenging 3.6-mile Black Butte loop hike to get to a panoramic summit! Rubin + Shayne got engaged at Black Butte – just LOOK at how freaking stunning that wide-open greenery is (and how cute they are)!!
If you’ve EVER been to Washington or are vaguely familiar with its three national parks, then you’ve probably heard of Mount Rainier National Park! It’s one of the most visited places in the state, and is a truly iconic scene that you’ll find in sooo many gorgeous photos of Washington state. Mount Rainier sits in the western-central area of the state, about a 2-hour drive from Seattle and 2 hours south of Snoqualmie Pass.
I can’t even count the reasons you should elope at Mount Rainier!! For starters, the park has the most GORGEOUS wildflower meadows when spring & summer roll around. There are literally wildflowers everywhere you look, especially on the Paradise side of the mountain. If you’re into hiking & exploring the outdoors, Rainier is the dream place for you, with hundreds of miles of trails for all skill & ability levels!
Stephanie + Austen chose Mount Rainier for their elopement, bringing along their guests for a 5-mile off roading adventure + a foggy, moody AF ceremony in the forest. Head to this blog post to see their Intimate Mount Rainier Wedding & get a ton of mountain wedding inspiration for your own elopement!
Plus there are sooo many adorable Airbnb’s in the woods near Mount Rainier that are perfect for your Mount Rainier forest elopement! Check out Taylor + Jayko’s Mount Rainier Elopement for beautiful Airbnb wedding inspo.
Here’s how to apply for your permit, at LEAST four weeks in advance of your desired date:
Make sure you remember that these things are NOT allowed during your ceremony in the park:
The Hoh Rain Forest is a part of another one of Washington’s beautiful national parks, Olympic National Park. Can you tell yet that WA seriously has no shortage of iconic landscapes that you have to visit during your time there?!
The forest is located in the western area of the park, about 2 hours west of Port Angeles and 1 hour east of Forks.
The rainforest is probably one of the most unique you’ll ever see, with its vibrant green moss, lush canopy, oddly-shaped roots, ferns, and heavy rainfall. It’s truly an enchanting experience walking through the forest. Let alone saying your vows under the trees with your loved ones there to witness it! If you want to feel like you’re in the middle of a freaking fairytale world during your elopement ceremony, this is the place to go.
If you’re falling in love with this national park, be sure to read my full guide on How to Elope in Olympic National Park for all the deets about the best locations, where to stay, & more!
Just like any other national park, you’ll need to get a Special Use Permit to elope in Olympic National Park.
Here’s how to get the permit, at least 4 weeks in advance of your desired date:
Honestly, the Mt. Baker wilderness area is SO underrated in my opinion!! Not enough people know how freaking beautiful this area is. It is seriously an incredible option for couples looking to elope in the mountains & forest of Washington.
The Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest encompasses a large area of western Washington, located on the west side of the Cascades between the Canadian border and Mount Rainier NP.
One of the most popular scenic viewpoints on Mt. Baker itself, Artist Point, is located about 3 hours north of Seattle. Artist Point & the areas further down the road, such as Heather Meadows, are suchhh stunning locations filled with epic mountain views, lush greenery, and even lakes.
This location is amazing for elopements not only because of the obviously unreal views, but also because a lot of spots are really easily accessible for people of any ability/skill level. The final 1.8 miles of road up to Artist Point do close down in the winter. I recommend eloping here in the late spring/summer unless you’re down to hike that 1.8-mile stretch. But the Heather Meadows area is another beautiful spot down the road. You just park in a parking lot, and you immediately get gorgeous views and meadows, or you can hike further if you want to!
You only need a Special Use Permit for a wedding in the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest if you have a group of 75+ people!
I don’t know about you, but now I’m DYING to visit one of these forests ASAP!! Who’s ready to elope in one of these Washington or Oregon locations, and bring me along with ya?! Contact me here & let’s get your PNW forest elopement on my calendar!