Today I’m highlighting one of the most iconic locations in Oregon, Mt. Hood, and why it makes for SUCH an amazing elopement location! This is going to be a full guide to planning a Mt. Hood elopement or wedding, from getting your Mt. Hood wedding permit to choosing a place for your ceremony to finding a gorgeous Airbnb or lodge to stay at. I can’t wait to show y’all why Mt. Hood is such an epic place to elope in Oregon and for you to fall in love with it!
Mt. Hood is the highest point & mountain peak in Oregon, located in northwestern Oregon, about 70 miles east of Portland. It’s a part of the Mt. Hood National Forest, which covers over a million acres of northern Oregon south of the Columbia River Gorge!
If you’re eloping at Mt. Hood and are coming from out of state, I recommend flying into Portland International Airport (PDX), renting a car, and driving to Mt. Hood. The drive to Mt. Hood is freaking stunning, so set aside some time to enjoy the drive + stop at scenic viewpoints if you want to as you make the journey!
There are sooo many beautiful locations both inside of the Mt. Hood National Forest AND outside of it where you can also get stunning views of Mt. Hood.
Here are some of the best places to elope near Mt. Hood!
Trillium Lake is definitely one of the most popular day use areas in the Mt. Hood National Forest, since it’s super easy to access and the scenery is absolutely breathtaking! Located near Government Camp, Trillium Lake has an easy 1.9-mile loop trail that both you & your guests can enjoy if you want to walk along the water or find the perfect spot for your ceremony. The trail is wheelchair-friendly & dog-friendly (as long as they’re leashed), so bring along all your loved ones to take in this epic scenery with you!
Mirror Lake is another super popular lake at Mt. Hood, known for its family-friendly hike and AMAZING views of Mt. Hood. The 2.1-mile loop trail to the lake (4.2 miles round trip) is kid-friendly and dog-friendly, and takes about an hour each way to complete. Once you get to the water, you can hold your ceremony in front of the foliage-surrounded lake with Mt. Hood right in the background, then have a little lakeside picnic with your guests to enjoy the amazing scenery for as long as you can.
There are several day hikes along the PCT near Mt. Hood if you want to experience a portion of this incredible trail that draws hikers from all around the country. Take one of the hikes that leave from Timberline Lodge, such as the 4.7-mile out-and-back Zig Zag Canyon Trail!
Y’all already know I’m a biiiig fan of waterfall elopements, so I had to include not one, but TWO gorgeous waterfall locations on this list!! Umbrella Falls & Sahalie Falls are two super gorgeous waterfalls on the way to the Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Area. This trail will take you through some amazing scenery, with views of the lush green rolling hills around you & through the forest to get to both of the falls.
Lolo Pass is a crazy scenic, rugged mountain pass northwest of Mt. Hood that you can drive through or hike in! Take the Bald Mountain from Lolo Pass Trail for a moderately-challenging 6.7 mile hike through the mountains or the 15.2-mile Buck Peak from Lolo Pass Hike if you’re feeling super adventurous. Orrrr just drive through it and enjoy the views, then elope somewhere nearby if you’d rather take it easy!🤣
The Zigzag Overlook Hike is a popular trail at Mt. Hood, since it leaves from Timberline Lodge and gives you epic alpine views of the south side of Mt. Hood as well as plenty of gorgeous subalpine meadows, without too crazy of a hike. The trail is just 4.4 miles out-and-back, so you can complete it in a day and enjoy views of Paradise Park + have an intimate vow exchange with amazing scenery at the end of the trail before you turn around. Talk about dreamy!
Finally, I have to include Timberline Lodge, because it’s one of the most iconic spots on Mt. Hood! It’s a phenomenal lodge (and historical landmark!) on the south side of Mt. Hood with unbeatable views of the pristine alpine landscape, breathtaking architecture, and access to SO many incredible trails + skiing opportunities. Seriously can’t recommend staying here enough if you want a unique mountain getaway, and you can have your elopement at one of the gorgeous areas nearby!
If you’re looking for an actual venue to hold your Mt. Hood wedding or elopement at instead of a trail or random spot in the mountains, I got you!!
Because Mt. Hood is part of a national forest, it’s important to check if you’ll need a permit for your wedding or elopement. Weddings with under 75 people attending are considered non-commercial group-use events, which don’t require a special recreation permit. So if you’re having less than 75 people at your Mt. Hood wedding, you will not need a Special Use Permit – you’re good to go!
To visit Mt. Hood National Forest, you’ll need either a National Forest Day-Use Pass ($5) or an Annual Northwest Forest Pass ($30). Make sure all your guests get their own individual passes! I recommend doing this in advance, since it’s much easier to get your passes online than to have to worry about getting them the day-of from a ranger station.
If you want to be able to explore the epic mountain trails when you elope at Mt. Hood, I’d recommend eloping at Mt. Hood between July-September. This is when the temperatures will be warmest and you’ll be able to avoid snow at most of the higher elevations, plus this is the time of year that the area gets the least rain. Fall at Mt. Hood is beautiful, but you’ll risk the potential of snow affecting your ability to hike, bike, & fully enjoy the landscapes (unless you want to ski/snowboard, of course!).
When you elope at Mt. Hood, you better make the most out of your time in this epic area!! There are a billion hikes I could recommend + a ton of other outdoor things to do, but I narrowed it down a little for ya to keep it simple.
Here are some of the most fun things to do near Mt. Hood:
Hey y’all, I’m Dawn – a Mt. Hood elopement photographer!! I’m obsessed with all things adventure elopement and thrive when I’m able to explore epic outdoor places with couples who are super in love & are ready to celebrate. If you’re looking for a photog who can help you plan your Mt. Hood elopement & help you pick the best locations + create your timeline, contact me here and let’s start chatting! I’ll send you a customized pricing guide, encourage you to plan a day that YOU love, and capture your day in all its beauty. I can’t wait!!