Where are all my Twilight fans at? If you’ve been following me on Insta for ANY amount of time, then you probably know how much I love Twilight—so much so that I’ve literally had brand photos taken recently at one of the locations mentioned in the movies! If you’re just as obsessed with this series as I am, or even if you’re not & you just love moody PNW beaches, then this is the guide for you: how to plan a La Push elopement.
La Push is one of the main settings in New Moon (it’s Jacob’s hometown!), and is home to some of the coolest coastal spots along the west coast. La Push beaches are totally different than the average tropical beach you might think of in Cali or Hawaii—these beaches are moody, dark, foggy, rainy, and sooo magical in their own ways. So this guide is going to tell you everything you need to know to elope in La Push, including the best beach spots, the best time of year to elope, fun activities to do in the area (including some Twilight-related options, of course), and more.
I’ll start off with a quick overview of where La Push is, in case you’re not familiar with the area. La Push is a village that’s part of Olympic National Park, located on the west coast of the Olympic Peninsula at the mouth of the Quillayute River. It’s home to the Quileute Tribe, and is about 14 miles from Forks (which you’ll also recognize if you’re a Twilight fan). Coming from Seattle, it’s about a 4.5 hour drive, and from Portland, about 5.5 hours. So it’s definitely a trek (as is any part of ONP, really), but it’s sooo worth it if you have the time & capacity to make the trip for your elopement! It’s seriously a perfect tranquil, coastal escape from real life that’ll help you stay present in your elopement and not worry about what’s going on back at home.
Let me give y’all a few of the main reasons WHY I love La Push, and why it makes for an amazing elopement destination in Washington (+ why it’s so worth the drive to get there).
Like I said, La Push beaches aren’t like the ones you’ll find in warmer climates! They’re dark moody, often covered by mist and rain that make the trees look super mystical and intriguing. The driftwood-covered shores are super dramatic and look beautiful in photos, and work with really any type of color palette (from black & white to monochromatic neutrals to vibrant colors!).
One of the best parts about La Push is that there’s so many more amazing places nearby to check out in Olympic National Park, including forests, mountain viewpoints, and lakes. You can really get the best of all the PNW worlds!
For an in-depth look at all the best places to elope + explore in Olympic National Park, check out my full Olympic National Park Elopement Guide.
Not only are the beaches beautiful, the village of La Push itself is also really fun to explore! It’s a unique little town with so many amazing cabins, Airbnbs, restaurants, shops, and even museums to check out. You can also find TONS of outdoor activities to add to your adventure elopement experience such as hiking, fishing, camping, and whale-watching.
While there are definitely better times to elope at La Push (which I’ll talk about in more detail later), it is accessible all year. So unlike a lot of Washington’s mountain elopement locations which you have a very limited window to visit, you can visit La Push whenever—as long as you’re okay with colder weather, obviously!
One thing I love about La Push (and any of the beaches along the Olympic Peninsula) is that you can really visit at any time of year! Obviously the closer to winter that you go, the colder it’ll be and the more rain/precipitation you’ll get on the coast—but at least you have the option, unlike most locations further into the mountains. The only important thing to note that could affect your ability to visit La Push in the fall/winter months is that Highway 101 is prone to closures due to mudslides/debris on the road, so make sure you keep an eye on recent alerts & conditions on the ONP website.
The overall BEST time of year to elope in La Push would have to be in the summer and early fall, from around June to September. This is when you’ll get the warmest, driest weather, and the best chance at a glowy golden hour on the beach if that’s what you’re hoping for! Keep in mind that it is the PNW, though, so you never know when you’ll get rained on—and honestly, that’s part of the magic of these coastal spots. They look just as spectacular in the pouring rain and dense fog as they do on clear days with blue skies, so don’t worry about it too much 🙂 Just prepare for any + every kind of weather, bring the proper gear/supplies, and you’ll be good to go.
While pretty much all of La Push is beautiful and you could just explore wherever you feel like going, there are a few spots that have my heart, so here are the 5 best places to elope in La Push!
At the top of the list is probably my personal favorite, Rialto Beach! This beach has become super popular for elopements and sessions due to its dramatic shorelines, iconic sea stacks, coastal forests, and stunning ocean views. It’s about 36 miles from Lake Crescent, to give you a reference, and is located off of La Push Road, accessible by Mora Road. It’s the dream beach if you want those quintessential moody PNW vibes with a high chance of rain/fog, chilly weather, and a mystical coastline bordered by a dark, deep forest + covered in driftwood. If you’ve got the time, you should definitely take the 1.5-mile hike to Split Rock and Hole-in-the-Wall, too!
Karli and Kevin had the DREAMIEST Rialto Beach Elopement In Olympic National Park that you absolutely have to see! She wore a $98 dress, he wore black-tie attire with a rad vest thrown on, and they had the most beautiful monochromatic setup on the moody beach. What more could you ask for??
Before I get into the details about First Beach, I want to share something I that I thought was super funny—the description of First Beach on Google Maps:
“Picturesque seashore destination mentioned in a popular series of novels about vampire teenagers.”
I mean, who doesn’t want to tie the knot on a picturesque beach mentioned in a popular series about vampire teenagers? I figured y’all would love that too hahaha.
Anyway! A little context: the beaches of La Push are numbered from North to South, with First Beach being the closest one to the north parking lot & Third Beach being the furthest to the south. All the beaches are located along the same road and each one has its own parking lot, so it’s really easy to go from one to the next & hit them all up during your time on the coast. First Beach is home to the Quileute Native American tribe, so it’s important that you’re respectful of + attentive to signage around the area, as well as the beach-specific rules and regulations set by the tribe. It’s not actually within the borders of Olympic National Park!
First Beach is also the only other beach besides Rialto that has drive-up access, so it’s easy to get to without a long walk from the parking lot and is close to town. You’ll get beautiful views of sea stacks, rock pools, and driftwood, of course!
Second Beach is harder to get to than First Beach, requiring a 2-mile hike each way, but it’s definitely worth the trek for the dramatic ocean scenery you’ll get to see at the end! The parking lot at the trailhead only fits about 10 cars, so carpool if you have guests–or be prepared to have to park somewhere else & walk more to get there.
The last of these three beaches is obviously Third Beach, which you’ll take a 1.3-mile trek each way to visit. Once you hike through the forest to get there, you’ll be greeted by gorgeous views of the Pacific Ocean with tons of sea stacks in the distance, as well as plenty of driftwood piles of course!
Looking for more places in the PNW that’ll make you feel like you’re Bella & Edward in the Twilight movies? You won’t wanna miss my guide to 8 Twilight-Inspired Elopement Locations in the PNW!
Now, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of La Push elopement rules and regulations, and more importantly, permits.
If you’re eloping at Rialto Beach, Second Beach, or Third Beach, you will need to get a Special Use Permit through Olympic National Park, as these beaches are located within ONP and are part of the Olympic Wilderness Coast. If you’re eloping on First Beach, though, you won’t need one, as it’s part of the Quileute Native American Reservation and not within the borders of ONP!
To get a Special Use Permit for beach elopements within the park, here’s what you’ll need to do:
Make sure to apply at least 3-4 weeks in advance of your desired date, or even further out if you’re able to!
In addition to getting a Special Use Permit, you’ll need to pay the regular entrance fee (as will your guests and vendors). It’s $30 for private vehicle entry for 7 consecutive days, but you can also get either an annual park pass for $55 or an America the Beautiful pass for $80.
One of the most important parts of making your elopement feel true to you + totally unforgettable is planning ACTIVITIES! I love it when couples incorporate certain activities into their elopement timeline that they want to do together/with their guests, because it really helps make their experience completely unique and unforgettable. So here are a few of the most fun things to do in La Push that would be great additions to your timeline!
Duh! Forks the main home of the Twilight series, and, fun fact, is the rainiest town in the U.S. So it’s the perfect place to have the true Twilight experience, especially if you go in the fall 🙂 But even if you don’t care at all about Twilight, Forks is still such a fun little town to explore! Bordered by seashores, alpine meadows, and rainforest valleys, Forks has a ton of incredible opportunities for adventure, dining, lodging, and shopping. Visit the local museums, learn about the tribal areas, hike the Ozette Wilderness, or dine at a local eatery. . . the options are endless. I know a TON of cute spots in Forks that I can take you to for your elopement!
Forks is also home to the world’s largest collection of Twilight props and costumes—yes, seriously! Visit the collection and see for yourself: you’ll find costumes worn by Bella, Edward, and Jacob in the movies, international editions of the Twilight books, fan-made quilts, and a ton of unique Forks-themed pieces. It’s completely free and is such a cool experience for Twilight fans!
Want to see more of the spots that are mentioned throughout the Twilight saga? Drive to all the spots on this Twilight Loop map, including Forks High School (where Bella meets Edward for the first time) and the Swan House, the honorary home of Bella & Charlie! Sooo fun and there are tons of photo ops along the way.
Kalaloch and Ruby Beach are must-visits if you have the time for a little day-trip from La Push (or even if you’re down to drive a bit for your evening portraits). Ruby Beach is about an hour’s drive from La Push and is another iconic spot on the peninsula, with tons of tide pools, similarly dramatic sea stacks, surfing opportunities, and amazing views. One of my favorite spots in the area is the Tree of Life, which is this massive sitka spruce tree that has roots draping down into a cave—it’s SO insanely cool.
I took Keziah & Kaleb’s anniversary photos at Ruby Beach a while back and we had the BEST time—Kez and I are both obsessed with Twilight and vintage wolf tees, so obviously it was a match made in heaven! Check out their moody beach session here for all the coastal inspo.
I know I’ve said this about pretty much every location on this list, but the Hoh Rain Forest is SERIOUSLY a must-visit. Located along the peninsula, the Hoh Rain Forest is just over an hour’s drive from La Push and is one of the most magical places you’ll ever visit. The tranquil, idyllic rainforest atmosphere makes for an incredible place for an intimate elopement ceremony or portraits beneath the trees, and it’s super easy to walk through (+ the main Hall of Mosses trail is wheelchair-accessible!). You’ll feel like you literally stepped into a fairytale once your feet hit the mossy forest floor!
Finally, I wanted to give you a few great options of places to stay for your La Push elopement! There are sooo many cute & cozy Airbnbs and beautiful lodges in the area, so I’ve got more I can recommend to ya if these don’t fit the vibe you’re looking for 🙂
Now that you’ve got all the knowledge you need to plan your dream La Push elopement, it’s time to hire a La Push elopement photographer to document your epic day for you. I’m all about authenticity, adventure, and intention when it comes to elopements—so if that sounds like your vibe, I’m your gal! Let’s get in touch and start planning the elopement of your dreams, whether you want to keep it private with a romantic ceremony in the woods + sunset portraits on Rialto Beach, or you want to create an unforgettable experience for your guests at a cozy Airbnb in La Push. No matter what your unique vision is, I got you and I can’t wait to help you execute it! Reach out here and let’s freakin’ do this.
If you loved this La Push elopement guide, I’ve got tons more PNW elopement guides on the blog, and I’ve linked some of my favorites below!