| July 28, 2020

National Park Wedding Ideas

National Park Weddings

The Ultimate Adventure Elopement

What could be more epic than getting married in one of the most beautiful places on earth?! It’s a good thing there’s actually a system specifically designed to help you do exactly this – welcome to eloping in a national park!

Every national park has its own rules, regulations, and permitting system for couples who want to get married in these magnificent places. As elopement photographers, we’ve traveled to many of these parks while working, but also just for fun – we’ve had the distinct privilege of viewing incredible landscapes, and we want to share those places with you. Below, we’ve outlined our favorite national parks perfect for adventure elopements and small weddings. Because it’s where most of our team is based, we have to brag about Colorado first! Since Tori now lives in the Pacific Northwest, we of course have to highlight those parks as well. But keep scrolling and you’ll learn more about eloping anywhere from California to Alaska to Maine and beyond. There’s a national park for everyone – find yours!

How to Plan a National Park Wedding

First, decide which park you’d like to get married in! If you don’t know before reaching out, that is perfectly okay – we can figure this out together. Some things you might want to consider as you narrow down your options include the weather you prefer, the landscape you want to be in, the popularity and regulations of the park, and how accessible it is for you or your guests.

Once you’ve chosen a park, now it’s time to choose a date! Each park has a very different environment and weather at different times of the year. This might factor into your choice of the park itself. Either way, once you have a location and a date now it is time to apply for a permit.

The permitting process for each park is different – we’ve outlined some of the basic factors below and linked to the individual park’s websites so you can dig deeper. Just know that most parks require an application for a permit about 30 days before your wedding at the latest. This means a national park might not be the right place for you to elope if this planning is happening last minute. But, if you have more than a month before your date, we can make this happen! Some parks will even expedite a permit on short notice, but that’s not something to expect on the outset.

Once you have your permit, it is time to get the rest of the details in order! Get your attire, your decor, accommodations, and your travel locked down. We’re here to help you throughout this planning process to make it as seamless and stress-free as possible!

Now, you have everything figured out and all there is to do now is get married! Make sure you’ve packed everything you need, which includes anything you’re bringing to hike to your ceremony location (if you’re hiking). Make sure your shoes are broken in, you’ve familiarized yourself with the park a bit, and get excited – it’s time to elope in a national park!

Colorado National Parks

ROCKY MOUNTAIN (RMNP)

Our Favorite Season(s): Summer, Fall & Winter

Landscape: Alpine tundra, rocky craggy mountains, high alpine lakes, pine forests, rivers & streams.

Pet Friendly: Not very. Only along roadways and specific picnic sites.

Permit Fee: $250

Park Website: https://www.nps.gov/romo/planyourvisit/weddings.htm

Summary: RMNP is accessible year-round, though the popular Trail Ridge Road (the longest and highest paved road in Colorado) is only open in the summer. Peak season is late May through September & winter elopements often involve snowshoes. You might see wildlife like elk, mule deer, marmots, pika, black bears, or even moose! The Rocky Mountains are what a lot of people think of when they imagine Colorado – the jagged mountain peaks, crystal clear lakes, and thick forests make for a truly epic elopement backdrop.

GREAT SAND DUNES

Our Favorite Season(s): Spring, Fall & Winter

Landscape: Tallest sand dunes in North America, high elevation desert environment & mountain peaks in the background.

Pet Friendly: Somewhat. A few dog-friendly trails.

Permit Fee: $100+ (subject to increase based on guest count & event monitoring)

Park Website: https://www.nps.gov/grsa/planyourvisit/special-use-permits.htm

Summary: Great Sand Dunes is open and accessible year-round. It’s a remarkable landscape with mountains of sand dunes right in the middle of snow-capped mountains! There’s quite literally no other place like it. You can even run/slide down the dunes, go sandboarding (snowboarding on sand), or even camp in the dunes to stargaze at night. It’s the perfect park for those who want an otherworldly middle-of-nowhere adventure!

BLACK CANYON OF THE GUNNISON

Our Favorite Season(s): Spring & Fall.

Landscape: Rocky gorge, steep cliffs & rivers.

Pet Friendly: Not very. Only allowed in parking lots, campsite & overlooks.

Permit Fee: $100

Park Website:  https://www.nps.gov/blca/planyourvisit/special_use_permits.htm

Summary: There are often road closures during the winter months that affect accessibility to parts of the park. However, this is probably one of the most underrated parks in Colorado! The steep gorge seems to appear out of nowhere as you arrive – a truly breathtaking sight! In one day you can be at the rim overlooking the deep rift, then make your way to the floor of the gorge and look up for a totally different perspective.

Pacific Northwest National Parks

CRATER LAKE

Our Favorite Season(s): Summer & Winter

Landscape: Massive lake – 1940 feet deep; pine trees & rocky cliffs.

Pet Friendly: Somewhat. Service animals are allowed on trails & pets are allowed on paved areas and in parking lots.

Permit Fee: $50

Park Website: https://www.nps.gov/crla/planyourvisit/wedding-ceremonies-permit-information.htm

Summary: Located in southern Oregon, this place is an absolute gem! It’s main feature is the giant deep-blue, water-filled crater that is backed by mountains. This incredible “lake” is lined with cliffs featuring amazing viewpoints ranging in accessibility making it both a great place to elope with loved ones who aren’t down for hiking far and for just the two of you to explore further. It’s the perfect place for snowshoeing and cross country skiing in the winter, hiking and swimming in the summer, and star gazing year-round thanks to this area’s incredibly dark skies.

MOUNT RAINIER

Our Favorite Season(s): Summer

Landscape: Wildflowers, volcano, pine forests, waterfalls & lakes.

Pet Friendly: Somewhat. Service animals are allowed on trails & pets are allowed on paved areas and in parking lots.

Permit Fee: $60

Park Website: https://www.nps.gov/mora/planyourvisit/permitsandreservations.htm#CP_JUMP_6118186

Summary: You have a host of ceremony location to choose from: Paradise Lake, Sunrise Lake, Tipsoo Lake, Cougar Rock Amphitheater, White River Amphitheater & Ohanapecosh Amphitheater. Mt. Rainier is undoubtedly an incredible mountain; when she stands out through the clouds there’s absolutely nothing more breathtaking. Eloping with her looming in the background is awe inspiring. With most of the park becoming inaccessible in the Winter, the best time to visit is Summer and early Fall. Summertime brings endless fields of wildflowers and this area’s short Fall brings far fewer crowds. Aside from just the popular (and crowded) park highlight reel, there are SO many trails in the surrounding area that offer incredible views of Mt. Rainier while also less trafficked. **Ceremonies are permitted in most areas of the park if under 12 guests.

NORTH CASCADES

Our Favorite Season(s): Summer & Fall

Landscape: Turquoise blue lakes, wildflowers, pine forests, mountain views, lakes & glaciers.

Pet Friendly: Mostly. Pets are allowed only within 50 feet of paved areas in the national park, but are allowed in the surrounding national forest on leash. Dogs are allowed in the Ross Lake and Lake Chelan National Recreation areas.

Permit Fee: $50

Park Website: https://www.nps.gov/noca/getinvolved/dobusinesswithus.htm

Summary: The North Cascades are absolutely magical! There is just so much to explore; turquoise alpine lakes, glacier-capped mountains, rocky overlooks, and plenty of beautiful flower-filled meadows and forests. And if you are looking for insanely amazing backpacking trails, this is most definitely your place. Most trail access roads are impassable until the snow has melted off in July– making the season here short, and mostly snow-free only between July and October.

OLYMPIC

Our Favorite Season(s): Spring, Summer & Fall

Landscape: Mossy forests, alpine areas & coastline.

Pet Friendly: Yes! There are many beaches & trails where dogs are allowed, but not all. Check beforehand to make sure your location is on the list.

Permit Fee: $50

Park Website: https://www.nps.gov/olym/planyourvisit/permitsandreservations.htm

Summary: There is just nothing like hiking through a moss-covered forest to get to the beach. This section of Washington has it all; lush forests, clear blue lakes, rugged coastline with driftwood filled beaches, waterfalls, and snow-covered mountains. If you are wanting to elope in a vast variety of backdrops on your day, this is your kinda place. There are places to explore year-round, when the coast and rainforests are rainy you can head to the mountains for snow, and the spring and summer brings wildflowers in the mountains and pleasant sunny days on the coast.

Alaska National Parks

DENALI

Our Favorite Season(s): Summer & Fall

Landscape: Lakes, mountains & wildlife.

Pet Friendly: Yes! Dogs are not allowed on all trails in the wilderness, but they are allowed on the Roadside Trail & Bike Path.

Permit Fee: $0+ (Necessity of permit depends upon size of wedding party)

Park Website: https://www.nps.gov/dena/planyourvisit/permits.htm

Summary: We can’t think of a much better backdrop than the beautiful 20,000+ft tall Denali! Imagine standing in front of a lake, with this overpowering mountain reflecting in the lake and filling up your viewpoint, and the undeniable beauty of the Alaskan wilderness. Denali NP is also a great area for spotting wildlife because it is so protected. An elopement here would be an unforgettable experience. Most services are available through here (like shuttle buses) between mid-May and mid-September.

WRANGELL – ST. ELIAS

Our Favorite Season(s): Summer

Landscape: Towering mountains, deep valleys, mirrored lakes & abundant wildflowers.

Pet Friendly: Yes! Dogs are allowed pretty much everywhere except in buildings.

Permit Fee: $200

Park Website: https://www.nps.gov/wrst/planyourvisit/permitsandreservations.htm

Summary: This is the largest National Park in the United States with 9 of the 16 largest peaks in the United States— talk about an incredible place to get married! That means you have over 13.5 million acres to explore! Imagine the largest glaciers you’ve ever seen, turquoise blue glacial lakes, lush greenery, wildflowers, and amazing rustic cabins to stay in. We think it’s a perfect place to get married because if you keep coming back to celebrate anniversaries, you will never run out of something new to see!

GLACIER BAY

Our Favorite Season(s): Summer

Landscape: Massive blue glaciers, mountain backdrop & frigid water with floating ice.

Pet Friendly: Not really. Dogs are not allowed on any trails in the park & the only noted exception is on private vessels on the water.

Permit Fee: $50

Park Website: https://www.nps.gov/glba/planyourvisit/permitsandreservations.htm

Summary: If you’re inspired by the magnificent blue color of glaciers like us, definitely consider this astonishing location for your elopement or intimate wedding! You can get up close and personal to the glaciers by boat, AND take a helicopter for an unforgettable tour of them from up above. Glacial landings (yes, you can LAND on the glacier for your ceremony), are available up to mid-May.

KENAI FJORDS

Our Favorite Season(s): Summer

Landscape: Towering glaciers, rocky island jutting up along the coastline & snow-capped mountains.

Pet Friendly: Not really. The safety of pet’s a concern in this wild landscape & they are not allowed in most areas of the park.

Permit Fee: $100

Park Website: https://www.nps.gov/kefj/planyourvisit/permits.htm

Summary: South/Central Alaska. Over 50% of this National Park is covered by glaciers including Exit Glacier and Bear Glacier. There’s a popular trail here called the Harding Icefield Trail which gets you an insane view of Exit Glacier and would be extremely memorable for a hiking elopement. Imagine standing on a huge cliff, towering over a massive glacier when you exchange vows!! Kenai NP is most accessible May-September.

Arizona National Parks

SAGUARO

Our Favorite Season(s): Winter & Spring

Landscape: Towering cactus, desert vistas & low shrubs.

Pet Friendly: Not really. Pet’s are only allowed on paved surfaces & in parking lots.

Permit Fee: $100

Park Website: https://www.nps.gov/sagu/planyourvisit/sup.htm

Summary: Accessible year-round, this is the ideal park for desert lovers! There is no other place on earth you can find so many iconic saguaro cactus & the hills in the background always light up gorgeous colors with each incredible sunset. The park is especially hot during the summer, so we recommend going in the winter or spring.

GRAND CANYON

Our Favorite Season(s): Winter & Spring

Landscape: Steep cliffs, red rocks, gorge & desert plants.

Pet Friendly: Not really. Dogs aren’t allowed on most trails & only allowed on the South Rim.

Permit Fee: $240+ (Possible increased fees for certain venues)

Park Website: https://www.nps.gov/grca/learn/management/sup.htm

Summary: Ceremony Locations: Pima Point, Rim Worship Site, Grandeur Point, Shoshone Point, Moran Point, Lipan Point, Point Imperial Viewpoint, Cape Royal Amphitheater. Wedding may be scheduled up to one year in advance.

California National Parks

YOSEMITE

Our Favorite Season(s): Spring & Fall

Landscape: Dramatic granite walls, waterfalls, cliffs, tall trees, amazing sunrises & sunsets.

Pet Friendly: Not really. Dogs are only allowed in campgrounds & on paved areas.

Permit Fee: $150

Park Website: https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/weddings.htm

Summary: You have a whole host of ceremony locations to choose from (for parties of 11 or fewer, you are not limited to the following sites): Swinging Bridge Picnic Area, Lower Yosemite Falls, Glacier Point, Cathedral Beach, Sentinel Beach, Bridalveil Falls, Tenaya Lake Beach, Tuolumne Meadows Lodge, Merced Grove & Tuolumne Grove. Yosemite is an absolutely mesmerizing part of our country and a national park that should be on everyone’s list (in our opinion). It’s honestly difficult to come up with the right words to describe such a place. Yosemite is known for it’s amazing hikes + views, waterfalls, towering 3,000 ft tall granite cliffs, and giant sequoia trees. The scenery here is almost painterly. There’s a lot to see here from Half Dome, Tunnel View, El Cap, Taft Point, Valley floor, to Vernal Falls… You may even spot some black bears! The dreamy + mystical sunrises and sunsets here are some you’ll always dream about, making a perfect and memorable place to get married. The park is accessible year-round, but some roads close during the winter months and typically don’t reopen until May. Avoid mid-Summer during wildfire season if possible.

Joshua Tree

Our Favorite Season(s): Spring & Fall

Landscape: Desert, spiky trees, boulders, amazing sunrises & sunsets.

Pet Friendly: Kinda. Dogs are allowed in campgrounds and must not be more than 100 feet from a road or picnic area.

Permit Fee: $120

Park Website: https://www.nps.gov/jotr/planyourvisit/permitsandreservations.htm

Summary: JTree is open year round, but temperatures are most comfortable in Spring & Fall. Joshua Tree is a rock climbing mecca, but it offers more than just that – it is an amazing rocky desert landscape filled with captivating Joshua Trees, this landscape is so unique and would make for an amazing elopement location. As a bonus: there are so many awesome vacation rentals surrounding it, and nearby Palm Springs would make for a sweet honeymoon spot.  Ceremony Locations: 

  • Indian Cove Amphitheater: No more than 100 people total and only 1 vehicle. You must shuttle your guest in and out of this location.
  • Hidden Valley Picnic Area: No more than 35 people total and up to 8 vehicles.
  • Turkey Flats: No more than 35 people total and up to 8 vehicles.
  • Cap Rock: No more than 25 people total and up to 8 vehicles.
  • Rattlesnake Picnic Area: No more than 20 people and 8 vehicles.
  • Quail Springs Picnic Area: No more than 15 people and 8 vehicles.
  • Split Rock: No more than 15 people and 5 vehicles.
  • Porcupine Wash: No more than 12 people and 4 vehicles.
  • Queen Valley Mine Intersection: No more than 10 people and 5 vehicles.
  • Lost Horse Parking Lot: No more than 10 people and 5 vehicles.
  • Live Oak Picnic Area: No more than 5 people and 3 vehicles.

SEQUOIA & KINGS CANYON

Our Favorite Season(s): Spring, Summer & Fall

Landscape: Rocky, pine forests, lakes, tall peaks, giant trees & foothills.

Pet Friendly: Not really. Dogs are only allowed on trails outside the park & within campsites.

Permit Fee: $175+ (depending upon event monitoring for larger groups)

Park Website: https://www.nps.gov/seki/planyourvisit/wedding-permits.htm

Summary: There are many ceremony locations to choose from: Hospital Rock, Panoramic Point, Zumwalt Meadow, Wolverton/Long Meadow, Paradise Creek Trail, Beetle Rock, Crescent Meadow & Halstead Meadow. The park is also surrounded by national forest, which provides many more places to have an intimate elopement!

REDWOOD

Our Favorite Season(s): Spring, Summer & Fall

Landscape: Tallest trees on earth, thick forest, rivers & coastline.

Pet Friendly: Not really. Dogs are only allowed in campsites & not on any trails.

Permit Fee: $100+ (depending on the location & size of event)

Park Website:  https://www.nps.gov/redw/planyourvisit/supweddings.htm

Summary: A beautiful lush park with trees so large you feel miniature. It’s very humbling to walk through this area and note just how tall and old these trees are. This area has an almost enchanting feel to it! The campsites are beautiful and the waterways surrounding the forests make a lovely place to swim on a hot day.

DEATH VALLEY

Our Favorite Season(s): Winter & Spring

Landscape: Colorful & vibrant rocks, desert plants, deep canyons.

Pet Friendly: Somewhat. Dogs are allowed in campsites & along roads, but not on trails or into the backcountry.

Permit Fee: $210

Park Website: https://www.nps.gov/deva/index.htm

Summary: One of the driest places in North America with amazing desert views. The best time to visit this area for comfortable temperatures are in the winter months. Ceremony locations include Dante’s View, Zabriskie Point & Breakfast Canyon.

Maine National Parks

ACADIA

Our Favorite Season(s): Summer & Fall

Landscape: Colorful fall foliage, rocky shores, forests & coastline.

Pet Friendly: Yes! There are 100 miles of trails & campsites where dogs are allowed. Dogs are not allowed on especially steep trails & hikes that require climbing ladders. Check specifically if the trails you want to go on allow dogs.

Permit Fee: $50

Park Website: https://www.nps.gov/acad/planyourvisit/weddings.htm

Summary: A coastal national park sectioned off into different areas – each offering its own unique experience. Picture beautiful bodies of water with rocky shores, thick forests, and miles and miles of views. This is a great area to catch some autumn foliage too, though there is no wrong time of year to visit, it’s always gorgeous here! Ceremonies with under 10 people have more flexibility on locations, but larger events are restricted to certain areas.

MONTANA NATIONAL PARKS

GLACIER

Our Favorite Season(s): Summer & Fall

Landscape: Turquoise blue lakes, tall mountain peaks, wildlife & glaciers.

Pet Friendly: Somewhat. Pets are allowed in camps
ites, along roads & established paved areas. They are not allowed along the lake shores or on trails.

Permit Fee: $50+ (depending upon the size of your event)

Park Website: https://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/permitsandreservations.htm

Summary: If you are looking for the perfect place to have a mix of gorgeous scenery and lots of wildlife– look no further. This park is extremely popular for good reason– it is a colorful, unique, mountain-filled, wildlife-overflowing, magical place. Don’t let the popularity scare you though– there are still plenty of places to find some peace and quiet and take in the views. Available ceremony locations include Pray Lake, Two Medicine Lake, Two Medicine Campground Amphitheater, Running Eagle Falls, Rising Sun Campground & Amphitheater, Sun Point, Rising Sun Boat Dock, Avalanche Creek Picnic Area, Lake McDonald, Sprague Creek Picnic Area, Apgar Amphitheater, Lake Josephine, Ryan Beach Meadow, Fish Creek Picnic Area & Fish Creek Amphitheater.

NEW MEXICO NATIONAL PARKS

WHITE SANDS

Our Favorite Season(s): Fall, Winter & Spring

Landscape: White sand dunes, distant mountains, desert plants.

Pet Friendly: Yes! You can take you dog on-leash through the 5-mile hike in the dunes.

Permit Fee: $25 + $25 to reserve the Group Use Area

Park Website: https://www.nps.gov/whsa/planyourvisit/weddings.htm

Summary: This place almost feels out of this world with its rare white gypsum sand, and mountains in the distance. You can easily hike into the dunes and find a secluded area all to yourselves. Pro tip: Bring some sleds! The summers can get especially hot, so unless you’re going to have a very early ceremony, avoid the hottest months.

SOUTH DAKOTA NATIONAL PARKS

BADLANDS

Our Favorite Season(s): Spring & Fall

Landscape: Cliffs, rocky pinnacles, buttes & prairie.

Pet Friendly: Somewhat. Pets are only allowed in established areas such as campgrounds, roads & parking lots.

Permit Fee: $100

Park Website:  https://www.nps.gov/badl/planyourvisit/permits.htm

Summary: Just beyond Wall Drug (if you know you know), is this wild landscape famous for fossil beds and rock formations. Imagine weaving through hallways of rocks, or standing on the edge of a steep wall looking down into carved out valleys. This area has a sort of otherworldly feel, almost like you’ve landed on another planet. It would be a truly unique location for an elopement!!

TENNESSEE NATIONAL PARKS

GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS

Our Favorite Season(s): Fall

Landscape: Fall foliage, rolling hills, rocky overlooks.

Pet Friendly: Somewhat. Dogs are allowed on the Gatlinburg Trail and the Oconaluftee River Trail. Otherwise, they must remain in established areas like parking lots, campgrounds, and paved roads.

Permit Fee: $50

Park Website: https://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/wedding-information.htm

Summary: Map of approved ceremony sites here. The countries most visited National Park, and it’s no wonder why. This place is absolutely breathtaking. GSM straddles the border of Tennessee and North Carolina and is covered with intensely beautiful tree covered mountain ranges, streams, rivers and waterfalls. This Park is accessible and beautiful year round, though their peak season is June-August and during peak fall foliage in October. We suggest considering a shoulder season for a little more quiet + seclusion!

UTAH NATIONAL PARKS

ARCHES 

Our Favorite Season(s): Spring, Fall & Winter

Landscape: Red rock formations, arches, mountains in the distance & sandy.

Pet Friendly: Not really. Dogs are only allowed in drive-campgrounds and along roads.

Permit Fee: $185

Park Website: https://www.nps.gov/arch/planyourvisit/weddings.htm

Summary: Known for unique sandstone arches and unique geological features. Picture endless unique red rocks, sandy trails, and blue mountain peaks in the distance–the most beautiful contrast! Ceremony locations include Panorama Point, Devils Garden Amphitheater, Landscape Arch, Park Avenue, Delicate Arch, Delicate Arch Viewpoint, Pine Tree Arch, Sand Dune Arch, North Window, South Window, Turret Arch, Double Arch & La Sal Mountains Viewpoint.

CANYONLANDS

Our Favorite Season(s): Spring, Fall & Winter

Landscape: Expansive canyons, steep cliffs, desert, desert plants.

Pet Friendly: Mostly! They must be kept on leash and established roads, but that’s honestly a significant percentage of the park.

Permit Fee: $185

Park Website: https://www.nps.gov/cany/planyourvisit/weddings.htm

Summary: As the name suggests, this park is known for dramatic canyon overlooks and stepp cliffs below inspiring viewpoints. The maximum number of guests at a wedding here is 25. Ceremony locations include Grand View Point, Green River Overlook & Mesa Arch (all three ceremony sites are located at Island in the Sky (visitor center).

CAPITOL REEF

Our Favorite Season(s): Spring, Fall & Winter

Landscape: Natural arches, rock formations & desert.

Pet Friendly: Kinda. Pets are allowed on established roads & picnic areas in the park.

Permit Fee: $50

Park Website: https://www.nps.gov/care/planyourvisit/wedding-permits.htm

Summary: An underrated National Park if you ask us— imagine dirt roads weaving through BRIGHT red rocks that are jutting straight out of the ground and amazing natural arches. If you’re looking for a desert elopement location with non-stop views, consider eloping with us in CRNP!

ZION

Our Favorite Season(s): Spring & Fall

Landscape: Dynamic rocky cliff faces with seasonal greenery & desert plant life. A beautiful winding river with sandy shores.

Pet Friendly: Not really. Pets are only allowed on roads & parking lots. Plus, Zion is too hot for dogs most of the summer.

Permit Fee: $100

Park Website: https://www.nps.gov/zion/planyourvisit/weddings-in-zion-national-park.htm

Summary: Zion is an unparalleled environment to elope in! The landscape is such a beautiful & varied thing to look at that you’ll literally never be bored of it. You get the best of the best from the river to the desert to the plant life – we highly recommend Zion be high on your list if you love canyons, desert & beautiful rocks!

BRYCE CANYON

Our Favorite Season(s): Spring, Fall & Winter

Landscape: Dramatic colorful rock formations & desert.

Pet Friendly: Somewhat. Dogs are allowed on paved surfaces: campgrounds, parking lots, paved roads & viewpoint areas. They are also allowed on the trail from Sunset Point to Sunrise Point & on the Shared Use Path between Inspiration Point and the park entrance.

Permit Fee: $100

Park Website: https://www.nps.gov/brca/planyourvisit/married.htm

Summary: Map of Sunset Point wedding location. You can have a max of 30 guests at the two areas where weddings are allowed at Sunset Point. Bryce Canyon is a dramatic landscape kind of in the middle of nowhere – the canyon seems to come out of nowhere after driving through flat desert to reach the park. This is definitely a location you should consider if you love desert landscapes & dramatic rock formations!

VIRGINIA NATIONAL PARKS

SHENANDOAH

Our Favorite Season(s): Spring & Fall

Landscape: Fall foliage, rolling hills, wooded areas, rocky overlooks.

Pet Friendly: Yes! Pets are allowed on most trails if they are leashed, in most areas of the park & they even provide the option for pet-friendly accommodations.

Permit Fee: $150

Park Website: https://www.nps.gov/shen/planyourvisit/weddings.htm

Summary: Ceremonies with less than 15 guests and no set up do not require a permit. Shenandoah is the perfect place to elope if you’re on the east coast and love the gorgeous fall foliage or spring fields. The rolling hills in the backdrop turn into a dramatic patchwork of warm bursts of color in the autumn, and the overlooks above the valley provide numerous opportunities for amazing photos!

WYOMING NATIONAL PARKS

GRAND TETON

Our Favorite Season(s): Summer & Fall

Landscape: Jagged mountain peaks, wildlife galore, beautiful lakes of all sizes, pine trees.

Pet Friendly: Not really. Dogs are allowed in the park but must be kept on paved surfaces & are not allowed on any trails.

Permit Fee: $200

Park Website: https://www.nps.gov/grte/planyourvisit/weddings.htm

Summary: The Tetons are some extremely impressive mountains! This area is great for any couple who LOVES to hike and is especially inspired by steep jagged mountains, pristine lakes, and enjoys being surrounded by a lot of wildlife. We love the western feel of Jackson Hole, and all of the areas to explore and play outside here. Ceremony locations include Schwabacher’s Landing, Blacktail Ponds Overlook, Mormon Row & The Wedding Tree.

YELLOWSTONE

Our Favorite Season(s): Spring, Fall & Winter

Landscape: Extremely varied – Yellowstone offers incredible wildlife viewing in meadows beneath towering mountains, hikes to waterfalls in steep valleys & the otherworldly geysers and hot springs that make Yellowstone so famous!

Pet Friendly: Somewhat. There are many campsites & picnic areas where dogs are allowed but overall they are not allowed in most areas of the park.

Permit Fee: $75

Park Website: https://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/weddinginfo.htm

Summary: One of our favorite National Parks for spotting wildlife! This volcanic hot spot would be a truly unique elopement experience— perhaps in front of a colorful hot spring, along the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, at Mammoth Hot Springs, or surrounding Yellowstone Lake.

National Parks Outside the 50 States

American Samoa

Our Favorite Season(s): Year-Round

Landscape: Palm trees, sandy beaches, green mountains & beautiful reefs!

Pet Friendly: No.

Permit Fee: $100

Park Website: https://www.nps.gov/badl/planyourvisit/permits.htm

Summary: Imagine if all of Hawaii was a national park – The National Park of American Samoa is a gorgeous paradise of palm trees, beaches & tropical forests. The wildlife, sealife & landscape are pristine. The park is closer to Australia than the US – far out in the South Pacific.

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