If you are not familiar with Washington State which is smack dab in the middle of the Pacific Northwest, there is the best time to elope at Mount Rainier and a not-so-stellar time.

The beautiful, jaw-dropping mountain you see the moment you land in Seattle, has a limited time frame when you can visit the park. Just because you have to work around its seasons, don’t let this stop you from planning your dream national park elopement.

In my opinion, the wildflowers blooming in the summer are well worth the wait to elope!

Best Time to Elope at Mount Rainier

UNDERSTANDING MOUNT RAINIER NATIONAL PARK IN WASHINGTON

As an elopement photographer who was raised in the PNW, I grew up looking out of my window getting lost in the beauty of Mt. Rainier. Years later? I still stare in AWWWW.

It is the largest alpine glacier system and volcanic glacier crater in the PNW. That fact alone makes it pretty incredible. However, the wildflower blooms during the summertime will have you begging for more.

Did you know that Mount Rainier is above 14,000+ feet? This makes it the tallest mountain in Washington State. It is also an active volcano. Most kids growing up would have tornado or flood drills in elementary school, but being from the Lake Tapps area in Washington, we had volcano drills!

BEST TIME TO ELOPE AT MOUNT RAINIER

Mount Rainier is technically open all year round. But, it is limited on how far you can drive into the park with all the snowfall. Usually, they only allow you to go a couple of miles into the park before they make you turn around because of all the snow on the roads.

Locals consider Mount Rainier’s open season from the end of July through the beginning of September.

Rainier typically gets 640 inches of snow a year! This makes it one of North America’s snowiest mountains! Trust me when I say the snow in the winter up in the park goes past your knees! For regular adventuring, that may be no biggie. However, that much snow for your elopement? I am going to have to encourage you to consider other options!

This mountain is above 14,000+ ft being the tallest mountain in Washington State. Fun Fact: Rainier is an active volcano. Most kids growing up would have tornado or flood drills in elementary school, but being from Lake Tapps area in Washington, we had volcano drills being so close to Mount Rainier.

The wildflowers blooming in the summer are a HUGE reason why this national park attracts so many visitors. I mean, can you blame people for wanting to see this gorgeous mountain with flowers blooming everywhere?

WINTER ELOPEMENTS AT MOUNT RAINIER NATIONAL PARK

Now, don’t let me steer you away from wanting to elope here in the winter! Although you don’t have access to the entire park, wintertime can also be beautiful with all the snowfall in the trees.

If you are still wanting to elope near Mount Rainier for more of an intimate winter wedding, Packwood is a town located near the Nisqually Park entrance on the southwest side of the park.

Renting cabins in Packwood has grown its popularity over the years with being right next to White Pass Ski Area and more attractions in the town. For example, Packwood Brewery is my favorite place to stop by when visiting Packwood, WA.

MAGICAL, WINTER CABINS NEAR MOUNT RAINIER

Tye River Cabin Co – 3 a-frame cabins at Steven’s Pass, WA
Cozy River Cabin – Mount Rainier, WA (the cabin we rented for this shoot)
The Woodlands House – Sandy, OR
That PNW Cabin – Steven’s Pass, WA
Canyon Creek Cabins – Granite Falls, WA
PNW Cascade Cabins – Cascade Mountains, WA
Little Owl Cabins – Mount Rainier, WA
Wander A Frame – Maple Falls, WA
Roslyn Digs – Roslyn + Cle Elum, WA
The Little Red A-Frame – Packwood, WA
Winedown Cabin – Marblemount, WA

ELOPEMENT LOCATIONS AROUND MOUNT RAINIER

There are so many beautiful hikes all around Mount Rainier.

TOP 5 HIKES AT MOUNT RAINIER NATIONAL PARK

Panorama Point, Paradise Inn
Reflection Lake
Naches Peak Loop Trailhead
Pinnacle Saddle to Plummer Peak
Fremont Fire Lookout

When determining the best time to elope here, it is important to take the main entrances into consideration since some might be closed. This means that a location you want to elope at might not be available.

4 MOUNT RAINIER ENTRANCES

Nisqually (Southwest Entrance)
Carbon River (Northwest Entrance)
White River/Sunrise (Northeast Entrance)
Stevens Canyon (Southeast Entrance)

Mount Rainier National Park Map
Mount Rainier National Park Map from NPS Website

3 THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE ELOPING AT MOUNT RAINIER NATIONAL PARK

ONE | LEAVE NO TRACE

Leave no trace is HUGE at this National Park.

This is something to highly consider when off-trailing to get that perfect shot. It is very important that we all are respectful to this beautiful national park and if people stomp around not on the trials, fewer wildflowers and greenery will grow in those areas.

Always practice “Leave no Trace” when eloping at Mount Rainier.

TWO | PAY MIND TO ROAD CLOSURES

Make sure to always check for road closures and conditions before visiting Mount Rainier.

The safest time of the year to fully plan your Rainier Elopement is the end of July to the beginning of September as a safe bet for the weather. If you stick to that time of year, you should be fine! However, I always recommend checking before just in case!

THREE | GET A PERMIT

They are pretty strict with their permit system. it is always important to consider this with planning.

It is always a good idea to plan ahead with getting the permit because it can take over a months+ to retrieve from the National Park Office.

The Park permit is a $175 application fee with at least allowing up to 4 weeks for approval from the wedding date. For more information on Mount Rainier’s permits CLICK HERE.

WANNA KNOW MORE ABOUT ELOPING AT MOUNT RAINIER?
A COMPLETE GUIDE TO A MOUNT RAINIER HIKING ELOPEMENT

FREE-SPIRITED WINTER ELOPEMENT AT MOUNT RAINIER A FRAME CABIN
MOUNTAIN ELOPEMENT AT MOUNT RAINIER | PACKWOOD, WA

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