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Wild, adventurous elopements are all the rage in 2022. Celebrations like these in vast, wonderful outdoor landscapes are definitely some of my favorites to capture as an elopement photographer here in Washington. However, not everyone is up for, or can access, the mountaintop ceremony location at the end of a five mile hike. The great news is, Washington also has some amazing ADA accessible locations that are equally beautiful, and can give you the adventurous experience you’re dreaming of for your elopement.
I’m going to go over my favorite places for an ADA accessible elopement here in Washington so that you can plan your perfect day. These locations include forest, lake, and mountain locations to give you the vibe you want!
The path at Gold Creek Pond is not always perfectly paved, but it is flat enough to be officially considered an ADA accessible location. A past elopement guest of mine used an electric scooter and was able to navigate the trail, occasionally with the help of family. It is also just a short walk from the parking lot, which has accessible bathrooms!
The total length of the trail around Gold Creek Pond is 1 mile, and the elevation gain is only 10 feet. This makes it a basically flat trail good for anyone — including kids, dogs, grandparents, etc.
I love Gold Creek Pond for elopements because it’s so easy to access and still provides incredible views. Plus, this is a “classically Washington” location. Pine trees, mountain views, the lake…it doesn’t get much better than this!
Hurricane Ridge is the most easily accessed area in Olympic National Park, making it a wonderful choice out of these ADA accessible locations for an elopement. At the visitor center, you can check out assistive hearing devices, as well as wheelchairs.
There is a ramp and elevator that lead to a terrace with picnic tables, accessible bathrooms, a gift shop, and small snack bar. There are also a few other picnic areas about 1 mile away from this terrace down paved trails that give you better views of the mountains.
Hurricane Ridge is another classic mountain location here in Washington for an elopement. Olympic National Park has such unique forest growth, and the lush greenery make for an otherworldly elopement experience.
Back in Olympic National Park, the Hoh Rainforest is another ADA accessible location that will give you a unique landscape for your elopement. The Hoh Rainforest Mini Trail is hard-packed gravel that’s accessible for wheelchairs or other mobility aids. The trail is flat and about .1-.2 miles long. There are accessible parking spots and bathrooms here as well.
The Hoh Rainforest is a super special elopement location. If you’re picturing tons of greenery, ferns, dripping moss, etc., this is the perfect location. For a fairytale-like, ethereal elopement, I absolutely recommend the Hoh Rainforest.
Picture Lake is in the Mt. Baker National Forest, on your way up to Artist Point. Sticking with the ADA accessible of these two locations, you may not be able to get all the way up to Artist Point, but Picture Lake is definitely not second-rate. The trail is a half-mile loop that’s either paved or wooden boardwalk. And, there’s lots of benches where you can stop and rest along the way. The incline is less than 10%, making it a very gentle trail.
The views of Mt. Shuksan here are amazing, which is what makes it the perfect elopement backdrop. With the sunset bouncing off the water and the mountains in the background, an elopement here will be so memorable and amazing. There are also alpine meadows all around filled with wildflowers!
Other Quick Tips
- For eloping in a national park like Olympic or Rainier, make sure you get all the required permits. You can check out the permitting requirements for getting married in Olympic here, and Rainier requirements here.
- Try to elope on a weekday vs. weekends. I recommend this for most elopements, since weekends will tend to be more crowded. If you’re working with mobility aids, crowds can make these public locations harder to navigate. Having a more private elopement experience tends to be more enjoyable if you can schedule it on a weekday.
More questions about planning the logistics of your elopement? Have some spots in mind but not sure they’re ADA accessible locations? Odds are, I may have visited before and can help you make sure the facilities are accommodating for your elopement! Reach out to me here and let’s get started!