Leavenworth Elopement Guide — How to Elope in Leavenworth

Leavenworth, Washington is one of the most popular, if not the most popular, destination to visit in the whole state. It draws more than two million visitors each year from all over the globe! Known as “Washington’s Bavarian Village,” you’ll feel transported overseas when you visit. Leavenworth is the perfect destination for an elopement. 

Old-world architecture, specialty shops and restaurants, tons of outdoor activities to choose from, festivals, live theater, and more all make Leavenworth a magical place to see. I highly recommend this area for an elopement, which is why I put together this resource for helping you plan!

In this guide:

What to Know about Leavenworth

Leavenworth is a small town in central Washington, just over 2 hours from Seattle by car. Known for its picturesque Bavarian-style architecture and stunning mountain scenery, it was originally a logging town. Leavenworth underwent a transformation in the 1960s, when the town leaders decided to rebrand the town with a Bavarian theme in an effort to boost tourism. 

Today, the town is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, with easy access to hiking trails, fishing spots, and ski resorts. Visitors can also enjoy the town’s many restaurants, shops, and annual festivals, such as the famous Christmas Lighting Festival. With its unique charm and breathtaking surroundings, Leavenworth is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to the Pacific Northwest.

How to Get to Leavenworth for Your Elopement

When you’re traveling to Leavenworth to elope, you have a few options for how to get there and get around. The first is by car! Since it’s relatively centrally located in the state, driving from anywhere else in Washington or even Oregon is a great option. The highway to Leavenworth is also one of the most scenic in the entire country, so it’s well worth it!

Leavenworth does have an airport if air travel is better for you. You’ll land at Pangborn Memorial Airport if you want to arrive directly in town. Other flight options are to land in either Seattle or Spokane, and then rent a car to drive the few hours to Leavenworth.

There are also buses and trains via Amtrak that stop in Leavenworth.

Wedding rings balance vertically on top of a vow book for a Leavenworth elopement.

Weather & Tourist Season in Leavenworth


The weather in Leavenworth is similar to a lot of Washington. Beautiful summers that typically won’t make you melt, chilly winters, and some rain. Leavenworth does see a lot of snow in the winter, though!

Summers are warm and dry, with average high temperatures in the mid-80s and low temperatures in the mid-50s. 

Fall is a beautiful time to visit Leavenworth, with cooler temperatures and stunning foliage. Average high temperatures in the fall are in the mid-60s, with low temperatures dropping to the mid-30s by November.

Winter in Leavenworth is cold and snowy, with average high temperatures in the mid-30s and low temperatures dropping into the teens. Snowfall is common in the winter, making it a popular destination for skiing and other winter sports.

Spring is a transitional season in Leavenworth, with temperatures starting to warm up and snow melting away. Average high temperatures in the spring are in the mid-50s (°F), with low temperatures in the mid-30s.

Tourist Season

It’s difficult to say whether any one time of year is busier than others in Leavenworth. With so much happening year-round here, it tends to always have lots of visitors. Having a super private elopement experience isn’t impossible here, so don’t be discouraged! But know that this area will just be more full of people than other places. 

In the summer, there’s a lot of outdoor activities and festivals happening, which tend to draw larger crowds. The winters, too, are usually busier due to the holiday festivities. In 2021, the 5 busiest days in Leavenworth were in December. Oktoberfest is another really big attraction each year. The quietest time of year based on all this is probably spring, though I still recommend choosing whatever season you like best for your Leavenworth elopement!

Where to Stay in Leavenworth for Your Elopement

For any elopement, I always recommend staying somewhere a little more robust than a hotel room. Space to spread out, be comfortable, cook a meal or two with your partner or loved ones…you can’t beat it! Whether you choose a cabin, Airbnb, vacation home, RV site, or campground, all of these are great choices. 

Here’s a few particular places I like and would recommend for your stay:

  • Leavenworth Chalet on Airbnb: This gorgeous cabin can sleep up to 8 people, with 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. This cabin is halfway between Stevens Pass and Leavenworth, with an acre of private property for you to enjoy. There’s a wonderful view of the creek from the back porch, too. 
  • Hatchery House: A 3 bed, 2 bath home with the cutest outdoor patio space. Only a couple miles from downtown Leavenworth, with access to hiking and other outdoor activities. 
  • The Lakeview Retreat: accommodates up to 6 people. This home has an incredible view of Lake Wenatchee and the Cascades from the porch. I’m imagining a slow morning with coffee before your ceremony, or stargazing as the day comes to a close…
  • Bavarian Lodge: staying at the Bavarian Lodge will allow you to really immerse yourself in the European feel of this town! This is by far the most unique stay in Leavenworth. 
  • Icicle Village Resort: This lodge stay has both standard rooms and condos available. The condos are a great choice for a little more space, and more access to your own kitchen and other amenities. 
  • Na-Mu Lodge: a private getaway with 4 suites, 2,000 square feet of patio space, a hot tub, and fantastic views.  
A short-haired bride in a dark dress leans her forehead against her groom's, with their arms cradling each other's necks.

Best Locations for a Leavenworth Elopement

Now, the part I’m sure you’re waiting for! What are the best locations in Leavenworth for an elopement? I have four locations listed here as great options for both a low-key elopement and a more adventurous experience! 

Colchuck Lake

Colchuck Lake is 15 miles from Leavenworth on the slopes of the Enchantments. This is one of Washington’s most popular lakes, for good reason! It’s a difficult 8-mile round trip hike, but so worth the view if you’re up for it. I recommend visiting in the off season (spring or fall) to avoid crowds. 

Dragontail and Colchuck Peaks in the distance make for the most jaw-dropping of backdrops for an elopement, too. The Enchantments are truly an otherworldly part of Washington. 

The Enchantments area is managed by the Forest Service. You will need a permit for both day visits and overnight stays here. These permits operate via an online lottery system in the pre-season, and a permit sale once the lottery slots have been assigned. You can read more here. 

Lake Wenatchee

Lake Wenatchee is another Washington icon, though much easier to access than Colchuck Lake. It’s 5 miles long, with lots of shallow shore for wading and swimming. The entire state park is worth hanging out beyond the lake, too. Horseback rides, hiking trails, boating, windsurfing, and more can be found here. 

You’ll need a special activities permit from the Washington Parks to get married at Lake Wenatchee. There are details on the permit application, fees, and restrictions for your elopement here. 

Icicle Ridge Trail

Icicle Ridge Trail is just outside of town, making it a perfect spot for a Leavenworth elopement. The top of the trail gives you a panoramic view of Leavenworth and the mountains closeby. There are lots of wildflowers on this trail in the spring, and the snow will melt around April, so a springtime elopement at Icicle Ridge is a dream!

This trail is in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, so you’ll need to apply for a Special Activities Permit here. 

Lake Valhalla Trail

Lake Valhalla Trail is a 6.1-mile out and back hike. This is a challenging hike that will take about 3 hours. This trail is especially beautiful for a fall elopement — the larch trees will turn gold and you really can’t beat fall colors in the Washington wilderness!!

This trail is in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, so you’ll need to apply for a Special Activities Permit here. 

Leavenworth Elopement Packages

I’m Marla, an adventure elopement photographer with a love for the outdoors here in Washington. But I like to think I’m more than just your photographer — I’m here to help you pick your location, secure your permits, craft a timeline, and so much more. 

My elopement packages here in the Pacific Northwest range from $5,000-$10,000. I offer everything from a mini 4-hour package up to a full 2-day experience for you and whomever you choose to invite along. See more here.

My own elopement in the summer of 2022 was beyond my wildest dreams, and I believe everyone deserves the kind of elopement experience I had. If you’re ready to have me along for your Leavenworth elopement, reach out to me here!


Amazing Leavenworth guide! Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful resource! Great pictures as always


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