Smith Rock State Park Elopement - State Park Elopement Locations
Adventure Elopement Photographer - Traci Edwards
It is well known that eloping gives you the opportunity to get married ANYWHERE! Typically, the first place my couples look for their elopement location (outside of the Sedona and Page region) is National Parks! Did you know you can also elope on BLM land or at State Parks?! There are hundreds of stunning State Parks to consider for your elopement. Some positives are that they are typically cheaper to get married at than National Parks and also offer the chance of having less crowds around! Do not get me wrong, I LOVE National Parks and will always support eloping in them, but let’s broaden our horizons and see what Mother Earth has to offer outside of them!
I met up with David, Amanda and their pup, Bailey, in Smith Rock State Park a few weeks ago for this sweet session. Smith Rock is one of those places that is profoundly beautiful and will touch you in some way. Nestled in the high desert with a lush creek running around the jetting rock you will see the three sisters, Mt Bachelor and Mt Hood if you hike up Misery Ridge. You may also recognize it, by the ever famous climb, Monkey Face. It is a rock climbers gold mine and people visit it every year from all over the world. David and Amanda travel and explore new places all the time, but this was their first time here! They had been saving the experience for our adventure session here! During our session we stopped to watch slack liners in awe and chatted with some climbers near asterisk pass. I would say Amanda for sure conquered her fear of heights during this session and is one bada** lady for making her way up while wearing her stunning Reclamation Dress. I was concerned about Bailey being up so high, but that pup was the happiest, chillest dog I have ever seen. I think she was meant for some big adventures!! It was such a fun day chatting about life on the road full time, the lifestyle in a van versus a RV, life in Bend, moving from the South to the West and other aspects of our lives. It was so nice to capture these moments for Amanda and David before he had to head off for a few weeks of travel for work. Sometimes life is all about the quiet moments together or the moments where you are laughing out loud. No matter what always enjoy your time together, and sometime or another make sure to get some of your life captured together on camera.
Smith Rock State Park has so much to offer from a couple hours of an elopement to a full day elopement! From hiking Misery Ridge, rock climbing any of the options, a little scramble up asterisk pass, playing in the river, hiking through the meadow, camping on the cliff edge watching the Eagles, exploring other near by mountains and small towns! Keep scrolling for some more epic elopement locations in State Parks in the Pacific Northwest and the Southwest <3
State Parks to Consider for your Elopement!
Ecola State Park in Oregon - Another beauty in Oregon, but this time on the coast! I just did a ten mile hike here and only saw three other soul! Hello privacy! The park has many trails, an epic hikers camping area, views of the ocean and neat cove that may have you thinking you’re in Iceland. More information about Oregon State Parks can be found here. It is best to call a ranger and speak with for any questions you may have if you can not find it on their website.
Harris Beach State Park in Oregon - The Oregon coast is insane. It is diverse and beautiful. I am not sure there is a bad spot to elope at off the Oregon coast. Most popular seems to be the Cannon beach area, but my friends explore your options!!! This place is insanely good.
Silver Falls State Park in Oregon - Check out a session from this location in last week’s blog! A non-coastal or high desert option in Oregon! This place is packed with you guessed it, waterfalls!
Cape Disappointment in Washington - Right along the coast near Oregon is Cape Disappointment, outside of Longbeach. A cute beach town accompanied by this beautiful state park! There are many trails through the thick forest and lighthouses to visit. Of course you can always just hope onto the beach for a romantic vow reading.
Deception Pass State Park in Washington - Remember Jessica and Glen’s pre-wedding session here?! This park is stunning, just near Anacortes, Washington! It is one of Washington’s most visited parks and for good reason! There are tons of state parks in Washington with good hiking and camping, I suggest getting a Discovery Pass if you plan to elope in Washington or one of their parks for easy and cheaper access as you travel.
Dead Horse State Park in Utah - At first glance you may think it is the Grand Canyon, but nope this gold mine of red rock is nestled in Utah. If you would like some more information about the park’s rules for weddings and elopements click here.
Valley of Fire in Nevada - This place literally looks like a valley of fire. Not too far from Las Vegas if you’re looking for a little fun outside of your adventurous wedding!
Piacacho Peak State Park in Arizona - I have never seen wild flowers in the spring in Arizona as thick as at this state park! In the spring it is stunning, with great trails and views.
Lost Dutchman State Park in Arizona - Lost Dutchman is pretty well known from cowboy movies, Arizona history and some epic hiking. Would you elope at the top of Flat Iron????
Big Sur State Park in California - Big Sur is no late bloomer to elopement world. This place is stunning!! Its coast line is almost unreal and you have for sure seen a many of elopements here by now. One of the most romantic restuaruants I have ever eaten at is actually just a few miles away from here! Check out more information here.
Calaveras Big Trees State Park in California - Just as you enter the Sierra Nevada is this lush state park! It is not too far from Lake Tahoe or Yosemite if you plan honey mooning or exploring further after your elopement. The park has lots of large Sequoia trees!
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park in California - While I have not visited here myself (yet!) I hear great things about this park from others in the outdoor culture. It is somewhat in between San Diego and Joshua Tree! I hear star gazing at this park is a real treat, with great camping and back country hiking for your adventure elopement!
Hanging Rock State Park in North Carolina - In case you did not know, I am from North Carolina, but call Arizona my home base! I hike in Hanging Rock State park every time I am home and the first intimate wedding I photographed was actually in this park. There are many trails to choose from, but the hike to the over look is epic. There are waterfalls and many neat places to stay near by. So if you’re looking for a place in the south without driving all the way into the mountains this would be it!
The fact of the matter is I could go on FOREVER about some epic elopement locations! Our planet is seriously insane with tons of diverse stunning options. My best advice is always to not go off of whats trending on Instagram to select your elopement location. It is best to select a place you are drawn to. I know it can be overwhelming with how many options are out there if there isn’t a place that speaks to you right off the bat. Take your time, do your research, brain storm together and get some help and advice from your elopement photographer (hey, hey!).