Your Guide to Eloping in America’s National Parks

Are you and your partner seeking a wedding experience that breaks away from tradition while keeping costs in check? Imagine exchanging vows against the breathtaking backdrop of Glacier National Park or alongside the majestic cliffs of Yosemite. Eloping in a national park offers an unconventional, yet budget-friendly, option for couples looking to celebrate their love in the great outdoors. In this blog post, we’ll explore why eloping in America’s national parks is an ideal choice for those seeking a non-traditional and affordable wedding experience.

Why Choose a National Park for Your Elopement?

Natural Splendor

National parks are home to some of the most breathtaking landscapes on the planet, offering a stunning setting for your wedding ceremony and photographs. From rugged mountains to pristine lakes, these locations showcase the raw beauty of nature, creating an unforgettable backdrop for your special day. This eliminates the need for decor since the natural beauty will speak for itself.

Intimacy and Seclusion

Eloping in a national park allows you to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and celebrate your love in a secluded and intimate setting. Whether you’re exchanging vows on a remote mountainside or beside a tranquil stream, you’ll have the opportunity to connect with each other and nature in a deeply meaningful way.

Adventure and Romance

There’s something inherently romantic about embarking on an adventure together to exchange vows in the great outdoors. Whether you’re hiking to a hidden waterfall or stargazing beneath the night sky, eloping in a national park offers an unforgettable experience filled with excitement and romance.

What You Need to Know About Eloping in a National Park

Permits and Regulations

Before planning your elopement, research the specific permit requirements and regulations for your chosen national park. Each park has its own set of rules regarding ceremonies, photography, and locations, so be sure to obtain any necessary permits and adhere to park guidelines.

Seasonal Factors

Consider the time of year when planning your elopement, taking into account factors such as weather, crowd levels, and seasonal closures. Spring and fall often offer pleasant weather and fewer visitors, while summer can be busy in popular parks.


Take into consideration the accessibility of your chosen ceremony location, especially if you have guests with mobility concerns. Some parks offer wheelchair-accessible trails and facilities, while others may require more strenuous hiking to reach remote locations.

Vendor Services

While many national parks offer basic amenities such as restrooms and picnic areas, you may need to arrange for additional services such as photography, floral arrangements, and transportation. Research local vendors familiar with the park and its regulations to help bring your vision to life.

Leave No Trace

As you celebrate your love amidst the beauty of nature, remember to leave no trace and minimize your environmental impact. Pack out any trash, respect wildlife and vegetation, and tread lightly to preserve these special places for future generations.

Some of The Best National Parks for Eloping

Yosemite National Park, Yosemite Valley, CA, USA

Yosemite National Park, California

Yosemite is known for its towering granite cliffs, including El Capitan and Half Dome, as well as its impressive waterfalls like Yosemite Falls and Bridalveil Fall. Tunnel View offers a panoramic view of Yosemite Valley, while Glacier Point provides elevated views of Half Dome and the surrounding peaks. Couples seeking a more intimate setting may choose the historic Yosemite Valley Chapel nestled amidst the park’s meadows.

Cost: $150 for a wedding permit + $35 entrance fee per vehicle

Sundown in Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

The Grand Canyon is one of the world’s most spectacular natural wonders, showcasing millions of years of geological history through its colorful layers of rock. Couples can exchange vows at popular overlooks such as Mather Point, Hopi Point, or Lipan Point, where they can take in sweeping vistas of the canyon’s vast expanse and ever-changing colors.

Cost: $240 a wedding permit + $35 per vehicle

Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park, United States

Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

 Rocky Mountain National Park boasts stunning peaks, alpine meadows, and over 300 miles of hiking trails, making it a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts and eloping couples. Popular elopement spots include Dream Lake, which offers reflections of Hallett Peak and Flattop Mountain, as well as the serene Moraine Park, where couples can exchange vows amidst wildflowers and grazing elk.

Cost: $300 non-refundable fee + $35 per vehicle

Iceberg Lake, United States

Glacier National Park, Montana

Glacier National Park is renowned for its pristine wilderness, rugged mountains, and over 700 lakes, earning it the nickname “Crown of the Continent.” If you’re getting married here, consider locations such as Lake McDonald, known for its crystal-clear waters and mountain reflections, or the picturesque Avalanche Lake, accessible via a scenic hiking trail.

Cost: $125 non-refundable application fee + $35 per vehicle

Acadia National Park, Maine

Acadia National Park is distinguished by its rugged coastline, granite cliffs, and picturesque lighthouses, offering a romantic backdrop for elopements by the sea. Cadillac Mountain provides breathtaking sunrise views over the Atlantic Ocean, while Jordan Pond offers a tranquil setting with views of the iconic Bubble Mountains. Sand Beach, with its sandy shores framed by rocky cliffs, provides a romantic spot.

Cost: $75 non-refundable application fee + $35 per vehicle

Great Smoky Mountains National park in Tennessee Overlooking the Appalachian and Blue Ridge Mountain Range

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee/North Carolina

As the most visited national park in the United States, the Great Smoky Mountains offer couples a romantic setting amidst rolling mountains, lush forests, and cascading waterfalls. Couples can exchange vows beside waterfalls such as Laurel Falls or Abrams Falls, or opt for scenic overlooks like Clingmans Dome or Newfound Gap for panoramic views of the mist-covered mountains.

Cost: $50 application fee

Eloping in a National Park

Opting for an elopement in one of America’s national parks offers couples a memorable and cost-effective way to tie the knot surrounded by stunning natural landscapes. From Yosemite’s towering cliffs to the Grand Canyon’s expansive vistas, each park provides a breathtaking setting for an intimate ceremony. With platforms like Honeyfund, couples can easily fund their elopement and help them plan for their honeymoon or future savings goals.


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