Welcome to my complete Snoqualmie + North Bend elopement guide, friends! I am SO excited about this one, because in my opinion, the Snoqualmie/North Bend area is a super underrated, beautiful location close to Seattle that needs to be talked about more. It’s easy to get to, less crowded than our national parks, and simply offers so much incredible scenery + so many opportunities for outdoor adventure. In this guide to how to elope in Snoqualmie/North Bend, I’ll be walking you through the 6 main steps you need to follow to plan your elopement, including 10 of my favorite locations that I recommend considering for your big day. Spoiler alert: there are sooo many amazing waterfalls and hikes that it was so hard to narrow it down to just 10.

Let’s get right to it, shall we?

How To Elope In Snoqualmie/North Bend: Step-By-Step

1. Choose your Snoqualmie elopement location(s) & get permits

2. Book your Snoqualmie elopement photographer/videographer

3. Apply for a Snoqualmie marriage license

4. Plan your Snoqualmie elopement itinerary + activities

5. Book your Snoqualmie lodging

6. Partayyyy!

Step 1: Choose your Snoqualmie elopement location & get permits

10 Best Snoqualmie & North Bend Elopement Locations:

  1. Snoqualmie Falls
  2. Rattlesnake Lake
  3. Rattlesnake Ledge
  4. Teneriffe Falls
  5. Middle Fork
  6. Mount Si
  7. Little Si
  8. Franklin Falls
  9. Snow Lake Trail
  10. Annette Lake Trail

Snoqualmie Falls

It simply wouldn’t be right for me to start this list with anything but Snoqualmie Falls! One of Washington’s most iconic waterfalls & cascading nearly 300 feet over massive granite cliffs, you can’t go wrong stopping at Snoqualmie Falls for portraits along the forest trail or a vow exchange at the base of the falls. You’ll take a 1.4-mile out-and-back trail to the falls, which is wheelchair-friendly, and gets pretty crowded. So be prepared to avoid crowds or try to visit early in the morning when tourists haven’t arrived yet!

It’s free to park at Snoqualmie Falls from dawn until dusk, and you’re allowed to bring pets as long as they’re leashed – so this is a great option if you want to bring your fur babies along! The viewing platform is also wheelchair-accessible, which is great for elopements if you or your guests need a location that you can access using a wheelchair or other mobility equipment.

P.S. Be sure to make a stop at the Snoqualmie Falls store to take some famous Snoqualmie pancake or waffle mix with you to remember your time at the falls. Yes, that’s right – I said pancake or waffle mix. A unique, last-minute wedding favor for your guests, maybe?

Drive Time from Seattle: 35 minutes (directions)

Entry Requirement: None – parking is free!

Elopement Permit Needed: Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest Special Use Permit may be needed

Rattlesnake Lake

You’ve probably seen photos of Rattlesnake Lake even if you’re not familiar with the name – it’s that place with the massive old-growth tree stumps that make an appearance when the water level is super low. It’s a fantastic elopement location in North Bend, as it’s pretty dang easy to access and is wheelchair-friendly! The vibrant blue water with the rolling green hills in the background make for such spectacular scenery, whether you want to take some dramatic lakeside portraits, hold your ceremony on the shores, or stop here in the evening for a beach picnic. Just note that you can’t have more than 30 people in attendance.

You can simply park in the lot and walk around to find a pretty spot close to your car, or you can take the 1.3-mile out-and-back trail to get all the best views of the water. Dogs are also allowed, so bring your babies along!

Drive Time from Seattle: 35 minutes (directions)

Entry Requirement: None – parking is free!

Elopement Permit Needed: None

Rattlesnake Ledge

In case you couldn’t tell by the name, Rattlesnake Ledge is related to Rattlesnake Lake – it’s simply a ledge you hike to that gets you insane views of the lake itself! So if you’d rather take in the scenery from above rather than down at the shores of the lake, this is the option for you. Just imagine changing into your elopement attire at the top of this ledge and taking absolutely epic portraits with views of the bright blue Rattlesnake Lake as well as Mount Si & Mount Washington in the background. A dream!

The 5.3-mile out-and-back trail typically takes around 3 hours to complete, takes you up 1,500 feet, and is considered moderately challenging. It starts from the parking lot at the north end of the lake. If you need a wheelchair-friendly location, or you/your guests don’t want to hike, this is NOT the place for you – park at the base of the lake instead! 

Drive Time from Seattle: 35 minutes (directions)

Entry Requirement: None – parking at the trailhead is free!

Elopement Permit Needed: None

Teneriffe Falls

Want to tie the knot in front of a stunning waterfall, but want a little bit more of a challenge than the short hike to Snoqualmie Falls? Enter: Teneriffe Falls! Considered easy to moderately-challenging, this 5.6-mile round trip hike takes you through gorgeous views of Snoqualmie Valley, 22 winding switchbacks, and a lush old-growth forest you’ll have to take portraits in. You’ll arrive at the lower part of Teneriffe Falls, and can then continue up to a viewpoint of the upper falls! This is an absolutely gorgeous waterfall, surrounded by bright green moss and cascading over a massive granite cliff, so it’s definitely worth the sweat you'll have to work up to get there.

Drive Time from Seattle: 40 minutes (directions)

Entry Requirement: Discover Pass

Elopement Permit Needed: None

Middle Fork

Middle Fork is a gorgeous part of the Snoqualmie River in North Bend that’s a no-brainer for couples looking for a riverside elopement location. You can basically drive up the road for 10+ miles along the river and take in the beautiful scenery from your car windows, or stop at any pull-off along the way. If you want to make a longer stop for portraits, your vow exchange, or you simply want to hike, drive all the way to the end to get to the Middle Fork Trail! Here, you’ll find a bridge that crosses the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River, and you can explore the trail that weaves through the canopy. The whole trail is actually 12 miles long, so it can be quick adventure if you turn around early on, or you can turn it into a long day hike/backpacking trip!

Drive Time from Seattle: 1 hour (directions)

Entry Requirement: Northwest Forest Pass

Elopement Permit Needed: None for groups of under 75 people

Mount Si

Mount Si is a super popular destination to visit in Washington because of its phenomenal mountain views, rugged trails, and its close proximity to Seattle. The Mount Si trail is 8 miles round trip with just over 3,000 feet of elevation gain, so it’s considered a moderately challenging hike. The overlook at the end offers epic views of Snoqualmie Valley, Seattle, and the Olympic Mountain Range, as well as the summit of Mount Si. This is a rad trail if you want to spend the day hiking, exchange your vows and/or take some adventurous elopement portraits at the top, and if your dog(s) will want to tag along!

Drive Time from Seattle: 40 minutes (directions)

Entry Requirement: Discover Pass

Elopement Permit Needed: None

Little Si

Little Si is – you guessed it – a small bluff that neighbors Mount Si! If you want to explore this area of North Bend with a shorter, less time-consuming hike, then Little Si is perfect for you. The trail has some pretty steep areas, but it’s 3.7 miles round trip, so about half the total length of the Mount Si trail. The elevation gain is also significantly less, at just around 1,300 feet, but you’ll still get gorgeous views of Snoqualmie Valley, Mount Si, & Mount Washington.

Drive Time from Seattle: 35 minutes (directions)

Entry Requirement: Discover Pass

Elopement Permit Needed: None

Franklin Falls

Okay just ONE more waterfall for you! I am obsessed with couples chasing waterfalls on their elopement day & taking dramatic portraits in front of them, so I hope you appreciate these stunning locations just as much as I do. Franklin Falls is located on the South Fork of the Snoqualmie River and only requires an easy, 2-mile round trip hike with 400 feet of elevation gain. This is an awesome hike if you’re down for a little adventure but don’t want to put in a TON of effort on your elopement day, and you want to be rewarded with spectacular scenery!

Drive Time from Seattle: 50 minutes (directions)

Entry Requirement: Northwest Forest Pass, Sno-Park Permit in the winter

Elopement Permit Needed: None for groups of under 75 people

Snow Lake Trail

Now if you’re looking for a trail that will take a few hours to complete, and that will take you to some absolutely phenomenal scenery, BUT you don’t want any crazy elevation gain, I definitely recommend checking out the Snow Lake Trail. Yes, this trail is 7.2 miles round trip, but with an elevation gain of only 1,800 feet the whole time, it’s a fairly moderate hike that absolutely delivers. You’ll get to enjoy scenery that overlooks the crystal clear waters of Snow Lake with layers and layers of rugged mountain peaks in the background, and even a few waterfalls!

Drive Time from Seattle: 55 minutes (directions)

Entry Requirement: Northwest Forest Pass

Elopement Permit Needed: None for groups of under 75 people

Annette Lake Trail

Last but certainly not least, we’ve got Annette Lake Trail, a 7.8-mile, moderately-challenging trail that takes you to yet another magnificent lake in the mountains of Snoqualmie Valley. With an elevation gain of just over 2,000 feet, this out-and-back trail will have you traversing through an old-growth forest with a series of switchbacks, and takes you to incredible views of the valley. The glistening alpine lake is absolutely beautiful, of course, and is definitely worth spending an afternoon exploring!

Drive Time from Seattle: 50 minutes (directions)

Entry Requirement: Northwest Forest Pass

Elopement Permit Needed: None for groups of under 75 people

Step 2: Book your Snoqualmie elopement photographer/videographer

Well if you’re putting all this hard work & effort into planning your dream Snoqualmie elopement, you’re going to want somebody to document it all! Once you’ve started looking into some of these incredible Snoqualmie elopement locations and envisioning your ideal elopement experience, I’d love to guide you through making it all happen. When you book with me, whether for just photos or both photo & video, I dedicate my whole self & heart to telling your story in the most authentic, organic way possible. I know the Snoqualmie/North Bend area like the back of my hand, so you bet I can help you pick your perfect location(s), plan your timeline, and I can even officiate your ceremony for you! Reach out to me here and let’s start planning your dream Snoqualmie elopement together!

Step 3: Apply for a Snoqualmie marriage license

Snoqualmie is a part of Snohomish County, so you can either apply for your marriage license in your home county if you’re from Washington, or you can get it in Snohomish County if you're traveling in for your elopement.

A few important things about Washington state marriage licenses to keep in mind:

  • Washington has a 3-day waiting period before you can use your license
  • Licenses are valid for 60 days
  • You can fill out your marriage license online via the county you’re applying in
  • You don’t need to be a Washington resident to get married here
  • The fee for a marriage license varies by county

I’m happy to help you out with this process & answer any questions you may have about it – and I can actually officiate your ceremony, too! This is a complimentary service I offer to my couples if you just need somebody to sign the documents & make it official for you.

Step 4: Plan your Snoqualmie elopement itinerary + activities

Here are some fun Snoqualmie/North Bend elopement ideas & activities that you could incorporate into your big day:

Want some tips to help you plan your Snoqualmie elopement itinerary? Check out my guide to How to Plan an Elopement for all my best advice!

Step 5: Book your Snoqualmie lodging

I am a biiiig proponent of finding an amazing place to stay for your elopement, because it can double as a place for you to get ready, host your guests, and spend intentional time together, as well as somewhere for you to hit the hay, of course. Below are some incredible Airbnbs in Snoqualmie & North Bend, and if you want to see an example of a couple getting ready in an adorable A-frame cabin, check out this blog post showcasing Shelby & Nick’s Moody Forest Elopement!

Snoqualmie Airbnbs

Tiny House With Mountain Views

Refined Riverfront Getaway

Snoqualmie Casita

Basecamp Guesthouse

North Bend Airbnbs

A-Frame Cabin

Cozy Modern Farmhouse

Private Cottage

Riverfront Home

Step 6: Partayyyy!

The big day is HERE – you did it! Now, it’s time to celebrate. Pop a bottle of bubbly, take it all in, and enjoy this special time together in such a stunning, scenic part of Washington. You deserve it!

If you loved this guide, I’ve got another one I know you’ll love – head over to my guide to How to Elope in Olympic National Park to check out another one of my favorite parts of Washington state!

So, what do you think? would you elope IN SNOQUALMIE?

if you are looking to have your adventure wedding at this incredible location & need some help planning, reach out! THE SNOQUALMIE/NORTH BEND AREA is one of my favorite places in the STATE, & i love capturing love stories amongst its beauty.