Stephanie and Jeb’s epic Mount Baker elopement
Oh boy you guys, this Mount Baker elopement sure was a wild ride! Stephanie and Jeb always knew they wanted an adventure elopement, to match their adventurous spirits. They chose a Mount Baker wilderness elopement and we were so excited. However, we jumped for joy when we discovered they wanted to do a hike, deep in the Mount Baker Wilderness!
The Mount Baker Wilderness
Mount Baker is in the northern part of Washington, bordering Canada and perfect for the super adventurous couples looking to elope in Washington. It is the most visited national forest in the country, and so full of adventurous hiking trails that lead to epic views. Stay in one of the little mountain towns, in an A-frame Airbnb, and gear up for the most spectacular mountain elopement ever. Just remember it is always a good idea to look through this park’s website to check out permits and regulations.
We stayed overnight to get an early start in the morning. We knew the tricky part of the mountain hike wasn’t necessarily the hike itself, but the drive up there. The Mount Baker area is usually covered in snow late in the year, and a lot of roads are closed. When we got there to scope out the road, we discovered that it was closed because of fallen trees. However, as we drove up and chatted with some park workers, we discovered the road was open! And very few people were out there.
The Mountain Hike
We met up with Stephanie and Jeb in their adorable mountain cabin they were renting for their Mount Baker elopement. They had about 30 pounds of stuff to carry up on the hike, including her dress, and his suit. So we knew we were in for quite an adventure! We drove up the treacherous mountain road, completely covered in ice, and quite harrowing. But we made it! And we were the only ones there! Yes!
The hike is a mere 2 miles up and another 2 down. Easy peasy right? We thought that too, until we realized about a quarter of the way up, that no one had been on this hike since the most recent snowfall, so, unprepared with waterproof hiking gear and/or snowshoes, we had to blaze the trail in almost a foot of snow! Talk about a true adventure! We kept each other going, chatted, laughed, panted and stopped to fuel up. But we made it, in about 2 hours, to a stunning mountain top in the mount Baker Wilderness!
This place completely took our breath away. It had 360 degree mountain views at the top. You can see the Canadian Cascades, and if you have certain cell service, you will get Canadian service once at the top. There’s a lookout at the top, with a couple twin beds, a sign in book, plastic bags for garbage and whatnot. We seriously considered staying!
The Mount Baker Elopement
Stephanie and Jeb got ready for their Mount Baker elopement together in the lookout. She helped him with his jacket and tie, and we helped her with her dress. We started taking portraits until the sun got lower in the sky, and then when we had the perfect sunset glow, we began their ceremony. They stood in six inches of snow for their emotional ceremony, tears falling over their written vows, and the glow of the sunset getting brighter and brighter. After their ceremony, they popped their champagne, and celebrated with more sunset portraits.
We got ready to leave, prepared to hike down in the dark (headlamps are a life saver), and in their hiking clothes, their bags attached to them, they had their first dance, headlamps glowing. This Mount Baker elopement was truly one for the books. It was full of adventure, amazing views, and the perfect ceremony.
Why did you choose an elopement?
I’m a photographer myself and I wanted a beautiful mountain backdrop as our altar. I didn’t want something that we can just walk to and take a photo, like the half dome in Yosemite. I wanted something that the photos would reflect an adventure. I wanted our wedding to be an adventure in itself. I originally planned a road trip to Alaska, but I changed it to just the peak of Washington because it’s close to the peak of US border and the view looked gorgeous in all seasons. Everything that I saw online seemed like the hike was doable and not too advanced for us, and the views were great from start to finish. A sea of mountains was the goal wherever we decided to go.
What was your favorite part of the day?
Getting to the top, getting married and watching the sunset. Never seen anything like that in my life.
Any advice for future couple planning adventure elopements?
Prepare for changes in weather, and bring snacks! Don’t expect fancy, just focus on the adventure.