Planning your Redwood National Park Elopement
Close to the beach, epic views, tons of hiking trails, and surrounded by the largest trees in the world… Does this sound like somewhere you want to elope? Well, it should be!! Redwood National Park is home to some of the most amazing Redwood trees that can grow to be over 300 feet tall and live close to 2,000 years. Besides its massive Redwoods trees, it is also known for its vast system of hiking trails, beaches, rocky coastal lookout points, and biodiversity. Because this park is so big and has so many different places to explore, it’s the perfect elopement location for couples wanting an adventurous but intimate experience away from big crowds. This guide will cover everything you need to help you plan your Redwood National Park elopement so definitely keep reading!
Table of Contents
- Where is Redwood National Park?
- How to Get to Redwood National Park?
- When is the Best Time of the Year to Elope in Redwood National Park?
- Tips For Your Redwood National Park Elopement
- What to Bring to Your Redwood National Park Elopement?
- FAQs About Eloping in Redwood National Park
- Best Locations For Your Redwood National Park Elopement
- Other Redwood Elopement Locations
- Best Wedding Venues in Redwood National Park
- Best Places to Stay in/near Redwood National Park
- Is a Permit Required to Get Married in Redwood National Park?
- Meet Your Redwood National Park Elopement Photographer
- Redwood National Park Elopement Packages & Pricing
Where is Redwood National Park?
Redwood National and State Parks are located on the Northernmost Coast of California. The National and state parks are located about 325 miles North of San Francisco and stretches up to the border of Oregon. Within Redwood National Park are 4 different state parks: Redwood National Park, Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park, and Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. And many people tend to group Humboldt Redwoods State Park into this even though it is technically not in the designated area.
How to Get to Redwood National Park?
Depending on where you are coming from, you can either drive or fly to visit Redwood National Park. If you live in the state or in the PNW area, then I highly recommend making a road trip out of it. There are so many beautiful areas to see along the way, but if you plan on flying, here are the airports in the area:
- Del Norte County Airport/Jack McNamara Field (CEC) – Flys right in Crescent City, California. Offers daily direct flights into Oakland.
- California Redwood Coast-Humboldt County Airport – 30 minutes
- Rogue Valley International-Medford Airport (MFR) – 3.5 hours away
- Redding Municipal Airport – 4.5 hours
- Sacramento International Airport – 6 hours (more flight options)
- San Francisco International Airport – 6 hours (more flight options)
- Portland International Airport – 7 hours (more flight options)
When is the Best Time of the Year to Elope in Redwood National Park?
Redwood National Park has a pretty mild climate year-round with minimal seasonal changes. In my opinion, the best times to visit are spring and fall. Fall is a great time to visit because the temperatures have cooled down, the summer tourists have left, and the foliage is full of vibrant colors. The spring is also a great time to visit because the summer crowds haven’t started visiting yet and everything is super green from all of the winter rain. You can definitely elope in the summer months but it’s important to understand that the crowds are much bigger so your elopement may not be as private and intimate. And of course, you can definitely elope in the winter months if you’re okay with a little rain.
Tips For Your Redwood National Park Elopement
1. Follow Leave No Trace Guidelines.
When visiting the Rewoods for your elopement, one of the most important things you need to be conscious of is the leave-no-trace guidelines. These guidelines are in place in the hopes that people will leave as little of an impact on biodiversity as possible. Just make sure to never leave behind anything and to leave what you find. For more information on LNT guidelines, click here.
2. You most likely won’t have service.
Because the Redwoods are in a much more remote location, there are a lot of areas where you will not have cell service. So, it’s best to plan ahead and download a map or do it the old-fashioned way and bring a map!
3. Pack rain gear and non-slip boots.
No matter what time of year you visit, there is always a chance of rain. So it’s definitely better to be over-prepared especially to protect your beautiful wedding attire.
4. Check current conditions and road closures.
Because this area of Northern California is prone to flooding and landslides, it’s always important to check the current weather conditions and road closures before your trip.
5. Pack food and water.
You might be out hiking for hours and the last thing you want is to be hangry on your wedding day. You can even bring a blanket and have a romantic picnic in a location with a view. Just remember to follow LNT.
6. Live and Dried Plants are Prohibited.
This is because live plant materials may contain insects or unwanted pests that could be introduced into the park. Silk or paper flowers are allowed.
What to Bring to Your Redwood National Park Elopement?
When it comes to any adventure elopement where you are going to be hiking, it’s important to ensure that you pack everything you might need. Here is a list of the essentials that should be with you on your elopement day in Redwood National Park if you plan on hiking:
- Rain gear and non-slip boots
- Paper or downloaded map
- Bug spray
- Hiking boots
- Food & water
- First aid kit
- Marriage license
FAQs About Eloping in Redwood National Park
Can you get married in Redwood National Park?
Yes, you can get married in Redwood National Park.
Do you need a permit to elope in Redwood National Park?
Yes, you need a special use permit.
Can you elope in Redwood National Park?
Yes, you can elope in Redwood National Park.
Best Locations For Your Redwood National Park Elopement
When it comes to getting married in Redwood National Park, there is a list of pre-approved ceremony sites to choose from. If you would like to have your ceremony in a non-pre-approved location, you will have to request a special-use permit for that area.
The pre-approved ceremony locations include:
From North to South:
Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park
- Templeman Grove – 20 participants
- Organ Donor’s Grove – 20 participants
- River Trail – 8 participants
Del Norte Redwoods State Park
- Crescent Beach Day Use – 20 participants [available Oct 25th – May 1]
- Crescent Beach Overlook – 20 participants [available Oct 25th – May 1]
Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park
- High Bluff Overlook – 20 participants
- Merriman Grove – 8 participants
- Zig Zag #2 – 10 participants
- Schmidt Grove – 20 participants
- Prairie Creek Amphitheater – 20 participants [available Oct 25th – May 1]
- Lost Man Creek Gate – 20 participants
- Berry Glen – 6 participants
Other Redwood Elopement Locations
Other than the Redwood National and State Parks, there are tons of other areas that are home to these amazing Redwood trees. Those locations include:
Humboldt Redwood State Park
If you are wanting to elope in a location with the astonishing beauty of the Redwoods while also staying close to a major city, then Humboldt Redwood State Park is a great option. During your visit here you can drive the Avenue of the Giants which is known as one of the most scenic forest drives in the world. The one downside about this park is that it is much busier but because of its location, it’s definitely still worth it to elope here.
Humboldt Redwood State Park does not have any pre-approved ceremony sites, so instead you just put in an application for where you want to get married and they will most likely approve it. Click here for more information on how to obtain your Humboldt Redwood State Park special use permit.
The Muir Woods is a beautiful park right outside the city of San Francisco. Its close proximity to the city makes this a major hot spot during the summer. But if you’re hoping for adventure during the day and exploring the city at night on your elopement day, you really can’t beat it.
Golden Gate Park (Hero’s Grove)
Located right in the middle of San Francisco is Golden Gate Park which is dedicated to residents who gave their lives in WW1. Here you will find a small forest of Redwoods that are right in the middle of the city.
UC Davis Arboretum
Another unexpected location where you will find Redwood trees is at the UC Davis Arboretum. This a beautiful location for elopements and weddings.
Best Wedding Venues Surrounded by Redwoods
If you and your partner are wanting to have a bigger wedding with Redwood National Park, here are a few of my favorite wedding venues:
Roaring Camp is a super unique wedding venue located stunning valley of Redwood Forest in the Coastal Santa Cruz Mountains. What makes this venue so unique is the train that takes your guests on a ride across their covered bridge to the different ceremony locations. This venue offers 3 different ceremony sites which include School House Lawn, Bret Harte Hall, and Steam Train to Cathedral Grove.
This wedding venue is located South of San Francisco in Woodside. At this beautiful venue, you can have your ceremony in a grassy meadow surrounded by a Redwood Grove with bay views.
Saratoga Springs is a stunning wedding venue located in Saratoga which is about an hour south of San Francisco. Surrounded by natural creeks, fresh air, and towering Redwoods, this is a picturesque wedding venue surrounded by idyllic scenery.
Best Places to Stay in/near Redwood National Park
Arcata is the biggest major city in Redwood National Park and is only 1 hour and 10 minutes from the park. Most visitors choose to stay here because of how easy it is to get to the park. Some great Airbnbs you can stay at include:
- The Guest House
- Bright & Cheerful Northtown Guest House
- Quiet 2 Bedroom Redwood Park Retreat near HSU
Crescent City, California is the most central city to stay in if you are eloping in Redwood National and State Parks. It is the most common place for visitors to stay. It’s a beautiful coastal town that is a great place to stay for your elopement.
- Poppies Coastal Cottage
- Vintage Trailer Private “FARMSTAY”
- The Getaway – Travel Magazine’s The Place to Stay
Brookings Oregon is closest to Jedediah Smith and Del Norte, as well as Prairie Creek making it the most ideal area to stay in if you are eloping in one of these parks. It’s a beautiful place to stay along the coast.
Is a Permit Required to Get Married in Redwood National Park?
A permit is required when eloping or getting married in Redwood National Park. Here are the steps you need to take to obtain your permit:
- Choose which pre-approved ceremony location you would like to elope at. Or you can request an area non already pre-approved.
- Select your date and time block.
- Fill out the special use permit application and the threatened and endangered species addendum. Then email both forms to REDW_Special_Use_Permits@nps.gov.
- Pay the application fee. Once you submit those forms, you will receive an email back with instructions on how to pay the fee.
- An application within the normal conditions of a special use permit will be $100.
- Applications with requests outside the normal conditions and/or approved locations have an application fee of $200.
Meet Your Redwood National Park Elopement Photographer
Hi there, I’m Meg, your Redwood National Park Elopement Photographer!
I’ve always wanted to be a photographer and to be able to call this my full-time job is an absolute dream come true. Creating captivating, authentic images just sets my soul on fire and I have so much gratitude for this art. I love capturing moments. I’m the girl who takes my film camera everywhere I go because I just want to look back and remember what I was feeling at that moment. I love being able to look at a photo and travel back in time.
Being a photographer has allowed me to find the moments of beauty in everyday life and there is nothing I love more than allowing people to see themselves as a piece of art.
Redwood National Park Elopement Packages & Pricing
Whether it’s the San Francisco Courthouse or your favorite national park, this package is for you!
+ Coverage options starting at 2 hours through the full day
+ Planning that includes location scouting and curating a timeline
+ Online gallery with high-res downloads
+ 20 guests or less
+ print rights
+ Travel in California is included
+ International packages available
+ Online slide show & gallery to share with family and friends
Starting at $2550