Best Places To Elope In Yosemite National Park 2024

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Best Places To Elope In Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park is one of my favorite places to shoot adventure elopements. With over 700,000 acres to explore, Yosemite checks all the boxes for incredible scenery and romantic locations to capture your love story! For those of you thinking about a Yosemite elopement or just trying to decide where to elope in general, there’s a lot that goes into finding the perfect location.

glacier point Yosemite elopement
Yosemite national park elopement
Yosemite national park elopement
Yosemite national park elopement

Things to Keep in Mind When Choosing Your Elopement Locations

Yosemite has plenty of variety, but not all of it is accessible, practical, or even preferable for every elopement! So before you commit your mind to a singular spot in this park, here are a few things to think about first:


Certain locations are more popular than others, and while this might be for good reason, it also can make capturing an elopement tricky. The goal is to capture you, your partner, and the beauty of nature—and that’s hard to do with tons of strangers or even other eloping couples hiking around the same area! We’ll still talk about the most popular spots in Yosemite, but keep reading for our take on where the secret magic is in this massive park.


Yosemite has plenty of incredible locations that are just off the road along with the ones that require a bit of hiking. Keep in mind your ability and that of any guests joining for your elopement before choosing a location with a good amount of hiking involved!


The real gems are locations with lots of variety in landscape and views. Yosemite has plenty of lakes, waterfalls, and mountain views, so strategically choosing locations where you can get a bit of everything will help you make the most of an all-day elopement.


Parts of Yosemite are only open during specific times of the year when snow levels are higher. Always check what parts of the park will be open on your elopement day and have a plan B in case of an unexpected closure.

While summer elopements are a popular choice in Yosemite, I think fall is the best time to elope in Yosemite because the colors are changing and the crowds are smaller!

Time of Day

There are amazing spots for both sunrise and sunset elopements in Yosemite. Part of planning your elopement timeline should involve deciding which locations to be at to get the best golden hour shots or moody sunrises!

glacier point Yosemite elopement

1. Glacier Point Road

Popularity: High

Best Time of Day: Sunrise

Features: Yosemite elopement ceremony locations: amphitheater, many overlooks to half dome etc.

Seasons: Memorial Day through early fall 

Glacier Point is by far the most popular location in all of Yosemite, whether you’re eloping or just checking out the views. If you’re going to elope at this gorgeous hot spot, I recommend making it a sunrise elopement to beat the crowds and get some amazing lighting.

This location is excellent for ceremonies because there are plenty of open spaces to choose from but, while weddings are not allowed at Glacier Point Amphitheater in July or August, there are other spots where you can have your ceremony. You’ll want to plan your Yosemite adventure elopement around availability of your desired ceremony spot if it is a popular one.  You may also have to wait in line if other couples are having their ceremony at your time.  Just relax, it’ll happen. 

For those who prefer a sunset elopement, both Sentinal Dome and Taft Point are nearby with a bit of a hike!

El Capitan meadow elopement
yosemite valley elopement

2. Yosemite Valley

Popularity: Medium

Best Time of Day: Any

Features: Beaches, waterfalls, meadows

Seasons: Year-round

The next most popular part of Yosemite for elopements is the Valley. The biggest benefit of eloping here? The lower elevation means it’s accessible all year round! There are no shortage of beautiful viewpoints within short hiking distance of the main road, but I suggest limiting the hiking distance to one mile total so you spend more time on the actual elopement than you do getting from A to B.  And let’s be honest, who wants to be all sweaty during their ceremony?

The best times to elope in Yosemite Valley are either winter for beautiful snow or fall for the changing colors that I’m obsessed with in this park! Some of the best locations in the Valley include:

  • Cathedral Beach
  • Sentinel Beach
  • El Capitan Meadow
  • Lower Yosemite Falls (if you have video, choose somewhere else because it is loud here)

I also know of some great locations to see the aptly named Bridal View Falls, so hit me up if you want the inside scoop!

We have tons of secret spots here that we like to use depending on the season

Lots of incredible pull-offs right along the main drive for changing colors during the fall

Keep hikes to around 1 mile of total hiking time to get the most out of your elopement locations

Great for winter elopements since it’s the only part open and the snow is incredible

tenaya lake Yosemite

3. The East Side

Popularity: Low

Best Time of Day: Midday to Sunset

Features: Viewpoints, lakes, mountain views, sandy beaches

Seasons: Late Spring to mid-fall (depending on weather)

Finally, we reach the most underrated area of Yosemite: the east side! What I love about doing elopements here is it’s way less busy than either Glacier Point or the Valley but has just as many incredible places to elope! Some of my favorite spots are:

  • Olmstead Point for breathtaking views
  • Tuolumne Meadows for sunset elopements
  • Ellory Lake for towering mountains and maybe even a polar plunge
  • Tenaya Lake for sandy beaches

The East side is open from late spring to mid-fall depending on weather and snow conditions and doesn’t have the wedding restrictions of Glacier Point (or, again, the crowds). It’s literally the best of both worlds!

How to Elope in Yosemite: Quick Tips!

Before you jump in and start planning your Yosemite elopement, here are a few more quick tips to make the most of your big day:

Pack Light and Smart

Especially if you plan to do any amount of hiking, don’t overpack! Only bring what you need, which should include water, layers for keeping warm, and maybe a swimsuit. If you’re up for diving into one of the lakes, we’ll bring a paddleboat to follow you out and get some truly one-of-a-kind elopement shots!

I’ll make sure to bring essentials like sunscreen and bug spray (as well as all the camera equipment, of course), so keep that in mind while packing for your elopement.

Apply for a Permit and Make Reservations

Before eloping in any national park, you need to make sure you’re following the rules. Yosemite requires both a reservation to get in and a permit for weddings and ceremonies. If you’re staying at the Yosemite Valley Lodge, your park reservation is included!

Give yourself plenty of time to apply for your permit and book the appropriate reservation so you’re totally prepared when the day of the elopement arrives.

Book a Photography/Videography Duo Who Know What’s Up!

To make your Yosemite elopement experience the best it can be, you need the right photography and videography team to capture it and help you plan! We’ve explored just about every inch of Yosemite National Park (at least, of what’s publicly accessible) and know where all the best places are for each season and time of day, including some super secret spots we only tell our couples about!

If you’re ready to plan an incredible Yosemite adventure elopement, then let’s get you in the books for 2024 or 2025!

El Capitan elopement Yosemite
Yosemite falls elopement
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