How to plan a Sequoia National Park Elopement
These Kings Canyon & Sequoia national park elopement locations will blow you away! This time I’m taking you to see the largest trees on earth. And a baby grand to Yosemite’s grand piano of a valley called King’s Canyon. These adjacent National Parks are part of a huge network of national park & national forest lands. There are views over the Sierra mountains of south-central California, just west of Death Valley. I’m thrilled to bring these sights to your eyeballs, and maybe bring you there to elope!
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How to Elope in Sequoia National Park
For this guide, I’m going to omit the six developed amphitheaters in favor of highlighting the more natural areas of Sequoia. You can’t get married right at the base of any of the largest trees, but you can get married between them in some of the designated wedding sites. Or venture into nearby national forest! To get married in the park the permit will cost you just $175. You can note other locations in the park where you’d like to stop for photos. Best to talk with your photographer before you apply! Use Leave No Trace principles here. While you can bring a few chairs if needed, most other decorations are not permitted (or needed!). Here’s my guide to the elopement locations in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.
South Sequoia Elopement Spots
How to elope at Hospital Rock. This location is very close to the entrance, before you take the windiest road known to mankind into the heart of Sequoia National Park. A man made stone overlook juts out over the rushing river below. This location is extremely petite and would allow room for just the two of you to say your vows. A balancing rock formation at the same location draws a steady flow of visitors. Including bears! (at least, this is where I saw my first California bear!) Just up the summer-only dirt road from there, another elopement location can be found in the Buckeye Campground.
How to Elope at Big Trees Trail: This flat loop walk circles a round green meadow sprinkled with giant sequoias. Find a spot along the boardwalk for an incredibly memorable Sequoia National Park elopement. This is one of my favorite short walks in the park! The nearby Hazelwood Nature trail is a more adventurous place to elope among the giant trees – there’s a tunnel tree you can walk through, and fallen trees which add a lot of interest to this forested walk.
Giant Forest Area Elopement Locations
How to elope at Giant Forest Museum Plaza: This is the least private elopement location I’ve ever seen in a national park. It is just adjacent to a paved plaza that serves as a trailhead and shuttle nexus for many of the park’s most popular areas. Not to mention the Giant Forest museum is right there. For a couple that doesn’t mind an early morning wakeup call, this location would be wonderful at sunrise as it is right at the base of a large cedar. Bathrooms are close by and it is accessible.
Beetle rock is an expansive, gently sloping white rock elopement location. It’s just a stone’s throw from the Giant Forest Museum parking lot. On a clear day, the views over the mountain ranges are impressive and some of the best “big views” in the park. Because Beetle Rock is so large, it’d be easy to find a spot away from crowds here. Sunset would be an especially beautiful time to elope at Beetle Rock in Sequoia National Park. For similar views but much more privacy, take the nearby hike to Sunset Rock.
The best spot to Elope in Sequoia National Park
How to Elope at Panoramic Point: Of all the places to elope in Sequoia National Park, PICK THIS ONE!! A one lane road not for the faint of heart winds up the mountain through wildflower meadows bursting with lupines. A short but steep hike that is moderately wheelchair accessible (if the person pushing is a bodybuilder). It’s straight up, y’all. The view here is out of this world though, and once at the top I didn’t want to leave. It’s the kind of peaceful forest seclusion, with a grand view of the Sierras that could keep you wrapped up for hours just to soak in all its glory. Not to mention the birdsong!
Moro Rock: California Condors were recently spotted here as they return to the wild after coming back from near extinction. If it’s good enough for Condors, it’s good enough for us humans! This incredible hike weaves up a bare rock face with sheer drop offs down to the valley below. The 360 degree view from the top is well worth the climb. While you can’t say your vows here, it’s one of the best photo locations in all of the Sierras. Sunrise here would be magical AF and if you elope in Sequoia, I will insist we come on this adventurous hike together. So don’t even ask if we can skip it. We can’t. Nearby hanging rock is also spectacular. You literally cannot go wrong if you love mountains and forests – choose to elope in sequoia national park!
How to Elope at Crescent Meadow, Halstead Meadow, and Wolverton/Long Meadow: Elopement ceremonies can take place on trail anywhere on the edges of these sweeping green meadows. This gives you the chance to pick a spot that feels just right for you. My favorite of the three is Crescent meadow, for its proximity to Moro Rock, the Tunnel Tree, and nearby Eagle view. It’s also the furthest away from any road noise. You can ski / sled at Wolverton/Long meadow, so consider eloping here if you desire a winter mountain elopement in California.
Lost Grove in Sequoia National Park
Lost grove is a stop off along the General’s Highway. You can marry each other between the towering trees in this forested location right off the road. If you want to get married at the base of a sequoia, best go outside of the national parks. I’ve got locations for that! Most come here to see the trees because the giant sequoias are the largest in the world by volume. They are truly awe-inspiring. It’s hard to describe the feeling of standing at the base of these ancient giants. The only word my husband and I seemed to agree on to describe the size was “stupid” as in “this tree is stupidly big.” and “It’s stupid how big this one is.” Maybe that doesn’t make sense until you’ve seen the trees yourself. 😉
How to Elope in King’s Canyon National Park
You’ve probably never even heard of this national park, which is a national shame – it’s incredible! Zumwaldt Meadow at the very end of the road gives you that Yosemite feeling but without the traffic! Not only is the drive to this site packed with scenery and viewpoints, the meadow itself is peaceful. And It’s full of bears. I hope you like bears! The huge mountain views make it my #1 spot in both the parks. Muir Rock, which is nearby, is a great location to elope in Kings Canyon as well. It overlooks the rushing waters of the crystal clear river nearby. Grizzly Creek Falls and Roaring River Falls are not to be missed along your route.
Nearby National Forest Elopement Locations
Mineral King and Sequoia National Forests hold tons of areas just outside the national park boundaries. These would make incredible mountain elopement locations without all the restrictions of the official national parks. This also means far fewer crowds and more freedom to pick the spot you want. If you are interested in eloping in Sequoia national forest, I’d love to show you my favorite areas and swimming holes!
How to plan your Sequoia National Park Elopement
The parks ask you to apply at least 60 to 90 days in advance to ensure enough time for processing. Some general notes about these two national parks: One, the roads are extremely windy. If you’re the kind who gets a little sick on windy roads, I would suggest packing some dramamine. I hope you enjoyed reading my guide to eloping in Sequoia & King’s Canyon National parks. Here I am with the largest tree on earth; below that on a fallen tree outside the park boundaries.
Sample timeline for an amazing Sequoia National Park Elopement:
6:00AM Sunrise hike to Moro Rock & First Look at the top!
7:00AM Hike down, head to meadow picnic area
8:00AM Cook banana pancakes together on a camp stove
9:00AM Set up hammocks on the edge of a meadow & nap
11:00AM Drive into King’s Canyon, stop at waterfalls for picnic lunch
2:00 Explore Zumwaldt Meadow & swing bridge together
4:00 Closest friends gather at Panoramic Point
4:30 Afternoon Ceremony at Panoramic Point vista
5:00 Everyone contributes to creating a time capsule for the couple
5:15 Champagne Toasts
5:45 Everyone gathers back at campground for a cookout & campfire
I’m a nomadic and colorful elopement photographer with an obsession for mountains, hiking, and my cats. My photography style emphasizes the epic landscape of your dreams and the authentic moments that make you two.. well, you two! I love my job and my nature-loving clients. Sequoia National Park and its sibling Kings Canyon are often overlooked and I can’t figure out why. Maybe I’ll see you there!
I hope you’ve enjoyed my guide – and please get in touch to check your date’s availability. I offer full day, 1.5 day and 2 day elopement photography in National Parks and the wild lands outside of them. See my pricing and package details here. I would love to chat with you and help see if an elopement with me is what you’ve been dreaming of.
Here’s a preview of my interactive location map that you can download:
This map is like a virtual tour of Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Park elopement locations with color photos I’ve taken of each place. So you can see all the great spots without leaving your living room. If you’re planning from afar, this is a visual key to picking out the elopement spot that works for you. Details like what seasons and time of day are best for each location are included. It will help you plan your activities, accommodations, and your day’s itinerary. Lastly, it’s easy to have a great backup location picked out with this map in front of you. Having that Plan B in your back pocket will keep your planning stress-free! This is one of my biggest and most comprehensive elopement maps.