Last Updated on December 6, 2022
Sequoia National Park in California, located just a few hours from Yosemite, is a stunning place, where you can wander between tree groves, say your vows surrounded by some of the tallest trees in the world. If you’re craving an elopement experience that’s unique, adventurous, and full of wonder, if you’re ready to say fuck it to the wedding industry and elope instead, if you want to get married in a way that actually feels right for you, this Sequoia National Park elopement guide will tell you everything you need to know!
Here’s what you’ll find in this Sequoia National Park elopement guide:
You’ll need to set a date for your elopement in Sequoia National Park – but before you do that, you need to prepare for the weather, because it can vary a ton throughout the year, and your elopement will look much different in the summer than it would in the winter.
Summer is definitely the most popular time of year to visit Sequoia National Park, and for many couples, it’s the best time for an elopement! It’s warm and sunny throughout the park, and the weather is perfect for hikes and outdoor adventures. Since the park has lots of trees, there’s plenty of shade from the sun!
Temperatures can vary depending on where you are – since there is a lot of change in elevation, it can get colder as you go higher up! Typically, the snow is gone by mid July, so if you want to do some hikes in higher elevation areas, August is usually the best month, but lower elevations can be explored earlier in the summer.
One thing to be aware of when you plan your elopement in Sequoia National Park is wildfire season – unfortunately, fires have become pretty much a yearly occurrence. Whether it’s fires close to your elopement location in the park or smoke blowing in, it’s important to have a backup plan in case your spot becomes unsafe, especially in September and October, but sometimes towards the end of August too.
Fall usually doesn’t last very long in the park. Snow can start accumulating as early as October, and parts of Sequoia NAtional Park can close for the season. In early fall, the days are warm and nights are cool, so September can be a great time to explore (remember to keep an eye on wildfire conditions, though!) when there are fewer people around!
The Sequoia trees covered in snow can be an incredible sight, and a really unique elopement day experience. If you bundle up, this can be an amazing time for a Sequoia National park elopement, and you can get a lot of spots entirely to yourself. Snow chains for your car are a must this time of year, and the snow can make conditions a little bit unpredictable, so be prepared with backup locations!
Spring is still cold, and often still snowy! It can be a great time to elope if you want to avoid crowds, as there will be fewer people out and about. In lower elevation areas, you can explore a little earlier in the season, and see the rivers and creeks in full force! Flowers also bloom this time of year, which can make for an amazing backdrop for your elopement day. In higher elevation areas, however, the snow will usually stick around until summer!
When you plan your Sequoia National Park elopement, choosing where to tie the knot is one of the most exciting parts! There are some pre approved locations to choose from, so you can only have your ceremony in these spots. A cool thing about this park is that it’s connected to, and managed jointly with, Kings Canyon National Park, so you can choose to explore both places! Here are a few Sequoia National Park elopement locations to consider
The Lost Grove Turnout is a beautiful spot, with towering trees in the background. There’s a place in front of the tree groves for you and any guests to stand as you exchange vows, and behind the wooden fence are the gorgeous Sequoias! This is one of the smaller Sequoia National Park elopement locations, with a maximum of 25 people and 5 cars.
At the Halstead Meadow Picnic Area, you can have up to 20 people and 4 cars. It’s a gorgeous location in front of a grassy meadow with tree groves behind it, and while you can’t tie the knot in the meadow itself (for conservation purposes don’t kill the grass!), you can get married right in front of it and have the gorgeous greenery behind you.
Beetle Rock is a unique place for your elopement ceremony, because instead of the huge trees found in other locations, this one offers a huge rock to stand on! From here, you’ll have amazing panoramic views of the mountains in the distance, so this place is especially beautiful during sunset. This is one of the biggest Sequoia National Park elopement locations, as it can host up to 75 people!
To get married at Sequoia National Park, you will need a wedding permit – no matter how small your ceremony is!
You can find the permit application here, and it needs to be submitted a minimum of 60 days before the date of your ceremony, though it’s better to apply even earlier to avoid stress. Before you apply, you’ll need to choose a date and time for your ceremony, as well as a location from the list of preapproved spots.
It’s important to note that when you get a permit for your Sequoia National Park elopement, you still need to pay the entrance fee! This can be purchased when you enter the park, or online ahead of time, and it costs $35 per car. This pass is good for 7 days, but if you visit national parks often, you might consider getting an America the Beautiful Pass, which costs $80 and gets you into every national park in the country for an entire year!
If you’re ready to plan a wedding day that’s real, authentic, and down-to-earth, without all the “fluff” of a big, traditional wedding, I’m ready to help! My Sequoia elopement packages are designed to provide couples like you with a one of a kind, once in a lifetime experience. As your elopement photographer, my job is to be there for you every step of the way – from location scouting, personalized recommendations for vendors, things to do, and places to stay, to delivering photos that allow you to relive that magical day all over again!
So, if you’re ready to do this thing, if you want a wedding day experience that’s absolutely perfect for you contact me to learn more about Sequoia elopement packages, and to get the ball rolling on your greatest adventure yet.
Come and wander in the Sequoias between the tree groves and say your vows surrounded by some of the tallest trees in the world.
Want to climb a mountain and say I Do at the top? Celebrate with a shot of tequila and a big ol’ joint? Hop into a hot air balloon and have a once in a lifetime adventure?
Then do it. I’m not gonna stop you. In fact, I encourage it.
If you want to ditch tradition, shed expectations, and get married your way, this guide will tell you how to plan your Yosemite elopement, and how to get married in the park!