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7 ADA-Accessible Elopement Locations in Olympic National Park

ada-accessible olympic national park

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ada-accessible olympic national park

Welcome to a blog post I’m very excited about, featuring 7 ADA-accessible elopement locations in Olympic National Park + tips on making your elopement day accessible. I’ve been waiting to publish this to provide a resource to couples who have any sort of mobility limitations themselves, or who want to invite guests who do – because I swear every elopement resource I see out there is focused on super adventurous elopements. And not that there’s anything wrong with that – but most of the time, those don’t take into account the couples & guests who aren’t able (or simply don’t want) to hike miles and miles on their elopement day. 

ada-accessible olympic national park

That’s why I’ve created this resource for you, dedicated solely to a few super beautiful locations within Olympic National Park that are available for everyone, not just those without any mobility limitations. After I go through the 7 ADA-accessible locations in the park, I’ve got a few extra tips for you on how to make your elopement day accessible for you and the people you love – whether they use a wheelchair, are too young to go on a strenuous hike, or simply don’t have the physical capability to walk too far.

Elopements are for everybody, and so is the great outdoors.

ada-accessible olympic national park

7 ADA-Accessible Elopement Locations in Olympic National Park

1. Hurricane Ridge

You can simply park at the Hurricane Ridge viewpoint, or you can take the wheelchair-friendly Hurricane Hill via Hurricane Ridge trail (details below) for a longer adventure.

Trail length: 3.4 miles out & back

Average completion time: 2 hours

Elevation gain: 800 feet

Difficulty: Moderate

Wheelchair-friendly? Yes

Terrain details: Paved asphalt with some bumps and cracks; typically 3+ feet wide

Taken from AllTrails:

“The most accessible portion of the trail is the first about 0.2 miles. The majority of the trail is estimated to be in the moderately steep (5-8%) and steep (8-12%) grade categories but there are steeper sections at about 0.5-0.6, 0.8, 1.0-1.2, and 1.4 miles when going north. 

Trail goers using wheelchairs/mobility equipment or strollers may need assistance along this entire route due to the consistent sections above a 5% grade (especially if using manual equipment).”

Accessible features available:

  • Picnic area
  • At least 1 designated parking space
  • Restrooms
  • Gift shop & snack bar
  • Audio-described, captioned movie at Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center
    • Hearing assistive tech & wheelchair available for checkout

Check out this Intimate Hurricane Ridge Wedding for inspo from a lovely real couple!

ada-accessible olympic national park

2. Lake Crescent Lodge

Lake Crescent Lodge is – you guessed it – a gorgeous lodge right on Lake Crescent. It has plenty of cozy ADA-accessible accommodations to offer as well as delicious dining, free parking, lake access, & so much more. This is a perfect place to stay if you’re looking for somewhere that’s ADA-accessible and right by the water with amazing views to take in during your stay.

Wheelchair-friendly? Yes – all facilities on the ground floor

Accessible features available:

  • Main lodge
  • Restaurant
  • Lounge
  • Sunroom

If you’re considering eloping at Lake Crescent, be sure to check out my Guide to Having a Lake Crescent Wedding or Elopement. And for Lake Crescent elopement inspiration, head to Jessica & Colin’s Lakeside Wedding! 

ada-accessible olympic national park

3. Hoh Rain Forest Loop

The Hoh Rain Forest Loop is the most accessible portion of the popular Hall of Moss trail! Don’t worry if you saw that the Hall of Moss trail isn’t entirely wheelchair-friendly (although parts of it are) – this quick loop takes you through an incredibly magical part of the rainforest via an easy-to-navigate gravel trail.

Trail length: 0.2 mile loop

Average completion time: 5 minutes

Wheelchair-friendly? Yes

Elevation gain: None

Difficulty: Easy

Terrain details: Gravel; typically 5+ feet wide

Accessible features available:

Take a look at Tessa + Jordan’s Rainy Olympic National Forest Wedding for a stunning example of a Hoh Rain Forest wedding.

4. Rialto Beach

Rialto Beach is one of the absolutely beautiful beach spots along the Olympic Peninsula that I love taking couples to. Luckily, parts of it are accessible for everyone, including the paved trail from the parking area to get to dreamy views of the coastline! I found this article that goes into incredibly helpful detail about being disabled & exploring Rialto Beach.

Wheelchair-friendly? Varies by season – not much accessibility during the summer when tides are high, slight accessibility other times from parking area

Terrain details: Paved trail from parking area, sand, loose cobblestones, seasonal wheelchair ramp during the summer

Accessible features available:

  • Restrooms

5. Ruby Beach

Ruby Beach is an all-time favorite location of mine, featuring a few different accessible locations of various difficulties. It’s not wheelchair-friendly, but may be accessible for others with fewer mobility limitations. The Disabled Hikers website has yet another detailed article about exploring the Kalaloch beaches while disabled – I highly recommend you check it out here!

Wheelchair-friendly? No

Terrain details: Rough paved road, dirt parking area, loose gravel, driftwood

Accessible features available:

  • Benches

6. Devil’s Punchbowl via Spruce Railroad Trail

This wheelchair-friendly trail takes you on a beautiful path along a paved road with beautiful trees surrounding you and occasional views of Lake Crescent & the mountains in the background.

Trail length: 2.4 miles out & back

Average completion time: 1 hour

Wheelchair-friendly? Yes

Elevation gain: 150 feet

Difficulty: Easy

Terrain details: Paved asphalt or wooden bridge with railings; typically 6+ feet wide

Taken from AllTrails:

“The majority of the trail is estimated to be in the mostly gentle (5% or less) grade category but there is a steeper section at about 0.5 miles when going south. There is one large step to get onto the bridge over the Devil’s Punchbowl at about 1.1 miles when going south. 

Trail goers using wheelchairs/mobility equipment or strollers may need assistance in the steeper section and at the bridge or to avoid them for safety.”

Accessible features available:

  • Unknown if there are designated accessible spaces in gravel parking lot off East Beach Road

7. Madison Falls

Madison Falls is a beautiful little waterfall that’s super easily-accessible and makes for a stunning backdrop for any type of elopement photos, or simply a quick, fun adventure with your guests. 

Trail length: 0.2 miles out & back

Average completion time: 5 minutes

Wheelchair-friendly? Yes

Elevation gain: 25 feet

Difficulty: Easy

Terrain details: Paved asphalt with some cracks & bumps; typically 4+ feet wide, gravel trail by the parking lot

Taken from AllTrails:

“​​The majority of the trail is estimated to be in the moderately steep (5-8%) grade category. Trail goers using wheelchairs/mobility equipment or strollers may need assistance along this entire route due to the consistent sections above a 5% grade (especially if using manual equipment). There are benches along the route for resting.”

Accessible features available:

  • 2 designated parking spaces, including 1 van-accessible space
  • Restroom
  • Benches

Tips for an Accessible Elopement

Let’s wrap this up with a few tips I’ve got for you to help make your elopement accessible for both you & your guests!

Ask your guests what they’re comfortable with in advance

First: make sure you ask your guests in advance what they’re comfortable with + able to do. If you’re wanting to go on a 4-mile hike but have a couple of guests that aren’t physically able to go/comfortable going more than a mile on flat ground, you won’t be able to plan appropriately for the locations you’ll be visiting on your elopement day. Your guests will feel so special and loved if they know you care about including them in your elopement day and making sure they’re not left out of anything because of their mobility limitations, so finding out in advance what everybody is able to do will help you choose appropriate locations to go to on the day-of. 

This goes for if you’re inviting any guests who will be bringing along children, too – ask them what they & their kids are comfortable with as far as outdoor adventuring/exploring goes.

Do your research on terrain + possible weather impacts

Make sure you do your research not only on accessible locations/trails, but also what exactly the terrain is at those locations. Certain locations are fully wheelchair-accessible, some are only partially, and some are fairly ADA-accessible but not necessarily wheelchair-accessible. There is plenty of information online from past hikers and visitors that detail what the terrain is like at certain spots so you can know exactly what to expect & what will be able to accommodate your guests. 

Pay attention to guest capacity at locations

Third, pay attention to how many guests your locations can fit! If your desired ceremony location can fit 10 people max, standing, but you have a guest in a wheelchair, you probably won’t be able to actually fit 10 people due to the extra space the wheelchair will need. Plan in advance for any mobility equipment that will be brought along and what space it might take up at your location, and make sure there is enough space at your location & on the way there for wheelchairs/other equipment to fit.

Include accessible activities

The next way you can be mindful of you & your guests’ accessibility is to plan accessible activities! If you want to include your loved ones in your entire evening celebration but part of that celebration will involve a long hike, or a walk up a steep road, you’ll be excluding the people in your party that aren’t able to participate. You can always do separate challenging activities/hikes/adventures together the next day after you do more accessible activities with your guests on your elopement day!

Plan transportation ahead of time

Be sure to plan your transportation ahead of time and know how you & your guests are going to get from one location to another. If one spot is wheelchair-friendly but the next spot you’re going to is a 30-minute walk that’s not wheelchair-friendly, plan for how wheelchair users or guests with mobility limitations are going to be transported to the next location!

If you’re staying somewhere with your guests, make sure it’s accessible

Don’t forget to make sure that your accommodations are accessible for those who need it! If you and/or your guests need a wheelchair-friendly or ADA-accessible place to stay, make sure that you book an Airbnb/campsite/lodge that has accessible restrooms, rooms, lobbies, etc.

Hold a separate ceremony if you want to go on a bigger adventure

Finally, keep in mind that you can always hold a separate ceremony away from your guests if you’d like to say your vows at sunrise on a mountain top. You can meet up with your guests later in the day and say your vows again, or simply move on to the celebration/reception part of the day with them!

Complete Guide to Eloping in Olympic National Park

Now that you’re familiar with some of the best ADA-accessible locations within ONP, you’ll want to head over to my blog post featuring a Complete Guide to Eloping in Olympic National Park. In this guide I walk you through picking a time of year to elope, hiring your vendors, applying for your marriage license, obtaining your permits, & so much more valuable info you’ll need to know.

More Olympic National Park Elopement Resources

If you’re absolutely in love with Olympic NP like I am, I’ve got even more resources filled with helpful information & real-life elopement inspiration that I know you’ll enjoy!

30 Vintage + Funky Airbnb’s in Port Angeles, WA

Exploring Port Angeles: What to Do on the Olympic Peninsula

Lake Crescent Elopement