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Complete Guide to Having a Lake Crescent Wedding or Elopement

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You’ve made it to my complete guide to having a Lake Crescent wedding or elopement. Get ready to fall head-over-heels in love with this stunning body of water that Washington’s Olympic National Park has to offer! I guarantee you’ll be dying to have your elopement here as soon as you’ve learned about all the incredible opportunities that the lake has to offer.

Where is Lake Crescent, & Why Get Married There?

Lake Crescent is a breathtaking lake in one of Washington’s three national parks, Olympic National Park. It’s nestled right in the foothills of the mountain range. Fun fact, it is the second deepest lake in the state! Not only is the lake surrounded by some of the PNW’s most breathtaking mountains, but the lake itself is also such an incredible sight to be seen with its crystal clear waters and stunning reflections on days without much wind. It’s truly one of the most amazing elopement locations in Washington state, especially because of how easy it is to access for people of all ability levels!

Closest town: Port Angeles (22 miles)

Nearest major city: Seattle (105 miles)

Closest major airport: Seattle-Tacoma (SEA) (148 miles)

lake crescent wedding

The Best Lake Crescent Elopement Locations

Lake Crescent Lodge

Not only is Lake Crescent Lodge an incredible place to stay on the lake; it also makes for an absolutely beautiful elopement location. You can get ready in your private lakeside room with views of the forest & mountains. Then simply walk out of the lodge to the beach for your first look and/or your intimate ceremony. The lodge comes with delicious dining, free parking, a lounge/bar, pet-friendly rooms, and even boat rentals if you’d like to get out on the water!

lake crescent wedding

Marymere Falls Trailhead

Marymere Falls is a beautiful waterfall in the forest surrounding Lake Crescent, but the trailhead actually makes for a wonderful spot for your Lake Crescent elopement ceremony! The trailhead has a great boat launch, as well as a small, covered picnic area for when you need to take the weight off & sit down for a bit. This makes for a perfect spot for not only your ceremony, but also for a picnic lunch with a charcuterie board, drinks, sandwiches, you name it. You can also take the fairly quick, easy 1.7-mile out-and-back trail to the falls for some beautiful waterfall elopement photos!

Fairholme Campground

Fairholme Campground is a great place to set up your tent for the night if you’d like to sleep under the stars. It is also a spot with beautiful views of Lake Crescent! There are both walk-in lakeside campsites as well as some drive-in campsites further in the trees. Which means you’ve got plenty of options to choose from depending on what you’d like your ceremony (as well as your accommodations) to look like.


NatureBridge is an organization that offers programs in different locations throughout the US, including Olympic National Park. They teach visitors about environmental science in real-world settings. What’s really cool is that you can actually hold your wedding at their campus on Lake Crescent, to support their mission! Holding your wedding on their location will allow you to use the Rosemary Inn, specific outdoor spaces separate from public lakeside locations, and the Storm King Hall. 

La Poel Campground

The La Poel day use area along Lake Crescent is a great, lesser-known (and usually less crowded) area at Lake Crescent! It’s super convenient to access, and the small strip of beach would make for a beautiful location for a tiny elopement ceremony. You’ll also have access to a grassy area nearby, as well as picnic tables & firepits. 

Camp David Jr.

Camp David Jr. is a site on Lake Crescent that’s available for large wedding rentals and also has plenty of cabins available to rent. The site includes nearly 9 acres of Lake Crescent waterfront property, surrounded by gorgeous forest & the Olympic mountains. I highly recommend looking into this location if you’d like to be able to have a larger celebration than what’s allowed on most of the smaller areas of the lake!

North Shore Dock

The North Shore Dock is a really great spot to choose at Lake Crescent for your elopement ceremony, as it’s not visited by tourists quite as much, and is right across from the Pyramid Peak Trailhead that offers stunning views from an old fire lookout for any couples looking for a challenging hike. It’s on the other side of the lake from the more popular spots, so there are usually less crowds to deal with on this dock & camping area!

Log Cabin Resort & Campground

Finally, the Log Cabin Resort & Campground is a great place to hold your ceremony and pitch your tent for a night of sleep under the stars. The resort offers a variety of campsites, from group tent camping to bike-in tent sides to full-hookup RV sites, so it’s able to accommodate most types of campers! You’re allowed to bring two dogs along with you to your campsite, and each site has individual fire rings & picnic tables for you to enjoy.

Lake Crescent Wedding Permits

Olympic National Park entrance fee

To enter Olympic National Park, you’ll need to pay a fee of either $30 per vehicle (valid for 7 days) or purchase an annual pass for $55. Either way, you pass must be printed and brought along with you to present at entrance stations + displayed on your car’s dashboard!

Olympic National Park Special Use Permit

This is an important one: you need to get your Olympic National Park wedding permit so your elopement will be legal. The permit you’ll need to elope in Olympic National Park is a Special Use Permit, and here’s how to get it:

  1. Download the Special Use Permit application
  2. Fill out the application
  3. Send the completed application along with the $50 non-refundable processing fee through check or money order (made payable to the National Park Service) to the address below:

Olympic National Park

600 East Park Ave

Port Angeles, WA 98362

  1. If your permit request is approved, you’ll receive a permit in the mail. Sign this once you receive it & mail it back to the park for final approval. 

Make sure you do this as far in advance as possible to make sure you have enough time to receive your permit! We don’t want you frantically applying a month before your elopement and having to change plans at the last minute because you didn’t get it in time. 

Where to Stay at Lake Crescent

Below, I’ve compiled a list of some of the top places to stay near Lake Crescent, whether you’d rather stay in a lodge right on the lake, a cabin in the middle of the woods, or put up your tent out in nature.


Photo by Airbnb – The CohoCabana

Check out my recent blog post, 30 Vintage + Funky Airbnb’s in Port Angeles, Washington for more killer places to stay near Lake Crescent!

Hotels & Lodges

Photo by Lake Crescent Lodge


Photo by Fairholme Campground

Best Time of Year to Elope at Lake Crescent

It’s important to pick the right time of year for your elopement because the weather + season plays a huge role in the vibe of your elopement day. Pause real quick & take a look at the complete weather section of my Olympic National Park elopement guide for a full overview of what variables you should be keeping in mind when choosing the time of year you elope during. Or simply continue reading below for a brief overview of what each season looks like at Lake Crescent!


Spring is when the weather starts to get warmer in the park, and the snow begins to melt. However, the weather can still be pretty unpredictable especially in the early spring, since you’re in the mountains and rainforests of Washington. Trail conditions start to improve in the spring but make sure that you check the status of higher elevation trails beforehand, as those will probably still have snow.


Obviously, the summer is when the park is the warmest, especially July & August. Temperatures never get too hot, but you’re less likely to encounter rainstorms or super cold temperatures.


In the fall at ONP, you get those super pretty colors. In exchange for more rain, cooler temperatures, and snow, especially at higher elevations. Be careful to watch trail and road statuses in the fall since they can vary so much depending on the year, month, week, even the day. 


Winter is clearly when the Olympics get the most snow and cold temperatures. So you likely won’t be able to access any mid to high elevation trails or roads during the wintertime. Be cautious of storms and flooding during this time of year, especially at campgrounds!

Lake Crescent Elopement Packages

Now that you’ve gotten familiar with this stunning lakeside elopement location, I’m going to guess you’ll be searching for your Lake Crescent elopement photographer fairly soon. I’d be honored to be considered for that position, of course! There isn’t really a way to put a price on your timeless and cherished memories, but my elopement packages being at $3295, and my wedding packages being at $4299. I’m all about customizing your collection to make sure you get everything you could ever dream of, so contact me here and let’s start planning how your beautiful day will be captured forever!

FAQ’s About Lake Crescent

Is Lake Crescent swimmable?

Yes! I’d definitely recommend getting in the water if it’s warm enough to do so. Whether you want to swim, take a boat, or bring a kayak/paddleboard out with you!

Is Lake Crescent open to the public?

Lake Crescent is open to the public year-round, unless there are any specific restrictions put in place or any road closures. You can stay up to date on conditions inside of Olympic National Park here!

How cold is Lake Crescent water?

When you visit Lake Crescent you’re definitely not visiting a beach in Cali or Hawaii! The water temp stays around 40-50 degrees year-round, and you can monitor the approximate water temperature on this website if you want to see what it’s like in the days leading up to your elopement.

Are dogs allowed at Lake Crescent?

Dogs are allowed along the north shore of Lake Crescent where Spruce Railroad Trail is located. The NPS just asks that you follow the “BARK” guidelines (cute, right):

  • Bag your pet’s poop
  • Always wear a leash
  • Respect wildlife
  • Know where you can go

You can see the full list of locations inside of Olympic NP where pets are permitted here!

Complete Guide to Eloping at Olympic National Park

If you’re still unsure of exactly which spot you want to elope at in Olympic National Park, be sure to hop on over to my Complete Guide to Eloping at Olympic National Park. I go through all of the best locations within the park as well as more important park information.

Lake Crescent Elopement & Session Inspiration

Looking for more real-life Lake Crescent inspiration before making the decision to hold your elopement there? I’ve got you covered – check out a few of my all-time favorite Lake Crescent weddings, elopements, & sessions below!

Jessica + Colin’s Lakeside Wedding in Olympic National Park

Lake Crescent Elopement | Olympic National Park Wedding Inspo

Ashley + Allen’s Rainy Engagement Photos at Lake Crescent