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18 ADA-Accessible Elopement Locations in Washington State

accessible elopement locations in washington

Post Summary: I’ve seen way too many “accessible hiking trails'' articles giving you trails that well, aren’t actually that accessible. Or maybe they’re partially accessible, but you don’t realize that – only to arrive at the trail and realize you can’t complete the entire thing because the article was misleading. That’s why I wanted to create this guide to ADA-accessible elopement locations in Washington state, where I make it super duper clear what I mean by “accessible,” and I go into detail about what parts of each trail are accessibility, the terrain, details about the route, & more! I hope this article helps you find the perfect place for your elopement that’s accessible to both of you + all of your guests!

accessible elopement locations in washington

Defining the Language Around Accessibility

Before we get into the locations you came here for, I want to briefly talk about the importance of using appropriate language when it comes to talking about accessibility, and what certain language you’ll come across actually means.

General accessibility language

First, let’s go through the basic terms & acronyms to familiarize yourself with when it comes to talking about accessibility standards:

accessible elopement locations in washington

Accessibility language in U.S. National Parks

Now when you’re reading about accessibility regarding national parks in the United States, it can sometimes get confusing, and resources can often be misleading.

Park websites may describe trails as being “accessible,” only for you to get there and learn that only the first 0.2 miles of the 3-mile trail are paved – meaning yes, technically a part of the trail is accessible, but the entire trail itself isn’t “accessible.” This is why it’s important to do thorough research, because the language around accessibility is fairly confusing and inconsistent across different websites and park services. 

“Wheelchair-accessible” doesn’t necessarily mean that the entire trail is accessible to wheelchairs – only parts of it.

If a trail does say it’s “wheelchair-accessible,” make sure you look into what type of wheelchair will be able to go on the trail & its terrain – will you need a motorized wheelchair? Is a manual wheelchair doable? Should you have all-terrain tires?

“Accessible to people with mobility equipment” is another somewhat vague phrase often used on trail websites, so you’ll have to do research into what kinds of mobility equipment will be able to make it through the trail – canes, walkers, motorized equipment, service animals, etc.

The National Park Service (NPS) does a fairly good job of including accessibility information on their website, but the amount available depends on the park.

This webpage has a map of the United States where you can click on a certain national park and be taken to a description of the park’s general accessibility!

Once you know what park you’d like to elope at, and have a trail in mind, be sure to do specific research on that trail, and try to find reviews from real-life people, if you’re able to. That’s the best way to find out what the trail is actually like, especially if recent weather conditions have caused changes in the terrain and the trail site hasn’t been updated!

accessible elopement locations in washington

How to communicate about accessibility needs

It’s also important for you to know how to appropriately ask someone what their accessibility needs are in a respectful, intentional way! You may have a certain trail in mind for your elopement but need to make sure all your guests are able to physically complete the trail, so you’ll need to ask them about their needs.

It’s also important to, if you’re disabled, be able to tell your loved ones what YOUR needs are – e.g. if you’re a guest at an elopement, and the couple didn’t take into account your needs when choosing a ceremony location. If you need to inform someone of your accessibility needs, don’t assume they understand what you need – be honest, specific, and communicate what you need from them.

If you want to ask someone how to support them, don’t assume they’ll come to you – ask them what their specific needs are, and communicate about accessibility locations + info with guests early on. Express your support and make sure they know you want to choose locations that will allow them to celebrate with you comfortably & safely!

Make sure you also ask your disabled friends & family what terminology they prefer when talking about their disability to ensure they feel comfortable, heard, seen, and safe.

accessible elopement locations in washington

5 Tips for Planning an ADA-Accessible Elopement

Get a National Parks Access Pass

This pass is available for FREE for U.S. citizens with permanent disabilities, and will give you access to more than 2,000 national recreation sites for life! Take advantage of this for your elopement if you’re able to – you can find out more about getting the Access Pass here.

Elope on a weekday to avoid crowds

Eloping on a weekend in a popular location such as a national park often comes with tons of crowds/tourists around you that are taking up space during your elopement. If you elope on a weekday, you’ll likely have less crowds to deal with, and more room to explore safely + comfortably depending on your needs!

Do careful research ahead of time

Again, it’s super important to do careful research and pay attention to what “accessible” means on certain websites/in certain people’s minds. Check carefully if trails are fully wheelchair-accessible, partially wheelchair-accessible, or if “accessible” just means that they’re accessible to kids/strollers, and not actually disabled people. 

Book wheelchair-friendly transportation

Make sure that any mode of transportation you book/plan to use (rental car, limo, van, bus, etc.) are wheelchair-friendly ahead of time!

Book accessible accommodations

Finally, be sure to book an Airbnb/campsite/hotel/lodge that’s accessible to you and will provide the services/facilities you need to be comfortable.

accessible elopement locations in washington

18 ADA-Accessible Trails in Washington State for Elopements

Accessible Elopement Locations in Mount Rainier National Park

Unfortunately, Mount Rainier National Park isn’t a very disability-friendly national park, with very few trails/areas that are fully accessible.

1. Trail of the Shadows

General Accessibility: Wheelchair-friendly, kid-friendly, stroller-friendly

Closest Town: Longmire

Trail Length: 0.7 miles

Trail Type: Loop

Elevation Gain: 39 feet

Incline: 5% or less, except for about 0.2 miles of over 8% uphill & downhill sections*

  • *Note: wheelchair users may need assistance on steeper portions

Trail Surface/Terrain: partially paved, asphalt, wooden bridge, gravel with partial railings – at least 3 feet wide*

  • *Note: all-terrain tires or motorized equipment may be needed for unpaved/uneven sections

Facilities:

  • Benches & picnic tables along the route for resting
  • 4 designated accessible parking spaces in paved lot off Paradise Road (all van accessible)
  • Wheelchair-accessible restrooms next to museum

Contact Info for Accessibility at Mount Rainier National Park: 

Looking for more information on eloping at Mount Rainier? Check out my guide to How to Plan an Epic Mount Rainier Elopement!

Accessible Elopement Locations in Olympic National Park

Olympic National Park is much more accessible than Mount Rainier, with multiple trails through the forest, beaches, and to waterfalls offering different levels of accessibility!

2. Hurricane Hill

General Accessibility: Wheelchair-friendly, kid-friendly, stroller-friendly

Closest Town: Port Angeles

Trail Length: 3.4 miles

Trail Type: Out & back

Elevation Gain: 826 feet

Incline: majority of the trail is moderate (5-8%) or steep (8-12%), a few steeper sections when going north*

  • *Note: wheelchair users may need assistance on the entire route due to many sections above a 5% incline, especially if using manual equipment

Trail Surface/Terrain: paved asphalt with some bumps and cracks – at least 3 feet wide

Facilities:

  • 1 designated accessible parking space in paved lot off Hurricane Ridge Road
  • Visitor center with accessible restrooms & available wheelchair for checkout

3. Moments in Time Interpretive Trail

General Accessibility: Accessible with assistance, NOT wheelchair-friendly; all-terrain stroller-friendly, kid-friendly if they can climb over logs

Closest Town: Port Angeles

Trail Length: 0.7 miles

Trail Type: Loop

Elevation Gain: 9 feet

Incline: Flat

Trail Surface/Terrain: Dirt, multiple stumps/logs to climb over

Facilities:

  • Accessible restrooms available nearby
accessible elopement locations in washington

4. Hall of Mosses

General Accessibility: Kid-friendly, NOT wheelchair-friendly

Closest Town: Joyce

Trail Length: 1.1 miles

Trail Type: Loop

Elevation Gain: 78 feet

Incline: Majority 5% or less, steepest sections at about 0.5-0.6 miles when going on the loop clockwise*

  • *Note: wheelchair users may need assistance in steeper sections, or may want to avoid them

Trail Surface/Terrain: gravel, natural surfaces (dirt, roots, rocks) – at least 4 feet wide*

  • Note: all-terrain tires or motorized equipment may be needed for surface/grade after about 0.1 miles

Facilities:

  • Benches along route for resting
  • Wheelchair-accessible visitor center with accessible restrooms, information, & bookstore, as well as wheelchair available for checkout
  • Wheelchair-accessible campsites & other bathrooms also available nearby

5. Spruce Nature Trail

General Accessibility: Kid-friendly, NOT wheelchair-friendly, typically accessible for people with canes/trekking poles/stability equipment

Closest Town: Forks

Trail Length: 1.4 miles

Trail Type: Loop

Elevation Gain: 16 feet

Incline: Under 5% for first 400 feet, then increases to 7-25% for rest of the trail

Trail Surface/Terrain: Packed dirt – between 2-6 feet wide

Facilities: 

  • Wheelchair-accessible visitor center with accessible restrooms, information, & bookstore, as well as wheelchair available for checkout
  • Wheelchair-accessible campsites & other bathrooms also available nearby
accessible elopement locations in washington

6. Quinault Rainforest Nature Loop

General Accessibility: Kid-friendly, NOT wheelchair-friendly*

  • *Note: the first 850 feet of this trail is wheelchair-friendly.

Closest Town: Quinault

Trail Length: 0.9 miles

Trail Type: Loop

Elevation Gain: 111 feet

Incline: Unknown

Trail Surface/Terrain: Compacted gravel

Facilities:

  • ADA-accessible restrooms
  • Picnic tables
  • Self-guided nature trails at Quinault Rain Forest Ranger Station

7. Ruby Beach

General Accessibility: Kid-friendly, NOT wheelchair-friendly; potentially accessible to hikers using mobility equipment – with assistance on steeper portions

Closest Town: Forks

Trail Length: 0.25 miles

Trail Type: Out & back

Elevation Gain: ~ 600 feet downhill

Incline: steep downhill – half of the trail is steep, half is more gradual downhill

Trail Surface/Terrain: Loose gravel, compacted dirt, rocks

Facilities:

  • Bench & guardrail at the overlook

Contact Info for Accessibility at Olympic National Park: 

Head over to my Olympic National Park Elopement Guide for all the deets on getting married in this stunning park!

accessible elopement locations in washington

Accessible Elopement Locations in North Cascades National Park

The North Cascades actually has a decent amount of wheelchair-friendly & accessible locations, despite being a rugged mountain range! 

8. Sterling Munro Boardwalk

General Accessibility: Wheelchair-friendly, kid-friendly, stroller-friendly

Closest Town: Rockport

Trail Length: 0.3 miles

Trail Type: Out & back

Elevation Gain: 3 feet

Incline: Flat, less than 1%

Trail Surface/Terrain: wooden boardwalk with edge barriers – at least 8 feet wide

Facilities:

  • Benches along route for resting
  • Wheelchair-accessible restrooms & visitor center
  • 2 designated accessible parking spaces in paved lot off Highway 20

9. Trail of the Cedars

General Accessibility: Wheelchair-friendly, kid-friendly, stroller-friendly

Closest Town: Marblemount

Trail Length: 0.6 miles

Trail Type: Out & back

Elevation Gain: 26 feet

Incline: Mostly 5% or less

Trail Surface/Terrain: Natural surfaces (dirt, rocks), gravel, wooden boardwalk with edge barriers, wooden bridge with railings – average trail width is 5 feet*

  • *Note: wheelchair users/strollers may need all-terrain tires or motorized equipment for surface type

Facilities:

  • Benches along route for resting
  • 1 designated accessible parking space in paved lot at the trailhead

Contact Info for Accessibility at North Cascades National Park: 

If you think the North Cascades would be an amazing location for your elopement, you’re right – don’t miss out on my North Cascades Elopement Guide for all the info you need to know, including permits, weather, & more!

Accessible Elopement Locations in the Okanogan-Wenatchee Forest

The Okanogan-Wenatchee Forest has a good amount of accessible trails throughout the beautiful landscape, including flat paved trails, picnic spots, trails to waterfall views, and plenty of interpretive sites/trails!

10. Washington Pass Overlook Trail

General Accessibility: Wheelchair-friendly, kid-friendly, stroller-friendly

Closest Town: Stehekin

Trail Length: 0.3 miles

Trail Type: Loop

Elevation Gain: 108 feet

Incline: Mostly 5% or less, steepest sections between 0.1-0.3 miles going counterclockwise, stairs at 0.1 miles going counterclockwise

Trail Surface/Terrain: Paved smooth asphalt – at least 4 feet wide*

  • *Note: wheelchair users/strollers may need assistance on stairs & steeper sections

Facilities:

  • 5 designed accessible parking spaces in paved lot off National Forest 500
  • Benches along route for resting
  • Wheelchair-accessible restrooms & information station

11. Rainy Lake Trail

General Accessibility: Wheelchair-friendly, kid-friendly, stroller-friendly

Closest Town: Stehekin

Trail Length: 2 miles

Trail Type: Out & back

Elevation Gain: 131 feet

Incline: Mostly 5% or less, steepest sections at 0.2 & 0.9 miles when going south

Trail Surface/Terrain: Paved smooth asphalt – at least 4 feet wide*

  • *Note: wheelchair users/strollers may need assistance in or want to avoid steeper sections

Facilities: 

  • Benches along route for resting

Contact Info for Accessibility in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest: 

  • Phone: (509) 664-9200

Accessible Elopement Locations in the Columbia River Gorge

The Columbia River Gorge luckily has a multitude of accessible trails that take you through the stunning scenery of the Gorge, from paved trails to short loops to compact gravel trails and more!

12. Latourell Falls 

General Accessibility: Kid-friendly, potentially wheelchair-friendly

Closest Town: Corbett (technically in Oregon, but super close to Washington along the Gorge)

Trail Type: Out & back

Trail Surface/Terrain: Dirt

Facilities: Unknown if restrooms are ADA-accessible

Note that this trail is simply a short walk from the parking lot along a dirt path (the trail on the right, not the left), and only takes about 5 minutes. It’s not the full 2.4-mile loop trail, which isn’t accessible at all!

Contact Info for Accessibility in the Columbia River Gorge: 

  • Phone: (509) 664-9200

Accessible Elopement Locations at Mount Baker/Mount Baker-Snoqualmie Forest

The Mount Baker area does have a few stunning trails of different accessibility levels, including trails that are wheelchair-friendly, stroller-friendly, and kid-friendly. You’ve got some great options of trails that will get you AMAZING views no matter your accessibility needs!

13. Artist Ridge Trail

General Accessibility: Kid-friendly, NOT wheelchair-friendly*

  • *Note: the first 0.1 mile of the trail is paved & wheelchair-friendly, and takes you to a beautiful overlook.

Closest Town: Maple Falls

Trail Length: 1.2 miles

Trail Type: Loop

Elevation Gain: 200 feet

Incline: Unknown

Trail Surface/Terrain: Gravel, stairs

Facilities:

  • Wheelchair-accessible restrooms near visitor center & at Artist Point
  • Picnic tables nearby in Austin Pass Picnic Area

14. Fire & Ice Trail

General Accessibility: Wheelchair-friendly, kid-friendly, stroller-friendly

Closest Town: Maple Falls

Trail Length: 0.6 miles

Trail Type: Loop

Elevation Gain: 62 feet

Incline: Unknown, but has fairly steep areas*

  • *Note: the first 0.25 miles of this trail is the most accessible, and takes you to a beautiful scenic viewpoint

Trail Surface/Terrain: Paved, gravel*

  • *Note: wheelchair users may need assistance returning to parking area, especially if using manual equipment

Facilities:

  • Wheelchair-accessible restrooms near visitor center & at Artist Point
  • Picnic tables nearby in Austin Pass Picnic Area

15. Picture Lake Path

General Accessibility: Wheelchair-friendly, kid-friendly, stroller-friendly

Closest Town: Deming

Trail Length: 0.4 miles

Trail Type: Loop

Elevation Gain: 6 feet

Incline: Mostly 5% or less

Trail Surface/Terrain: Boardwalk with railings, gravel, natural surface – at least 3 feet wide*

  • *Note: wheelchair users may need all-terrain or motorized equipment for unpaved areas

Facilities:

  • 1 designated accessible space in paved lot off Mount Baker Highway a mile south
  • Wheelchair-accessible restrooms near visitor center & at Artist Point
  • Picnic tables nearby in Austin Pass Picnic Area

16. Shadow of the Sentinels Trail

General Accessibility: Wheelchair-friendly, kid-friendly, stroller-friendly

Closest Town: Concrete

Trail Length: 0.4 miles

Trail Type: Loop

Elevation Gain: 16 feet

Incline: Mostly 5% or less

Trail Surface/Terrain: Wooden boardwalk with edge barriers, paved asphalt – at least 4 feet wide

Facilities:

  • Benches along route for resting

17. Gold Creek Pond

General Accessibility: Wheelchair-friendly, kid-friendly, stroller-friendly

Closest Town: Snoqualmie Pass

Trail Length: 1.2 miles

Trail Type: Loop

Elevation Gain: 45 feet

Incline: Mostly 5% or less

Trail Surface/Terrain: Paved asphalt, wooden boardwalk with edge barriers, wooden bridge with railings, some roots – at least 6 feet wide

Facilities:

  • 2 designated accessible spaces in paved lot off National Forest Development Road 142

Contact Info for Accessibility in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie Forest: 

  • Phone: (800) 270-7504

Recap of Accessible Trails in Washington

Wheelchair-Friendly Trails in Washington:

Accessible, but not Wheelchair-Friendly Trails in Washington:

Partially Wheelchair-Friendly Trails in Washington:

Washington Elopement Packages

Elopement Packages and Pricing for Washington State

  • 4 hours – 2 days of elopement photography coverage anywhere in Washington
  • Your own personal elopement guide & consultant
    • Unique and personalized location scouting
    • vendor recommendations
    • permit and marriage license assistance
    • hand-crafted elopement timeline
    • Created just-for-you activity list
    • Unlimited guides and resources
    • 100+ page How to Elope Guidebook
  • Optional complimentary officiant service
  • Digital online gallery with full resolution image and printing rights
  • Sneak peak images within 1 week
  • Photographer travel fees covered anywhere in Washington

Starting at $4,500


More Washington Elopement Information & Resources

Woohoo, you made it through! I hope that now you’re a bit more familiar with the terminology surrounding accessibility on trails + in National Parks, and that you’ve found some great locations that are available to you and your guests of all levels of accessibility needs. If you end up needing more ideas, I can absolutely help you once you book me as your photographer to make sure we find a location that you LOVE, and allows you + your loved ones to explore safely and comfortably!

If you loved this article, I know you’ll love these ones, too!

The Complete Guide on How to Elope in Washington State in 2022

How to Get Permits for Your Washington State Elopement

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