best elopement location for photos in bend oregon

Best Elopement Locations In Bend Oregon

Here are some of the best elopement locations in Bend Oregon, (in no particular order.) Most of these places will require a special use permit to hold an actual elopement ceremony which can be obtained from the State of Oregon, or Oregon Parks n Rec department. You’ll want to start the process of getting the permit in advance as these departments can take a long time to finalize things. This article will not go into detail on the permit process, but is a visual guide on the many gorgeous elopement locations that Bend Oregon has to offer and a quick overview of distance from Bend as well as best time of year to elope.

Sahalie Falls

Sahalie falls is an hour from Bend, Oregon. It is a pretty hot tourist area so definitely plan your elopement here on a weekday. There is a 2.5 mile loop trail that you can take to see Koosah falls as well. While you may get access here in the winter depending on snowfall, it is best visited spring through autumn.

If you get lucky, you might see some epic light leaks like we did here! Even though the view of the falls is nearly 30 seconds walk from the parking lot, you can also walk down next to it like we did. Prepare to get drenched though! I recommend saving this for last so you aren’t wet in the rest of the photos.

Click here to view this elopement gallery

Smith Rock

Smith is a huge area that offers many epic views. It is 45 minutes from Bend in Terrebonne Oregon. You can get a permit to use the amphitheater for your ceremony and it’s $50, but you do have to call and make your reservation 6 months in advance at 6am to get it for your desired date before someone else. Really any time of year is good to visit Smith Rock, but if you’re trying to avoid heavy crowds its a good idea to stay away during peak summer or at the very least go on a weekday. This elopement below was in January! It might get snow on good year here in the winter, but typically won’t stick and you can still explore the whole park. The hike up to the top of Smith Rock is fairly steep but usually only takes me 30 minutes and the views from the top are completely worth the effort. I haven’t photographed an elopement there but I have hiked it for an engagement session and also just for fun and its beautiful.

Sparks Lake

Sparks Lake is about 45 minutes to an hour from Bend and the last mile or so is a pretty rough dirt road so be sure to drive your off-road vehicle or at the very least something with a little bit of clearance. (Why everyone in Bend drives a Subaru, probably haha) It is inaccessible during the winter months (unless by snowmobile.) This lake is one of the larger lakes in the area and offers views of both South Sister and Brokentop Mountain. The sunset here does tend to be blocked a little earlier than other locations just because of the horizon and shore location, so plan accordingly. You’ll also want to bring bug spray, as the mosquitos are absolutely nuts. // ***

Proxy Falls

Proxy Falls is a two hour drive from Bend and about a 1.5 mile loop hike. You’ll want to check that the road is open for your date, as it is winter seasonly closed. Plan to wade through creeks and be covered in mist for this one! The hike in is gorgeous and super easy, and this really is a fairytale waterfall. More of this Proxy falls elopement

Painted Hills

The Painted heres are a good two hour drive from Bend Oregon, but well worth it. Several walking trails offer 360º views. A good elopement location year round, but especially in the spring if you time it right with the wildflowers. Beware in the spring it can be muddy in certain areas so I’d recommend cute boots! Even though it is a two hour drive, its still a good idea to plan your elopement on a weekday as this is a very popular area. This is such a stunning Oregon elopement location. // ***

Crater Lake

Crater Lake is just over 2 hours from Bend Oregon and can be longer depending on traffic. There are some seasonal closures so check before you head out. I will mention the elopement permit process for this location is expected to take a minimum of 8 weeks so definitely plan ahead!! You have several options of lake overlooks to get great views, and don’t underestimate the power of a great sunset on the lake! There is also a trail that takes you down to the lake if you want to explore that option.

FivePine Lodge

FivePine Lodge is just such a classic elopement location if you want to just show up and not have to plan or think. Located in Sisters, Oregon just a short 20 minute drive from Bend, Oregon. These romantic cabins are a great choice for year round elopements. Each cabin is snug and romantic, and FivePine Lodge offers some great elopement packages.

Tumalo Mountain

Tumalo Mountain is perfect for those couples looking for a bit of adventure on their elopement day. Adjacent to Mt Bachelor, it has stunning views of the cascade mountains from the summit. (it was so fogged in on this day but typically the mountain views from here are larger than life). This 4 mile out and back hike is absolutely beautiful year round. If you choose a winter date, you might consider snowshoeing up and skiing down! (my husband and i do this almost every year, its a great workout and sooo fun…just make sure there is enough snow pack to adequately cover the stumps!)

Green Lakes at Brokentop Mountain

This hike to Green Lakes below Brokentop Mountain is a 9 mile out and back trail, and you have to get a permit just for the hike regardless if you’re having a marriage elopement ceremony. Because of this, you might not have to worry as much about crowds! I’d recommend giving yourself even more cushion time than you think is necessary if you are hiking close to sunset, as the sun dips behind one of the mountains long before the “sunset” time given on google. I’d fcking love to shoot and adventure elopement here and end it with jumping into the lake! // ***

Todd Lake

About 40 minutes from Bend and a small walk from the parking area, you’ll find Todd Lake. That is Brokentop Mountain just peeking its head over the hill. This lake isn’t as big as some of the others on Cascade Lakes Highway, so you can easily paddleboard around. There is also a trail you can walk if you wish. The lake shore is actually so nice and very grassy, and the woods are pretty open offering some beautiful forest photo ops. This is a great elopement location if you want something more lowkey and away from the crowds that can come with some of the more popular lakes like Sparks.

Meadow at Sparks Lake

This meadow is 35 minutes from Bend with no hiking required. Depending on the time of year, this meadow will be either bright green or soft tan. You can access this meadow from a few different parking areas but no matter which way you’re looking there are splendid views of the cascade mountain range. The meadow is ginormous and has some creeks winding through it. An excellent low effort elopement location with epic views.

Tumalo Falls

This falls is just 20 minutes from Bend Oregon and typically quite busy so I’d recommend planning during the weekdays and before peak summer season. Access to behind the falls is not something commonly known and I’ll warn you it is a bit steep! The forest surrounding the falls is gorgeously green with a variety of shrubbery, perfect for your elopement ceremony. The road to drive here is seasonally closed, but you can still walk it during the winter if you wish but I wouldn’t suggest trying to go behind the falls in icy or snowy conditions.

Near here, but up on top of a ridge, there are some epic views and you can even see Mt Bachelor! Another stunning elopement location option to add on if you are looking at eloping near Tumalo Falls.


Here are three bonus Oregon elopement locations I share with JUST my clients— All near Bend Oregon. They offer more privacy and uniqueness than the other elopement locations easily found, if you’re up for something off the beaten path, literally and figuratively.

// *** I want to mention one other thing!! Some of these photos are from galleries in years past, and although beautiful, may look a bit different than my current soft filmy edit. The elopement locations are gorgeous just the same and I will update photos with current edits as I can.

Now, ready to plan your elopement? Lets chat!