5 Stunning Spots to Consider for Your Yosemite Elopement

Filed in Where to Elope — November 26, 2021


If you’re dreaming of an epic adventure elopement, there’s a high likelihood you’ve considered Yosemite for your elopement location! And for good reason – it’s one of the most INCREDIBLE locations you could get married at. So today, I’m giving you a few of the best spots to consider for your Yosemite elopement – keep reading to find out some of the most beautiful places in Yosemite National Park!

yosemite elopement photographer

First Thing’s First: Yosemite Wedding Permits

Again, Yosemite is one of the most amazing places in the country for an adventure elopement! If you’re thinking about eloping in Yosemite or even doing wedding photos in Yosemite, please make sure you get the proper permits before anything else. It’s super important that we all follow the rules to keep the wildlife safe and to preserve the beauty of the park for future couples!

yosemite elopement

Yosemite is pretty strict with wedding permits because of the high volume of couples looking to get married in the park, so please do your research! To save you some time, here are the biggest guidelines surrounding Yosemite elopements that you’ll need to follow & be aware of.

Weddings or ceremonies can be scheduled up to one year in advance, or at least 21 days prior to your event. You’re not allowed to bring pets, decorations, chairs, arches, or any signage – the beauty of the park will honestly be more than enough!

To obtain your Yosemite wedding permit, mail the $150 non-refundable application fee in with your application (find it here). Once your application is approved, they’ll mail you a special use permit!

yosemite elopement photographer

Note that spots are reserved for two hours maximum, and they suggest choosing an early morning time to get the most privacy! Sunrise is your best bet when it comes to finding a beautiful spot without a ton of tourists – plus, that gives you the entire rest of the day to explore the park & celebrate! And since Yosemite has so many visitors, reservations aren’t available during holiday weekends or holidays.

The NPS does have a full list of Yosemite ceremony locations, but here are my 5 favorite spots for beautiful Yosemite wedding photos!

yosemite elopement

5 Stunning Spots to Consider for Your Yosemite Elopement

1. Taft Point

Say your vows with a breathtaking 360-degree view of the park! This is probably the most common spot you see wedding photos taken at Yosemite. The hike through the forest is an easy 2.2 miles with only about 200 feet in elevation gain. At Taft Point you can look out and see Yosemite Falls, El Capitan, and drops of up to 2,000 feet – so if you’re afraid of heights, maybe consider a different location for your elopement 😉

yosemite elopement

From the South entrance to Yosemite, turn left and travel 17.3 miles to Glacier Point Road. From the Yosemite Valley or Wawona, take Wawona Road (Highway 41), then turn east onto Glacier Point Road. The trailhead is located along Glacier Point Road! See the trailhead on Google Maps here.

June through October is the best time to visit, but unfortunately, Glacier Point Road is closed for all of 2022 for construction!

yosemite elopement photographer

2. Glacier Point

Photos alwayyyys turn out amazing at Glacier Point because of the unbeatable views of Yosemite Valley, Half Dome, and the High Sierra! You can stand 3,214 feet above Curry Village, on the floor of Yosemite Valley. With towering, sharp peaks in the distance, this is seriously the ultimate mountain elopement destination!

Drive to Glacier Point by traveling on the Wawona Road, either north from Wawona or south from Yosemite Valley. After about 13 miles, turn on to the Glacier Point Road at the Chinquapin intersection. It takes about an hour to get here from Wawona or Yosemite Valley!

Glacier Point is also unfortunately closed to all traffic in 2022 to rehabilitate the road, so start planning your 2023 Yosemite elopement now for Glacier Point!

yosemite elopement

3. Lower Meadows

Yosemite’s lower meadows are easy to navigate if you’re worried about hiking in your expensive wedding clothes, or if you have any family members that need a more accessible location. The Yosemite views are insane even from this angle! You can have your elopement ceremony surrounded by towering mountains, lush greenery, and blooming wildflowers – what a dream!

yosemite elopement

Here are four of the most beautiful lower meadows in Yosemite:

Wawona has a large meadow visible from the road or you can find more meadows along the Tioga Road. If you’re interested in a higher altitude meadow for your Yosemite elopement, consider Tuolumme Meadows!

yosemite elopement

4. Tunnel View

There’s no hiking required for an elopement at Tunnel View! Just park and walk to the vista. Here you’ll see El Capitan, Sentinel Rock, Cathedral Rocks, Half Dome, and Bridalveil Fall. No wonder it’s the most famous place to see Yosemite Valley!

This spot is open year-round, but Bridalveil Fall is particularly spectacular in the spring with all the water just starting to melt. The granite faces paired with the huge, lush forest makes for such classic, jaw-dropping Yosemite scenery! Tunnel View is a super popular spot – it’s the picture in all the Yosemite postcards – especially at sunset. But early in the day, the view is backlit, creating some really beautiful shadows.

Find Tunnel View just outside the Wawona Tunnel on State Highway 41!

yosemite elopement photographer

5. Autocamp Airstreams

If you’d rather not hike a ton, or you want to explore the park another day & keep your Yosemite elopement cozy, intimate, & accessible, consider booking accommodations at the Autocamp Airstreams in the Sierra Foothills! This unique, luxury campground is only about 40 minutes from the Arch Rock Entrance to Yosemite. This is the absolute dreamiest Yosemite lodging with a heated pool, beautiful views, bike rentals, and firepits. 

You could stay here for a few days to get some cozy couples photos, say your vows on the deck of your airstream, then head into Yosemite for more pictures to celebrate! I can’t think of a better way to spend a few days celebrating your love story, especially if you bring loved ones along to celebrate with you. 

yosemite elopement photographer

Your Yosemite Elopement Photographer

If you’re planning your elopement right now and want some more resources, my blog is FULL of elopement ideas, tips, and inspiration!

Now that you’re thinking about where to have your elopement, I’m sure you’re hoping to document your love with some stunning Yosemite wedding photos 😉 Lucky for you, I love love love photographing Yosemite elopements! It’s truly one of the most beautiful places on earth and is so much fun to explore – which makes it the perfect elopement spot.

Contact me if you wanna chat about all things elopements or learn more about me and why I love elopement photography so much!
And learn more about Yosemite wedding permits, on the National Park Service website by tapping here. Happy elopement planning, friends!

yosemite elopement

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