Sequoia National Park Elopement Guide
Sequoia National Park is home to the tallest trees in the world. This national park in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California is a whimsical escape for couples who want to plan an elopement or intimate wedding ceremony. The park itself has over 800 miles of hiking trails and awe-inspiring groves of giant sequoias, including the famous General Sherman Tree. With the park’s diverse landscapes, from cascading waterfalls to mountain vistas, Sequoia National Park provides plenty of options for couples on their wedding day. But how can you elope in Sequoia National Park? We go over everything you need to know when it comes to planning your Sequoia elopement from where and when to elope in Sequoia to specific elopement vendors to help you document your wedding day.
Not sure about eloping at Sequoia? Explore our California elopement packages to start planning your wedding day.
How to Elope in Sequoia National Park
Eloping in Sequoia is pretty straightforward, especially once you acquire your wedding permit (if needed), park pass, and marriage license with a hired officiant (if you’re planning an official ceremony here). Even though the process is pretty simple, like most elopements, it’s helpful to break down the park as a whole because you have a ton of options when it comes to where you can elope within the park and when.
In this resource:
- Where to elope in Sequoia
- When to elope in Sequoia
- Permits for Your Sequoia Elopement
- Places to Stay Near Sequoia
- Vendors for Your Sequoia Wedding Day
Where to Elope in Sequoia
Technically, you get two national parks in one when you decide to plan a Sequoia elopement. Sequoia and Kings Canyon are connected, and you get joint admission to both parks. This allows you to plan an epic adventure with towering trees and deep canyons with mountain views.
There are specific approved locations within Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Currently, they are only allowing ceremonies at these locations, but you can take your photos at locations outside of the list we will discuss below. For more direction and suggestions, we suggest teaming up with a specialized vendor in California elopement adventures.
Approved Sequoia National Park Elopement and Wedding Locations:
Beetle Rocks is one of the most popular spots in Sequoia. You get a gorgeous view of the western edge of the park and the San Joaquin Valley below. This is a 0.3 out and back trail, and it takes about 6 minutes to complete. The trail itself is open year-round, but because it’s so accessible, that means it can get crowded. Plan ahead and opt for a weekday ceremony here.
Guest limit – 75 people max
Giant Forest Museum Patio
Right by the Giant Forest Museum, you’ll see an open patio with tall Sequoia trees as the backdrop. This is a great option for couples who are looking for an accessible option with views of these great trees. Parking is located at the Giant Forest Museum.
Guest limit – 50 people max
The Crescent Meadow is 2.6 miles from the Giant Forest Museum. It’s near Moro Rock and features a gorgeous meadow, surrounded by giant sequoias. It’s important to note that there is a road closure here for cars during the winter months because of snow. You can still access this area if you hike, snowshoe, or ski there. It’s important to team up with an experienced vendor if this is what you want to do.
Guest limit – 30 people max
If you’re looking for a more intimate spot, then this is probably your best pick. This area features lush green grass, tall sequoias, and gorgeous wildflowers during the spring.
Guest limit – 20 people max
Even though this is the largest approved area in the park for bigger wedding parities, that does not mean you can’t elope at this spot in Sequoia. This is a huge open field with gorgeous lush greenery or white snow (if eloping in the winter). Keep in mind, there aren’t many trees here. So if you want that tall sequoia look and feel, then go for a different spot.
Guest limit – 100 people max
Lost Grove Turnout
Lost Grove is a small old-growth sequoia grove on the Generals Highway. There’s some big sequoias by the side of the road you can greatly appreciate. There is also a short section where you can explore within to see more trees.
Guest limit – 25 people max
This spot is only a 0.5 mile hike, so it’s easy and accessible. You’ll be surrounded by trees, mountains, and even get a view of Hume Lake. Keep in mind the access road is not plowed in the winter, so it may be a challenge to get to if there has been heavy snowfall.
Guest limit – 15 people max
When to Elope in Sequoia
Sequoia is open year-round (although some roads are closed for the winter), and you’ll get to see a different side of the park depending on the season you decide to plan your elopement. Let’s go over each season in Sequoia to see which one fits your vibe the most.
Spring in Sequoia National Park
The weather in Spring in Sequoia is a mix of sunny days and snow storms in the late season. The park itself is usually still snowy until a little later into the spring season. Once the snow does start to melt, the wildflowers will start to bloom, making it a gorgeous time to plan your wedding ceremony. It is also a lot less packed in comparison to the summer months.
Summer in Sequoia National Park
Speaking of summer months. Summer is a popular time to visit, but it’s also the best time to visit if you want to have a longer adventure and enjoy the warm weather. By mid-July the snow is gone, and you’ll appreciate everything the park has to offer. The only things to be aware of (besides the crowds) is wildfire season in California. This may affect your elopement ceremony location or just adventure in general, so be sure to discuss alternative plans if this is the season you want to plan on. Make sure to elope during the weekday to avoid the biggest crowds.
Fall in Sequoia National Park
Fall is a short season at this park, but it’s a special one. If you plan accordingly you can see a mix of fall foliage and snow in Sequoia during this time. Temperatures start to cool in September and you can even start to see some snow by the end of October. In November, you’ll start to see some road closures from the snow.
Winter in Sequoia National Park
Winters are cold and snowy in Sequoia and Kings Canyon. Even though a lot of couples avoid this season because of the roads being closed, it’s a great season if you want the whole area to yourself! This is the least visited time for Sequoia and Kings Canyon, and all you really need to do is plan accordingly and dress in layers to enjoy the gorgeous snow in the park.
Permits For Your Sequoia Elopement
At the moment, any wedding, commitment ceremony and elopement requires a special use permit for Sequoia National Park and Kings Canyon National Park. All ceremonies need to take place at any of the approved locations mentioned above in our where to elope section.
Here’s what you need to know about obtaining a permit for Sequoia:
- Choose an approved location, date, and time. Choose alternates in the event that your first choice is unavailable. Please note that no wedding permits are issued during Memorial Day weekend, Fourth of July, and Labor Day weekend.
- Submit your application at least 60 days before your wedding day to be considered.
Complete a Wedding Permit Application, pay your $150 permit fee, and allow 30 days for processing.
- Once approved, you will get email a copy for you to review and sign. Please sign and email the signed permit back to finalize the special use permit process.
- Once your permit is official and approved, make sure to carry a copy of the permit with you on the day of your wedding adventure.
Entrance fees are not waived for the couple or their guests and vendors, so please be prepared to pay for this separately.
Your outdoor ceremony should not be longer than three hours. Keep in mind the park is a public location and even though you are applying for a special use permit and picking one of the approved ceremony locations, you are not allowed to restrict other park visitors from visiting your chosen location.
Places to Stay Near Sequoia National Park
- Wuksachi Lodge – Mountain lodge and is Sequoia’s signature hotel accommodation. It’s located around the bend from the General Sherman Tree, and features amazing sunset views of Moro Rock.
- John Muir Lodge – Located in Kings Canyon, John Muir is open year-round and the perfect getaway to relax after your adventure.
- Grant Grove Cabins – If you want a more rustic experience (they have both timber and tent cabin styles), then check out Grant Grove Cabins located in Kings Canyon.
- Cedar Grove Lodge – Cedar Grove is open May through mid-October and has only 21 guest rooms.
Vendors for Your Sequoia Wedding Day
Sequoia is a gorgeous park to explore on your wedding day. Teaming up with an experienced vendor will help your elopement planning go by smoother and less stressful. These photographers, videographers, and planners can help you navigate every detail of your adventure from permits and locations to packing supplies and timelines. Team up with one of them below to start putting together your Sequoia National Park elopement package.
Aris Ringas Photography
Traveling photographer for the adventurous, bold, and fun! Defying traditions and crushing expectations, one couple at a time.
Summit and Sur Photography
Azaria Chavira Photography
I'm Melissa, your guide to crafting a wild & intimate love story amidst the towering Redwoods. Let's make some magic together!!
Christina Perhac Photography