The Redwoods is an absolutely incredible place to visit, let alone elope! It’s so dreamy and whimsical, from the way the sunlight peeks through the leaves to the way the massive trees tower over you. It’s definitely an awesome place to go if you want to feel small, and recognize the importance of nature. It’s one of our new favorite places to visit! So, we wanted to create a blog to help you plan your elopement there! This guide will have lots of tips on locations, where to stay, permits, and more!
There are four specific parks that are covered by one Redwoods National Park Special Use Permit. The parks are: Redwood National Park, Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, Del Norte Redwoods State Park, and Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. In any National or State Park, you must fill out a Special Use Permit and a Threatened and Endangered Species Addendum. You will need to fill out a special use permit and a threatened and endangered species addendum. There are three tiers for permit costs. Tier One is $200 for 1-50 people and no unusual requests (this would be the permit cost for any of our couples since we only photograph and film weddings under 40-50 people max). Tier Two is $300 for 51-100 people or unusual requests. And Tier Three is for 100+ people or very unusual requests. To get your permit expedited, it’s an extra $100. You must submit your application at least 30 days prior to your wedding date. To find out even more information and contact a permits coordinator, click here!
You can obtain a marriage license from a county clerk’s office anywhere in the state of California, or online. Here is a link with more information!
This campground is open year round and is located 10 miles east of Crescent City off of Highway 199. Facilities include: hot showers, ADA accessible restrooms, ADA accessible cabins, dump station, picnic tables, fire pits and barbeques, food lockers and trash receptacles, visitor center, campfire center
This campground is open May 18th through September 30th and is located 7 miles south of Crescent City on Highway 101. Facilities include: hot showers, ADA accessible restrooms, dump station, picnic tables, firepits and barbeques, food lockers and trash receptacles, campfire center
Elk Prairie is open year round and is located 6 miles north of Orick, CA on the Netwon B. Drury Scenic Parkway. Facilities include: hot showers, ADA accessible restrooms, dump station, picnic tables, firepits and barbeques, food lockers and trash receptacles, campfire center
Gold Bluffs Beach is usually open all year, but if you want current info, it’s best to call (707) 464-6101. This campground is located 10 miles north of Orick, CA on Davison Road. This road is not paved, so trailers are not allowed. Tent and car camping only. Facilities include: solar showers, restrooms, wind shelters, picnic tables, fire-it’s and barbecues, food lockers, and trash receptacles
2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, sleeps 5 people, 5 star rating
1 bedroom, 1 bathroom, sleeps 4 people, 4.9 star rating
2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, sleeps 6 people, 4.7 star rating
1 bedroom, 1 bathroom, sleeps 2 people, 4.9 star rating
1 king-size bed, no children or pets allowed
2 queen-size beds, 1 extra bed, 1 bathroom, sleeps 5 guests
1 queen-size bed, 1 air mattress, private bathroom, sleeps 4 guests
Typically people only think about the Redwoods National Park (which is probably the most common), but there are so many groves of Redwoods all over California! So, there’s a lot of amazing places to choose from when you’re considering eloping in the Redwoods. There are actually 12 different pre-approved locations where you can elope.
1. Schmidt Grove: 20 guest maximum (vehicle access is limited)
2. Berry Glen: 6 guest maximum
3. Templeman Grove: 20 guest maximum
4. Organ Donor’s Grove: 20 guest maximum
5. Merriman Grove: 8 guest maximum
6. Prairie Creek Amphitheater: 20 guest maximum (only open for elopements Oct 25 – May 1)
7. River Trail: 8 guest maximum
8. Crescent Beach Day Use: 20 guest maximum (only open for elopements Oct 25 – May 1)
9. Zig Zag 2 Trail: 10 guest maximum
10. High Bluff Overlook: 20 guest maximum
11. Lost Man Creek Gate: 20 guest maximum
12. Crescent Beach Overlook: 20 guest maximum (only open for elopements Oct 25 – May 1)
Another important thing to note is accessibility within these groves. So, if you want to learn more about ADA accessible locations, click here!
How accessible is the location from an airport/airbnb?
For out of state couples, the closest airports to a few different groves are: San Francisco International Airport (SFO) is 1 hour from Muir Woods, Oakland International Airport (OAK) is 20 minutes from Joaquin Miller and Roberts Regional, ans San Jose International Airport (SJC) is 1 hour from Henry Cowell and Big Basin. If you’re If you’re already in California, consider if you want to go somewhere more local, or make it a road trip.
If you already live in California, you would need to consider whether or not you wanted to stay local to where you live.
And when it comes to Airbnbs/campgrounds, we listed many different options above. But make sure to double check the driving time in between locations. We’ll help you with this when planning your elopement, too!
Is the location easily accessible or is it a difficult hike?
A lot of the more popular locations, such as Jedidiah Redwoods National Park, can be more crowded because they have easily accessible and paved trails. It really depends on what you want. When you book us for your elopement, something we ask everyone is what your top priority is for your elopement! If you want to make sure that your day is a private experience, then we’ll help you find a more secluded location. If you have more guests, however, some of the easier trails would be definitely a better option.
How crowded are the different locations?
The Redwoods are an extremely popular location (for obvious reasons). The Redwood groves are beyond stunning, but because of this, you’ll most likely have to share the area with other awestruck visitors. We usually suggest eloping on a weekday and in the morning! That way, you avoid a lot of the crowds. If you go to a park that has a bit of a longer trail or is less accessible, that will also mean that you’ll have a little more privacy.
What else can we do if we elope at the Redwoods?
So, not only do you get to explore incredible groves of MASSIVE trees, but you can also explore the California coast! You’re often not too far from the coast, so you might as well check it out. If you want to make your elopement a whole day adventure, you can say your private vows in the Redwoods in the morning, then get lunch from a local restaurant, and watch the sunset at the beach! Reach out to us if you’re interested in planning your epic Redwoods elopement!
First, you should hire an epic photography and videography team to truthfully document your incredible adventure! That’s where we come in!
Hair and Makeup Artist: Carly Wise
Florist: Sweetness and Light Floral Design
Rentals: Pretty Little Rentals