The words “adventure elopement” often come with images of couples standing on mountain peaks and backpacking through the wilderness. But an adventure doesn’t equal hiking. You don’t have to be about hiking the longest distance, gaining the most elevation, or even breaking a sweat before your elopement ceremony. If you don’t want to do quite so much work on your wedding day, here are 10 adventurous elopement ideas that don’t require hiking or strenuous activity!
1. Stargazing & blue hour on your elopement
Have you ever laid down in the grass, looked up at the sky, and seen millions of stars dotting the sky? If you have, you know it’s the most magical feeling – and doing it with the person you love, at the end of the day after you’ve committed your lives to each other… what could be better?
blue hour, or the hour before sunset and the hour after sunrise, is a great time to explore outside. the blue tones of the sky create a beautiful, unique look. grab some lanterns, sparklers, or even string lights and enjoy!
some of the best spots to stargaze on earth, are “dark sky” areas. these spots are dark and perfect for you to see the stars because they aren’t as affected by light pollution like 99% of the usa is. light pollution and moonlight will greatly affect how you can view constellations and the milky way. so, if you are wanting to view the stars on your elopement day – i highly recommend a dark sky area!
the best dark sky areas for elopements in the usa are:
- death valley national park, california
- dead horse state point, utah
- great sand dunes national park, colorado
- glacier national park, montana
- craters of the moon, idaho
- big bend national park, Texas
- great basin national park, nevada
some other great dark skies in the world are:
- NamibRand Nature Reserve, Namibia
- Aoraki Mackenzie Dark Sky Reserve, New Zealand
- Wadi Rum, Jordan
- The Atacama Desert, Chile
- Brecon beacons national park, wales
- Fairbanks, Alaska
2. Helicopter Tour or airplane ride
Imagine seeing a bird’s eye view of glaciers and mountains – getting to look down at the incredible scenery below you, and being able to hop between peaks within minutes – no hiking required!
A helicopter tour is one of my favorite adventure elopement ideas, because you get such an insane view, without doing much work at all! You’ll get to visit places that aren’t accessible by foot, and see more than you ever could on land.
another great thing about this type of adventure, is most cities and scenic areas offer helicopter, airplane, or even seaplane rides. these two took a ride from oregon helicopters over the cityscape, but offer a variety of tours like wine tasting flights from vineyards to vineyards, hovering over mountains like mt.hood and mt. saint helens, and even picnic sets ups!
some other great areas to consider for a flight tour:
- glacier helicopter excursion in alaska
- seaplane ride in the san juan islands
- air tour over oregon’s waterfalls
3. Kayak, Canoe, Row Boat, or Paddleboard
Whether it’s a calm paddle through a crystal blue lake, or a wild white water rafting experience, cruising over a lake is a fun elopement idea that will allow you to see unique views, and to explore the water.
I personally love inflatable kayaks for easy transportation, and as long as you find a calm body of water (where water boats are allowed), you can drop it in and go! For a more exhilarating experience, it’s best to book a white water rafting tour – the guides will take you to the most epic places safely.
these two rented a row boat in the mt. hood national forest at the campground & staycation, lost lake resort.
4. An elopement Picnic
An adventure doesn’t have to be something that gets your sweat going. It can be something as simple as packing your favorite sandwiches and finding a pretty view to sit in front of. Good is vital to making your elopement enjoyable so make an adventure out of it. Pack a basket and some snacks, and have an adventure elopement picnic.
there are also a lot of areas where you can find a luxury picnic service to come set up a beautiful spread for you out in nature!
5. go off-roading/4×4 driving
One of the best ways to explore is to rent a 4×4, or to take a tour with a professional driver! You can cover miles and miles of wilderness, and drive around until you find views that make you want to stop. It’s an amazing option to seeing multiple backcountry spots without all the hiking. Whether you have a destination in mind, or you want to explore around to find the perfect spot a ride in a 4×4 vehicle is a great way to spend your adventure elopement day.
one of the most popular spots to go off-roading is in moab, utah – which megan and francisco did for their elopement. we adventured through the famous shafer canyon trail through canyonlands national park for over 5 hours. we even saw wild bighorn sheep when they stopped for lunch!
6. Soak in Hot Springs
There’s nothing more relaxing than a natural hot spring in the middle of the wilderness – whether you find a spot to spend the sunrise, or you end your day with a dip, enjoying a hot spring is the perfect hike-free adventure. The pacific northwest has some great ones! Go check out my whole post on why I love hot springs so much for elopements!
7. Take a Road-Trip
I know what you’re thinking – how does driving make my elopement adventurous?
Road-tripping through a scenic area or even National Park can be an awesome way to see some of the most amazing places in one day! Our country’s backyard is full of epic scenery around and driving to multiple spots can allow you with variety without having to hike. Can’t you see yourself saying your vows with a jaw dropping background without having to hiking the distance?
8. Go Camping
You don’t need to backpack into the woods or rough it to have an adventurous night of camping! You can find campgrounds, or even free, completely private camp spots where you can have your ceremony and then end the night with smores, a first dance around the fire, and falling asleep under the stars.
9. A Hot Air Balloon Ride
I can’t think of a more adventurous elopement idea than hopping into a basket and floating off into the sky. No hiking involved, but you’ll get some amazing views from way above sea level! This is a really unique way to start off your marriage – but elopements are all about thinking outside the box. Remember, nothing’s off limits!
10. tide pooling
one of my favorite activities as an oregon local, is exploring tide pools. from star fish to sea urchins, the west coast is an awesome place to view sea creatures.
here’s my top 5 tips for exploring tide pools:
- explore at low tide, preferably under one foot – you can check tide pool charts here or download the app “tide alert”
- wear waterproof boots or water-friendly shoes
- know before you touch! do not remove any creatures from their rocks, put your hand in the water before touch, and know which creature & how you properly should handle them. if you don’t know – then don’t!
- bring an identification app, or pamphlet to help you learn about what you find
- buy this neat, portable microscope called a “looP” to help you view sea life on a whole new level! it’s literally my favorite adventure tool.
make your own adventure elopement!
Whether it’s something the two of you love to do together, or it’s something you’ve always wanted to try, your elopement day is the perfect time to have an adventure. You don’t have to hike to get epic views, and you don’t have to do any intense physical activity to experience an adventure elopement. It’s all about you, and what reflects the two of you as a couple. There are no rules when it comes to elopement ideas – so nothing is too crazy!
I’m here to cheer you on no matter what you’ve got in mind. So if you’re ready to plan something amazing, let’s get it started!