Yosemite National Park is kinda the holy grail in our eyes because the views there are simply unreal. Located in central California, it is a stunning park with 762,000 acres of natural wonder, including famous landmarks like the Half Dome, El Capitan, and Yosemite Falls. Towering granite peaks and forest valleys with waterfalls gives a visitor so much to explore. As a result, it is one of the most visited national parks in the country and is growing in popularity for elopement and wedding ceremonies! This Yosemite adventure elopement guide will tell you everything you need to know on how to elope in Yosemite National Park.
To get things started, here is a map of Yosemite National Park so you can reference it as you plan:
The peak season for visitors falls between the months of May to September.
Note: NPS website reports “Glacier Point Road will be closed to all traffic in 2021 to rehabilitate and improve the road. The only access to Glacier Point will be via the Four Mile, Panorama, and Pohono Trails, all of which are strenuous hikes
The warmest months of the year coincide with the summertime when people are eager to explore our national parks, so the highest traffic in the park occurs between June through August. Even though there are more people in the park, the perk of eloping in Yosemite between May and August means the lowest chance of road closures. If you choose to get married in Yosemite during the summer months, elope on a weekday, even at sunrise for the most private experience possible.
Visiting Yosemite in the fall usually means fewer visitors plus the benefit of seeing the autumn colors. October would be a great time to get married in Yosemite. However, there can be early closures for campgrounds and roads depending on the snowfall. Looking into what season fits best for what you want and how the time of year can affect your elopement:
Fresno-Yosemite International Airport (FAT) is the closest airport with a drive of about 1 hour and 45 minutes to the park.
The following info is provided from the NPS website. You can also purchase a digital pass for entry in advance here:
It is reported that there are approximately 500 black bears that call Yosemite home! If you come across one during a hike, don’t worry, they’re pretty timid and shy. Check out this NPS resource on how to handle an encounter with a bear.
Getting married in Yosemite requires a special use permit and $150 nonrefundable application fee. You need to submit your application no more than six months in advance but at least 30 days prior to the date you want. Sending your application sooner than later is highly recommended, especially if you are eloping during peak season.
According to NPS.gov, there are thirteen designated wedding ceremony locations within Yosemite National Park. What’s great is you can have your ceremony in the designated area and then explore the park for your wedding portraits!
Autocamp offers the most amazing glamping experience with a variety of places to stay on-site, ranging from beautifully renovated Airstreams to luxury tents and cabins. It is right near the park entrance and offers a shuttle service that can take you to Yosemite or the nearby historical town of Mariposa.
There are 14 campgrounds located in Yosemite. You can check out the park’s camping information here.
Note: Showers are only available in Yosemite Valley at Curry Village and Housekeeping Camp. Showers are not available elsewhere.
We’d love to be considered as your elopement photographer and videographer for your epic day. Get in touch with us so we can get started with planning your adventure elopement!
If you enjoyed this article and are curious about eloping in other national parks, we have a full guide on how to elope in a national park!
My name is Sydney, and I'm a destination wedding and elopement photographer based out of Austin, Texas. I love to capture timeless, creative, and emotional photographs for couples who are craving an intimate, modern, and intentional wedding experience. Beyond photographing, I love to assist eloping couples in their travel and planning to make their day relaxing and enjoyable.