10 Top Elopement Locations in Bend Oregon
Bend is located in Central Oregon by the Deschutes River. Home to some of the best hikes in the state of Oregon, Bend has so much to offer for all the outdoor lovers. I’ve put together a list of my favorite top 10 Best Elopement Locations in Bend. From the perfect mountain lakes and views to the desertic landscape. There are so many more locations I could add to the list but I’ve tried to keep it under 10. Don’t hesitate to reach out for more ideas on where to elope around Bend.
Central Oregon Elopement Locations
1. Sparks Lake
West of Bend, you’ll find the Deschutes National Forest with the famous Cascades Scenic Highway. Only 25 miles (30-40min) drive from the center of Bend, Sparks Lake it’s one of the easiest lakes to access. The road to the parking will be a little bumpy but easy to drive on. Some of the best features of Sparks Lake are the views over South Sister and Broken top. On a clear day, you can also appreciate the reflection of the mountains in the lake. During the fall the lake gets emptier and you can access even more areas in this location. For a summer elopement in Sparks Lake, you can also bring along a kayak to get some fun images and make the best memories.
It is best to access Sparks Lake from Late Springs/Early Summer to Fall. You’ll need a pass or pay parking fees when arriving ($5).
2. Todd Lake
Another lake, part of the beautiful Cascades Scenic Highway is Todd Lake. A short hike from the parking lot and you’ll arrive at the Lake featuring views over Broken Top. Once you hike around the lake you’ll have the best views over Mount Bachelor. It’s an easy loop hike of 1.7 miles total. The areas around the lake are filled with pretty blooms from the summer flowers. The beautiful purple carpet of flowers makes idyllic for elopements. It is best to plan your elopement at Todd Lake during sunrise or sunset to avoid most of the crowd. And one thing to keep in mind in this area, is the number of mosquitoes in the summer! Come prepared 🙂
Tim and I had the chance to be photographed by my dear friend Leah while touring the Cascades Highway.
Photos by Leah Dawson Photography
3. Green Lakes
Let’s keep going with the Deschutes National Forest. To access Green Lakes you’ll to hike this time. The hike takes through the first along the river featuring some pretty waterfalls. You’ll mostly be in the shade while climbing to the top. When you arrive at the base of the lakes, you’ll have South Sister on your left and Broken Top on your right with two lakes on each side. It is rated as moderate. It’s a fun hike if you’re looking to feature waterfalls and, mountain views and lakes all at once for your elopement. You can either plan for a sunrise or sunset trip. It is definitely one of my favorite hikes I’ve ever been on. The summertime in the Deschutes River is very pretty, the fields surrounding the mountains are filled with amazing wildflowers from purple to deep red and oranges, it’s definitely a must-see. This hike is for couples who want to adventures outside the main areas and have a more private ceremony.
4. Newberry Volcano, Paulina’s Peak
How about eloping on the caldera of a volcano or lava field? The Newberry Volcano is located about 20 miles south outside of Bend. The Newberry Volcano area, features, two major lakes, a lava field, two waterfalls, and the pretty Paulina Peak with an elevation of 7,989′ ft. The drive to the top of Paulina Peak is bumpy but easy to access. YOu can count about 20 min to the top from the bottom of the road by Paulina Lake. The views at Sunset are stunning and worth the drive. There is a small self-guided hike on the top that will take through the history of the area and flora and fauna. You can enjoy a 360 degrees view once on the top. with the lakes and lave field facing north and desert on the south. It’s definitely a very unique location for elopement and wedding photos. If you’re looking for something different for your day this is it!
5. Smith Rock
Let’s head north! The landscapes around Bend are all different from one another. On the west side of the city, you’re in the national forest, epic mountain peaks featuring lakes, south of Bend you’ll find the Newberry Volcano and now north you’re in the desert. smith Rock is located about 25 miles outside of Bend in the town of Terrebonne. The best time of the day to have an elopement in Smith Rock is sunset. The sunset behind the Rock and will give you the best golden light. If planning your elopement at Sunrise make sure to come about 45-30min before sunrise time.
The State Park is open year-round. Summers are hot and dry, it’s best to plan in the Spring or Fall when the temperature ae lower. A permit is required once arriving on the parking lot ($5) or a yearly permit you can purchase for $30. A permit is required if you’re having a wedding over 50+ people. For elopements, no permit is required. For more details click here.
6. Broken Top
Broken Top and No name lake might be one of the most epic elopement locations in Bend. The best time to access this location is during the summertime until September / October. I would say this location is for couples who are ready to hike a harder path. The easiest way to get to No name lake is passing by Todd lake parking lot if the gate is open you can keep driving to the furthest location by car. You’ll need a four-wheel-drive to make this easier and the hike will be a lot shorter from there.
There are also some amazing views of Broken Top when hiking the Soda Creek trail which keeps on going on the Broken Top trail. During the summer the meadows are filled with wildflowers and it makes it the cutest spot to exchange your vows.
7. Proxy Falls
Let’s include some epic waterfalls to this list! Proxy Falls is located about 1,5hrs north of Bend and 1hour from Sisters. The loop trail that features the upper and lower Proxy falls is only 1.6 miles hike and rated as easy. The best time of the year to visit or plan your elopement at Proxy Falls is from Spring to Fall. Click here to see the trail.
8. Sahalie Falls and Koosah Falls
Sahalie Falls and Kossah Falls are located about an hour away from Bend along the Mackenzie River. also located north of Bend, it’s the perfect location when you’re looking to avoid hot summer days. The loop that takes you to both waterfalls is only 2.2 miles. Click here to see more.
9. Painted Hills
Probably the furthest location from Bend in this list but worth the 2hours drive to this unique landscape. The Painted Hills reminds me of the Rainbow mountain in Peru. The different colors of the hills are stunning and will make you feel like you’re on a different planet. It is extremely hot and dry in the summer. The best time for elopements at the Painted Hills would be Spring and Fall.
10. White Aspen Creatives
The White Aspen Creatives is located in Bend and offers a covered space for small events. It’s the perfect location if you’re planning to elope or have an intimate wedding reception. They are located near the Deschutes River and this can be a great option if you want to head to the river for more portraits. What I love the most about this is that when including family and friends on your small elopement you can head to the White Aspen Creatives and have an intimate reception with your guests. Their event Rental starts at 3hours of coverage and they recommend up to 50 guests for their space but can accommodate a bigger number. Check their space out, click here!!