There’s no denying Oregon’s outdoor beauty. From its dramatic shores to its snow-capped mountain peaks, gushing waterfalls, and everything in between, it’s no wonder so many couples choose this outdoor playground for their elopements. Although the windswept coastline and breathtaking waterfalls often steal the spotlight, there’s something special about the pristine lakes of the state’s rugged interior.
Buried deep in the wilderness surrounded by vast mountains and lush forests, Oregon’s lakes make for the most beautiful elopement locations. If tranquility and picture-perfect scenery are what you’re after, don’t pass up on these popular Oregon lakes for your elopement.
One of the most popular lakes in Central Oregon, Sparks Lake lies just 25 miles west of Bend in Deschutes National Forest. Surrounded by open meadows and pine forests, the lake is a part of 370 acres of scenic wetlands. Here you’ll witness spectacular views of the distant mountains of South Sister, Broken Top, and Mt. Bachelor. Although popular, its size and the fact that motorized boats are prohibited, mean that even on busier days it’s easy to find some calmness along its shores. Check out this fun elopement I shot at Sparks Lake!
With Mt. Hood as its backdrop, this lake is the perfect place to soak in the incredible Oregon wilderness. On a calm day, its glassy surface perfectly reflects the surrounding landscape. Take a fairly easy, two-mile trail around the lake with stunning views of Mt. Hood along the way. About an hour and a half from Portland, Trillium Lake is easily reachable from the city and a beautiful place to elope.
Located in Williamette National Forest, Clear Lake is fed by an underground spring which gives it its characteristic pure blue-green color. Although its crystal clear waters are the main attraction, Clear Lake is also home to a perfectly preserved petrified forest beneath its waters. An easy 5-mile loop takes you around the lake through old-growth forests with beautiful views of the pristine lake and the surrounding scenery. If you’re up for an epic elopement adventure, take a dive beneath the waters and get a look at the ancient forest up close!
The star attraction of Oregon’s only national park, Crater Lake is unlike any other lake on this list. This impressive caldera and the deep blue waters that surround it are a result of an explosive volcano many years ago. Its vibrant, indigo color is a true sight to behold. It’s no wonder Crater Lake is considered one of Oregon’s seven wonders. Standing at the edge of the caldera overlooking the clear water below will surely take your breath away. With not many places quite like this, Crater Lake is the perfect place for a one-of-a-kind elopement.
No Name Lake
As you may have guessed by its name, No Name Lake is not your typical Oregon lake. Tucked on the east side of Broken Top mountain, an eroded stratovolcano, you’ll recognize No Name Lake by its bright turquoise water. Surrounded by jagged snow-capped peaks and rocky terrain, No Name Lake is the perfect elopement location for the adventurous couple. Although the 6-mile out-and-back hike may seem intimidating, you’ll be treated to incredible vistas as you walk past fields of wildflowers and lush wilderness, before ultimately, arriving at No Name Lake.
Just a half-hour from Bend, this pristine lake lies at 6,150 feet nestled between Broken Top and Mt. Bachelor. Motorized boats are prohibited at Todd Lake adding to its peaceful atmosphere. An easy 1.7-mile loop trail takes you around the lake, offering breathtaking views of the glassy water and the neighboring mountain peaks. Its close proximity to Bend makes it a popular destination so I’d recommend avoiding the weekend for your elopement or getting an early start!
Located among the Wallowa Mountains, a 40-mile mountain range in eastern Oregon, this area is considered to be another of Oregon’s seven wonders. Often referred to as the “Oregon Alps,” this region is home to high peaks, jaw-dropping vistas, and of course, alpine lakes. Wallowa Lake was formed by two glaciers and runs almost 4 miles long with a depth of 299 feet. Although further from the rest, the untouched wilderness and beauty of Wallowa Lake make this elopement location worth the trek.
Situated at the foot of Mt. Hood, you’ll find Lost Lake. This picturesque natural lake sits at an elevation of over 3,000 feet, its surface covering 240 acres with a depth of about 170 feet. It’s quite impressive, to say the least. Meander around the easy, three-mile loop trail and stroll through ancient forests and wetlands while taking in unbeatable views of Mt. Hood along the way.
As the second largest freshwater lake in Oregon, Waldo Lake is a must-see. Situated among the Cascade Mountains in Willamette National Forest, this alpine lake is surrounded by dense forest and towering peaks. Carved out by ancient glaciers, Waldo Lake is actually one of the purest lakes in the world. To maintain its purity, motorized boats are not allowed on the lake, making it a peaceful and serene place to elope.
Cascades Lake Scenic Byway
Finding it difficult to choose just one? I don’t blame you! If you can’t seem to decide on just one of Oregon’s beautiful lakes, perhaps the Cascades Lake Scenic Byway is what you’re looking for. Beginning in Bend, this historic highway encompasses 14 alpine lakes, including two already on this list, Todd Lake and Sparks Lake. The scenic byway winds 66 miles through Deschutes National Forest past beautiful mountain peaks and stunning vistas. A few stops along the Cascades Lake Scenic Byway would be the perfect way to spend a full day elopement!
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