The sky’s the limit when you decide on where your Idaho elopement to take place. From snowy mountain tops to relaxing meadows and everything in between, Idaho has a little bit of everything when it comes to beautiful terrain. I’ve been so lucky to have the opportunity to photograph many elopements and intimate weddings all over Idaho, that I thought I’d share ten of my favorite locations!
1. McCall, Idaho
McCall is a perfect central location whether you’re coming from North or South Idaho for an elopement. If you’re a foodie or enjoy an amazing spa, staying at The Shore Lodge is a MUST and one of my favorite places to splurge for a weekend. There are also a wide variety of cabins on Airbnb available whether you love a rustic backcountry cabin or a luxurious log cabin with a fireplace on the lake. The scenery is gorgeous with tons of unobstructed beach views, endless acres of pine forests, and meadows everywhere that will make you feel like you’re in a fairytale.
2. Sandpoint, Idaho
Lake Pend Orielle is one of the most beautiful lakes in all of Idaho, as well as the largest. I absolutely love the charming historic vibes of downtown Sandpoint and how kicked back & relaxed Sandpoint is. Schweitzer Mountain Resort offers elopement packages, too, if jumping on a chairlift seems like your idea of a fun adventure on an elopement day! Sandpoint is also home to some amazing local art galleries, home to Evans Brothers Coffee Roasters (a must stop!), and hip thrift stores. I love this quirky and beautiful town!
3. Sawtooths in Stanley Idaho
The Sawtooths are my favorite place in the entire world to work. I’ve spent 28 years getting myself familiar with every hike in the Sawtooth wilderness camping and backpacking through the Sawtooths. The Sawtooths are definitely the best place to elope in Idaho if adventure is your thing and you love rustic dive bars, ma & pa restaurants, and a more remote experience. Although Stanley doesn’t have glamorous lodging in town, the views from nearly every spot in town are unparalleled in the state. For a bit of privacy, I recommend staying at the Triangle C Cabins in town to have your own separate cabin. If you really want to splurge, the all-inclusive Idaho Rocky Mountain Ranch offers all your meals, excursions/activities, and more in a price-per-person package.
4. Sun Valley, Idaho
Sun Valley has a reputation in Idaho for being stuffy and filled with out of town visitors. And, although it is a super popular tourist destination, I love going swing dancing at Whisky Jacques and enjoying a beer at Lefty’s. The Limelight Hotel in Ketchum and Hotel Ketchum are both phenomenal hotels with super friendly/happy customer service that also allow dogs – perfect for Millenials and dog lovers. 😉 Mt. Baldy makes for a pretty epic backdrop and the many trails close to town make Sun Valley an effortless place to have it all for your Idaho elopement in one accessible location.
5. Craters of the Moon National Monument
I’m sure there are people who read Craters of the Moon and immediately got confused. I spent many summers crossing South Idaho between Wyoming and Boise passing through this quirky amazing geological site in Idaho. The Craters of the Moon are an extinct lava field. I’ve never seen anything like it in the entire state. From a distance, it looks like a sea of black bumps in the landscape, but up close, these incredible dried lava rocks are mesmerizing and feel like walking on a different planet. This is definitely a special spot and best suited for those of you who like a drier, desert vibe and I couldn’t love it more!
6. Grand Targhee – the Idaho side of the Tetons in Driggs, Idaho!
Everyone knows about Jackson Hole, Wyoming, but a lot of people don’t know that the Tetons border Wyoming and Idaho. One one side, you have Jackson Hole, and just 30 minutes away you have Driggs, Idaho! The Idaho side is a slice of paradise without tourists. Grand Targhee Ski Resort has views of the Tetons just to make sure you get some Teton action in your photos. I love the Moose Creek Ranch cabins which offer individual cabins along the river and have onsite horseback riding.
It took me four years of living in Boise to visit the Owyhees and I couldn’t believe they have been hiding from me all this time. 😉 Leslie Gulch is about 3 hours from Boise, but if you love bright orange sand and rocks, you’ll hardly believe the Owyhees are in Idaho and not Utah! There are arches, needles, and huge towering boulders that make this spot a little hidden gem in Idaho very few people visit.
8. Priest Lake, Idaho
An adorable resort very few people in Idaho have been to hangs out on the shores of one of the most pristine and remote lakes I’ve ever visited in Idaho: Elkins Resort! Elkins Resort in Priest Lake has some of the BEST food I’ve ever eaten in my life and has cozy cabins on the lake with views that go on forever. I love this quiet little hidden gem in North Idaho. Fun fact: I had to keep my phone off the entire time I visited because it pinged Canada’s cell phone towers!
9. The Palouse in Moscow, Idaho
Most people associate Moscow, Idaho for one thing: The University of Idaho. I am absolutely biased here because I grew up in this tiny little town, but Moscow has some serious Tuscany vibes with rolling hills that don’t quit. I’m serious – portraits in this area are unfathomable and, depending on the season, look like Ireland in the Spring or Tuscany in the peak summer when the hills turn golden. With local food and wine and breweries, if you like small college towns and wide-open space, eloping in the Palouse would be a perfect option for you!
10. Coeur d’Alene Idaho
Bordering Washington, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho sits on Lake Coeur D’Alene and has PNW vibes for days. Tall evergreen trees surround the massive lake and offer forest beach vibes. The downtown strip along Coeur d’Alene has a beachside boardwalk and lots of high-end shopping and cozy boutiques. Coeur d’Alene offers more luxe high-end lodging and dining with panoramic views everywhere you look!
While this helps plan where you want to plan your Idaho elopement, why not have your cake and eat it, too! I partnered with wedding planner and coordinator Emily Aitken Events to create the best all-inclusive Idaho elopement packages. Check out how we can help plan and create the adventurous elopement of your dreams!