March 10, 2023

Location Guides, Resources

The Best Waterfall Elopement locations in California 

California’s natural beauty is undeniable, and there are many stunning locations for couples who want to elope surrounded by nature! One of the most popular options is waterfall elopements — with crystal-clear water cascading down rocky cliffs creating a romantic setting that can’t be beaten! If you’re considering having a waterfall elopement consider visiting any or all of these top waterfall destinations in California:

Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park is one of the most popular destinations for elopements in California. With its towering granite cliffs and lush meadows, Yosemite is a stunning backdrop for any elopement ceremony. Yosemite is known worldwide for its breathtaking scenic views and offers epic backdrops for adventurous couples looking to elope near waterfalls. It also has plenty of secluded spots away from crowds offering privacy and incredible panoramas!

There are several waterfalls located within the park, including Bridalveil Fall, the best-known attraction in Yosemite, Nevada Fall, and Vernal Falls which features a steep granite staircase that leads visitors up close to this impressive sparkling cascade on Merced River! The surrounding emerald forest green also provides unique photo opportunities against the white bridal veil’s misty background! Whichever waterfall elopement location you choose all three of these falls offer spectacular views and make for a romantic setting for your special day!

Burney Falls

Burney Falls is located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains near Lake Tahoe. Just an hour east of Redding off Highway 299 lies McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park. This state park has arguably California’s most magnificent power falls. A 129 feet tall rush over basalt columns landing into Fern Canyon below! 

This waterfall is known for its picturesque cascading waters that plunge over a rocky cliff into a deep pool below. It’s a great spot for an intimate elopement ceremony as it offers plenty of privacy and seclusion. Plus, you can take advantage of the stunning views of the surrounding mountains and lake. This location creates an intimate feeling while still providing enough space around it so couples can take in its full glory!

For couples seeking more adventure like hiking or exploring caves, McArthur – Burney falls is the perfect location! This waterfall has several amazing trails where you’ll find freshwater pools around fern-covered rock formations towering above alongside shaded hiking through long trails leading you deep within forests presided over by firs pines hemlocks.

There is no doubt about it; Burney fall makes worth adding to your bucket list when planning dream elopements! 

Alamere FalIs 

Alamere Falls is located within the Phillip Burton Wilderness. It’s a stunning waterfall cascading over 40 feet tall on the south end of Wildcat Beach. Although this waterfall is absolutely breathtaking it isn’t an easy trek. Consisting of a 13-mile hike this waterfall is definitely worth the spectacular views but can be a rough hike for some. 

Bridal Veil Falls 

Bridal Veil Falls is located in Big Sur, just south of Monterey Bay. This waterfall is known for its unique shape. It looks like a bride’s veil cascading down the side of a mountain thus the name! It’s also one of the tallest waterfalls in California at over 500 feet tall! This makes it an ideal spot for an elopement ceremony as you can take advantage of the majestic views from atop the falls.

The Best Waterfall Elopement locations in California 
The Best Waterfall Elopement locations in California 

Vernal Falls 

Vernal Falls is located in Yosemite National Park and is one of the most popular waterfalls in California. This waterfall plunges over 300 feet into a deep pool below, creating a stunning sight to behold. It’s also surrounded by lush meadows and towering trees, making it an ideal spot for an outdoor wedding ceremony. Plus, you can take advantage of the incredible views from atop Vernal Falls or from nearby Glacier Point.

McWay Falls

McWay Falls is located in Big Sur and is one of the most photographed waterfalls in California. This 80-foot waterfall cascades down into a secluded beach below. Although you cannot access this beach, you can take advantage of the stunning view from atop McWay Falls or from nearby Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park.

Secret Locations

There are MANY more waterfalls throughout California! Some of them are located in the eastern sierra mountain range east of Yosemite and a few others are in northern California. I like to keep these areas as hidden and secretive as possible to provide the more intimate elopement experience possible. If you’d like to know more, please reach out!

No matter which waterfall location you choose, you’re sure to have an unforgettable elopement experience in California! From Yosemite National Park to McWay Falls, there are plenty of breathtaking spots to choose from that will make your special day even more memorable.

The Best Waterfall Elopement locations in California 

I hope this blog on waterfall elopement locations in California has helped you plan your special day! Check out Jennifer Whalen Weddings packages and pricing on her website to book her as your adventure elopement photographer and see more of her work here!

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Feeling inspired and want to know how to plan your elopement? I've created a helpful guide and checklist to plan the elopement of your dreams in 5 easy steps.  

Elopement Guide

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From hiking up mountains to running into the ocean, I’m ready to capture your big day just as you imagine it. Let me help you create an experience free of stress and full of what matters most to you. 

I’m your California wedding and elopement photographer turned adventure buddy.

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