Elopement Inspiration, Planning Resources, and Past Adventures

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Overland Elopements

Columbia Gorge Adventure Session at Wahclella Falls

May 20, 2023

Hi! We're Anna and Trevor.

We're a fun (and maybe a little dorky) couple of elopement photographers, traveling all over the country to help people get married in the most beautiful places mother nature has to offer.

We thrive with cameras in hand, and nothing resonates with us more than the intimacy & freedom of an elopement. We get that big events and old school traditions aren't for everyone, and that's totally cool! We're all about embracing our uniqueness and throwing tradition out the window.

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Wahclella Falls Adventure Session in the Columbia River Gorge

Well, it’s no secret that the Columbia River Gorge is a gem of the Pacific Northwest. With sweeping river views, diverse wildflowers, and dozens of waterfalls, there is no shortage of beautiful locations in the Columbia River Gorge perfect for adventure sessions. This National Scenic Area (the largest in the country) will steal your heart.

We spent the evening with Kati and her hubby Tyler exploring two of our very favorite spots in the Columbia Gorge on the Oregon side, escaping the heat as best we could during an unexpected springtime heat wave.

Side note: Kati is the mega talented one-woman-show behind Kiss Me Kate Custom Floral, and she put together a gorgeous bouquet for our adventure! Kati offers custom wedding and elopement floral arrangements, and you can view more of her work here! Kiss Me Kate Custom Floral

The whole evening was a dream. Their session began with a short hike to the photogenic Wahclella Falls. Although not a hidden gem, this spot does see less crowding compared to some of the other waterfalls nearby. You may run into an elopement or another session taking place, but the popularity is much more manageable. This is partially due to the fact that you’ll have to hike about one mile before arriving at the falls, while the others are essentially roadside stops. The hike to the falls has some slight elevation gain, but it’s well worth it and still an easy trek.

The waterfall hikes in the Gorge provide the best shade and cooler temperatures to stay comfortable, especially in the heat of the summer. Though the sun was still high in the sky, Kati & Tyler were surrounded by the mist, the breeze, and the roaring sounds of the rushing water. It was a full sensory experience that left us all feeling so energized! 

As we arrived back at the trailhead, the sky was still lighting up with the vibrant tones of a killer sunset, so we knew we had to take advantage of it. Only a few minutes up the road, we stopped at our second location for the final few minutes of daylight. Personally, I think this cove has some of the best views of the river in the whole gorge. It was such a vivid last few moments of the day!

Top Columbia River Gorge Locations for Adventure Sessions

There are seemingly limitless beautiful locations to visit in the gorge. Most of the best spots are accessed via the Columbia River Gorge Scenic Highway, and are within close proximity to each other. Here are a few of the most popular locations for portraits and elopements on the Oregon side of the river.

Rowena Crest Overlook

LaTourell Falls

Multnomah Falls

Government Cove

Tips for Your Columbia River Gorge Adventure Session

The Columbia River Gorge is our favorite location near Portland for adventure sessions, engagements and elopements. Here are some tips to make the most of your adventure here!

  • Opt for a sunrise session to avoid most of the crowds and timed entry requirements for the most popular locations during peak season.
  • Waterfall trails are a great option while the sun is still higher in the sky, while higher elevation viewpoints and river views are ideal for sunrise or sunset.
  • Visit in the off season to avoid a majority of crowds. People flock here in the summer, but the area is accessible year-round if you don’t mind varied weather. (Also, more rain means larger, more dramatic waterfalls.)

Interested in exploring the Columbia Gorge area for your own portraits or wedding day? We offer elopement and adventure session packages here year round, and there’s never a bad time to visit! From snowy winter hikes, misty and moody spring adventures, and an epic wildflower season…the Columbia River Gorge represents all the very best of the Pacific Northwest. Let’s get planning!

Scroll on for more from Kati & Tyler’s springtime adventure!


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