Thinking about getting married at Farragut State Park in North Idaho? This Idaho State Park is located 30 minutes from Coeur d’Alene and feels like you’re stepping into a National Park. With mountains jutting straight out of the lake, dozens of hiking trails, several campgrounds, and a day use area you can reserve for your wedding, this park is perfect for weddings and elopements of all sizes!

Farragut State Park sits on the south end of Lake Pend Oreille. A former naval training station during WWII, this park is now over 4,000 acers of mountains, lakeshore, and forests.

This guide will walk you through everything you need to plan an adventurous wedding in Farragut State Park!

Book Your Idaho Elopement Photographer

One of the biggest decisions you’ll need to make early on in your elopement planning is choosing your photographer. It’s important that you book your photographer early in the planning process because they will be able to help you with the rest of your planning.

Tip: choose a photographer that specializes in the location you are eloping. They will be able to provide unique insight to the area that will help you in your planning.

Did you know I’m an elopement photographer based out of North Idaho? Yep! I specialize in helping couples plan personalized and adventurous wedding experiences in the great outdoors. Farragut State Park is basically in my backyard and I’d love to help you plan the perfect elopement here!

Choose a Date for Your Elopement

Next, you’ll need to decide on a date. This is a really exciting part of the process because, unlike traditional weddings, you can elope on any day of the week! Have fun when choosing the exact date.

Farragut State Park Weather

Late Spring, Summer, or early Autumn are the best seasons for eloping at Farragut State Park. The weather is warm and dry during these seasons and the entire park is open. The temperatures in the summer average in the high 70’s with the lows being the high 40’s at night with very little precipitation.

Winter at Farragut is cold and snowy, with most of the park only accessible by foot. The park offers groomed trails for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in the winter months, but the rest of the park is difficult and dangerous to access by car this time of year. You can definitely take some beautiful photos in the park in the snow, but be prepared to hike through the snow if you want to access the lake.

bride and groom holding lanterns

Avoiding Crowds

This hidden gem is a popular spot for locals during the summer months for camping, hiking, and swimming. Which means you’ll need to plan appropriately if you want to avoid crowds. Here are my best tips for having a secluded elopement at Farragut State Park.

Choose to Elope on a Weekday

To avoid crowds, steer clear of weekends. For the least amount of crowds, plan to elope on a Tuesday or Wednesday. This will be the most effective option for avoiding crowds for your elopement.

Avoid Mid-Day

Midday between 10am-4pm are the busiest hours, so it’s best to avoid the busy areas of the park during these hours if you want to avoid crowds. This is also the harshest lighting for photos and is always more ideal to avoid having your ceremony during these hours if you want soft, dreamy lighting for your photos.

Reserve Day-Use Shelters Ahead of Time (and Reserve Both of Them)

If you plan on bringing more than a few guests with you, I highly recommend reserving the day-use shelters at the Sunrise Day Use Area. There are two covered areas with picnic tables. You can decorate the space if you wish for your ceremony, reception, or any other part of your day. For the most privacy, I recommend reserve both of the picnic shelters so you can have the whole area to yourselves.

You can reserve the day use shelters by contacting the park or through Reserve America.

Plan Your Elopement Day

This is the really fun part, planning your elopement day! Start dreaming up all of the things you want to include in your day and what you want your ceremony to look like. Do you want to include family in your elopement or will it be just the two of you? Do you want to have a first dance by the lake? Do you want to include something adventurous like paddle boarding in your elopement? The possibilities are endless, so dream big!

Farragut State Park Elopement Activities

Take a Scenic Hike

If you and your partner are seeking adventure and natural beauty, I highly recommend dedicating some time to explore some of Farragut’s hiking trails. Ranging from easy hikes to strenuous mountain climbs, there’s something here for you no matter what your level of adventure is!

Here are a few of the best hikes in Farragut State Park:
  1. Idlewilde Bay – 3.3 miles roundtrip with 331 ft. of elevation gain
  2. Squirrel Cache Trail – 1.3 miles round trip with 154 ft. of elevation gain
  3. Scout Trail to Bernard Peak – 16.7 miles roundtrip with 3,526 ft. of elevation gain

Get Out on the Water

Lake Pend Oreille is one of the biggest and deepest lakes in the country! The park has lots of shoreline to access the beautiful sparkling waters for swimming, paddle boarding, or boating. There is a dedicated swimming area at Beaver Bay with a nearby inlet with calm waters and stunning mountain views, perfect for paddle boarding.

Camp Overnight

With campsites for tent camping or RV’s, as well as cabins, there’s options for any camping style you prefer! Tucked away in the forests of pine with lake access close by, camping here is a fun activity for adventurous couples in this beautiful location.

Snowshoeing & Cross-country Skiiing

North Idaho is beautiful in the winter, and Farragut is a beautiful spot in the snow! Farragut keeps several trails maintained for winter activities, including dedicated trails for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. Check out Idlewilde Bay for a great 3.3 mile snowshoe adventure!

Check out this blog post with 50+ elopement day activities for more ideas

How to Elope at Farragut State Park in Idaho

Book Your Travel & Accommodations

Flying to Farragut State Park

The nearest airport is the Spokane International Airport (GEG), approximately 1 hour from Farragut. It’s a small, but pleasant commercial airport situated in Spokane, Washington. They have direct flights from over 18 cities across the U.S. including Seattle, Los Angeles, and Atlanta!

Overnight Accommodations Near Farragut State Park

With Coeur d’Alene close by, there’s dozens of great overnight accommodations to choose from ranging from hotels to Airbnb’s to even staying inside the park.

Hotels Near Farragut State Park

The Coeur d’Alene Resort in Coeur d’Alene – 40 minutes away

Sitting on the shores of Lake Coeur d’Alene, this resort is in the heart of town. The resort includes a private golf course, spa, two restaurants, and lake views. It sits in the middle of downtown and has plenty of eating and entertainment within walking distance.

The Roosevelt Inn in Coeur d’Alene – 40 minutes away

The Roosevelt Inn is a converted schoolhouse, originally built in 1905. It is Coeur d’Alene’s oldest remaining schoolhouse and now is a charming inn within walking distance of everything Coeur d’Alene has to offer.

The Blackwell in Coeur d’Alene – 40 minutes away

This historic home is now a charming hotel in the heart of Coeur d’Alene. The Blackwell features local artwork and historic features such as clawfoot tubs, and even has an adorable gazebo!

Red Lion Templin’s Hotel in Post Falls – 50 minutes away

If you’re searching for a more traditional hotel stay, the Red Lion Templin’s in Post Falls offers a comfortable stay while still remaining easily accessible. They offer onsite dining (with dozens of additional dining options nearby), an indoor pool, and river views.

Airbnb’s for Your Farragut State Park Elopement

There are so many Airbnb options in North Idaho if you are looking for a unique place to stay. From converted fire lookouts to custom built tree-houses to cozy A-Frame cabins.

If you’re looking for a comprehensive list of the best Airbnb’s in the area, check out these Airbnb’s in North Idaho!

Camping in Farragut State Park

If you want a more adventurous option, Farragut State Park has 223 individual campsites for tent camping or RV’s, 7 group camps, ands 10 cabins for a variety of overnight accommodations within the park. You can reserve your site ahead of time through the parks website or through Reserve America.

Obtain Your Idaho Marriage License

You’ll need to obtain your marriage license from the Kootenai County Recorders Office. You don’t need to be an Idaho resident to get married here, but your ceremony must take place in Idaho. The County Recorders office is located in Coeur d’Alene and they require you to complete an online marriage application before arriving at the Recorders Office.

To obtain your Idaho marriage license you will need the following:

  • $31 cash (or it’s $32.93 if paying by card)
  • Have your Social Security Numbers
  • Have your government issued photo identification

Once you receive your marriage license, you’ll give it to your officiant to perform your wedding ceremony. There’s no expiration for the marriage license and there’s no waiting period, meaning you can get married the same day you receive it, though I recommend planning on getting it at least one day before your wedding ceremony.

Elopement at Farragut State Park in Idaho

Idaho State Parks Pass

You, and any guests attending your elopement at Farragut State Park, will need an Idaho State Parks Pass or day use pass. This can be purchased in person at the park or ahead of time online.

The Idaho State Parks Passport will get you into all of Idaho’s State Parks. It costs $10 annually for Idaho residents or $80 for non-residents. Or you can buy a day pass for $7 for Idaho residents or $17 for non-residents.

You can learn more about park passes on the Farragut State Park website.

Permits

Farragut State Park does not require any special permits for weddings. Just make sure to reserve your space beforehand if you plan on having a ceremony at one of their day use area’s or if you plan on camping during your trip.

Don’t forget to Leave No Trace during your elopement.

Farragut State Park Elopement Packages

Ready to take the next step in planning? Let’s talk elopement packages! I offer a variety of elopement packages ranging from 4 hours to 16 hours split over 2 days to give you exactly what you need for your day! Every package also includes unlimited planning assistance to help you find the perfect locations for your ceremony and portraits, permit assistance, and a custom made timeline in addition to photos, GIFs, and polaroid’s of your elopement. Contact me to start planning your Farragut State Park Elopement.

How to elope at Farragut State Park in Idaho - Idaho Elopement Photographer

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