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SEPT 15, 2020



  • Angela Walsh

Adventure Wedding + Elopement in Fern Canyon - Northern California - WITH Sample Elopement Timeline!

Updated: Nov 9, 2020

Last week I went to scout some amazing locations in Northern California for Adventure Elopements/ Intimate Weddings and I ran across this magical forest that would be perfect for a fairy inspired theme event! There are so many different backdrops in this location that I thought it would be nice to put together a sample elopement timeline with pictures to inspire future couples and help them envision what it would be like to elope here.

This first picture is of my daughter modeling this amazing spot for a photo! So glad she was with me for this adventure so I could help share the scene. :)

I am going to start with logistics (Great things to know!)

Fern Canyon is considered a State Park, but my National Park pass actually got me in with no charge here. (Some work with way) If you do not have a pass it has a $8 use fee

  • The hours to the park are Sunrise to Sunset

  • If your are using a commercial photographer (paid) they will need to get a permit from the California Commission (Online and free)

  • Follow this link to get the permit needed - http://film.ca.gov/state-permits/online-permit-application - It take about a week to get one.

When you get to the park you have to cross a stream on the road going in so a 4X4 vehicle is a good idea - We drove in with our van and were able to get over it as it wasn't very high but sometimes the stream is higher, so having a high vehicle is nice. Otherwise you have to park 1 mile from the entrance and hike in.

  • The actual hike to the start of the Fern Canyon is only .1 miles.

  • There is a bathroom at the parking lot, but it's your traditional state park bathroom, so not that nice, but would work to change if need

  • You can hike pretty far in the canyon, but we found there were plenty of shots within 1.3 miles of the entrance which took us about 1.5 hours explore

  • This canyon has a lot of small streams in it, so it is best to have water shoes to explore! We started climbing all the tree bridges but then just gave up and walked through the streams as it was much faster and easier.

  • During summer months, foot bridges are installed over the creek to make this trail easier (and dryer), but it is generally passable year-round if one is nimble and can tolerate getting damp.

  • There is a beautiful beach on the way in which is a great spot for photos as well as an amazing mountain view. This area of Northern California is know for it's mist off the ocean and is really awesome for the moody type photos which go great with the magical feel of the Fern Canyon

My husband being my model for this one. :) The mist really creates a unique look to the ocean backdrop

  • Fern Canyon is considered a part of the Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park and has many groves of Giant Redwoods to explore! These are a beautiful wonder and something you cannot find in the rest of the world! I would highly recommend exploring these while your in the area!

If you have some extra time to add into the day, we traveled 45 minutes up the coast highway to the Trees of Mystery to add a gondola ride and a walk on swaying bridges up in the giant Redwoods


Ok, now that we have explored a bit... Let's get into an example Adventure Elopement Timeline for Fern Canyon!

Start by renting a beautiful Airbnb near Orick, CA right next to the Redwood National Park

∙ 8:00 am - Getting ready at the Airbnb

· 9:00 am - First look at the cabin

· 9:30 - 10:00 - Drive to Fern Canyon

· 10:00 am - Get to Fern Canyon Parking lot

· 10:00 am - 11:30 - Explore Fern Canyon (1 mile hike out and back)

· 11:30 - 12:00 - freshen up and drive to Skunk Cabbage Trail (15 minute drive)

· 12:00 - Short hike to a picnic on the beach (Gold Bluff's Beach .2 miles)

· 12:00 - 1:00 - Picnic lunch and acoustic music performance by my husband of a song of your choice (Which will most likely be remembered as your wedding song :) )

· 1:00 - 1:30 Explore the beach and find a private area to read your vow and officially elope! (My husband as the officiant if need) - You could also pick an area in the fern from the drive up that is beautiful!

· 1:30 - 2:00 - Drive to Atlas Grove in the Prairie Creak Redwoods State Park

· 2:00 - 3:00 - Explore and take couples photos

· 3:00 - 3:30 - Drive back to the Airbnb

· 3:30 - 5:00 - Private Chef Dinner

Overall this is one of my favorite places in the entire US and I really don't think you can go wrong getting married in such a magical and memorable locations!

If this sound like something you would like to learn more about, I can definitely make this dream happen!

Let's get in touch! - https://www.mindfulmediaphotography.com/contact

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