New Hampshire Elopement Photographer | Mountain Elopements in New Hampshire | Sunset Mountain Elopements | Where to Elope in New Hampshire | How to Plan a Mountain Elopement
In this post, you will read about:
- Everything you need to know about hiking Mt. Kearsarge
- This summer Mt. Kearsarge New Hampshire Sunset Elopement
- Tips on planning a mountain elopement
Everything You Need To Know About Hiking Mt. Kearsarge
This Mt. Kearsarge New Hampshire Sunset Elopement experience was a calm, private, joyful adventure. However, it came with planning! Hiking elopements require preparation, experience, and backup plans to ensure safety and a stress-free experience. Before you read about this dreamy summer night with these beauties, I wanted to provide everything you need to know about hiking Mt. Kearsarge.
Where is Mt. Kearsarge?
Mt. Kearsarge is in Warner, NH. Home to a small, rural town about 25 minutes West of Concord, New Hampshire. I highly recommend going to a local tavern / coffee shop/ exploring before or after you Mt. Kearsarge hike. I always make time to explore the cute down when I head this way.
Where to park for your Mt. Kearsarge Hike
- Most importantly (and something I learned from getting lost on my first drive there!), there are TWO parking lot options for hiking Mt. Kearsarge. I highly recommend paying + your parking pass online + printing it beforehand using links below. Parking is $4.
- Winslow State Park (click link for info)- this is where we parked for the slightly flatter/more mild hike. We were up to the summit in about 50 minutes. Both options are great and both lots lead to trails that will reach the summit. About 1 mile up.
- Rollins State Park – (click link for info) a shorter, yet rougher + steeper trail. I usually reach the summit (with Babel!) in about 30 minutes depending on our ambition levels. About .5 miles up.
- Unsure where to park and hike? Use this hiking trail map to plan out your Mt. Kearsarge hike. As I mentioned, both lots bring you to trails that reach the summit.
Are dogs allowed on Mt. Kearsarge?
Heck yes. Bring that leash and doggie bags, and I’ll see ya there. Lots of happy doggos comfortably make the trek up to the 365 degree summit of Mt. Kearsarge.
What hiking gear is needed for Mt. Kearsarge?
This all depends on experience level and preference! Personally, I find all I need are hiking shoes with good traction (and long socks for tick/poison ivy management depending on the season). I do not personally hike up with poles, although I recommend doing so whenever possible on hikes (safety and knee preservation!) Given I’m usually hiking up with camera gear and helping couples out, I feel comfortable being pole-free. Since the hike to the summit is 1 mile or under for the trails I choose, I’d say it’s an easy to moderate hiking experience!
What is the Mt. Kearsarge hike and summit like?
- A combination of steeper, small but sturdy rocks AND
- Toward the top: huge slaps of rock that are flatter / easier
- Summit: 365 degree views of Western New Hampshire and Vermont. There is also a fire tower which is a blast to climb up for enhanced views
A Mt. Kearsarge NH Sunset Elopement
These two adventurous, hilarious, kind souls said YES to adventure. They had a more traditional, full sized wedding the year before and celebrated their love a year later atop one of their favorite summits near their home. This Mt. Kearsarge sunset elopement started with a summer hike together with the trails nearly to ourselves. That’s a HUGE perk of sunrise/sunset elopements: less foot traffic!
I LOVE Mt. Kearsarge for elopements because it really is a hike that has it all.
- Accessibility: not a long or advanced hike like some of the 4,000 footers in the White Mountains of New Hampshire
- Ample trail space and options
- 365 degree views
- Time friendly- you can easily accomplish a timeline of hiking, dancing, partying, or other activities on your elopement day
A MT. KEARSARGE SUNSET ELOPEMENT TIMELINE EXAMPLE:
- 5:30 pm – 6:15 pm – 45 minutes: relaxed hike up together
- 6:15 pm – 6:35 pm – 20 minutes: Getting ready on the summit (they had it to themselves and were able to change / clean up in privacy). They both got to see the other for a dual-turnaround first look reveal
- 6:35 pm – 7:35 pm- 1 hour: Alone time, couples’ portraits, summit enjoyment. We were on the brink of a rain storm, so the summit had these incredible pockets of rain clouds in the distance, sunset vibrancy, and gray clouds. A big combination of everything
- 7:35 pm – 8:05 pm – 30 minutes: Champagne, dessert from one of my favorite bakeries: Buckley’s Cafe. Sunset viewing.
- 8:05 pm – 8:55 pm – 50 minutes: Evening hike down with lanterns and head lamps. Also a special way to enhance your elopement experience: it adds a fun adventure spin on your night
- 9:00 pm – 11:00 pm – 2 hours: local restaurant and tavern to close out the night
Tips on planning a mountain elopement
When planning a mountain elopement, I walk couples through each part of the experience with my comprehensive planning guide and frequent communication. This level of detail is important for couples to be happy but ALSO for safety. SO, research beforehand is so important! Finding a mountain elopement that fits one’s skill level AND vision is the ultimate goal.
Looking to maximize sustainability?
Consider making your own bouquet with dried flowers you collect over time! That’s what we did with this gorgeous, unique, bouquet that is still shown proudly in a vase at home! Anyone can do it (believe me, if I can make one of these then you can), and it adds such a personal touch.
When starting your mountain elopement planning, I recommend thinking about these three factors:
- Level of seclusion/privacy you’re seeking
- Level of accessibility
- Extent of views your seeking
Usually, your ideal mountain elopement plans will prioritize TWO of these THREE factors. For instance, if privacy and EPIC views of mountains are your priorities, then likely you’ll be picking a harder, more advanced hike. If you prioritize accessibility for family members and epic views, you’ll be sharing your time with other hikers/tourists. There is no RIGHT way to pick your mountain elopement location, but consciously envisioning what fits your priorities is my top advice.
For more elopement planning tips/resources, follow the Babel Photos journey 🙂 See you there!
NOW: A MT. KEARSARGE NH SUNSET ELOPEMENT GALLERY