October 29, 2021
Just three weeks before Courtney and Troy’s wedding, we got to celebrate their engagement with an absolutely epic mountain sunset at Mount Rainier! We got lucky with the best weather, the mountain out and showing off, and the wildest sunset I’ve ever experienced at Rainier. It was a solid evening of exploring!
The Paradise Side of Rainier
I took Courtney + Troy to Paradise, one of my favorite areas to explore at Rainier. There are endless amazing places to visit at Mount Rainier National Park, but Paradise was perfect for their sunset engagement photos.
If you’re as excited about these Mount Rainier engagement photos as I am, no doubt you’re probably wanting to take a trip to Rainier as soon as we’ve got warm weather again. Paradise is located on the south side of the national park, 19 miles east of the Nisqually park entrance and 12 miles east of Longmire.
Paradise is probably one of the locations at Rainier that you see most often in photos – it’s a lush wildflower, well, paradise. In the summertime, it’s filled with red and purple wildflowers and luscious green grass everywhere you look.
Since we went in the fall, we didn’t have wildflowers, but the subalpine meadows and mountain views were still to die for. Honestly, no matter the season you visit (and are able to access the park), this scenery is unbeatable, even though the most popular months to visit Paradise are July and August. If you’re planning a trip to Paradise in the winter, check the NPS website for road closures and make sure you know how to deal with inclement weather during your shoot.
A little pro tip: the road to Paradise from Longmire is actually open year-round, but if you’re driving it between November and May, you’re required to carry chains just in case.
If you want to see how incredible Paradise is with the wildflowers in full bloom, go see Emma + Brian’s Mountain Engagement Photos! Their session is also a great example of making the most out of unpredictable weather.
Mountain Sunset Engagement Photos
If you’re preparing for your engagement session and want it to be as successful as this one, here are some of my top tips for you:
1. Start planning early
Make sure the location you’re dreaming of is accessible during the time you want to take your photos. I also suggest taking time off work if you’re driving somewhat of a distance to our location. We don’t want you to stress about being late or getting ready in time!
2. Put together your looks
Courtney and Troy coordinated their outfits beautifully for their engagement session at Mount Rainier. I loved the fall mood of their oranges and denim – when in doubt, check out My Top 3 Tips for Your PNW Adventure Photoshoot Outfits.
3. Make a packing list + day-of list
If you’re planning to make a mini-vacation out of your engagement session, make sure you have everything you need! And even if you’re not making a trip out of it, make sure you bring snacks, water, and bug spray. For a sample packing list, check out my blog post all about how to prepare for your session.
4. Prepare for every scenario
Let’s be real, the PNW isn’t exactly always sunshine + rainbows. Lucky for you, I have a blog all about how to deal with inclement weather during your shoot. Moral of the story: we don’t do anything unsafe, but we do embrace the spontaneity of nature that happens during our shoots!
5. Get mentally prepared
The best photos come from an engagement session where you’re feeling relaxed, are able to be authentic, and focused on each other. Use this time to be present with each other and enjoy some quality time. Courtney and Troy were able to cuddle up while enjoying the amazing views, and now they’ve got that evening documented forever.
I’ll always be thankful for this epic Rainier sunset with these two – can’t wait for them to tie the knot!