Did you know about this gorgeous Redwood tree forest just outside the bustling city of Portland, Oregon? It’s in Hoyt Arboretum, which is a subset of Washington Park, more specifically the Redwood Deck area of Hoyt. It is my favorite little corner of the park transporting you to the Redwoods with lush green ferns, insanely tall trees, and beauty everywhere you look. It’s been becoming a much more popular spot for engagement sessions in the last year or so as it’s super accessible and close to the city. From the main parking area of the Hoyt visitor center it’s about 1/3 of a mile. Most of the year the trail is quite muddy so come prepared with the right pair of shoes.
This Hoyt Arboretum couples session was one of my favorites to date! Ashton and Taylor live in Denver and were traveling the PNW to celebrate their anniversary. They reached out to me a couple weeks prior and thankfully I was able to squeeze them in because meeting them seriously felt meant to be. We had so much to chat about and seeing this magnificent place through their joy was all I needed to get inspired. We ended the session by waiting for the sun to go down and pulling out some camping lanterns to play in the blue hour. Their love and affection for one another was so cute (as you can see!).
The Redwood Deck itself in the park is somewhere you can have your wedding ceremony or elopement (up to 50 people standing, but ideal for small intimate ceremonies). You have to reserve it ahead of time through their lottery system which is highly competitive. I will be shooting my first ceremony here in just a couple of months!
If you are looking for a little slice of the Redwoods then this spot is IT! To keep exploring, you can continue hiking around Hoyt or continue on this same trail that took you to the Deck and it will lead you to Pittock Mansion and trails in Forest Park if you’re wanting to hike. It’s dog friendly, super close to downtown, and stunning – what else could you ask for?!
Kelsey Straus is a PNW Elopement +
Intimate Wedding Photographer
based in Portland, Oregon