Elope at the Christmas Valley Sand Dunes in Central Oregon
Elope in the Christmas Valley Sand Dunes.
Yep. The dunes aren’t just limited to the Oregon Coast. Christmas Valley, what images come to mind when you think of it? A vast expanse of pine trees coated in a fresh sparkling white layer of snow? Scenes from The Chronicles of Narnia with of Lucy wandering around the forest and bumping into Mr. Tumnus pop into my head. “It’s always winter, never Christmas.” I can hear him say.
Well you’re in for a shocker. Christmas Valley looks like someone took a bit of the Gobi Desert and plopped it right in the middle of Oregon. WHAT? Yep, you read that correctly. Take a peek of some of these gorgeous photos.
I always have to pinch myself when I remember that I live in such an incredible state with vast topography; I’m so lucky to call this state my home. I seriously can’t think of one other region other where you can find so many incredible locations all within a few hours of each other. From the giant Redwoods, to the coastal regions. The mountains where you can spend a few days camping, or Christmas Valley sand dunes which will leave you feeling like you just traveled to the desert outside of Dubai, minus the 22 hours of travel, passport fees, and expensive plane tickets of course.
My post explaining all the great features of the Alvord Valley was very well received so I figured it only made sense to wrist a similar post about Christmas Valley so you can get all the “deets” in case you’re weighing all your options on the perfect place to elope, so let’s jump in.
Weddings can cost a lot of money, in fact the average wedding in the US costs 35k, so if you made the decision to elope just based on the dollar signs alone well here’s something to celebrate… Just like the Alvord Desert you don’t need any permits if you choose to elope in the Christmas Valley. That means you save money, which is great, because in turn you can use that money for your honeymoon or to buy donuts… Whichever you prefer.
ABOUT THE SAND DUNES
The Christmas Valley Sand Dunes are remotely location in south-central Oregon, just outside of the town of Christmas Valley. The dunes are at least 2.5 hours from any decent sized town (like Bend, OR – the closest), but that means they provide isolation and a great place to explore and watch the stars at night.
The Christmas Valley Sand Dunes are a place frequented by dune-buggies and offroaders, but don’t worry. It isn’t nearly as crowded as the dunes on the Oregon Coast. During the shoulder season, you might be lucky to find two other rig/trailer setups parked in the Juniper dispersed campground.
Nearby, there is also a phenomenon called “Crack in the Ground” – a volcanic fissure that shows evidence of what a different landscape Oregon used to be.
PLACES TO STAY
I personally love to pack up the camper or the tent and fully embrace the remoteness of each location I visit. Christmas Valley is roughly 2.5 hours from Bend, OR which means it is possible to travel there and back all in one day, but when it’s a location that’s so beautiful who wouldn’t want to soak up every possible moment of it? Perhaps you’re intrigued by the thought of camping the day before or after your elopement but aren’t sure where to start.
Check out my resource page for tons of great information, including posts like this one which give my top adventure elopement gear recommendations. Another thing to note, because of its remote location, the chance to see the stars in Christmas Valley are second to none, this is reason enough in my book to back a tent so you can take advantage of star-gazing at night. Plus, imagine the kickass photos you could have of you underneath the star-filled sky.
If roughing it in a camper or in a tent directly on the dunes isn’t your style, check out my Airbnb recommendations below (be aware that pickin’s are slim).
Obviously a very important topic that needs to be addressed. There are a few small mom and pop home-cooking-esque restaurants in Christmas Valley, and in nearby Silver Lake there’s the well-known Cowboy Dinner Tree. (Reservations are required, just a heads up.) What I love about these options is that it gives you a chance to interact with the locals who know and love this area so much, plus you get to support small businesses which is something near and dear to my heart.
WAYS TO MAKE THE DAY UNIQUELY YOU.
The options are endless when it comes to an adventure elopement in the Christmas Valley Sand Dunes, bring your dogs and toss a bowtie on their collar if you’re looking for the cutest four-legged witnesses around. Have a picnic on the sand dunes after you exchange “I do’s”. Bring and ATV or Dune Buggy to truly make it an adventure, you can go careening over the hills of sand wind whipping your hair and wedding dress flying out behind you. (A quick word of caution, if you do bring your pup make sure you always keep an eye on them! Because vehicles are allowed on the dunes, it’s better to be safe than sorry!).
LEAVE NO TRACE
Something I like to take the time to educate all my couples about is LNT. Yep, even in a desolate place like the Christmas Valley Sand Dunes.
What’s that? Leave no trace. I can’t encourage you enough to maximize your time while visiting the desert, bring your pets, bring your favorite snacks, bring all sorts of gorgeous decor you may want to decorate during your elopement, as long as your take out whatever your haul in, you are only limited by your imagination. Elope in the Christmas Valley Sand Dunes. If you love the epic desert, you won’t regret it.
Not sure if Christmas Valley is the right place for you? Take this quiz to find out the best elopement location in the PNW for you!
So… What are you waiting for? Click that contact button in the upper right corner. You know you want to!
Can’t wait to adventure with you.