Daniel reached out to me via Instagram to photograph his surprise proposal to his girlfriend Kori at the largest waterfall in Idaho - Elk Creek Falls! He had this very special and scenic spot picked out perfect for this adventurous hiking proposal.
Daniel proposed at the end of July, so the sun stayed out pretty late! So because of that we decided to take photos at 7pm. That way the light was nice and soft and it wasn't so hot from hiking down! I disguised myself as an undercover hiker, and walked down early before they came hiking over together. When Daniel and Kori came down, I was sitting on the rocks, taking in the views! Kori follows me on Instagram so I had a hat and sunglasses on to help hide my face so she didn't recognize me. I kept my camera hidden in my hiking bag and tried to act casual! I love how going undercover is in my job description, haha! Kori had no idea, which means Daniel did an amazing job planning this surprise hiking proposal at Elk Creek Falls!
After the proposal, we did an engagement session at the waterfall! Taking engagements photos right after a proposal is my favorite! Everyone is so happy and smiley and it's the perfect time to get them done. Then you can go out and celebrate with dinner together too!
Kori brought some cute water sandals so she put those on and they did some photos in the creek as well! They splashed each other and shared many laughs together, which made for some adorable photos! And it was the perfect way to cool off too!
They had packed nice clothes in their hiking bags so everything was ready to go when they got down to the base of the falls. Me and Daniel tried to coordinate for us each to bring some people with us so it looked like a group of hikers was there. We weren't able to make that happen but it worked out great keeping it just us!
Elk Creek Falls Information
Elk Creek Falls is the largest waterfall in Idaho, with three total waterfalls making up over 140 feet. There's an upper, middle, and lower falls. Its location is 50 miles east of Moscow, Idaho. There's beautiful trails, picnic tables, and restrooms at the parking lot.
We took photos at the Upper Falls. There's a perfect rocky area that you can stand on centered right in front of the waterfall! You have to walk across some logs to get to the rocky area. The view behind was so beautiful as well, the water just curves its way through the forest. This is also a great place to see wildlife! I saw an American Dipper in the creek, one of my favorite birds!
Elk Creek Falls is also just a great place for a day hike. Hiking with the sound of the rushing water is so tranquil and relaxing! It was pretty warm since it was July when we hiked, so putting our feet in the creek helped to cool us down too! While I was waiting for them to come down, I could have sat on the rocks all afternoon, it was so peaceful. Daniel seriously couldn't have picked a better location for this proposal!
Tips for a Flawless Proposal
1. The number one thing I can recommend you do to have a flawless proposal is to hire a photographer! Not only do we capture the moment and the details, we also know when the lighting is best, which direction would be best to stand, and at least for me, I have photographed a few surprise proposals before too, which means I know how they go and I know how to be prepared for them!
2. Along with that, make sure your girl's nails are done! Make sure they have nails on that they love, and make sure that if they get their hair done, that it's been done recently so there aren't any lines of growth out! Trust me, if you do these things, your girl will thank you! Also make sure they're dressed cute, or have cute clothes to dress in after! Dressy casual is great, or go all out in a stunning dress!
3. Third tip is to hire your photographer for a full hour at least! This allows us ample time to capture the proposal. And then be sure to bring some nice clothes as well for the engagement photos right after too! This is in my opinion the best way to do this proposal thing! Likely your photographer will have a package for this, or they can create a custom one for you too!
4. One last tip is if you're traveling from out of town, to hire a local photographer! That way they will know the area well and can suggest location ideas for the proposal in case you need help! And we can plan it in a spot with variety for those engagements afterward!
Here are some previous surprise proposals that I've photographed in the area!
Proposal Spots Near Moscow, ID
If you want some more proposal inspiration for the Moscow, ID area, here are some more spots in the area for a perfect and scenic proposal!
Waterfall Proposal Inspiration
Idaho Couples Photographer
As an Idaho local and thanks to my amazing clients, I know of some beautiful areas that would be great for a proposal! Reach out to me and I can help you create a flawless proposal!
Me undercover for this proposal!
To see more hiking couples photos inspiration like this surprise hiking proposal at Elk Creek Falls, check out this post about these hiking waterfall engagements in Washington!