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Considering an Alaskan elopement? Well prepare to have your mind blown with these epic elopement location ideas. Alaska is seriously the perfect place to elope. The state is home to the most incredible scenery in the country, and possibly even the world. When I caught my first glimpse of the Chugach Mountains in Anchorage, I was blown away – not only by the massive scale of the mountain range, but also the vibrant colors and overwhelming beauty of the landscape. I’ve explored all over the lower 48, and I’ve never experienced a place that felt so pristine, ancient and humbling. It truly is breathtaking, no matter where you look.
I believe the best elopement location is a place that makes you feel small, present in the moment, and allows you the space to feel the weight of the commitment you are making. Alaska is all of that and more. It might sound cliche, but Alaska truly left its mark on me. It’s one of my favorite places I have ever been, and I’m excited to share it with you – so here’s a list of the best Alaska elopement locations:
Can you get married anywhere in Alaska?
Pretty much yes! I’m sure at this point you know you don’t need to pay for some expensive venue to get married in Alaska. I’m a big believer that the best venues are the free ones – out in the Alaskan wilderness! You can typically elope in any wilderness areas, national parks, blm land, national forests, and often even at private vacation rentals! Depending on the location, and how many guests you plan to bring along, you might need some sort of Special Use Permit. With the help of your photographer, this should be an easy process and they usually only cost between $150-$300.
Let’s Dive In!
If you truly want to experience the beauty of the Alaskan landscape, then a helicopter tour is the way to do it. There is nothing like having a birds eye view of the winding rivers, fjords, massive mountain peaks, and huge glaciers. Helicopter tours are veeeery popular for Alaskan elopements, so most of the tour companies will offer private options to charter a helicopter for multiple hours! These tours are typically very customized, meaning you can literally point out a spot that looks cool, and the pilot will land there and let you explore (as long as it’s safe to do so). Imagine getting to actually land on a glacier, explore the lagoons of water, and then fly to a mountain top lookout to view the glacier below you. That’s just the tip of the iceberg with what a helicopter charter experience can look like.
Hatcher’s Pass is in my opinion one of the best Alaska elopement locations. The pass is located just outside of Palmer, Alaska (about an hour from Anchorage). Hatcher’s Pass earns it’s spot at the top of my list because it’s incredibly beautiful, and also super easily accessible! You can simply drive up and park in different areas along the pass. There are a couple trails you can hike along for some extra adventure, but you don’t have to! The views are spectacular right off the side of the road, making this a great location option for elopements that include guests! You can also stay at the iconic Hatcher’s Pass Lodge which is a collection of 11 tiny red cabins! They are so cute, and would be the perfect place to spend the night before your elopement day!
The Matanuska Glacier is another awesome elopement location idea. This is one of the few glaciers around Anchorage that is accessible by foot. The Matanuska Glacier is located about an hour past Palmer, making it a good location option to explore along with Hatcher’s Pass, since they are so closely located! To reach the Matanuska Glacier, it requires about a mile of walking! Once you reach the glacier, it’s absolutely incredible. Trekking on this glacier was one of the coolest things I’ve ever done. The vibrant blues of the ice, and silty gray tones of the water are so stunning and unique. Imagine standing on top of an ancient, 20,000 year old glacier, and hearing it crack beneath your feet while you say your vows. I truly can’t think of a cooler place to get married!
Valdez, Alaska is located about 5.5 hours from Anchorage, in the heart of a fjord in the Prince William Sound. Valdez is a mix of tidewater glaciers, rainforest, and spectacular mountains. The town itself is a small coastal village, and is the base for so much adventure. The area has a secret glacial lagoon (one of the few you can actually drive up to access). You can stand on the shoreline saying your vows, and then head out to kayak amongst the icebergs and caves of ice. There’s some gorgeous mountain passes in the area that provide a change of scenery as well.
Denali National Park / Sheldon Chalet:
Denali National Park encompasses 6 million acres of wilderness, and is home to Denali, the highest mountain peak in North America with a summit elevation of 20,310 ft. The park is located about 4 hours north of Anchorage, and is a totally wild, and unique landscape for an elopement. Denali National Park is also home to the incredible Sheldon Chalet, a luxury chalet nestled into the Don Sheldon Amphitheater. This is an all inclusive experience, with gourmet food, luxury accommodations, flightseeing tours, and other guided adventurous experiences included in the stay. This would be a perfect elopement location during any season in Alaska.
Seward is one of my favorite towns I visited in Alaska. Seward is another small coastal town, and serves as a great launching point to some incredibly scenic, remote locations. Seward is the perfect place for you to elope if you love moody, foggy weather, and coastal vibes. The port city is nestled in a fjord along the Kenai Peninsula, and is known as the gateway to Kenai Fjords National Park. Seward is also home to the Alaska Sealife Center, which is such a fun spot to explore! There is so much to do around Seward, like hiking to Exit glacier, chartering a private boat tour through the fjords, walking along the coastline, and even taking an epic helicopter excursion. You can also stay at Salted Roots, one of my favorite stays in all of Alaska! They’ve got beautiful A-frames, and cottages that would make the perfect accommodations for an elopement.
Shearwater Cove offers oceanfront yurt lodging, as well as an incredible elopement location all wrapped up into one! Shearwater Cove is located 10 miles from Seward, and is only accessible by boat, making this a super remote spot! When you stay there, you get unlimited access to world class ocean kayaking to explore some incredible scenery. This spot makes a stunning backdrop for any adventure elopement. Imagine waking up on your own private cove, getting ready for your elopement day, then hopping in a kayak to paddle around the fjord, before finding a spot to say your vows! This is the ultimate spot for a unique, adventure elopement.
Girdwood, Alaska is a slightly more upscale town home to the Alyeska Ski Resort. This makes it a great spot if you want a bit of a more luxurious experience! From the valley floor in Girdwood, you are literally surrounded by massive mountains in all directions. If you look up and notice something literally glowing in the mountain, it’s a glacier. Yep, they literally GLOW. The views around Girdwood are just spectacular, and you can take the Alyeska Aerial Tram up to get an even cooler view. You can also hike to Virgin Creek Falls which is a gorgeous, easily accessible spot to explore!
Byron Glacier is another awesome spot for an elopement! The trailhead for Byron Glacier is located just outside of Whittier, Alaska. Although this glacier does require a hike to reach it, I would still consider this a very easily accessible location! The trail is really more like a paved path, and it’s only about 1.5 miles to get there! There is hardly any elevation gain, so it’s mostly a flat walk the entire way! If you want to get married in front of a glacier, and maybe explore some ice caves, but don’t want to hike super far, or charter a helicopter, then this is the perfect spot for you! The only downfall to Byron Glacier is that it is a very popular hike, so it can get crowded! But it’s beautiful nonetheless.
Fairbanks, Alaska is located about 6.5 hours from Anchorage, so it’s a bit out of the way – but a cool spot nonetheless. Fairbanks is one of the best places in the world to spot the northern lights, which means it’s earned itself a spot on my list of best elopement locations. Because of it’s location within the Aurora Oval, aurora activity is predicted daily. If you stay in Fairbanks for 3 nights, and are actively out viewing every night, you have a 90% chance of seeing the northern lights. You can also stay in a literal igloo at the Borealis Basecamp, to keep an eye out for the northern lights! Imagine saying your vows, and marrying the love of your life, while the sky lights up above you. The thought quite literally brings a tear to my eye.
Let’s get started planning your Alaska elopement!
I specialize in helping couples plan incredible elopement experiences in Alaska, and I love nothing more than getting to share this special place with my eloping couples. This list of locations is only scratching the surface of what Alaska has to offer. I provide a customized list of location options for all my couples, and my experience exploring the area means that I know of a ton of secret spots. Learn more about how to elope in Alaska, and contact me here to get started planning your dream elopement experience!