Eloping in Alaska isn’t just about exchanging vows in one of the most beautiful places on Earth, it’s an opportunity to embark on an epic adventure and create memories that will last a lifetime. Alaska’s breathtaking landscapes, rugged terrains, and unique activities make it the perfect destination for couples seeking a one-of-a-kind elopement experience.
From helicopter rides to ice climbing on glaciers, dog mushing to kayaking amongst icebergs, Alaska offers plenty of options for adventurous souls. In this guide, we’ll explore some extraordinary elopement ideas and the best locations to make your Alaska elopement unforgettable.
Helicopter Trips to Remote Wilderness
Imagine saying “I do” on top of a snow-capped mountain with panoramic views of Alaska’s untamed wilderness. Helicopter elopements provide a unique and awe-inspiring experience for couples who crave adventure. Companies like Alpine Air Alaska and Temsco Helicopters offer customizable packages for helicopter elopements, allowing you to choose the perfect location for your ceremony.
Best locations for a helicopter elopement:
- Denali National Park: Soar over the iconic Alaska Range and land on a secluded peak with unparalleled views of Denali.
- Chugach State Park: Experience the thrill of a helicopter ride amidst the stunning Chugach Mountains for a unique elopement.
- Talkeetna: Take a helicopter from Talkeetna to explore remote wilderness areas for an intimate and breathtaking ceremony.
- Matanuska Glacier: one of Alaska’s most accessible glaciers, is a stable 27-mile long river of ice flowing from the Chugach Mountains almost all the way to the Glenn Highway.
- And a few secret spots I only share with my couples!
Best time: Late spring to early fall (May to September) when the weather is generally clear, and the landscapes are vibrant. Summer (June to August) offers longer days for optimal lighting. June and July are my favorite months! August can be rainy since it’s transitioning into their fall season that time of year.
Tips: Check the weather forecast in advance, and consider early morning or late evening flights the best lighting. Dress warmly and be prepared for changing weather conditions.
Float Plane Trips to Secluded Lakes
For a more serene and intimate elopement, consider a float plane trip to one of Alaska’s secluded lakes. Imagine landing on a glassy lake surrounded by towering mountains, creating a picture-perfect backdrop for your ceremony. Rust’s Flying Service and Trail Ridge Air are popular options for float plane adventures in Alaska.
Best locations for a float plane elopement:
- Lake Clark National Park: Land on the turquoise waters of Lake Clark for an intimate elopement surrounded by pristine wilderness.
- Katmai National Park: Choose a secluded lake in Katmai for a float plane adventure with the possibility of witnessing bears in the background.
- Kenai Peninsula: Explore hidden lakes on the Kenai Peninsula for a more personalized and private elopement experience.
Best Time: Late spring to early fall (May to September) is best for clear weather. Summer months provide longer days, enhancing the overall experience. Midnight sun elopement anyone?!
Tips: Pack essentials for a lake-side ceremony, including snacks, drinks, and a blanket to lounge on. Be mindful of environmental regulations and leave no trace.
Boat Rides into Icy Waters
Take a ride on Alaska’s majestic icy waters for a nautical elopement like no other. Exchange vows surrounded by towering glaciers, wildlife, and the crisp air. Companies like Major Marine Tours and Phillips Cruises and Tours offer boat packages for intimate ceremonies amidst Alaska’s icy wonders.
Best locations for a boat ride elopement:
- Glacier Bay National Park: Cruise through Glacier Bay, passing impressive glaciers and icebergs for a romantic elopement on the water.
- Kenai Fjords National Park: Embark on a boat journey through the fjords, with towering glaciers providing a stunning backdrop for your vows.
- Prince William Sound: Cruise through the sound, surrounded by snow-capped mountains and tidewater glaciers, creating an unforgettable setting.
Best Time: Summer (June to August) when the weather is milder, and the days are longer. This ensures a more comfortable boat journey with better visibility.
Tips: Dress in layers and bring blankets for warmth. Coordinate with the boat company to ensure a smooth ceremony, and don’t forget to capture the stunning scenery in your photos.
Kayaking Amongst Glaciers
For the adventurous couple seeking a more active elopement, kayaking amongst glaciers is an exhilarating option. Paddle through serene waters, weaving through icebergs, and exchange vows in the presence of Alaska’s stunning icy landscapes. Adventure Sixty North and Liquid Adventures offer guided kayak tours for couples looking to add a touch of adrenaline to their elopement.
Best locations for a kayak elopement:
- Prince William Sound: Kayak through serene waters, surrounded by glaciers, with options for elopement in secluded coves or on floating ice.
- Kenai Fjords National Park: Paddle amongst glaciers and wildlife, choosing a quiet spot for an intimate elopement surrounded by nature.
- Resurrection Bay: Explore the icy waters of Resurrection Bay, with opportunities for a unique and adventurous ceremony on the water.
Best Time: Late spring to early fall (May to September) when the waters are calmer and the weather is suitable for kayaking. Summer months offer the best conditions.
Tips: Wear waterproof gear and opt for a double kayak for stability. Practice kayaking together before the big day, and consider a shorter route if you’re new to the activity.
Ice Climbing on Glaciers
Take your elopement to new heights by incorporating ice climbing into your ceremony. Companies like MICA Guides and Exit Glacier Guides offer guided ice climbing experiences on glaciers, providing a unique and thrilling way to exchange your vows.
Best locations for an icy climbing elopement:
- Matanuska Glacier: Experience the thrill of ice climbing on the impressive Matanuska Glacier, providing a dynamic and icy backdrop for your ceremony.
- Exit Glacier: Combine a hike with ice climbing near Exit Glacier in Kenai Fjords National Park for a memorable and adventurous elopement.
- Ruth Glacier: Accessible by air, Ruth Glacier offers a remote and stunning location for an ice climbing elopement surrounded by towering mountain peaks.
Best Time: Winter (December to February) when the glaciers are solid and provide optimal conditions for ice climbing. Check with tour operators for specific winter availability.
Tips: Ensure you and your partner are physically prepared for the activity. Wear proper gear provided by the tour company, and communicate any concerns or preferences with your guide beforehand.
Dog Mushing Along the Iditarod Trail
For a truly Alaskan experience, consider eloping with a dog mushing ceremony. Exchange vows surrounded by the energy and enthusiasm of a team of sled dogs, capturing the spirit of the iconic Iditarod race. Companies like Seavey’s Ididaride Sled Dog Tours offer mushing packages for adventurous couples.
Best locations for a dog mushing elopement:
- Willow: Start your dog mushing adventure from Willow, the official restart location of the Iditarod race, for an authentic Alaskan experience.
- Talkeetna: Explore the snowy trails around Talkeetna with a dog mushing elopement against the backdrop of the Alaska Range.
- Girdwood: Enjoy a dog mushing ceremony in the snowy landscapes near Girdwood for a romantic and adventurous setting.
Best Time: Winter (December to February) when there is sufficient snow for dog mushing. Consider the months leading up to the Iditarod race for an authentic experience.
Tips: Dress warmly and wear comfortable footwear. Plan the ceremony duration to accommodate both the ceremony and a dog mushing experience. Don’t forget to thank your furry companions with treats!
Hiking to Scenic Vistas
Alaska boasts an abundance of hiking trails leading to breathtaking vistas. Whether it’s a mountain summit or a secluded overlook, hiking provides a sense of accomplishment and an intimate setting for your elopement. Popular trails include Flattop Mountain, Exit Glacier, and the Harding Icefield Trail.
Best locations for a hiking elopement:
- Kenai Fjords National Park: Hike to a scenic overlook with panoramic views of glaciers, fjords, and wildlife for a stunning elopement backdrop.
- Denali National Park: Choose a trail with views of Denali for a majestic and secluded hiking elopement experience.
- Wrangell-St. Elias National Park: Hike through the largest national park in the U.S. for a remote and awe-inspiring elopement location.
Best Time: Late spring to early fall (May to September) when hiking trails are accessible, and the weather is generally mild. Summer months also offer longer daylight hours.
Tips: Choose a trail that matches your fitness level and the desired level of seclusion. Pack essentials, including water and snacks. Start your hike early to avoid crowds and enjoy the best lighting.
Fly Fishing Adventure
For couples who share a passion for angling, a fly fishing elopement in Alaska is the perfect blend of romance and adventure. Choose a pristine river or remote lake for your ceremony backdrop, surrounded by the calming sounds of flowing water and the majestic Alaskan wilderness.
Best locations for a fly fishing elopement:
- Kenai River: Combine a peaceful fly fishing experience with an elopement along the scenic banks of the Kenai River.
- Kasilof River: Opt for a more secluded fly fishing elopement on the Kasilof River, surrounded by serene Alaskan landscapes.
- Talkeetna River: Enjoy the tranquility of fly fishing in the Talkeetna River, creating a peaceful and intimate setting for your ceremony.
Best Time: Late spring to early fall (May to September) when fishing conditions are favorable. Consider the salmon runs for an added natural wonder.
Tips: Obtain the necessary fishing licenses and check regulations for the chosen location. Hire a local guide for assistance and to enhance the overall experience. Incorporate the fishing theme into your ceremony with personalized touches.
Eloping in Alaska is not just about the destination, it’s about the journey, the adventure, and the shared experiences that will bond you and your partner for a lifetime. Whether you’re soaring above glaciers in a helicopter, paddling through icy waters, or mushing with sled dogs, Alaska offers endless opportunities for an unforgettable elopement. Embrace the wild beauty of the Last Frontier and make your special day an epic adventure you’ll remember forever. Ready to make it happen? Check out my blog on How to Elope in Alaska: An Epic Adventure Elopement Planning Guide. Or contact me today if you have any questions and are ready to book!