Alaska offers some of the most breathtaking landscapes in the country. From jagged mountain peaks to icy blue glaciers, rugged wilderness, and rocky coastline, the state is a nature enthusiast’s dream. With its diverse ecosystems and epic vistas, it’s no doubt one of the best places for adventurous couples looking to elope! Being an Alaska elopement photographer is such a blessing and I can’t wait to share these incredible locations with my couples!
In this guide, I’ll share some of my favorite elopement locations in Alaska, along with some info on what it’s like to elope during the different seasons.
The Best Places to Elope in Alaska
Denali National Park
Located in the heart of Alaska, Denali is one of eight national parks in the state, and the perfect choice for adventurous couples seeking a romantic and remote elopement. Home to the tallest peak in North America, Denali peak stands at over 20,000 feet, offering an awe-inspiring backdrop of rugged mountains and expansive tundra. About a four hour drive from Anchorage, the park is one of three that you can drive to. Once there, you can exchange vows in an intimate ceremony amidst the untamed beauty of this vast wilderness.
Situated near Anchorage, the Chugach Mountains offer an unparalleled backdrop of rugged peaks, pristine glaciers, and alpine lakes. Whether you’re exchanging vows atop a glacier, amidst sprawling meadows, or beside the glistening waters of an alpine lake, the Chugach Mountains provide unbeatable views. The serene atmosphere and stunning vistas are sure to make your elopement a memorable and adventurous experience.
Tucked away in the Talkeetna Mountains, just north of Palmer, Hatcher Pass is a hidden gem. About 90 minutes from Anchorage, this 49-mile long scenic mountain pass boasts an otherworldly charm with its rolling tundra, alpine lakes, and rocky peaks. The picturesque hiking trails offer incredible views with plenty of spots that would be perfect for an elopement ceremony. The wildflower-covered hills and the rugged terrain of Hatcher Pass create a unique setting that’s perfect for outdoor-loving couples.
Named one of the ten most beautiful towns in Alaska, Girdwood is renowned for its stunning scenery, wildlife, and cozy lodges. If you’re looking for a mix of adventure and luxury, this is the place for you. This charming resort town is nestled in the Chugach Mountains, surrounded by incredible glaciers that line the mountain ridges. Consider having a heli-wedding, where you and your partner are whisked away to a remote, mountaintop location for a truly unique ceremony.
Kenai Peninsula (Homer, Seward, & Cooper Landing)
The Kenai Peninsula offers a wide range of adventure elopement locations, each with its own unique charm:
Homer, often referred to as “The End of the Road,” is a quaint fishing town situated at the southern tip of the Kenai Peninsula. Its dramatic coastal landscapes, rocky cliffs, and the iconic Homer Spit, a narrow strip of land that extends into Kachemak Bay, provide a picturesque setting for an waterfront elopement.
Seward is a coastal town that serves as the gateway to Kenai Fjords National Park, a place known for its stunning glaciers, fjords, and wildlife. You can opt for a boat elopement that takes you into the heart of the park, where you can exchange vows with the majestic tidewater glaciers as your backdrop. It’s a truly unique and adventurous way to celebrate your love.
For a more tranquil and intimate elopement, consider Cooper Landing. Nestled along the banks of the Kenai River, this location offers the perfect combination of romance and adventure. You can exchange vows by the river, surrounded by lush forests and the soothing sounds of nature.
Kenai Fjords National Park
Another one of Alaska’s eight national parks, Kenai Fjords National Park is located on the Kenai Peninsula just two hours southwest of Anchorage. This rugged wonderland is filled with vast icefields, icy glaciers, rocky coastline, and abundant wildlife. Known for its icy landscapes and marine wildlife, opt for a boat tour or travel by kayak to witness the awe-inspiring tidewater glaciers and the incredible marine life up close. It’s a thrilling way to say “I do” in the presence of some of Alaska’s most iconic natural wonders.
For true adventurers, the Brooks Range in northern Alaska offers a remote and rugged elopement experience. This mountain range is known for its untamed wilderness, towering peaks, vast tundra, and dramatic scenery. Here, you can exchange your vows in a perfectly untouched setting, far from civilization. The Brooks Range will leave you with a sense of true wilderness and a one-of-a-kind elopement story to tell.
The Inside Passage is a scenic coastal region extending along Southeast Alaska. The area is famous for its lush rainforests, towering fjords, and myriad of islands, making it ideal for couples looking for an intimate elopement. Whether you choose a boat ceremony, a forest setting, or the fjords as your backdrop, the Inside Passage provides a backdrop of natural beauty for your elopement, creating an unforgettable wedding experience.
One of Alaska’s most accessible glaciers, Matanuska Glacier is a perfect location for a glacial elopement. Located approximately two hours from Anchorage, this 27-mile long glacier offers a stunning backdrop of towering ice formations and deep crevasses. Exchange your vows on the glacier itself or choose a scenic location nearby, surrounded by the stunning icy landscape.
Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve
Another one of Alaska’s eight national parks, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve is also the largest national park in the United States, boasting 13,000 acres of untamed wilderness. Here, you’ll find rugged mountain peaks, massive glaciers, and abundant wildlife. This park offers elopement possibilities as diverse as its landscapes. Elope on a remote mountaintop, by a glacial river, or deep within the Alaskan wilderness.
The Best Time of Year to Elope in Alaska
Alaska weather can change dramatically throughout the year, offering different experiences for couples planning their elopement. Here’s a breakdown of what to expect during each season:
The weather can be unpredictable, with lingering snow in many areas, so be prepared for a mix of conditions. Wildflowers begin to bloom in May and June, creating beautiful backdrops for your elopement photos. Spring is also a great time to spot wildlife.
Summer in Alaska means long daylight hours, with the Midnight Sun in full swing. This provides ample time for your elopement ceremony and adventuring. Expect more predictable and warmer weather during the summer months. This is prime time for wildlife viewing, and you might witness animals like humpback whales and sea lions in coastal areas.
As the season progresses, expect cooler temperatures, especially in the evenings. During fall, the landscapes truly come alive with the autumn colors in a stunning display of reds, yellows, and oranges.
Alaska’s winter is a snowy wonderland, offering opportunities for a cozy and enchanting winter elopement. In some parts of Alaska, particularly the interior, you may have a chance to witness the mesmerizing Northern Lights. But be prepared for extremely cold temperatures, especially in the interior and northern regions.
Getting to Alaska
When planning your trip to Alaska, the best airport to fly into is the Anchorage International Airport (ANC). But depending on where you’re flying from, you may be able to find good flight options into Fairbanks International Airport (FAI) or Juneau International Airport (JNU) as well.
Permits and Regulations
Before you embark on your Alaskan adventure elopement, it’s important to be aware of the permits and regulations that might apply to the location you choose. Since certain locations in Alaska may have different requirements, be sure to check with the National Park Service, state and local parks, or appropriate land management agencies. Of course, you can always work with your elopement photographer (like me!) who knows the ins and outs of the different locations and can guide you through the permit process.
Book Your Alaska Adventure Elopement Photographer
Eloping in Alaska is an adventure like no other. From the towering peaks of Denali to the pristine glaciers of Matanuska, the rugged beauty of Brooks Range to the coastal charm of Homer, Alaska offers so many options for an adventurous and memorable elopement.
No matter which location and season you choose, you’re bound to create a love story that’s as epic and awe-inspiring as Alaska itself. So, if you’re seeking an elopement that’s far from ordinary and closer to nature, Alaska may be the perfect destination for your special day.
Ready to whisk off to the remote and untamed beauty of Alaska but still searching for the perfect elopement adventure buddy and photographer? I’d love to hear from you!
For more planning tips for your Alaska elopement, check out my post on How to elope in Alaska.