December 19, 2022
If you’ve been thinking about eloping in Glacier National Park, this blog is for you!
One of my favorite things about being an intimate elopement photographer is capturing my clients’ love stories in the places that mean the most to them. And while there is so much that goes into planning your elopement, one of the most important elements is choosing the location. Whether your dream location is close to home or a favorite travel destination, like Glacier, the beauty of eloping is that you and your partner can choose the right one for you.
But for today, I’m excited to focus specifically on eloping in Glacier National Park! Glacier has become very popular in recent years so there are some important things to note about the finer details of actually eloping there. In this blog I’m sharing resources and tips on these details, such as locations, permits, and planning your day accordingly! I hope this helps you and your partner start to see your elopement vision come to life.
One of the most crucial things to note about eloping in Glacier National Park is that there are specific limitations and rules when it comes to your ceremony location. While you may have ideas for specific photo locations (and that’s great – we can make this happen!), this might mean your ceremony photos will be in a different location than the rest of your photos.
For a full list of ceremony locations and permit details, you can check out the Wedding Location Guide for Glacier National Park. Because there are so many options for ceremony locations, in this blog I’m highlighting just a few from each of the districts in Glacier, as well as photo opportunities to make the most of your day.
Lake McDonald is becoming one of the most popular places in the park, and for good reason. It’s a stunning lake with crystal clear water, uniquely colored rocks, and incredible views!
These two locations are perfect for eloping in Glacier National Park, right on the shores of Lake McDonald! If you’re envisioning your ceremony and photos being on the lake, these are two great options.
In terms of permits, the park only grants two per day for up to 2 hours of use, which includes a maximum of 15 participants in peak season (May-October).This makes either of these locations great options if you’re hoping for a smaller, more intimate elopement. One important thing to note is this location is currently closed due to construction until May 10th, 2023. So if you’re hoping to elope here, plan anytime after that (and I’d recommend keeping an eye on updated information regarding the closure).
Had your sights set on Avalanche Lake? While this has become one of the most popular places in the park because of its fun hike and gorgeous views, unfortunately you can’t actually have your ceremony at the lake. BUT, you can have your ceremony nearby at Avalanche Amphitheater or the Avalanche Picnic Area, and you can still do the hike to take photos at the lake. And the best part about these locations? They are dog friendly! While your dog can’t do the hike with you, you can bring your fur babies along for the ceremony.
During peak season, the Amphitheater and Picnic Area are only available for ceremonies after 6pm. In terms of planning your photos around this, you could either go after the ceremony for sunset pictures at Avalanche Lake… or if you don’t mind having a first-look before your ceremony, you could do sunrise photos! Getting an earlier start would likely give you more privacy, but the location is just as beautiful for sunset as well.
Check out the guide for more details on permit usage and other location ideas near Avalanche Lake.
If you’re looking for more seclusion and intimacy out of your day, eloping in the North Fork District would probably be your best bet. Because it’s outside of the more touristy locations and has a dirt road to most of these areas, it remains less traveled. There are only 3 ceremony locations permitted in this district, all of which are gorgeous options depending on your preferences.
The Juniper River is a beautiful location available for permits between sunrise to sunset, giving you the most room to plan your ceremony around the time of day you’re envisioning. This location is also accessible by raft if you wanted to make it more of an adventure!
There are many hikes around this area if you’re wanting to take some adventurous elopement shots after your ceremony. This location is only available before 5pm during peak season, but this could provide you with the opportunity to have your ceremony first, and take sunset photos afterwards.
This is one of the most remote options for eloping in Glacier National park, and it is beautiful! If you’re looking for something underrated and stunning, check out Kintla Lake.
This area is a great option for eloping in Glacier National Park if you’re hoping to have a slightly larger party with you. A few of the options in this district allow up to 30 people, but there are some additional requirements if your party is that size. Check out the guide for more details on permit usage!
Another stunning lake in Glacier National Park (the lake options are endless in Glacier!), with options for hiking in the area if you want to do so after your ceremony.
There are a few locations around Two Medicine Lake that are dog friendly! This gives you the option of eloping in Glacier National Park with beautiful views and without having to leave your sweet pups behind.
Sun Point Nature Trail is definitely a highlight for a Glacier elopement. It has a little bit of everything – gorgeous views and a bit of adventure without a strenuous hike! This nature trail is just under 2 miles and it has many views of Logan’s Pass. Since Logan’s Pass is one area where you cannot elope in the park, I would highly recommend this trail if it’s an area you still want documented specifically in your ceremony photos.
If you’re looking for an adventure leading up to your ceremony, Lake Josephine might be the perfect place in the park. It requires a 1.2 mile hike from the Grinnell Glacier Trailhead to get to the lake, and there are permits for eloping on its shores. If you love this lake but don’t want to do the hike (or have loved ones who can’t), there is also the option to take a charter boat from the Many Glacier Hotel. This location really is the best of both worlds for eloping in Glacier National Park!
There are several elopement locations attached to the Many Glacier Hotel. Some are alongside beaches as well as a private deck option that is truly stunning!
While you are not allowed to have a ceremony in Logan’s Pass, it’s still a beautiful area to take photos! Here are a couple options in the area:
With many beautiful places along the road to stop and view, there are a lot of possible options for photos. However, one thing about this part of the park is that it is extremely popular, making it hard to get privacy unless you go during early or late hours. I would recommend looking into specific places along Going to the Sun Road so you have more of a plan in place before you drive there.
Another great option for an adventure, Hidden Lake Trail is considered a moderate hike just over 5 miles round trip, but there are incredible views of an overlook only 1.35 miles in if you don’t want to go the entire way! It’s a gorgeous spot for sunset, so you could plan to hold your ceremony elsewhere and then head up for photos afterwards.
While eloping in Glacier National Park definitely takes a little bit of work, this is truly a special place that would make for a beautiful elopement.
It’s full of options… whether you’re looking to have your dogs be part of the fun, you want a laid back day, or you want a full-on adventure, Glacier won’t disappoint. If you’ve been thinking about eloping in Glacier National Park, I hope this blog has been helpful for you! And last but not least, if you’re curious to learn more about me to see if I’d be a good fit for capturing your day, you can visit my about page here.
Welcome to the blog! I’m a small-town Florida girl and Army wife relocated to the Seattle Suburbs, documenting love from one coast to the other. I live for a good PNW mountain breeze, sweat pants, and local eats. Let's be friends!