If you’re looking for info on how to elope in Alaska, you’re in the right place. Alaska’s breathtaking wilderness setting – from epic glaciers to rugged mountains and high alpine lakes makes it any couple’s favorite for their glorious union.
Find within this detailed guide everything you want to know to elope in the majestic state. Let’s get into it!
Top Picks for Places to Stay in Alaska
Below is a quick list of our great hotels and resorts throughout our favorite Alaska destinations.
FYI, this post contains affiliate links. We earn a commission if you make a purchase at no extra cost to you.
- Aurora Denali Lodge near Denali National Park
- Glacier Bay Country Inn near Glacier National Park
- Seward Windsong Lodge near Kenai Fjords National Park
- Katmai Wilderness Lodge near Katmai National Park
- Blackburn Cabins near Wrangell St. Elias National Park
- Alaska Back Country Cottages in Hatcher Pass
- Four Points By Sheraton Juneau in the state’s capital
- Alyeska Hotel in Anchorage
- Springhill Suites in Fairbanks
- Alaska Creekside Cabins in Seward
Check this comparison table for a quick guide. Read the review for further details.
Where to Elope in Alaska: Top 10 Destinations
Alaska is just plain gorgeous and massive! There are so many great locations to get married here – but we have narrowed them down to our top 10. From their famous national parks to beautiful cities – we have included them all!
Each area has its own unique features and they are mentioned in the details.
Take a look and see which one interests you the most before starting to plan your Alaskan elopement. We’ve also included a brief list of the best places to stay in each area.
#1 Denali National Park
Spanning over 6 million acres, Denali National Park has plenty of magnificent backdrops for your memorable wedding ceremony. The snowy peaks and quaint hiking trails are a majestic sight to behold, but you can also find here fabulous lakes, crystal clear glacier waters, and some adorable furry friends.
You’ll have to stick to your personal preference as a couple to choose just one location in Denali. If you’ve imagined yourself hiking on a steep trail on your wedding day to reach a beautiful backdrop, then a mountain range is perfect for you.
However, if an incredibly luxurious experience is on your mind, we’d suggest getting married at Sheldon Chalet – only accessible by helicopter. Travel + Leisure called it “one of the best places to see the Northern Lights.”
From Anchorage, Denali National Park is a 1 ½ hour plane ride away, or an eight-hour train, or a four-hour drive. You can also choose to fly from Juneau – which is under 2 hours.
To elope in Denali, you need to secure a special use permit costing around 168 dollars. The fees might vary depending on how big or small of a ceremony you’re having.
Where to Stay in Denali National Park
#2 Glacier Bay National Park
Glistening waterfalls, alpine lakes, and mind-blowing wildlife at every turn, that’s Glacier National Park for you. The place is huge and no matter what time of the year you visit, the park has something unique to offer.
Probably why couples love it so much as their favored elopement destination in Alaska. The sunrise and sunset elopements are a favorite – all thanks to the incredible lighting at these times.
No matter what you prefer as your ceremonial backdrop – hills, lakes, forest, the location has it all! Just research the area well and hire someone trustworthy who can help you in elopement planning. Some of the favorite places to elope are Lake McDonald, Iceberg Trail, Avalanche Lake, Trail of the Cedars, etc.
It takes around 4 to 6 hours to reach Glacier Bay National Park from Anchorage and the ways to travel are the plane, train, or car ferry. You can’t visit here by road. Also, there’s a 100 dollar fee to get a wedding permit here.
Where to Stay in Glacier Bay National Park
#3 Kenai Fjords National Park
Planning to get married in a frozen wonderland? Then Kenai Fjords National Park will impress you the most. The 40 glaciers here are the main attraction and nearly 51% of the park is covered in ice.
You’ll be mesmerized by the beauty of this place, but it’s certainly only to savor for the couple who aren’t bothered by the cold. Though the national park is open 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, accessibility during winters is difficult because of blankets of snow formation in the landscape.
Peak visiting months are June, July, and August, so we’d advise you to plan for a wedding within these months well in advance. Apply for a permit no less than 14 days prior and prepare to pay a fee of 100 dollars for the same.
If it’s on the schedule, you can add some adventures like mountaineering, kayaking, or fishing. The park is famous for these activities. The only downside of eloping here is you’ll be more engrossed with the beauty of this place here than your partner or the ceremony itself.
That’s okay though because elopement gives you the opportunity to enjoy your day however you’d like.
Where to Stay in Kenai Fjords National Park
#4 Katmai National Park
The US is home to many national parks – each one offering a standalone landscape unlike the other, and the Katmai National Park definitely makes it to the top cut for your special day.
Here’s why! First, the park was built as a way to nurture volcanically disrupted land and has unique geological features. Second, it’s home to thousands of brown bears and these human-friendly, adorable animals will up the cuteness quotient of your wedding pictures without even trying.
Third, the peace and seclusion here are unmatchable. It’s definitely one of the best places to elope in Alaska.
You can only access this park by air or boat. For air travel, you can take air taxi flights from Anchorage, Homer, King Salmon, or any other nearby Alaska towns and villages. And you can take boats from the nearby villages of Naknek and King Salmon.
The most popular area here with proper lodging and amenities is the Brooks camp, with the transportations dropping you off around here as well. Surprisingly, no permit information here is listed and you’ll have to contact the office for details on the same.
Where to Stay in Katmai National Park
Related: Bahamas Elopement: 7 Breathtaking Places to Elope
#5 Wrangell St.Elias National Park
The largest national park in the United States with untouched wilderness, towering mountains, incredible landscape, glorious volcanoes, and curving river valleys. All of this – but the real highlights remain the glaciers.
They take around 35% of the park and make for the water in the flowing rivers and streams. Boasting 9 out of the 17 tallest peaks in the US, a scenic backdrop for your wedding photos will not be hard to find!
One amazing thing about the park is that it sees much less foot traffic than other national parks in Alaska. So, if a remote and intimate elopement is on your mind, there’s no place better than here. The best way to get to the park is via a road trip that will take you around 8 hours from Anchorage.
For a permit, you’ll have to fill out an application listed on the NPS site and fill in the contact info for more details. Also, summers and spring are your best bet to have a Wrangell St.Elias National Park elopement as the temps reach a comfortable level and backcountry locations are much more accessible as the snow melts.
Where to Stay in Wrangell St.Elias National Park
#6 Hatcher Pass
When you plan to elope in Alaska, Hatcher Pass will come as the top destination and it’s no surprise why. Located just an hour’s drive away from Anchorage, the location offers a stunning mountainous view with soft rolling hills, lush green foliage, and a certain moodiness that makes you feel blissful and at peace.
The spot is quite popular – among visitors and locals alike – but don’t worry about the crowd because there are more than 50 miles to be explored. We’re sure you can find an epic spot to exchange your vows.
You can plan a summer wedding here from July to September, but this is also a fantastic location for a dreamy winter elopement. After the ceremony is over, you can go hiking, biking, or skiing, or snowboarding in winters.
Where to Stay in Hatcher Pass
A Juneau Alaska elopement will have an urbane feel but don’t let that discourage your adventure-loving heart. Juneau is a place where trees grow tall and mountains stumble right down into the ocean. Check out the video below to see what I mean. Stunning, right?
Of course, you can also find here the state’s popular sight-seeing spot – glaciers and you can even get married to them! We’re not kidding. Mendenhall Glacier is a favorite among couples.
Other gorgeous areas in Juneau for elopements are Treadwell Mine, Auke Bay, Mt.Roberts, etc. Juneau is Alaska’s capital so travel is pretty easy – although, you can only travel by flight or ferry and not car.
We’d advise taking a cruise; the natural beauty you’ll see on the way is unmatchable. Hop on another one on your way back to have a honeymoon adventure exploring Southeast Alaska.
Where to Stay in Juneau
Anchorage is the largest city in Alaska, so you’ll have the advantage of city vibes along with immersing in the breathtaking Alaskan landscape. The best part is there’s an airport, so you don’t have to travel far or take a connecting flight to reach your desired location.
Coming to your magical elopement ceremony, there are plenty of spots in the city that’ll awe you. But if you want a more rural feel, the beautiful towns of Girdwood and Chugiak are just 30 and 20 miles away respectively.
Girdwood offers many gorgeous elopement spots like Virgin Creek Falls, Winner Creek Trails, Bird Point, Beluga Points, etc. In Chugiak, you can find Eagle River, Eklutna lake, and a couple of other waterfall options.
Another great option around Anchorage is the Chugach State Park, brimming with pristine and spectacular natural areas to cater to your special day.
Where to Stay in Anchorage
There’s perhaps no place better than Fairbanks for couples craving a ‘winter wonderland’ elopement. The city is famous for its snow activities and the frequent breathtaking views of Northern lights.
The truly adventurous and wilderness lover will adore the rustic atmosphere of this place. Get ready to have a truly fun Alaskan elopement with brilliant natural views, majestic hiking trails, and fun activities like reindeer sleigh rides or snowmobiling.
The city is an hour flight away from Anchorage or a 12-hour train ride. We know you want to take the flight, but all the beautiful views you’ll see on the train ride are once-in-a-lifetime experiences, just like your sweet love. You can also rent a car and have a few stops along the way.
Where To Stay In Fairbanks
A perfect balance between city amenities and rural touch is the lovely Seward city. You can catch a 35-minute flight to get here from Anchorage or a 2 ½ hour drive from the capital will also work. But, we’d again recommend the train journey, that’s 4 hours and the views are just ah-mazing! Take a look:
Seward is a quaint fishing town with wonderful beaches and mountain views around. You can choose an alluring location here, or travel to the beautiful towns of Homer and Kenai. The Homer Spit is a popular destination for couples planning to elope in Alaska and you can have a memorable, pristine ceremony here.
The Kenai peninsula, however, offers more of a coastal vibe and gives you access to Kenai river, Kachemak Bay, and Prince William Sound. You’ll definitely experience lots of wildlife and trails here. Plus, the icy blue water around will make for gorgeous images too.
Where to Stay in Seward
How Much Does it Cost to Elope in Alaska?
A marriage license in Alaska costs $60, so that’s the bare minimum cost. On average, if you don’t live in Alaska (meaning you have to fly in and stay somewhere), your elopement will run you about $6000.
The cost can vary depending on how much your accommodation, travel costs and then, the charges of the wedding vendors add on. Here’s an average cost breakdown:
- Flight Tickets: $500
- Travel Arrangements: $500
- Food & Other Amenities: $300
- Photographer: $1000 – $1500
- Videographers: $1500
- Planners: $2000
- Officiant: $400
- Venue: $150
Obviously, you can trim a lot of the cost down if you go with a true elopement (versus a trendy “adventure elopement” that’s basically a destination minimony). You need to decide what you can and can’t live without on your big day.
FAQ’s About Eloping in Alaska
How much time should I plan for my Alaska elopement?
You’ll need to plan your Alaskan elopement at least two months prior to the set date. The reason being many national parks require permits which takes around a month to complete.
Also, before zeroing in on a venue, you’ll have to do your research which can take around 2-3 weeks to start with.
Then, there are vendor bookings, dress shopping, and travel arrangements. A normal wedding planning takes on an average of 8-12 months, so an elopement will easily take 2 months to plan.
How much does an elopement cost in Alaska?
The minimum cost is $60 for the marriage license. However, the actual cost depends on your travel arrangements and accommodations. Adventure-style elopements in Alaska can run $6,000 and higher.
How long does it take to get a marriage license in Alaska?
You need to obtain a marriage license that costs around $60, which is valid for 90 days. There’s a three-day waiting period after submitting your application.
You need an officiant and two witnesses to sign your marriage license. If you don’t want to invite any friends or family, that’s okay, your trusty wedding vendors will be happy to sign the license for you! You’ll be shocked to know how many couples they’d have already done it for. You can check out more information on the official site here.
What’s the best time to elope in Alaska?
The best time to elope in Alaska is from July-September when the snow melts away and the Sun shines in its true glory. Weather can be an absolute beast in Alaska and quite unforgiving.
To have a successful elopement, careful thought and consideration into time preference are highly recommended.
During the winter season, temperatures are harsh and the sunlight is non-existent. A well-timed elopement is important. Some months are better than others, but all are unpredictable and any state native will tell you the same!
Land Of The Midnight Sun
What does this mean? In Alaska, during summer days, the state receives around 20 hours of sunlight. So, a romantic sunset wedding will be around midnight and not the usual 6 or 7 and the sunrise wedding will be around 4 in the morning.
In winters, days are short and sun rays are soft. The state receives around 4 to 5 hours of good light each day, enough to capture plenty of golden hour imagery.
What are some fun activities to do during an Alaskan elopement?
Your big day should be a memorable one, so why not celebrate it in Alaskan style? The state offers you opportunities like nowhere on Earth, so delve into the fun of these adventurous activities during your visit.
- A Scenic Helicopter Ride: The gorgeous landscape of Alaska is best viewed through a helicopter ride. The flightseeing can take you on top of the glaciers or high alpine locations. From short rides to all-day tours, there are packages made to suit all travelers. Many resorts are only accessible by a plane ride and they even offer multiple landings at different locations within your elopement package.
- Ice Climbing: Guided trips by professionals to glaciers are fun to do and turns into a lifetime of memories. Ice climbing can be combined with a helicopter ride and can accommodate any level of experience. No matter where in Alaska you go for an elopement, you can find an area that offers a wonderful ice climbing experience.
- Train Rides On The Alaskan Scenic Railway: An Alaskan train ride isn’t your typical train ride. If you have an option of going to a place in Alaska on a train, take that option. The railways offer such stunning views, you won’t even know when the hours-long journey ends. It’s a fantastic way to see the beauty of Alaska.
- Kayaking & Packrafting: With miles upon miles of streams, lakes, rivers, and coastline, kayaking and packrafting are great, affordable ways to have an unforgettable and adventurous wedding. Glacial lakes and streams with bright blue water make for a wonderful backdrop for some amazing photographs.
The list goes on. There’s so much to do here, but we included the ones that are the best activities to do here. You can do them on your elopement day, or stay back for an adventurous honeymoon experience.
Can I get married under the northern lights in Alaska?
Of course, you can! There are many wedding planning companies specializing in getting couples married under the spectacular Northern Lights/ The Aurora Borealis. There are 7-day extensive packages that are designed to chase the lights during the months they’re most visible.
You can have the ceremony when the beautiful dance occurs. However, keep in mind a few things before going forward with this idea.
First, the Northern Lights are a natural phenomenon and it is unpredictable. Have a ‘plan B’ in case you don’t spot them and try to not attach yourself to the idea much to avoid any heartbreaks later. Second, think about the additional costs attached to the plan.
You’ll have to pay for all vendors involved – photographers, videographers, officiant, planners, etc. From their stay to food, the whole payment becomes your responsibility. If you’ve deliberated well on all of this, surely there’s nothing more magical than having a ceremony under nature’s prettiest night sky.
This guide will serve you well when you’re planning your Alaskan elopement. We’ve tried to include everything you need before you say ‘I do’. So, are you excited to elope to Alaska?
What are your thoughts about eloping in Alaska? Share with us below!
Last update on 2021-05-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API