Location Guides

Glacier National Park Elopement Guide

Jagged peaks, alpine lakes, glistening waterfalls, and wildlife at every turn, this is Glacier National Park. This huge national park has easily landed a spot on our best places to elope in Montana, and we love elopements here! If you’re thinking about planning a Glacier National Park Elopement, then you have come to the right place.

We’ll break down everything you need to know about eloping in Glacier National Park while providing you with some inspiration from our Wandering Weddings Members and other couples who have eloped there.

How to Elope in Glacier National Park

When it comes to eloping in Glacier National Park, there are a few things you should consider as you plan your special day. We’ll break down everything you need to know when planning your elopement day. 

  1. Decide Where to Elope in Glacier National Park
  2. Pick The Time of Year & Day to Elope
  3. Optian Your Wedding Permits 
  4. Team Up With Vendors For Your Elopement

Where to Elope in Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park is huge. There are more than 700 miles of hiking trails to explore, including some accessible options if you and your partner are considering planning a micro wedding together here. 

The first piece of advice we can give couples to help them plan their Glacier National Park elopement is to decide what type of view you want during your ceremony. Do you prefer mountains, waterfalls, rivers, forests, or lakes as your backdrop?

Another important thing to consider when choosing your ceremony location is how many guests are joining you.

If you’re stuck between where to elope at this gorgeous park, then we suggest teaming up with one of our members who are pros at helping couples plan their elopement here.

Last but not least, consider when you’re eloping at Glacier Park.

A WORD FROM OUR WW PHOTOGRAPHER:

“Each area of Glacier Park opens at different times of the year depending on snow pack and plowing progress. West Glacier is open year round and Winter weddings are truly magical in there. Two Medicine, Many Glacier, and Bowman/Kintla lake areas typically open 3rd or 4th week of May, and Logan Pass (the main pass through the center of the park) opens end of June typically.”

CARRIE ANN
CARRIE ANN
-
Photographer at CARRIE ANN PHOTOGRAPHY

Here are some of our favorite places to explore during your elopement in Glacier National Park. Keep in mind not all of these are approved ceremony locations:

Hidden Lake Lookout

Location Map

Hidden Lake Lookout doesn’t allow ceremonies, but this is a great spot to visit during your elopement adventure for portraits. It’s an easy hike off of Going to the Sun Road, which is a gorgeous mountain pass to enjoy during your wedding day.

Lake McDonald

Location Map

This is a great lake to plan your ceremony. This is also the largest lake in the park! Lake McDonald is especially popular for its colorful rocks, which can make for some pretty amazing wedding portraits. At the southern end of the lake, you’ll find a charming village that provides stunning lake views and mountain vistas, along with easy access to amenities. A historic lodge with beautiful gardens and lakefront views serves as a picturesque location for a ceremony. 

Many Glacier

Location Map

Located in the northeastern part of the park, Many Glacier is known for its stunning mountain scenery and beautiful lakes.  With calm waters and stunning views of the surrounding peaks, this spot offers an ideal setting for an elopement ceremony. The iconic historic hotel situated nearby adds a touch of historic charm and elegance to your ceremony. For couples seeking an adventurous elopement, there are breathtaking overlooks that provide dramatic backdrops of glaciers and rugged landscapes, accessible via challenging hikes

Logan Pass

Location Map

You can’t have your ceremony at Logan Pass, but this is one of the most visited spots in the park, perfect to explore during your adventure. Located along the Going-to-the-Sun Road, Logan Pass is one of the most popular and accessible locations in the park. From here, you can take a short hike to overlooks that offer panoramic views of hidden lakes and surrounding peaks, making it a breathtaking spot for an elopement ceremony.

St. Mary

Location Map

Located on the eastern side of the park, St. Mary offers breathtaking views and a quieter setting. The crystal-clear waters of the lake here, framed by stunning mountain backdrops, provide a popular spot for ceremonies. Scenic viewpoints in this area offer spectacular settings with majestic peaks. Another scenic area nearby offers panoramic views of the lake and is easily accessible, making it a convenient and beautiful location for a wedding.

Two Medicine

Location Map

Located in the southeastern part of the park, Two Medicine is a less crowded area with dramatic scenery. The lakeshore offers numerous picturesque spots for exchanging vows. Additionally, unique waterfalls in this area provide beautiful and secluded settings for intimate elopements, offering a touch of natural wonder to your special day.

Avalanche Lake

Location Map

One of our personal favorite places to elope in Glacier National Park is Avalanche Lake, known for its beautiful lake surrounded by towering cliffs and cascading waterfalls. This is a fairly easy hike, perfect for micro weddings or couples looking for an accessible ceremony spot. We also recommend planning during sunrise and sunset to get those epic photos.

Early in the morning, you’ll typically see stunning reflections from the lake. 

Bowman Lake

Location Map

Located in the northwestern part of the park, Bowman Lake offers a remote and peaceful setting. A quiet campground here provides easy access to the lake and surrounding forest, making it an ideal spot for an intimate ceremony. The serene environment and stunning natural beauty of this location create a tranquil and romantic backdrop for your special day.

Polebridge

Location Map

Polebridge is a rustic area in the northwest part of the park that offers a unique and off-the-beaten-path experience. The historic mercantile here, with its charming and rustic ambiance, provides a picturesque backdrop for an elopement. Nearby, a serene lake offers a remote setting perfect for a private ceremony.

Iceberg Trail

Location Map

Maybe you’re looking for an all-day hiking adventure with some of the most epic glacier views you can find. Iceberg Trail will give you just that.

While this trail is long, close to 10 miles, it’s still easy for couples who aren’t expert hikers. At an elevation of 1275, you’ll have a stunning ceremony location with a lake surrounded by glaciers to appreciate.  

When to Elope in Glacier National Park

Like with most popular elopement destinations, we recommend eloping during a weekday or during a slower season. 

We personally love late spring and early fall for Glacier National Park elopements. There is something to appreciate about each season when visiting this national park. 

The peak season in the park is July and August. If you’re interested in planning your elopement during this time, then weekday elopements will ensure you have a more private ceremony. 

For the best photos, we recommend sunrise or sunset elopements. The lightning in Glacier National Park is nothing short of spectacular. You’ll experience amazing lighting over its peaks as you both exchange vows. 

Here’s a breakdown of what you need to know within each season:

The best time to get married at Glacier National Park depends on your preferences for weather, scenery, and crowd levels. Here’s a breakdown of the different seasons and what to expect:

Spring (March to May)

Spring brings blooming wildflowers and lush greenery but also unpredictable weather.

Average Temperatures: High: 50°F (10°C) Low: 30°F (-1°C)

Considerations:

  • Weather: Expect a mix of rain and snow, with warmer days towards late spring.
  • Crowds: Fewer visitors compared to summer, providing a more intimate experience.
  • Accessibility: Some areas may still be snow-covered or inaccessible.

Summer (June to August)

Summer is the most popular season, offering warm weather and full accessibility.

Average Temperatures: High: 75°F (24°C) Low: 45°F (7°C)

Considerations:

  • Weather: Warm and pleasant, with long days and minimal rainfall.
  • Crowds: The park is busiest during this time, so consider a weekday or early morning ceremony to avoid crowds.
  • Accessibility: All park areas are typically accessible, including popular trails and viewpoints.

Fall (September to November)

Fall offers stunning foliage and cooler temperatures.

Average Temperatures: High: 55°F (13°C) Low: 30°F (-1°C)

Considerations:

  • Weather: Crisp and cool, with beautiful autumn colors. Be prepared for potential early snowfall.
  • Crowds: Fewer tourists, especially after Labor Day, providing a quieter experience.
  • Accessibility: Some facilities and roads may begin to close as winter approaches.

Winter (December to February)

Winter elopements are magical but require extra planning due to harsh conditions.

Average Temperatures: High: 30°F (-1°C) Low: 15°F (-9°C)

Considerations:

  • Weather: Cold and snowy, with limited accessibility. Dress warmly and plan for winter conditions.
  • Crowds: The park is the least crowded, offering serene and private settings.
  • Accessibility: Many roads and trails are closed due to snow, limiting venue options.

Wedding Permits at Glacier National Park

Planning your elopement at Glacier National Park is exciting and full of possibilities, but it’s important couples follow the park’s rules and regulations.

Weddings and elopements at Glacier National Park require a special use permit, which includes a $125 fee. It doesn’t matter how many guests you have with you. If you’re only taking photos at the park (with no vow exchange), then you do not need a permit.

Once you apply for your permit, make sure to include all participants in your guest list, including your vendors. You’ll also want to include what you’re bringing and where in the park you’ll be visiting. Keep in mind you’ll be only allowed to have your ceremony at approved wedding locations in the park.

Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Each approved wedding location has a limit of two permits, per day.
  • Your permit will give you a two-hour time limit
  • If there are road closures, your permit does not grant you access through these closures.
  • If you have more than 20 people in your elopement, you may need a permit monitor.
  • Picnic areas have tables that are first-come first-serve to everyone and you can’t reserve them.

A great tip to consider is contacting their special park use office before submitting your application to make sure your date is available, at (406) 888-7832

Another important thing for your wedding ceremony at Glacier National Park is the regulations. For example, all guests who join you have to purchase an entrance pass to enter the park.

There are some exceptions including children 15 years of age or younger and adults 62 years of age or older. 

 

A WORD FROM OUR WW PHOTOGRAPHER:

“The rangers do have a copy of all ceremonies taking place for each day, location, and amount of people. They will periodically check, and it's best to have that permit so you don't have any issues on your special day. Plus those proceeds all go back to the park for conservation which is so important.”

CARRIE ANN
CARRIE ANN
-
Photographer at CARRIE ANN PHOTOGRAPHY

Vendors For Your Glacier National Park Elopement Package

Hiring a vendor who has experience planning Glacier Park elopements is essential when looking for a Glacier National Park Elopement package. Not only will these vendors be great resources for you to bounce ideas with, but they will also suggest remote ceremony locations and trails not many people know about.

Tips For Planning Your Glacier Elopement

  •  Follow the rules and stay in allowed areas only. With more and more couples realizing what it means to elope, comes more people planning their elopements at national parks. With that said, remember to respect the park and leave no trace (LNT) during your wedding ceremony. This also includes being careful around wildlife. Remember, you are in their home. 
  •  Wear proper footwear. While heels are beautiful, they may not be the best for elopement adventures. Our photographers recommend hiking boots or flats, or to bring both and change into your heels right before. 
  • Glacier National Park is HUGE! Discuss with your photographer and elopement vendors what type of areas you would like to explore, so they can help you narrow down your choices.
  • Pack in layers. It can get chilly in Montana’s gorgeous Glacier Park, so it’s important to pack in layers. A great suggestion is for brides to pack a wrap, so they can use it as a bridal accessory during their portraits. 
  • You need to obtain a Montana marriage license to marry here. 
  • Ask if your photographer includes all-inclusive packages. An all-inclusive Glacier National park elopement package can include an officiant, photography, flowers, ceremony permit, and more to give you an idea. A more robust package also means less planning and stress for you.

Videography by Acts of Adventure 

 

Are you not sure you want to elope in Glacier National Park? Check out these other places to elope