Glacier National Park is an incredible elopement location for couples of all kinds. It might be a wilderness area, but there are plenty of “no-hike” elopement locations here. For adventures, there are 700 miles of trails in Glacier National Park. And for couples who want a little bit of luxury, there are some gorgeous resorts in the park as well. This guide is going to go over how to elope in Glacier National Park, and amazing Glacier National Park elopement locations.

Where is Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park is an almost 1600 square mile wilderness area located in Montana. If you’re flying in from out of state, the closest airport is the Glacier Park International Airport in Kalispell. It’s about a 40 minute drive from the West Glacier entrance to the park.

When to Elope in Glacier National Park

The best time to elope in Glacier National Park is in the fall. This would be around September to October. There are a lot of variables to the different seasons, and you’ll want to pick the weather you’re most interested in being in. You’ll also want to consider things like when there will be the least amount of crowds, what season all of the roads and trails are open, and if you want wildflowers, snow, or fall colors.


In the spring, (around May and June) the flowers might just be starting to appear in Glacier National Park. The temps are cooler, but this means there will be less crowds. The mountains are still capped with snow, which is a stunning backdrop. Going-to-the-sun-road will still be closed, and a lot of trails might still be inaccessible. However, there are many hikes and roads that will be open!


Summer is the busiest season in Glacier National Park. July and August is when you’re getting the bloom of all the wildflowers, and the Going-to-the-sun road is completely open, as well as all of the trails. There is a lot of tourism, however, you can always search for trails that have less “foot traffic” which is a feature you can check out on AllTrails. There’s still plenty of options that aren’t as busy if you want to enjoy the beautiful weather and full access to the park for your elopement!


Fall is one of my favorite times in Glacier National Park. It’s cooling day, but you can still get warm, temperate days. There are less crowds, and the park is abundant with fall colors. This season is vibrant and beautiful with all of the trees along the mountains. All of the roads and trails will still be open prior to new snowfall!


Winter is the season to go if you love the snow. Of course, it’ll be cold. Although, this park becomes and winter wonderland. Most of the park is closed, but the West Glacier entrance is still open, and there’s many things to do in that area alone.

Glacier National Park elopement

Glacier National Park Wedding Permit

You will need a specail use permit to elope in Glacier National Park, even if it’s just the two of you. There is a list of locations where you’re allowed to have a ceremony in the park, you can apply for your permit and see all of that information here. Different areas of the park allow different amount of guests. Some areas allow up to 125 guests, and others only allow up to 20. You will have to pay a $125 non-refundable fee for your special use permit. Finding and obtaining the correct permit is something I help all of my eloping couples with.

How to Get a Marriage License in Glacier National Park

To get legally married in Glacier National Park, you’ll need to apply for a wedding permit in one of the counties of Montana. You do not need to be a resident of Montana to get your wedding permit. Flathead county is the closest county clerks office to Glacier National Park, and you can go to their website to apply for your marriage license online here.

You begin the application process online, and then will need to pick up your marriage license in person. You can do this before your elopement takes place. However, there’s a three day waiting period. So make sure to plan your elopement three days after you plan to pick it up, or call and request to waive the 3 day waiting period in advance. Lastly, you will have to pay $53 fee for your marriage license, and you’re all set!

How to Elope in Glacier National Park

You plan a Glacier National Park elopement in similar ways as you’d plan any adventure elopement. There are a few major steps, and you can read about those here on my thorough guide on how to elope. For this Glacier National Park elopement guide, I’m going over the major things you’ll need to consider!


This is an imperative part of the planning process for elopements. This is because some guests won’t have the hiking ability, some might not want to drive or forest roads, and others will be apt to altitude sickness. Lastly, some locations have a cap on guest count. Choosing a location will be much easier once you’ve determine who you’re inviting, and how many guests total you’ll have.


This might feel early in the planning process, but bear with me. Elopements don’t have wedding planners. Most elopement photographers have taken it upon themselves to help couples with some of the planning. Many actually help you find your location! And they will think of things you might not have considered, such as: lighting, elevation, difficulty in hiking in a dress, permits, and so much more.

Each elopement photographer offers something different. Personally, I send my couples a customized list of locations based on their preferences, hiking ability, who they want to invite, and what they want to see. I also help them determine lodging options, get permits, get their marriage license, recommend vendors, and create a comprehensive day of timeline, and offer unlimited guidance calls for any questions along the way.

The being said, hiring your Glacier National Park elopement photographer early is going to take a massive amount of planning stress off of your shoulders. Wanna chat? Contact me here!


This is going to help you choose a date and location. There are rainy seasons, dry seasons, and even seasons that you THINK would be warm, but can still be snowy and cold in the mountains. So, when you’re doing that research, you’ll already want to have in mind what kind of weather you want.


Once you’ve decided on how much you’d like to hike, how many guests are coming, your ideal weather, and the landscapes you want, you’re ready to deep dive into researching Glacier National Park elopement locations. Finding the perfect spot will be a lot simpler after considering all of your needs and logistics.

This is information I collect from my couples through a questionnaire, and then use to make a customized list of Glacier National Park elopement location options for them.


Once you have your location, it’s time to consider if there’s anything you need vendors for. Do you need any event rentals? Do you want a friend or family to officiate, or do you want to hire an officiant? Will you go out to eat, or do you want something catered, like a meal at an Airbnb from a private chef?

Figure out what extra services you may want, and hire your vendors in advance!


You will need to get the correct permits for your elopement. These are usually “special use” permits that you apply for on the National Parks website, or National Forest/BLM website.

Personally, I get all permit information for my eloping couples that hire me. With that, all you need to do is fill out the application when it’s sent to you and pay the fee. Fee’s vary, but are usually around $150 or less.


Activities are such a fun part of an elopement. When you choose to elope, you’re opening yourself up to having a wedding day celebration that feels unique and resonates with you. Incorporate things that will elevate your elopement day experience. Here’s just a few ideas to get you brainstorming:

  • Going on a hike
  • Having a bonfire
  • Having a picnic on a mountain top
  • Star-gazing or astrophotography
  • Cliff jumping
  • Visiting waterfalls
  • Camping
  • Glamping
  • Hiring a private chef
  • Hot air balloon ride
  • Helicopter tour (landing on glaciers, mountains, etc)
  • Kayaking
  • Paddleboarding
  • Sightseeing
  • Scenic driving with time to stop for pictures
  • Exchanging gifts
  • Reading letters from friends or family


Making a timeline is an important part of any elopement. It strings together all of your locations, activities, and lets guests know where to be and when. Creating a well thought out timeline will help you feel relaxed during the day, instead of stressed or rush. Make sure to include drive times as well as buffer times between each “event.”

Here are the things I include in the timelines I make for my couples:

  • All addresses
  • Sunrise time
  • Sunset time
  • Drive times
  • A linke to Accuweather
  • A list of all names for group shots
  • Vendor info
  • Emergency contact info
  • A packing list

Lodging in Glacier National Park

Lodging is an important factor when it comes to elopements. This is because you don’t have a venue to host guests, or to get ready at. Some couples make sure to find lodging where they can host an intimate reception, get beautiful getting ready photos, and have a first look.

Some couples even avoid crowds by renting out accommodations that are on private land with beautiful views, and have their ceremony right there. The options are really endless, but always make sure your plans are okay with your host or wherever you’re staying. This could be a resort, a hotel, a chalet, cabin, or airbnb. Here is a list of lodging options near Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park elopement

How Much Does it Cost to Elope in Glacier National Park

A marriage license in Montana is $53, and whatever your permit will end up costing for your elopement location + park entrance fees. Although, with that being said, most couples spend an average of $5000-$20,000 on their elopement. This includes flights, lodging, permits, vendors, wedding attire, meals, and anything extra a couple might want.

Glacier National Park Elopement Locations

There are a ton of amazing elopement locations within Glacier National Park. Most of them are on a pre-approved list for weddings and elopements. However, once you’re done with your ceremony, you’re able to still explore the park and generally take photos wherever you want. So you’re only limited to certain locations for your ceremony.

Logan’s Pass

You aren’t allowed to have a ceremony here, however, you’re totally allowed to take wedding photos here. This is one of the most gorgeous locations in the park. If your elopement ceremony is anywhere nearby, I absolutely recommend checking out this location.

Bowman Lake

Glacier National Park elopement

This Glacier National Park elopement location is one that receives a bit less traffic. So if you’re looking to avoid crowds, this could be a stunning ceremony location for you. This location only allows up to 12 guests.

Lake McDonald

Lake McDonald is the biggest lake in Glacier National Park. This location can get quite busy, but you can visit during the fall to deal with less crowds, or consider a sunrise elopement. You are allowed to have 15 people in this gorgeous mountain view location.

Sun Point Nature Trail

This trail absolutely has it all. Mountains, wildflowers, glaciers, waterfalls, and forest. If you want a bit of everything and don’t mind people being around, this is an insanely beautiful Glacier National Park elopement location. You can have up to 15 people here, and the hike is only around 1.9 miles. Perfect for couples who want to do a hike, but want one that is short and on the easy side.

Fish Creek Amphitheater

Glacier National Park elopement

This is a great location for couples who want to have guests, as Fish Creek Amphitheater can sit up to 200 guests. However, if you want to have a smaller group, that’s totally fine too. This is a great spot for couples who want a more “traditional” feeling ceremony before breaking off and exploring the park.

Two Medicine Lake

A stunning and surreal Glacier National Park elopement location. It’s easily accessible and you can have your ceremony on the shoreline overlooking the beautiful mountains. This location is great during all seasons, when the mountain is snowcapped, when theres wildflowers, or when there is fall colors. 12 people are allowed at this location.

Lake Josephine

Glacier National Park elopement

This one mile hike is an easy way to get absolutely stunning views and not be around as many crowds. They only give out one permit per day for this location, so make sure to apply for it in advance! 12 guests are allowed at this Glacier National Park elopement location

Avalanche Picnic Area Shoreline

Glacier National Park elopement

Another beautiful glacial river with picnic tables. This Glacier National Park elopement location is accessible to anyone, and you’re allowed to have 20 guests here during the off-season, and 15 guests during peak season.

Packing for a Glacier National Park Elopement

When packing for a Glacier National Park elopement, you’re going to want to consider the elements. If you’re hiking, there is some gear you want to consider. Wearing a lightweight suit and dress will be best. However, you don’t need a short one. Long trains on dresses can bustle, and you can unbustle then and get gorgeous photos of your dress flowing with the wind. Here are some things you might want to consider packing for your elopement:

  • Bear spray
  • Bug spray
  • Sunscreen
  • Good hiking shoes
  • Lightweight dresses and suits
  • Backpacks
  • Plenty of water
  • Snacks for throughout the day

Glacier National Park Elopement Packages

Elopement photography by Emilee Setting Photo, and everything included in my packages:

  • Explore anywhere within Montana, all travel fees included in the price!
  • Packages from half day elopements to multi-day elopements
  • Receive a customized location list
  • Help finding lodging that suits your needs if you’re having an intimate reception
  • Included comprehensive timeline design
  • Help obtaining your permits
  • Help obtaining your marriage license
  • A planning checklist
  • Unlimited planning and guidance calls 
  • All of your stunning photos delivered under three months
  • Day of polaroid sneak peeks

Glacier National Park elopement packages starting at $6800. Want more information on my pricing and what’s included? Click here

Glacier National Park elopement

Ready to Elope in Glacier National Park?

This Glacier National Park elopement guide is a way to get you excited about all the possibilities of what your day could look like. Although, this amount of information can be overwhelming. I’m here to help. I can answer any and all questions you have on a complimentary low pressure consultation call. If you then choose you’d like to work together, I’ll do all of this planning right by your said to alleviate any stress, and bring your Montana elopement vision to life. We can chat here!

Don't forget your free elopement planning checklist


You see a stranger’s puppy & it takes everything in you not to run up & cuddle it.

Your dress gets dirt on it, and you shrug.

You think ice cream & wine is always an acceptable dinner option. Always.

You LIVE for the feeling of sunshine on your skin & wind in your hair.

You’re already screaming YASSSS WHERE DO I BOOK YOU?

I'm Emilee

I'm an elopement photographer who specializes in planning, crafting, and documenting untraditional weddings. I believe a wedding day should be filled with traditions that resonate with you. I'm here from start to finish to make that happen. Want to chat about your plans? Click below to set up a free consultation! 

You see a stranger’s puppy & it takes everything in you not to run up & cuddle it.

Your dress gets dirt on it, and you shrug.

You think ice cream & wine is always an acceptable dinner option. Always.

You LIVE for the feeling of sunshine on your skin & wind in your hair.

You’re already screaming YASSSS WHERE DO I BOOK YOU?

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