National Park Adventure Elopements are amazing and always encouraged! Bill and Kelsey chose Glacier National Park for their adventure elopement because it was a destination they had always dreamed of exploring together. They rented a cabin at Apgar Village Lodge & Cabins to enjoy their time and have easy access for their early morning elopement. This adventure elopement took place in mid-May, before the road to the sun opens which meant there was a limitation on locations but no shortage of natural beauty.
When choosing to elope in a National Park, there are a number of general recommendations to increase your chances of having a location more to yourselves on your day. Your special use permit still means you are sharing a location with the general public, but is required for ceremonies (more information on this below). To increase your chances of having a more private ceremony and time together in a National Park:
- Choose pre-season or off-season months: When possible, and this will be different for each National Park. For Glacier National Park, pre-Memorial Day weekend means less crowds but also less access for example. Do your research in advance and when in doubt, call and ask a park ranger.
- Choose a weekday: Always encouraged and especially Monday – Thursdays.
- Apply for Special Use Permit Early: Some National Parks have a 6+ month turnaround time and each park is different. Do your research and when in doubt, call and ask a park ranger.
- Avoid high traffic times: Sunrise will be less crowded but sunset in many locations is also not to be missed. This is why I have a full day Adventure Elopement option that can include both, with a built in midday break (Check it out HERE).
WHAT IS LNT (LEAVE NO TRACE) AND HOW CAN I IMPLEMENT IT DURING MY Adventure Elopement?
Practicing Leave No Trace’s Seven principles when out enjoying the great outdoors and especially our National Parks allows for minimum impact to these beautiful places. We all love the many National Parks and want to keep them awesome for many years to come. For elopements specifically this can mean no tossing/littering of items on the ground to celebrate your marriage, packing out what you pack in and staying on the designated trails and hard surfaces. You can read more about the seven principles and how they might apply to your day here. This is a great way to do your part to keep national parks gorgeous for all!
With over 700 miles of trails, Glacier National Park is a hiker’s paradise for adventurous visitors seeking wilderness and solitude making it perfect for an adventure elopement and hiking destination. Depending on the season, accessibility within the park will vary. See the national park page for the most up to date information related to park entry, road to the sun access and tickets, and more.
Located in northwest Montana, Glacier National Park is a remote location and it is important to plan accordingly when visiting. I also stayed at Apgar Village Lodge & Cabins during my stay for this elopement and recommend. Also – Eddie’s Cafe is great and they have local brews on tap as well! (Always a bonus!)
Getting Married At Glacier National Park
Any and all vow exchanging, elopements, ceremonies, weddings, etc. require a Special Use Permit at Glacier National Park. This is regardless of whether or not it is “officiated”, the size of the group, and if you are signing any papers. Always check with the national park for any updates related to permit requirements within the park. Also have the permit on hand to show to park rangers upon request. For more information on getting married at Glacier National Park, click here.
We started the day early to avoid crowds and enjoyed having the place to ourselves for much of the time. This solidarity made everything all the more special and intimate. They also chose to not have their early hour prep time captured however I do strongly encourage! Being mid-May and early, it was chilly but as we were tucked away in the woods and along the creek, it felt as though we were the only ones in the world for a bit.
These two chose a unique location for their vows rather than a popular more crowded spot, after which they were able to explore and enjoy the beautiful views together. This May 2021 day included light hiking and was a much shorter duration than our current minimum of six hours. These photos are a glimpse of the possibilities for your own day where you could easily include a picnic, time for a trailside card game, ending the day back at your cabin or much more! Bill and Kelsey did opt for a ‘Day After Session’ at Lake McDonald which will be coming soon in a separate blog post. 🙂
Did this blog inspire you to consider Glacier for your own elopement day? Or already planning your own Glacier National Park Adventure Elopement? Check out our photography package that already includes travel to Montana HERE and reach out today!
Myrtle Creative Co. is your Intimate Wedding and Elopement Photographer for love + adventure. Ann Marie provides custom planning assistance, vendor referrals, itinerary creation and so much more so you can have the day of your dreams. Reach out today for your Wedding Photography needs!