Have you been thinking of eloping in Glacier National Park? Excellent idea! Glacier National Park is a paradise for adventure seekers like you and your partner. Not only are the sights to marvel over, but there is a wealth of wildlife and activities to do to keep you entertained.
Have I mentioned the panoramic views of mountains and gorgeous valleys? The hardest part about eloping in Glacier National Park is deciding on the perfect backdrop to say your “I do’s.”
If you need the perfect guide on how to elope in Glacier National Park, then you have come to the right place. Let’s explore the beautiful seasons, the best time of year to elope, and permit information to get you started on planning your dream elopement.
Where is Glacier National Park?
Located in the Northwest of Montana, Glacier National Park is a mountainous wonderland formed by prehistoric ice rivers and stretches across 1,600 miles. Along with its peaks, expect to see beautiful lakes, waterfalls, deep forests, and sparkling glaciers.
The park may have been established as early as 1910 and are only a few miles worth of road within the park. However, you can expect more than 734 miles worth of hiking trails to explore and enjoy.
Permits for Eloping at Glacier National Park
Getting permits for your elopement is easier than you think. Start by choosing the date and location you are considering eloping at and contact the parks office at 406-888-7800 to confirm its availability. Next, download the Special Use Permit and follow the steps here! Then, send the application with the $125 fee and wait for the park to get back to you.
The application form should be sent to the park 10 days before the chosen date, but I recommend doing so at least 30 days before if you run into complications and have enough time to contact the park.
Note that there is a cap on the number of people who can attend your elopement, and it cannot exceed 30 people, including the officiant, photographer, videographer, and any other people from services you plan on hiring.
Marriage Laws in Montana
Now to get the legalities out the way:
- If you or your partner are a resident in the state of Montana, then you can apply for a marriage license in any county. If you are both from out of state, you need to apply for a license in the county you plan to elope in.
- There is a fee of $35 to apply for a marriage license, and you may have to pay them a mailing fee to send your license. This price varies from county to county.
- You must be 18 years or older to apply for a marriage license, so don’t forget your ID.
- You will receive your marriage license immediately and can elope on the same day, and it is valid for 180 days.
- You are required to have 2 witnesses to sign the marriage license – if you are eloping alone, I can sign for you and have a passerby sign for you.
When to Elope in Glacier National Park
There is nothing worse on your elopement day than having 50 pairs of eyes watching you in an intimate moment between you and your partner. So naturally, you will want privacy, and knowing when the best times to elope is essential.
Peak season in Glacier National Park starts on the second Friday in May and ends on the second Sunday in October. Summer breaks are the prime time for families hiking and enjoying the lakes. Consider the season you want to get married and avoid weekends during the peak season due to the foot traffic.
Sunrise and sunset on Tuesday through Thursday are the best times to elope. It also makes for breathtaking elopement photos due to the changing colors of the sun rising and setting over the greenery and lakes.
Best Season to Elope at Glacier National Park
What season suits your personality? Do you love the cold, summer heat, or fall morning chills? Glacier National Park has all four seasons for couples to choose from for their elopement.
- Winter: The winter is cold, and there will be more than a few feet of snow in most park areas. The best time to elope in the winter would be at the very end of the season due to the cold. You can still elope in the beautiful snowy mountains, but it is highly tolerable at the end or very start of the season compared to the middle of winter. Thermal underwear is a must to keep you warm, and keep in mind that some locations can be closed due to severe snow.
- Summer: You can expect warm summers and cool evenings in the summertime. Even though the days are hot, bring a shaw or something warm to wear and a raincoat as the evening weather can be unpredictable.
- Fall: Remind your guests to pack extra layers as it can snow in the fall and temperatures can drop. What makes fall a great season for eloping is the mountains of beautiful orange, red, and yellow foliage displaying a fall paradise!
- Spring: As the snow melts and the season changes, spring weather can be unpredictable as it rains a lot, bringing low temperatures. Be adaptable should plans change on the whim if you choose to elope in the spring.
Where to Elope in Glacier National Park
There are numerous places to elope for a picturesque ceremony! Let’s cover the most sought-after elopement locations so you can choose the place that suits you and your partner the most.
One of the most common places for couples to elope is in Logan Pass, and I can see why. Not only can you share a beautiful moment with your partner among a sea of wildflowers, but you can witness waterfalls and flowing streams with a breathtaking view in the summer.
Two Medicine is any hiker’s dream as there are countless opportunities to trek through. Due to the higher altitude and dry weather, you may even see Bighorn sheep roaming the region, Golden Eagles, and, if you are one of the lucky few, mountain lions.
With alpine meadows and lush forests, there is no doubt that there is a photo opportunity at every turn. There are also ample wildlife to see and a beautiful view of the snow-capped mountains reflecting on the water of Swiftcurrent Lake.
This stunning lake is 10 miles long and surrounded by tall peaks. This u-shaped valley was carved by enormous glaciers and admired by hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. Your elopement photographs are sure to be a show stopper.
Located at the western gate of Glacier National Park, West Glacier is an adventuring couple’s dream. Say your vows surrounded by rain forests, and then take a rafting excursion on the river. Opportunities to see wildlife are plentiful.
With snow-capped peaks, greenery, wildflowers at every turn, and clear mountain streams, East Glacier offers couples unique views of glaciers and wildlife. This location is especially perfect for eloping couples due to the easy access for vendors and loved ones should you choose to bring a larger group of guests.
Safety in Glacier National Park
Nature lovers are drawn to Glacier National Park due to the exceptional wildlife here. There are over 276 bird species, 71 species of mammals, amphibians, and reptiles that you can come across. One of the most important to note are the grizzly and black bears that roam the park! Follow these rules for your safety and those of your guests:
- Keep a safe distance from wildlife. It is recommended to stay at least 75 feet away from all wildlife and more than 300 feet away from bears.
- Don’t approach the wildlife.
- Carry bear spray and make a noise when walking down trails to ward off any bears in the vicinity.
- Don’t leave food lying around, and don’t feed the wildlife.
The weather at Glacier National Park can change in an instant. Ensure you have warm clothes, a raincoat, and be adaptable if it rains, snow, or gets windy.
Glacier National Parks Elopement Packages
All my Glacier National Park elopement packages are entirely customizable to ensure you get the elopement of your dreams. You deserve everything you envision for your big day, and I am here to help. I am here for you with planning guides, vendor information, and advice on the best way to elope in Glacier National Park.
Get elopement photographs that will remind you of the tender moments from this special day and images that capture the essence of who you are as a couple. Your elopement journey has just begun, and I am here to make your dreams come true!
Contact me for more information, and let’s get your elopement planning started!
Read more on the pros and cons of elopement and how you can make the best choice for yourself!