Alaska Elopement Ideas: 17 Awe-Inspiring Activities To Try

If you’re energized by the idea of traveling to a magical place to get married… You might be considering an Alaska elopement. The allure of this incredible place is magnetic, and the vast expanse of the state is something to marvel!

With an Alaska elopement, you can experience some of the most stunning scenery in North America. You and your love can fully immerse yourselves in the outdoors, explore remote locations and natural lands to your heart’s content—and capture stunning photos to remember it all by.

couple hiking around an alpine lake on their Alaskan elopement adventure

Why Elope In Alaska?

Alaska is home to 8 national parks, over 150 state parks, and nearly 3 million acres of state park lands and waters—the largest of any state park system in the U.S.! 

In this blog post, you’ll learn about some of the best and most exciting things to do during your Alaska elopement. Plus, how to get your marriage license and handle permits, and a comprehensive list of 17 amazing adventure activities you can embark on!

Before we dive in, I’m Meagan. I’m an adventure elopement photographer based in Colorado, and my passion is helping you live out your dream elopement. Your elopement should be all about celebrating your unique love doing the things you love the most. 

Now let’s talk about the incredible state of Alaska!

Where To Elope: Alaska Elopement Locations

Alaska is a huge state, and it’s often referenced by its seven major regions: Northern, Southwest, Southeast, Mat-Su Valley, Chugach, Kenai Peninsula, and Kodiak Island

When thinking about eloping in Alaska, you’re really planning an epic once in a lifetime trip. Alaska is the largest and most sparsely populated U.S. state, and also one filled with endless sprawling wilderness—much of which is protected by state agencies. 

You can really get a taste of remote living and wilderness adventure when eloping in Alaska. No matter if you’ve been to Alaska before or are planning your first trip to this magical state, just a quick Google image search of Alaska proves that this is an incredible place for your elopement.

Let’s review some information on permitting and marriage licenses, and then dive into 17 amazing activities for your Alaska adventure elopement!

Related: How to plan your dream mountain elopement

How To Elope In Alaska: Permits, Fees, and Licenses

In terms of the legal stuff, luckily it’s pretty easy to get married in Alaska. It’s a straightforward process for getting your marriage license, and not as confusing as the paperwork for many other states.

Here’s how to get your Alaska marriage license and get permits for the locations where you want to get married. Then, we’ll talk about expeditions and activities. 

Alaska Marriage Licenses, Certificates, and Fees

To elope in Alaska, or on Alaska state waters in the event of a cruise elopement, you will need to have your marriage license, two witnesses, and an officiant.

You and your partner will both need to fill out a marriage license application. Access the Alaska marriage license application here. The fee is $60 and must be submitted along with the application. 

Your marriage license application will be active for a year as soon as it’s received by the state. However, as soon as you pick up your license, it’s only good for 90 days. So, be sure to plan ahead 🙂

After you get married, you’ll need to have your license notarized by a public notary or postmaster and submitted to the Juneau Field Office. At this point, your marriage license is your marriage certificate. 

For information on marriage certificates and what’s required, take a look at the Alaska Marriage Certificates page.  

Alaska Permit Fees

Depending on where you want to elope, you’ll have different permit requirements and fee amounts you may need to pay. 

Once you decide on the park or area of Alaska you’re interested in, you’ll want to check for permitting and fee requirements. In today’s changing climate, it’s a good idea to call the park you’re interested in to get the most up-to-date information.

As your elopement photographer, I’m always available to help you navigate permits and fees, and I help you scout the best locations for your elopement photos. So if you feel overwhelmed, don’t worry! I’ll be there to help you throughout the planning process.

Alaska Adventure Elopement Ideas

Alaska is brimming with possibilities for adventure and excursions. No matter which region you visit, you can find ample opportunities for exploring the outdoors. Maybe a few of these ideas will spark inspiration for you!

1. Wildlife Viewing Experiences

Bear viewing tours, marine wildlife cruises, wolf viewing tours, and bald eagle sighting excursions are just a few amazing opportunities to view Alaska’s wildlife. Some companies even guarantee you’ll spot animals on your tour! 

If you’re visiting Anchorage, check out the guided Redoubt Bay Bear Viewing tour. 

2. Northern Lights Chasing

The Interior, Arctic, and Southcentral regions of Alaska are best for seeing the Northern lights. You have the best chance of seeing them between August and April, but they can be spotted any time of year. 

3. Dog Sledding, aka Dog Mushing 

If a dog sledding tour is on your bucket list, you’ll have ample opportunity to check off that box here!

Dog mushing is a huge sport in Alaska and is a thrilling adventure that you won’t want to miss if you’re interested in trying it!

4. Whale Watching Tours 

Whales aren’t the only majestic creatures you can see on a whale watching tour! In addition to humpback whales and orcas, you can also spot sea otters, puffins, sea lions, and Dall’s porpoises out on the water.

5. Rafting Tours

Whitewater rafting and calm water rafting tours give you up close and personal views of marine life. You can even depart on a glacier float, gliding across lakes to view these stunning ice formations.

6. Alaska Glacier Elopement 

Dreaming of a super unique Alaska glacier elopement? You can actually get married on a glacier! If your dream is to explore the glaciers (or say your vows on one) during your destination wedding in Alaska, you’re heading to the right place. 

Expeditions are most accessible around Denali, where Flightseeing tours of the glaciers take off from Denali National Park. According to the NPS, the glaciers of Denali cover one million acres, or 1/6 of the park. You can flightsee around this incredible national park and even land to explore the glaciers on foot, too. 

7. Sea Kayaking 

For up-close wildlife viewing opportunities both in the water and on the shores, choose a half-day or full-day excursion to get an incredible experience on the water. Usually sea kayaking isn’t too strenuous, but still gives you a nice workout while you’re exploring on the water.

8. Ice Climbing 

Alaska is full of frozen waterfalls suitable for ice climbing. This is a super unique activity that’s also quite physically strenuous. But if you’re game, ice climbing is sure to be an unforgettable adventure.

9. Day Cruises

Imagine breaking up your days with a relaxing day cruise to see the alluring sights of Alaska. Most coastal towns offer day cruises, where you can soak in the scenery and wildlife with little physical exertion. 

10. Boat to a Secluded Island 

Take a rigid-hulled inflatable boat excursion to explore beaches and hike rainforest trails. How magical is that?

11. Relax in Remote Hot Springs

Treat yourself to a relaxing soak in one of Alaska’s remote mineral hot springs. Check out the Alaska hot springs directory for all the locations you can visit. 

12. ATV Adventure Tours

A thrilling way to experience the terrain is through an ATV ride. Even experienced ATV riders cite Alaska as having some of the most heart-pumping experiences.

13. Waterfall Hopping

See this list of Alaska’s best waterfalls, which includes the easiest waterfalls to access, drive-by access waterfalls, and falls that are accessible by hiking and boat tours.  

According to the USGS, there are 43 officially named waterfalls in Alaska, so you have plenty to choose from!

14. Helicopter Flightseeing Tour

You’ve heard of sightseeing, but flightseeing is a whole new adventure in Alaska. Take an air taxi from the Denali National Park area and take in breathtaking birds-eye views of undeveloped natural lands.

15. Alaskan Railroad Day Trips

The Alaska Railroad stretches for 470 miles along the Interior and Southcentral regions. The trains can take you on a multitude of day trips and excursions, such as a cabin night dinner theatre with family-style meals in Denali.

16. Play Some Snow Sports 

As we already know, Alaska is the place for winter sports! Whether you’re seasoned skiers or snowboarders, or you want to try something new in the snowy landscape, you’re in the right place.

In Alaska, the winter sports you have to choose from range from casual ice skating and snow mobiling to cross country skiing, to super adventurous ice climbing and even sled dog riding.

17. Remote Experience at Gates of the Arctic National Park 

For the most remote Alaska experience possible, look into the uninhibited adventure of visiting one of the least visited National Parks in the country: Gates of the Arctic National Park. This park is located in central Alaska, about 200 miles north of Fairbanks. 

There are no roads, no trails, and no visitor’s centers. 

Are you up to this level of adventure? With 8.4 million acres of wild, untouched landscape, you can only access Gates of the Arctic by flight (air taxi) or on foot. 

You’ll definitely want to plan to go in summer, since temperatures reach 50*F below zero from November through March. 

Alaska Elopement Packages

Although I’m based in Colorado, I love to travel to amazing destinations with my couples! If you’re interested in learning more about my Alaska Elopement Packages, get in touch. I’m happy to talk you through the process and answer any questions you may have.

I’m excited thinking about all the magic that you can experience on your dream Alaska elopement! 

For more elopement planning tips, check out my best elopement planning tips here!

February 16, 2022