We are a husband & wife team. Based in the mountains of Montana & Washington State, we’ve been photographing and filming couples since the start of 2021.
Welcome to our blog where you’ll discover elopement planning resources, as well as beautiful galleries from real weddings!
We’re Hannah + Adam, a husband and wife photo/video team based in Bozeman, Montana. We got married in Glacier National Park in the summer of 2022, but our first time visiting together was in 2019. It’s a super special spot for us, and we love being able to explore it with our couples!
Polebridge is the closest town to the North Fork entrance to Glacier National Park. It can be found in the northwest corner of the park. Here you can explore Bowman and Kintla Lakes. If you’re looking for a quiet place to explore the wildlife and serenity of Glacier, this is it! The North Fork experiences way less visitation than any other location in Glacier National Park.
The Going-to-the-Sun Road (GTSR) is the most iconic part of Glacier National Park! It’s a 50 mile road that takes around 2 hours (without stopping) to get through the park. You can access the road via West Glacier or Saint Mary. When traveling this road, here are some important things to know ahead of time:
Accessibility: The road typically opens by early July and closes at the end of October.
Vehicle Regulations: Vehicles and trailers longer than 21 feet and wider than 8 feet are prohibited between Avalanche Creek and Rising Sun. Vehicles over 10 feet in length will have a hard time driving the road due to overhanging rocks.
Many Glacier is a separate entrance in the northeast corner of the park. You have to drive through the small town of Babb to enter this area. Here, you can see Swiftcurrent Lake and some of the most epic glaciers in all of the park!
The Two Medicine Valley is in the southeast corner of Glacier, and is known for its rushing waterfalls and reflective lakes. While it isn’t as popular as the main section of the park (along the GTSR), don’t skip it!
There are many things to note about park entrances, passes, and permits. We’ve broken it down into bite size pieces, and as always, we help each one of our couples navigate what they need in order to explore the park and get married here!
A special use permit is a permit issued by the National Park Service that allows individuals to use park resources for activities that are not normally allowed. These activities may include commercial filming, special events, research, and other activities. Special use permits are issued on a case-by-case basis, and applicants must meet certain criteria in order to be approved.
In order to get married in Glacier National Park, you need to apply for a Special Use Permit (SUP). This is because the park is a protected area, and the National Park Service must ensure that activities are conducted in a safe and responsible manner. The permit also ensures that the park’s resources are not damaged or disturbed, and remains a peaceful and tranquil place for visitors to enjoy.
Glacier National Park has several designated wedding ceremony locations, including Apgar Lookout, Avalanche Lake, Logan Pass, and St. Mary Lake. Each location offers stunning views of the park’s mountains, lakes, and forests. Couples still must obtain a special use permit in order to get married in the park, and must adhere to the park’s regulations.
In order to access the park, every vehicle is required to have a National Park Pass, even if you have a Special Use Permit. A National Park Pass can either be an America the Beautiful Annual Pass or you can get a 7 Day Pass at the entrance station for $35/vehicle.
The Going-to-the-Sun Road is the main road through Glacier National Park, and is open to vehicles from late May to early October. The road is closed to vehicles in the winter, but is open for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. It is also open to cyclists, and visitors can take a shuttle bus to access the road. Visitors should check the park’s website for up-to-date information on road closures and accessibility.
Timed entry was established for Glacier National Park in 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The timed entry system requires visitors to make a reservation in advance in order to access the park. It is designed to limit the number of visitors in the park at any given time, and to ensure that visitors can safely enjoy the park’s resources.
Your Special Use Permit covers up to 5 vehicles (please make sure to include our vehicle as one of the five) for your wedding date. So, once you obtain a SUP for our wedding day, you won’t need to obtain a timed ticket. But if you are visiting the park or wanting to explore before/after your wedding date, make sure to get on reservation.gov and reserve a ticket in advance. The pass is good for 3 full days.
Timed entry tickets for Glacier National Park can be applied for up to two weeks in advance. Reservations can be made online or by phone, and visitors must provide their name, contact information, and the date and time they plan to visit the park.
Glacier National Park experiences four distinct seasons: winter, spring, summer, and fall. In the winter, temperatures are cold and snowfall is common. In the spring, temperatures begin to warm and the park’s wildlife begins to emerge from hibernation. In the summer, the park’s trails and roads are open. In the fall, temperatures are cool and the park is blanketed in colorful foliage.
In the winter, Glacier National Park experiences cold temperatures, with highs in the 20s and lows in the single digits. Snowfall is common, with an average of over 200 inches of snow per year. The park is often blanketed in snow, and the roads are closed due to hazardous conditions. The park is also known for its high winds, which can make the cold temperatures even more extreme.
In the spring, Glacier National Park is open for visitors, and the part of the Going-to-the-Sun Road is open to vehicles. Some of the park’s trails are open for hiking, and ranger-led programs are available. The park’s visitor centers are open year-round, and the park’s campgrounds open in late May. Wildlife viewing is also popular in the spring, as animals begin to emerge from their winter hibernation.
In the summer, Glacier National Park experiences warm temperatures, with average highs in the 70s and lows in the 40s. The park is known for its high winds, which can make the warm temperatures even more extreme. Rainfall is common, with an average of over 20 inches of rain per year. The park is often blanketed in wildflowers, and the roads are often open due to favorable conditions.
Glacier is a great destination for outdoor activities. Hiking is a popular activity, with over 700 miles of trails to explore. The Going-to-the-Sun Road is open to vehicles, and offers stunning views of the park. Wildlife viewing is also popular, as the park’s animals are more active in the summer months. Other activities include camping, fishing, horseback riding, and boating.
In the fall, Glacier National Park experiences cool temperatures, with average highs in the 50s and lows in the 30s. Rainfall is common, with over 20 inches of rain per year. The park is often blanketed in colorful foliage, and the roads are usually still open due to favorable conditions.
Glacier is home to a variety of plants, including conifers, deciduous trees, and wildflowers. Common conifers include Douglas fir, western larch, and western white pine. Deciduous trees include quaking aspen, paper birch, and mountain alder. Wildflowers include Indian paintbrush, lupine, and fireweed. It’s beautiful to watch everything change color during this time!
When visiting the park, it is important to be aware of potential weather safety concerns. Glacier is known for its high winds, which can make the cold temperatures even more extreme. Thunderstorms are common in the summer months, and visitors should be aware of the potential for lightning strikes. In the winter, visitors should be aware of the potential for avalanches and other hazardous conditions.
Glacier National Park is home to a variety of wildlife, including grizzly bears, black bears, mountain goats, bighorn sheep, elk, moose, wolves, wolverines, lynx, and more. For birds, Glacier has bald eagles, ospreys, peregrine falcons, and more. You might also see a variety of smaller mammals, such as beavers, marmots, and snowshoe hares.
One of our best pieces of advice for preparing for wildlife encounters is knowing what each animal looks like and how to react to it. So, for example, you wouldn’t react to a grizzly bear the same way you would react to a black bear. It’s super importnat to know the differences and educate yourself on how to protect yourself. It’s also a good idea to always carry bear bells and bear spray with you when you’re hiking on the trails in Glacier.
If you see a grizzly bear in Glacier National Park, it is important to remain calm and not approach the bear. Make yourself appear as large as possible by raising your arms and speaking in a loud, calm voice. Do not run or make sudden movements because this could provoke the bear. If the bear approaches, back away slowly and do not make direct eye contact. If the bear continues to approach, use bear spray if available.
Grizzly bears and brown black bears can be difficult to tell apart, but there are a few key differences. Grizzly bears are typically larger than black bears, and have a distinctive hump on their shoulders. They also have a dished face, long claws, and a rump that is lower than their shoulders. Black bears have a straight face, shorter claws, and a rump that is higher than their shoulders.
If you see a black bear in Glacier National Park, it is important to remain calm and not approach the bear. Make yourself appear as large as possible by raising your arms and speaking in a loud, calm voice. Do not run or make sudden movements, as this may provoke the bear as well. Black bears aren’t always black. As you can see below (the image on the right), black bears can often be brown in color.
If you see a moose, it is important to remain calm and not approach the animal. Make yourself appear as large as possible by raising your arms and speaking in a loud, calm voice. Do not run or make sudden movements, as this may provoke the moose. If the moose approaches, back away slowly and do not make direct eye contact. It’s the same reaction as if you were to encounter a grizzly bear.
Trails may close due to grizzly bear activity in Glacier National Park in order to protect both visitors and the bears. If a bear is seen, the park may close the trail to give the bear time and space to move away from the area. This helps to ensure that visitors are not in danger, and that the bear is not disturbed or harassed.
The length of time that trails close due to grizzly bear activity varies depending on the situation. The park may close the trail for a few hours, or for several days. The park will also assess the situation and determine when it is safe to reopen the trail.
Now for the good stuff! Here are some of our recommended ceremony and portrait locations for your Glacier National Park Elopement.
Some of the most popular ceremony locations in Glacier National Park include Apgar Lookout, Avalanche Lake, Logan Pass, and St. Mary Lake. Each location offers stunning views of the park’s mountains, lakes, and forests. Couples must obtain a special use permit in order to get married in the park, and must adhere to the park’s regulations. You are only allowed to hold at ceremony at specific locations that can be found at this 2023 Wedding Locations list on the park’s website.
Some of the most popular trails in Glacier National Park include the Highline Loop, Grinnell Glacier, Iceberg Lake, and Trail of the Cedars. Each trail offers stunning views of the park’s mountains, lakes, and forests. Make sure to have enough time at the park to try at least 2 trails! It’s 100% worth it.
Some of our favorite spots aren’t “designated” trails or attractions. They’re often little roadside stops near Logan Pass and Big Bend, as well as locations along St. Mary Lake. But when exploring roadside stops, please still practice Leave No Trace principles.
Some of the most popular activities in Glacier National Park include hiking, camping, wildlife viewing, fishing, horseback riding, boating, and cross-country skiing. The park also offers ranger-led programs, and visitors can explore the park’s visitor centers and museums. We recommend booking activities in advance because Glacier tends to be very busy in the summer months.
There are many different options for lodging inside and around Glacier National Park. Inside the park, you have your choice of campgrounds and hotels. Outside of the park, you have various hotel and Airbnb options!
On the west side of Glacier National Park, visitors can stay at the Lake McDonald Lodge, the Village Inn at Apgar, or the Cedar Creek Lodge. Each of these lodges offers stunning views of the park’s mountains, lakes, and forests. Visitors can also stay at one of the park’s campgrounds: Apgar, Fish Creek, Sprague Creek, and Avalanche Creek. And if you’re wanting a bit of a bougier stay, check out one of the towns on the west side. You can stay close to the park in Columbia Falls or Whitefish, or you can stay a bit further in Kalispell or along Flathead Lake.
Treehouse in “The Pines” – $125/night
Dinette Cabin at ROAM Beyond – $141/night
ElkCalf Mountain A-Frame Cabin in Coram (7 miles to Glacier) – $150/night
Glacier Park Getaway House – $419/night
Undercanvas – A glamping tent resort!
Kintla Cabins – $208/night
Charming Cabin in the Woods – $250/night
Geodesic Dome – $200/night
Classic A-Frame Cabin w/ Sleek Modern Interior – $375/night
Remodeled Natural Night Mountain Condo – $495/night
The Nordhaus, A Scandinavian-Design Lakehouse – $174/night
Gorgeous Mountain Log Home w/ Hot Tub – $300/night
Hygge Chalet w/ Mountain Views – $186/night
Cow Creek Modernn Guesthouse – $265/night
Stoner Creek Cabins – 8 unique, contemporary cabins
Modern Home w/ Lake Views – $225/night
Base Camp Lodge Bigfork – small lodge that you can book for up to 8 people
A-Frame Log Cabin w/ Private Dock – $655/night
Cute Downtown Kalispell House – $189/night
Charming Farmhouse w/ Gorgeous Mountain Views – $355/night
On the east side of Glacier National Park, visitors can stay at the Swiftcurrent Motor Inn, Many Glacier Hotel, St. Mary Village, or the Rising Sun Motor Inn. You also have the option of camping at Many Glacier Campground, Rising Sun Campground, or St. Mary Campground. In terms of towns outside of Glacier, there isn’t much except for Babb.
Farrrr in advance! A lot of the most popular trails and incredible mountain views are on the east side. And there really aren’t any cute Airbnbs or lodging options close to those trails. If you want to stay in the park you need to book over a year in advance. If you’re willing to camp, there are some great spots outside of the Many Glacier and St. Mary entrances that you could probably book around 6-9 months in advance. But the sooner the better!
In all of our Glacier National Park elopement packages you will get an experienced photography and videography team that will guide you through the process of eloping at a National Park. We will help you figure out park passes and permits, as well as provide lodging recommendations based on your preferences. We also offer local Montana/Glacier NP wedding vendor recommendations and help you build out the perfect elopement timeline! Our goal is to help make the planning process stress-free, so that you can enjoy your wedding!
Up to 4 hours of coverage is perfect for a ceremony and some sunset portraits at 1-2 locations in Glacier.
Up to 8 hours of coverage is great for couples who want to explore more of Glacier and do a 1-6 mile hike.
Up to 12 hours of sunrise and sunset coverage. Great for exploring multiple sections of the park or doing a longer hike.
Up to 18 hours of coverage for a 2 day Glacier National Park ADVENTURE! Let’s backpack or explore 2-3 areas of the park.
Check out this Glacier National Park elopement gallery and video from the summer of 2023 for more wedding inspiration!
Hannah and Adam are a Montana and PNW-based Elopement Photographer + Videographer Team traveling across the US and abroad to capture couples' special days. They firmly believe love is love, Black lives matter, and in respecting our planet.
COPYRIGHT © VENTURE TO ELOPE 2023