Alaska is the land of adventure, but that doesn’t mean there HAS to be a long hike involved if you don’t want there to be!! There are tons of easily-accessible Alaska elopement locations for anybody who either doesn’t want to hike a ton, or has a physical mobility limitation & can’t necessarily hike 5 miles to get to a viewpoint. Today I’m giving you 10 amazing easily-accessible spots in Alaska that will still get you beautiful views for your elopement, session, or just your visit to AK!
(Just keep in mind that not all of these locations would necessarily be as accessible in the winter due to Alaska’s climate and snow fall!)
Note about permits: Many of these locations are within Alaska state parks, which often require you to get a Special Use Permit in order to get married. I recommend reaching out to the Division of Parks & Outdoor Recreation to ask about permit needs depending on the details & location of your elopement!
10 Easily-Accessible Alaska Elopement Locations & Hikes
1. Hatcher Pass
Hatcher Pass is one of my all-time fave locations in Alaska to photograph!! I’ve gone with countless couples for both elopements & adventure sessions, and it NEVER gets old. With an incredible alpine tundra landscape, you can literally just DRIVE along Hatcher Pass road to get allll the scenic views without having to scale a mountain or anything like that. Simply pull off the road and bam – you’re at a spot with gorgeous views for your elopement!
Or if you’d rather get some walking in, get out of the car & do one of the many hikes available, like the 2-mile roundtrip Hatch Peak & April Bowl Trail!
In the winter the pass over to Summit Lake does close, so keep in mind that only lower portions of the pass, on either side, will be accessible when there is snow.
Where it’s located: Between Willow & Palmer, in the Talkeetna Mountains
Wheelchair-friendly? Yes – certain spots
For some gorgeous Hatcher Pass elopement inspiration, check out Chloe & Mike’s Intimate, Foggy Mountain Elopement at Hatcher Pass!!
The entire stretch of road leading to Portage Lake has so many pull offs and easily-accessible areas for sight seeing and elopements. Portage Lake itself has some beautiful views, and then there are several other lakes and rivers along the road. There are a few campgrounds along the way as well if you want to have an overnight adventure.
There is a parking fee and part restrooms on site.
Where it’s located: Chugach State Park, in Portage
Wheelchair-friendly? Areas around Portage Lake have some paved trails.
3. Eklutna Lake
Eklutna Lake is a lake that runs along a more than 15-mile-long shoreline, fed by Eklutna Glacier. Making it the perfect location for kayaking, biking, swimming, and hiking, of course! You can bring your own equipment, rent some at the lake, take a self-guided hike, or even go on a guided trip if you’d rather follow someone else’s lead. Eklutna Lake isn’t wheelchair-friendly, but it’s a very short walk to the lakeshore in the summer and fall months as it’s just a gravel path. There is a bit of a steep hill that goes down to the lake but it’s very short. In the winter it’s treacherous!
One popular trail near Eklutna Lake (a few miles back out the main road) is Thunderbird Falls Trail, a 1.8-mile out-and-back trail that takes you to a beautiful waterfall. At Eklutna Lake you can also walk along a portion of the 13-mile-long Eklutna Lakeside Trail, or hike up the 2.5-mile Twin Peaks Trail to get to a stunning scenic viewpoint of the water!
Where it’s located: Chugach State Park, in Chugiak area outside of Anchorage
Take a look at Trish + Ed’s wedding portraits at Eklutna Lake to see some gorgeous examples of this location!
4. Beluga Point
It’s not super easy going down to the beach but a pretty stopping view point!
This Lookout is a popular spot to stop while you’re making your way along the Seward Highway, near milepost 110 & south of Anchorage. Pull off the side of the road, and you’ll find amazing 180-degree scenic views of Turnagain Arm. Sometimes you can even see beluga whales in the water – hence the name. You can also walk down to the beach! It’s not quite an easy walk, so I wouldn’t recommend it for anybody with physical mobility restrictions of any kind. But just stopping at the viewpoint will give you awesome views with minimum effort!
Where it’s located: Along the Seward Highway, near Anchorage
5. McHugh Creek
The McHugh Creek Recreation Area is super close to the Beluga Point Lookout. Right off of milepost 111 on the Seward Highway. You can take a short walk from the parking lot to get to a gorgeous 20-foot waterfall. There are also small trails that take you to different lookouts! Most of the recreation area is paved except for some trails, and there are wheelchair-friendly picnic sites & restrooms.
Where it’s located: South of Anchorage
Wheelchair-friendly? Yes – certain areas
North Fork Eagle River-Look like you’re in the wilderness but your car is less than a couple blocks away
The North Fork Eagle River is SUCH a great, easily accessible location for couples. Especially if you want to be surrounded by a beautiful landscape without much effort! You can take the short, flat 2.3-mile(roundtrip) hike through the woods to get to the main braid of Eagle River. It looks like you’re way out in the wilderness, but really, your car is less than a couple blocks away. Win-win!! There is also a spot right off the parking lot, it’s a dirt path down to the riverbed.
Where it’s located: North of Anchorage
Wheelchair-friendly? Yes – certain areas
Flattop at Glen Alps is a beautiful area that overlooks the city of Anchorage. There are many off-shoot trails that you can take in various directions, or you can walk up to the city view overlook. The overlook trail is wide and relatively easy incline. Wheelchair users would need assistance. It’s a very short and easy walk. There is a paved parking lot and restrooms available.
Where it’s located: Anchorage
Wheelchair-friendly? Certain Parts
The Knik River Public Use area in the Butte near Palmer is a large area of easily accessible riverbed along the Knik River. There are several entry points to these locations and I know all the best ones to easily guide you! One of the most commonly known locations is the Old Knik River Bridge along the Old Glenn Highway. People frequently walk, hike, off road, camp and explore the area. With that being said it is a pretty busy area since it is easily accessible in many areas. Some areas I’d recommend a fairly capable vehicle if you’re wanting to drive further than just the initial parking area.
Where it’s located: Butte, near Palmer, North of Anchorage
Wheelchair-friendly? Ish, you an easily drive up to any spot and hop out of the car and stay within the vicinity.
I absolutely LOVE Exit Glacier. It’s actually the only part of the Kenai Fjords National Park that’s accessible by road and an easy 2.2 mile (roundtrip) hike. It’s a really beautiful hike and pretty easy activity level. The glacier is so freaking cool to see. It’s a fairly easy hike as well. You truly can’t beat the Exit Glacier View Loop if you’re looking for easily-accessible glacier elopement locations! Don’t forget about Special Use Permits for the National Park!
You can’t access and be *on* the glacier, but you get a really pretty view of it through the moody low hanging clouds that are typical of the Seward area.
Where it’s located: Kenai Fjords National Park, Seward, Alaska.
Wheelchair-friendly? Part of it yes, but all the way to the glacier over look, no.
Looking for some glacier elopement inspiration? Head to my ultimate guide to How to Elope on a Glacier in Alaska. It’s full of glacier elopement tips & location ideas!
Last but not least, we’ve got the Reflections Lake Trail, a wheelchair-friendly, 1.1-mile loop trail near Palmer. The trail is wide and maintained with gravel, so it’s a great option for hikers/walkers of any physical mobility level. Along this trail, you’ll get gorgeous views of Reflections Lake (who could have guessed??). Plus you’re surrounded by grassy fields, vibrant green trees, and of course, amazing mountain views!
Where it’s located: North of Anchorage before Wasilla
I can’t WAIT to see which easily-accessible Alaska elopement location or hiking trail you choose. There are truly soooo many options that don’t limit you whatsoever! You can put in little to no effort and STILL get incredible views of the Alaskan wilderness. How freaking amazing is that?!
When you’re ready to find a photographer to tag along at whichever destination you choose, I’ll be ready for ya. Reach out here and let’s chat elopement deets!