Hey, I'm an elopement photographer based in Alaska! I love genuine moments between people and love that I get to document them for a living <3

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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!)

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!

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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!

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!!

2. Independence Mine State Historical Park

Independence Mine State Historical State Park is a giant abandoned gold mine at the top of Hatcher Pass that makes for SUCH a cool place to visit!! The alpine passage is sooo scenic and there are tons of beautiful spots to explore, whether you just want to drive up to the visitor’s center, follow the Hardrock Trail to see other old buildings, or hike 2 miles up to the Summit Lake State Recreation Site, you’ll have a beautiful experience here.

There ARE wheelchair-friendly trails, toilets, and other historical sites at Independence Mine State Historical Park!

Where it’s located: Hatcher Pass, in Palmer

Wheelchair-friendly? Yes – bathrooms & certain 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 fall, being that it’s flat, easy ground!

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One of the most popular trails at Eklutna Lake is the Thunderbird Falls Trail, a 1.8-mile out-and-back trail that takes you to a beautiful waterfall. You can also walk along a portion of the 13-mile-long Eklutna Lakeside Trail, or hike up the 2.5-mile family-friendly Twin Peaks Trail to get to a stunning scenic viewpoint of the water!

Where it’s located: Chugach State Park, in Anchorage

Wheelchair-friendly? No

Take a look at Trish + Ed’s wedding portraits at Eklutna Lake to see some gorgeous examples of this location!

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4. Beluga Point

Not easy going down to the beach but a pretty stopping view point!

This Lookout is a popular spot to stop while you’re makin’ 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

Wheelchair-friendly? No

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

6. North Fork Eagle River

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 1-mile 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!!

Where it’s located: south of Anchorage

Wheelchair-friendly? Yes – certain areas

best places to elope in alaska

7. Rodak Nature Loop

Rodak Nature Loop is located near Eagle River and is a super popular area for hiking, skiing, & snowshoeing. It’s a quick, easy 0.8-mile loop on a wide trail made up of a wooden boardwalk with railings & gravel. Making it totally wheelchair-accessible except for some slightly steeper sections where wheelchair users may need assistance. There are also plenty of benches and picnic tables along the route if you need a rest. Plus there are wheelchair-accessible bathroom & visitor center!

Where it’s located: Eagle River

Wheelchair-friendly? Yes

8. Potter Marsh Trail

Potter Marsh Trail is a fantastic wheelchair-friendly trail near Anchorage. With 1.1 miles long of a minimal elevation gain of 78 feet. The views of the marsh are beautiful with mountain ranges in the background, green grassy fields, and tons of wildlife! It’s a popular trail along the Seward Highway for walking and even birding. You’ll most likely see others along the way. The loop is made up of a wooden boardwalk with railings and gravel. It’s a 4-feet wide most of the way with barely any steep sections.

Where it’s located: south of Anchorage

Wheelchair-friendly? Yes

9. Exit Glacier View Loop

I absolutely LOVE Exit Glacier. It’s actually the only part of the Kenai Fjords National Park that’s accessible by road! The glacier is so freaking cool to see. It’s easy to get as well via a 1-mile paved & gravel loop with just 85 feet of elevation gain. The loop trail is wide enough for wheelchairs; just note that wheelchair users may need assistance in the steeper sections or may need to avoid them. You truly can’t beat the Exit Glacier View Loop if you’re looking for easily-accessible glacier elopement locations!

Where it’s located: Kenai Fjords National Park

Wheelchair-friendly? Yes

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!

10. Reflections Lake Trail

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! It’s truly a little hidden gem in the Mat-Su Valley.

Where it’s located: Palmer

Wheelchair-friendly? Yes

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!

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10 Easily-Accessible Elopement Locations & Hikes in Alaska

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