American novelist, William Hjortsberg, described Montana best. He once said, “Of all the memorable views, the best have been framed by Montana windows.” As a full-time Montana elopement and intimate wedding photographer (and huge lover of Big Sky Country), I don’t think I could’ve said it any better. Montana is truly heaven on Earth… A couple blogs back, I dropped a quick little list of the Best Places to Elope in Montana. In that blog, I covered multiple locations in Montana to tie the knot. Today, however, I’m going into even more detail about the Top 5 Places to Elope in Montana to help you choose the best place to say, “I do”.
It’s no surprise that GNP is at the top of my list. If you’ve spent any time on Pinterest, odds are that you’ve seen this dreamy, magical spot. With over 1 million acres of preserved glacier-carved landscape, turquoise lakes, and 700+ miles of hiking trails, your jaw is guaranteed to be on the ground until further notice. At the top of my list for the Best Places to Elope in Montana, I mentioned just 3 areas within GNP that you can elope:
But if you’re like me, you are probably searching for even more options and places to explore. Disclaimer: not all of these location are approved to host a ceremony or say vows. HOWEVER, we can still adventure to these amazing spots! Be sure to check out the national park site for updated regulations on where you can legally elope.
Towering over fields of wildflowers as the snow begins to melt, it’s almost impossible that one place could be this beautiful. Throughout the summer, yellow glacier lilies peek through the snow before they are covered in a blanket of alpine plants. Logan Pass is the highest elevation in the park accessible by car at 6,646 feet; not the best option for those prone to altitude sickness. If you’re an adventurous early-riser, consider arriving at Logan Pass in the wee hours of morning to catch the rising sun surrounded by wildlife. Seriously, the perfect time to marry the love of your life!
Described as being “breathtaking”, this scenic drive is one of the most popular routes in all of Montana. This paved road is a great option to see GNP by crossing the Continental Divide at Logan Pass. By no means is this an easy drive; you’ll be twisting through the mountains as the road divides the East and West portions of GNP. This is a perfect location for portraits!
Grinnell Glacier is just one of the most-photographed areas in GNP. With a 10+ mile hike and 1,600 feet altitude gain, the view is 100% worth it. If this 6 hour trek isn’t calling your name, but you’d still love to experience the beauty of the glacier, you can utilize one of the many shuttle services available at Apgar, St. Mary, and Logan Pass visitor centers.
And yes, the list could go on and on. Feel free to DM me over on Instagram (@sydneybreannphoto) for more of my favorites in Glacier National Park.
If scenic highways are on your list, add the Beartooth Scenic Highway now, as mentioned in my list of the Best Places to Elope in Montana. I touched on just two incredible spots within these 41 peaks in Montana.
As promised, though, here are a couple other contendenders to add to your list!
Located just on the border of Montana and Wyoming (in Yellowstone National Park), this area consists of 2+ million acres of varied terrain – from flatlands to rugged mountains. The Shoshone National Forest also expands into Custer Gallatin National Forest – which is less than 2 hours from Bozeman, Montana. It’s safe to say that you won’t struggle finding some incredible views in this location!
A sweet little town known to be the “Gateway to Yellowstone”, Red Lodge is best known for its winter sports; skiing and snowboarding season typically opens up the Friday after Thanksgiving! The town in the winter gives way to a warm glow against the snowy scenery; such a sweet location for a winter elopement.
Calling all ski-enthusiasts! With a plethora of outdoor activities and accessibility options, Whitefish is the perfect location for a microwedding – and is considered the gateway to Glacier National Park!
Previously mentioned, 3 of my favorite places in Whitefish included:
Located at the edge of GNP, the vibrant town of Whitefish is built around the wilderness. The hiking here is seemingly endless. Being active won’t be an issue here!
If you’re looking for an easy hike for your elopement, Lion Mountain Trailhead is just 2.60 miles out and back. If you don’t mind encountering other hikers while exploring, this is for you!
This challenging trail has an INCREDIBLE reward – a GONDOLA! Heck yes. Whether you take on the challenge that is this 8.6 mile hike, or opt to ride the ski lift, the views are out of this world.
Just 20 minutes away from Whitefish, you can travel to Kalispell. Within Kalispell is another top place to elope in Montana – Flathead National Forest!
Flathead National Forest boasts over 2 million acres of wilderness. The turquoise lakes are absolutely unreal. I mentioned 3 of my favorite places in Flathead National Forest which included:
Looking for a couple more options to add to your itinerary?!
Paradise, Montana (Quinn’s Hot Springs to be exact) is a resort offering 5 naturally flowing hot spring pools varying from 100-106ºF, this is the perfect little getaway for you and your honey to do some pampering!
At just a half-hour drive from downtown Kalispell, the Jewel Basin offers 25 alpine lakes with 30+ miles of hiking trails. With incredible views of the Flathead Valley to the west and Hungry Horse Reservoir to the East, there isn’t an unpleasant area in sight!
Lolo National Forest gives you and your honey the opportunity to not only explore western Montana but also Idaho! You can’t beat the turquoise streams, mountain lookout views, and historical log cabins available for rent.
2 of my favorite places in Lolo National Forest are:
If your itch for a good hike isn’t cured with Primm Lake, here are a couple more options:
Blossom Lakes Trail is a moderate hike at 5.5 miles out and back. This hike will take you along the Montana/Idaho border – you could even get married in 2 states if you really wanted to 😉 (Probably check on the legality of that though… you can find out How to Elope in Montana here!)
Located near Superior, Montana, this moderate trail is the perfect mix of a challenge and leisure. You won’t have to search very hard to find a breathtaking view to say, “I do”. Be sure to pack your wedding attire in your backpack, find a secluded spot, and say your vows in Big Sky Country.
Well, there ya have it; my list of the Top 5 Places to Elope in Montana. When planning your elopement, finding a place that suits you and your honey is what is the most important. If you’ve nailed down your location, make sure to check out 50 Activities to Do on Your Elopement Day to help fill in any gaps in your schedule. As always, head over to my latest Blogs here to read up on more elopement content, my latest adventures, and more. And if you’re still not tired of me, let’s be friends on Instagram @sydneybreannphoto. Are you ready to wander?
***please note: I claim no rights or ownership of any of the above images (unless noted Sydney Breann Photography).