Are you planning a Glacier National Park elopement?

You are going to want to take a look at this ideal elopement itinerary! From my most recommended restaurants in the area to hikes and adventure, this guide will help you plan the best elopement ever! 

As an almost native Montanan(18+ years), there is nothing I love more than showing off this incredible state. Over the years, I’ve captured families bonding on their adventure vacations, surprise proposals with epic views, and even a few “I Do”s. So get excited and keep reading! Here is my 3 Day Adventure Itinerary for your Glacier National Park elopement. 

Your Best of GNP Itinerary

Day 0:

It’s a travel day! And you’re headed to Glacier Park International Airport. Welcome to Montana! 

Pro tip: Rent some handy dandy bear spray from Glacier Outfitters in the airport. You are going to want to trust me on this.

Head to your accommodation! It's time to relax before the wild and wonderful three days ahead of you! There is no shortage of places to stay in the area. From luxury retreats, resort lodges, and AirBnbs, there is something for any type of traveler! Here are some of my favorites!

Glacier National Park elopement on the lake shore with mountain views

Day 1:

Your first full day to explore. How exciting is this?! 

Set your alarm for an early breakfast! There is nowhere I recommend more than starting at Loula’s Cafe in Whitefish, MT! They serve nothing but the best local products for breakfast, lunch, and pie. YES pie for breakfast! And if you want to truly experience it the Montanan way, order a piece of huckleberry pie before your food. It’s the only way to do it. 

Belly is full? It’s time for a hike! Lion Mountain Trail to Skyles Lake Overlook is without a doubt your first stop. You can find all of the details on All Trails here! Reviews give it an easy rating at around 4.2km. It’s a well-loved hike for a reason! 

Now it’s time for a scenic drive! Hop in your car and head to Trego, Montana. Here you will find Dickey Lake, a popular swimming spot. The waters may be a bit on the icy side, but it is so worth going for a dip! So don’t forget to pack your swimsuits. 

Head back to the Flathead Valley! You have now completed your first morning in Montana! It's about an hour back to the valley.

It’s time to take care of some elopement logistics! Stop by the Flathead County Courthouse in Kalispell for your marriage license. Tomorrow is the day, YOUR day! If you need some guidance on how to apply for your license, you can find that on the courthouse website linked above! 

Explore Whitefish and grab a coffee! The scenic downtown area of Whitefish is a must while you are here! It’s an adorable string of small businesses with great products and yummy eats. Stop at Montana Coffee Traders for your afternoon pick-me-up! 

Dinner time is here! And you are going to want to try out Tupelo Grille. The best of the best in Northwest Montana. You’ll be drooling over their seafood, pasta, and steaks. Are you a whiskey drinker? Because they’ve got an awesome spirit flight with the best local whiskey waiting for you. Plus a wine list to die for! 

Cap your day with snuggles and a sunset view! There’s a perfect spot where the sun falls behind the lake in Les Mason State Park. Bring a bottle of your favorite wine or dessert, lay a blanket down, and soak in the fact that you are about to get married to the love of your life. 

portraits for Glacier National Park elopement

Day 2:

Get some fuel because it’s elopement day! This morning you are headed to Buffalo Cafe in Whitefish. This old school cafe turned modern grille has great options for any time of the day, but their breakfast menu is yummy for sure. 

Relax before the best day ever! The Whitefish Lake Lodge is here to pamper you at their full-service spa. You can get a pedicure or a massage to shake off the planning stress! 

Let the elopement begin! Here is a sample timeline for how your elopement day could go in the summertime. This is for 6 hours of coverage, so keep that in mind when you book your photographer! This is something I would provide for my clients to help create a day that celebrates their love! 

3:00pm  Photographer arrives. Photos of your sentimental details and getting ready! 

4:15pm The bride is dressed and ready! Final touches all around. 

5:00pm Driving from rental to your dreamy elopement location! 

5:40pm  Want a first look with your partner or family member? Do that here!

6:00pm  Ceremony

6:30pm  If you have friends or family, it’s time for photos with them. A toast, too!

Around this time, you might be getting hungry. Consider packing easy dinner for the car rides or a quick snack to make it through! Graze Montana has yummy to go boxes for elopements. 

7:00pm  It’s time for epic photos with the newlyweds! 

9:00pm  The sun sets on the best day! The photographer leaves. YOU’RE MARRIED!

Keep in mind that your timeline doesn’t have to look like this! Depending on the time of year, the sun will set at different times which will change the schedule a bit! You also don’t have to include things like a first look or a toast if you don’t want them! 

The best part about planning an elopement is that they can be truly customized to what you want to do. Want to go for a swim or paddle around a lake in a canoe? Want to have a picnic after the ceremony? Anything is possible!

Glacier National Park elopement inspiration

Day 3:

Wake up next to the love your life! It’s your last day in Montana and you’ve got some exploring to do! But first, grab some coffee from Wild Coffee Company and take a walk on the Whitefish river trail. A slow morning to soak in all that love! 

Drive into the beautiful, scenic Glacier National Park!  You can’t have a Glacier National Park elopement and not explore all the park has to offer! You will want to secure your reservation tickets for entry well before your trip! With this, you’ll have access to all spots in the park via the Going to the Sun Road. To claim your entry ticket, check out GNP’s website here for more information! 

Hike to Avalanche Lake! A popular spot for good reason.  As always, All Trails has an excellent map and description of the trail here. The hike starts off with the Trail of the Cedars and leads to Avalanche Lake with sweeping mountain views. Pack in a picnic to sit and enjoy it for a midday break! But make sure to pack it out, too. Please follow the Leave No Trace principles while exploring our outdoor areas!!! 

End your day with some epic adventure! Glacier Raft Company offers fun whitewater rafting adventures in West Glacier. They also have other experiences like fly fishing and even lodging! Add some fun excursions to your elopement trip, whatever your interest may be! 

A farewell dinner with a toast to forever. Backslope Brewing Company is hands down the only place you can go for your last dinner in Montana. This place will make you want to pack your bags and move in next door. It’s in Columbia Falls, just a short drive away, and is definitely worth it. Elevated pub food and good beer, what’s not to love? Make sure to cheers your partner! You just had one heck of an elopement trip to western Montana!! 

Glacier National Park elopement in Montana

Day 4:

Head back to the airport! Make sure to buy a postcard to put in your memory box right next to your incredible elopement photos when your gallery arrives! Your Glacier National Park elopement was an adventure of a lifetime and one heck of a good time celebrating your love!

Polebridge Mercantile Montana elopement photos

Ready to plan your Glacier National Park elopement?

Planning an elopement can be stressful! But with the right guidance, it doesn’t have to be. If you have any questions about my tips or recommendations, don’t hesitate to reach out and ask! You can head to my contact form and we can plan your day together!

Sharing the best parts of Montana is what I love most. Your elopement will be stunning and you will have an incredible time, as long as you plan a day that feels good to you! Happy planning, friend!