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Ali + Jake 

Personalized Location Guide

Hey there! Welcome to your personalized location guide. I hope this guide inspires and excites you as you plan your epic day. Let's dive in!

North Fork Eagle River

15 miles North of Anchorage - Alaska State Park

Beautiful spruce forest with river and mountain views.

About a 15 minute (flat) walk to the main part of the river.

Eagle River Nature Center

20 miles North of Anchorage - Alaska State Park

Just down the road from North Fork, the Nature Center offers more forest, river, and mountain views. If you want a bit more of a walk, I recommend the Albert Loop Trail, which is a 3 mile ( mostly flat) hike through the forest. If you want to keep it short, there is a scenic boardwalk just .5 of a mile from the trailhead.

Eklutna Lake

40 miles North of Anchorage - Alaska State Park

Breathtaking lake surrounded by mountains and forest. The trailhead is right by the beach portion of the lake, and there is a trail we can take along the lake. The trail is 25 miles out and back, so we wouldn't do the entire trail, but could walk for a few miles and then head back! However, the main attraction is right at the trailhead. This location is about an hour from Anchorage, and there aren't any other locations nearby for location hopping (unlike Girdwood and Portage). If you pick Eklutna Lake we could start at one of the locations I recommended in Eagle River, and then head out to Eklutna for the rest of our day!

Carr-Gottstein Park

South Anchorage - Anchorage City Park

City park with sweeping views of the mountains and inlet. This is in South Anchorage, and a great place to stop on your way out of town going towards Girdwood. It is a small park, so I usually don't plan to spend too much time here - but a great spot to get some epic views with no hike required!

McHugh Creek

15 miles South of Anchorage - Alaska State Park

McHugh creek has two scenic outlooks within .5 of a mile of the trailhead. This outlooks offer breathtaking views of the Chugach Mountains and the Turnagain Arm. The creek itself runs through a valley with steep cliffs on either side, making for a dramatic and picturesque backdrop. Several hikes begin from this trailhead as well.

Virgin Creek Falls

Girdwood (40 miles South of Anchorage) - Chugach National Forest

Walk through the world's northernmost temperate rainforest to the base of a stunning waterfall! It is only .5 of a mile from trailhead to the waterfall. One note - on Summer weekends there can be other people enjoying this short trail. If we get there and there are a lot of others, we could go enjoy somewhere else in Girdwood and come back!

Winner Creek

Girdwood (40 miles South of Anchorage) - Chugach National Forest

If you want to experience more of the temperate rainforest, this is a great place to explore! This hike has two different trailheads. You used to be able to hike from one trailhead to the other, but the hand tram that crosses the river is currently out of commission. Regardless, I recommend walking for a mile or two and enjoying the beautiful foliage.

Seward Highway Mile 87 Pull Off

Seward Highway (Right after Girdwood) - Chugach National Forest

Great place for a quick stop in between Girdwood and Portage! Mountain and inlet views. There is another pull off after this with the "Chugach National Forest" park sign, where we could stop and get a photo as well!

Portage Lake

Portage (50 miles South of Anchorage) - Chugach National Forest

We made it to Portage! At the end of the road (before the tunnel to Whittier) is the visitor's center and big parking lot with lake access. Beautiful lake with mountains around it - mountains are a common theme here, haha!

Trail Of Blue Ice Offshoot

Portage (50 miles from South Anchorage) - Chugach National Forest

From the Williwaw campground we will take the Trail of Blue Ice until we diverge from the path and take a small dirt path off the side. This unmaintained trail leads us to the base of a mountain. It is about a half a mile from the main trail to the mountain base. Enjoy 360 mountain views and a small river running through the valley. Since this path is not an official trail, it is very easy to miss, and I've never seen anybody else out there (though of course no promises - it is public land 😉). This is the location I emailed you a video of!

Herman Leirer Road Pull Offs

Seward (120 miles from South Anchorage) - Chugach National Forest

 On the road out to Exit Glacier (part of Kenai Fjords National Park), there are several pull offs along a massive riverbed in between the mountains. You can even view Exit Glacier from some of these pull offs, without going into the National Park!

Smart phone video from one of the pull offs!

Lowell Point Beach

Seward (120 miles from South Anchorage) - Chugach National Forest

Beautiful beach with mountains across the water, sea stacks, and rocky cliffs!

Adventurous Options

But wait....there's more!

If you want to explore even more, I have some ideas!

Charter boat from Seward into Resurrection Bay

This one of my all time favorite things to do in Alaska! Board a private charter boat and experience the wonders of Resurrection Bay! We can even do a private beach landing for your vows 🥰 When I say it's one of my favorite things to do I mean it - my husband and I go on our own at least once a Summer. There is truly nothing like it! I recommend Resurrection Bay Sailing and Miller's Landing.

Some of my favorite photos I've taken in Resurrection Bay and Kenai Fjords!

Heli Tour with Glacier Landing


Take a helicopter ride from Girdwood or Palmer, and land on a glacier for your vows!


I recommend Alpine Air Alaska (Girdwood) and Alaska Helicopter Tours (Palmer).

Final Thoughts

Phew! That was a lot on info - you still with me? 😊

Based on our initial consult my top suggestion is hopping around a few different locations in the Girdwood and Portage area! You could also pack a cute picnic to eat somewhere, or we could end the day at a Girdwood restaurant - Girdwood Brewing is always a good time and makes for cute photos!

If you're interested in a boat elopement - then Seward is your spot!

All of the locations I've recommended here are in an Alaska State Park or National Forest. A special events permit may be required. Once we narrow down locations I can help you contact the right people about a permit! Many of my couples haven't needed a permit when the elopement was under 5 people, but it can vary. When a permit is required, it has been between $50 - $100 in my past experience.

Please take your time looking over these recommendations, and feel free to reach out with any questions.

After you've had time to look these over, I'd love to know what your initial thoughts are! Do any of these locations speak to you?

Happy Trails!

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