Traversing the Last Frontier in Hatcher Pass Alaska • Alaska Elopement Photographer • Hiking Elopement Photographer
Hold on because I’m about to cheese it up a bit here… There really are no words to describe how absolutely amazing this part of our beautiful country really is. I can remember way back when I was all of 7 years old, my mother telling me we were going to Anchorage for my Aunts wedding. I remember my overly active 7 year old brain picturing a frozen wasteland, with polar bears wandering around, no flowers or vegetation to be seen, with everyone wearing fur hoods & snowsuits. Having chatting with people throughout the years, I think some still think of Alaska that way! I mean, to be fair, if your in the northern half, especially up by Barrow, that really kind of is true. But Southern & Interior Alaska is thriving & plump full of flowers, greenery & all kinds of amazingness!
A little backstory
So if your new to my story, you will soon find out, I am thoroughly obsessed with the last frontier. Having lived there in my early 20’s for 5 months with my Aunt and cousins, I had more than enough time to fall totally, & madly in love with the crisp mountain air, ocean side views, seriously epic road trips & unimaginable hiking in remote areas, where you often wonder if another human has ever stepped foot in the exact spot your feet are currently setting. It’s truly amazing!
Our day exploring Hatcher Pass
This is only a tiny section of our summer of 2017 trip (and yes, I realize its the end of 2018 & I’m just now blogging about it!) This insanely lush & green mountainous area is Hatcher’s Pass, just outside of Palmer, AK in a portion of the Talkeetna Mountains, residing at about 3885 elevation (depending on where you are exactly, its more of a road through the mountains rather than a set destination.) We arrived pretty late in the evening, but it is the land of the midnight sun in the summer, so it was hard to tell just how late it really was. The sun never fully sets there until fall & winter, so the nights are actually more like twilight, just after sunset in the lower 48. Luckily, the lower light allowed me to get some really wispy images of the mountain streams the night we got to the pass. We ended up camping near the base of the road after driving a ways up & finding it WAY too cold for our little midwestern bodies!
My favorite hike that whole trip
The next morning we headed back up the road to the iconic Hatcher Pass Lodge for some lunch & much needed COFFEE!! We hiked around the little trails around the lodge before heading further up the road to the summit. We did the perfect ridge line hike (April Bowl Trail) a short 1.5 mile hike up the easy switchbacks, past the bluest glacial fed alpine lake, up to the boulder field towards Hatch Peak. As we were going up, the weather started to change, the rain turned to sleet & although we were pumped to keep going… especially seeing the set of hikers way up there on the furthers ridge line of Hatch Peak looking so small, & dreaming of that incredible view they must have had! But my silly tourist butt wore jeans (even though I had 3 pairs of hiking pants designed for this weather in my suitcase) like a dummy. So we decided to play it safe, head down to not risk being caught out in inclement weather unprepared. Next time though… I am hiking that whole dang ridge!!!
Want to elope in the mountains of Hatcher Pass??
Well that’s pretty much it for that adventure filled day, we met a ton of really cool hikers, even a small furry one, lol! I truly dream of going back for an epic adventure elopement in Hatcher Pass, Alaska one day. So fellow adventurers, if you are planning on getting married in the lushest green, alpine lands… let me know. I am definitely up for the adventure & can show you some really cool spots tucked away from all the tourists!