Hatcher Pass, Anchorage, Alaska
the hearnes » adventure elopement photographers
autumn + levi's adventurous wedding portrait session | alaska destination elopement inspiration | hatcher pass, Anchorage, alaska
We had so much fun exploring Hatcher Pass near Anchorage, Alaska with Autumn and Levi! These two are some of the sweetest people around. We met up at the Hatcher Pass Lodge, where we were both staying for the night (side note - they have the cutest little A frames, but read my review at the bottom if you’re planning on staying there!) and then headed up the mountain to make some dinner in the parking lot. Now, don’t go assuming this was fancy…Callen cooked up some grilled cheeses in the van and we enjoyed our gourmet meal in camp chairs at the trailhead. As we ate, we chatted about their wedding earlier that week (this adventure photo session was part of their epic Alaska honeymoon trip!), how they met, and other fun little topics. I have to share how they met — it is a hilarious story! These two met at a country dance hall. Autumn was there for her sister’s birthday and ended up dancing with Levi for fun. He thought she was pretty cool and asked her name, she said “Sam” because according to her, that’s what she would tell guys when they tried to flirt with her 😂). He tried to get her number and she said no, but eventually gave in and told him her instagram instead. They ended up meeting up and messaging, and Autumn totally forgot about the wrong name thing until she was meeting his friends and introduced herself as Autumn! Levi was thankful for the claification and despite Autumn still playing hard to get for a while after that, she eventually realized he was the man of her dreams :)
It was lightly raining throughout their adventure session at Hatcher Pass (classic Alaska!) but it made for such a gorgeous moody vibe. We hiked up a steep hill to one of the gorgeous ridge lines overlooking the mountains, explored around some pristine little lakes, and even found a sweet little snowy patch with a blue lake in the middle. These two Texans fully embraced the snow, dancing around, throwing snowballs, and chasing each other across the snow field! As it got a little dark we made our way up the ridge for one last glimpse of the sprawling mountains before heading down to the lodge. We spend the last bits of blue hour (around 11pm! Alaska is crazy!) walking around the beautiful property and admiring the adorable little A frame cabins. We ended the night sipping beers and eating candy in their cabin, taking about life, adventure, and marriage. It was such a treat to spend time with these two!
We absolutely love when couple choose to do sessions with us on their honeymoon! Whether you choose to bring your wedding clothes and do an adventure elopement-style session, or wear more regular clothes and capture your day-to-day selves in an epic place, doing a session on your honeymoon is such a rad was to celebrate that time in your life. It’s no secret that from Yosemite to Moab to Alaska and as far as Patagonia, we spend a lot of time in epic places that would make great Honeymoon locations and great places for a Honeymoon Adventure Session. This is also a really good option if you like the idea of an adventure elopement but still want to have a more traditional wedding back home, doing a session like this can be such a good alternative. We’ve even had couples choose to read their vows privately during their session instead of back home during their wedding.
We are so excited to be heading back to Alaska next summer, this time for three whole months! After our trip out there this summer, we have a long list of places that would be absolutely amazing for an adventure elopement, intimate wedding, or engagement session! If you’re considering eloping and like the idea of a destination wedding, but want to keep things relatively simple, Alaska is such a good option for your elopement! It was super easy to explore and navigate as a US resident (obviously) but felt like a far-off international destination! The landscape in Alaska is so amazing, you could literally have your elopement ceremony on a glacier via a helicopter and then be up on a gorgeous hillside for sunset wedding portraits within an hour. We found amazing iceberg lagoons, hiked some epic mountain passes, and explore some of the coolest terrain we’ve ever seen! We’ll be booking limited dates during our three months in Alaska next summer, so if you’re hoping to have your elopement or intimate wedding in Skagway, Cordova, Denali National Park, Girdwood, Valdez, or any of the other epic spots we explored, get in touch with us as soon as possible!
MY REVIEW OF HATCHER PASS LODGE:
I mentioned we stayed in Hatcher Pass Lodge. When we posted about this on instagram we got a lot of questions about staying there, so I wanted to share my honest review here! First and foremost, their website says “no frills” and they really mean it. The cabins are small, yes, but they also have no running water, no amenities other than electricity, and the linens feel 40 years old. There is a community shower in the main lodge area that everyone shares, and one thing that was very uncomfortable for me was there is no lock on the door. I stacked a chair against the door because I’m pretty paranoid about that type of thing (especially when traveling) but thought it was worth mentioning. Also, there is a shared steam room, but they require that 4 or more guests are planning to use it before getting is prepped, and you have to let them know in the early afternoon. Honestly, our van would have been more comfortable and had we done more research we wouldn’t have booked a night there. If you’re wanting to stay somewhere that feels like a slightly nicer version of camping, this lodge might be for you, but if you’re wanting an escape from camping that feels like a “treat yourself” night (as we were), I do not reccomend it. I should have done more research, but I wrongly assumed $120/night would get me a little more than a roof over my head ;)
The Hearnes Adventure Photography is run by Abbi and Callen Hearne, a husband & wife wedding photography team with an emphasis on adventure. They live on the road as full-time nomads in their big white van, allowing them to serve a large portion of the western US including California, Utah, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Colorado, and Wyoming. They believe love is the greatest adventure and strive to create photos that are epic, romantic, true, and timeless.