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scatter ashes cost

How Much Does Scattering Ashes Cost?

With the increase in the number of people choosing cremation instead of burial, more and more people are deciding to scatter ashes of a loved one. There are many ways you can scatter ashes. Ashes can be dispersed in the air, released into a body of water, or simply scattered at a special place of your choosing. The cremation process makes the ashes harmless and they do not pose any health risk.

Cost of Scattering Ashes

scattering ashes cost

Below we’ve outlined the cost to scatter and also some unique memorial options involving scattering ashes.

    Scattering Urns

    • You can use a paper cup, recycled aluminum can or other container to scatter ashes, however, most families decide to purchase a cremation urn specifically designed for scattering cremated ashes. The average cost of a scattering urn ranges from $50-$120. The Eco Scattering Urn is one option that’s growing in popularity as it’s affordable, made from bamboo (a sustainable resource), is 100% biodegradable and has a unique locking mechanism that allows you to scatter with control and secure and transport the ashes to one or multiple special locations. This unique scattering urn option provides families a dignified urn that allows them to gracefully scatter ashes. The large Eco Scattering Urn costs $69 and can fit up to one set of cremated ashes. The small and medium urns cost $49 and $59, respectively, and are typically for families who want to divide up a loved one’s ashes or scatter some ashes and keep the rest or use the rest in another memorial. As they are eco-friendly and made of only bamboo, they can be discarded anywhere after scattering or kept as a keepsake.

    Scattering Gardens

    • Many cemeteries and memorial parks are starting to set aside a portion of their property to be a dedicated area for scattering, often referred to as a scattering garden. This typically includes the option to place your loved one’s name on plaque or other memorial in the garden. Cremated ashes are either buried there, or simply scattered. Prices range from $100-$1,000, depending on the facility you choose and its location. Pine Forest Memorial Gardens in Wake Forest, North Carolina offers scattering in their scattering garden starting at $495. Old Hill Cemetery in Virginia permits you to scatter cremated ashes in their Scatter Garden for $150. Grand Prairie Memorial Gardens in Texas charges $550 for scattering. Additional services that can make the cost jump to $1,000 or even more, includes dedicating a bench in your loved one’s name, having a more elaborate marker, or even a fountain or waterfall in the garden that adds to its beauty and is dedicated in your loved one’s name.

    Scattering on Private Land

    • This is a very common option and, if you own the land, it’s free. However, it’s best to check with your local city or county offices to make sure there’s no special permits or other requirements to be met in your area before scattering on your property.

      Scattering on Public Land

      • On public land (including national parks), permits are sometimes required to scatter, and depending on the location. It is best to first check with the state’s department of ecology or environment prior to scattering in public waters such as rivers or lakes, or elsewhere within the state. Scattering is allowed at many of the U.S. National Parks, however, it is best to first check with the National Parks Department or the Parks Ranger where you are looking to scattering. Permit fees, if required, are usually affordable and can range from $20-$75. You may also be required to pay a park entrance fee.

        Scattering in the Ocean or Other Body of Water

        • There are multiple ways to scatter a loved one in water. Many people use their own scattering urn and go out on a boat to scatter in water (just make sure you first check the wind conditions before scattering to avoid blow back). There are also urns that are specifically designed to scatter in water, including the Eco Water Urn. This is a patent pending urn that is made of recycled plant materials. It floats like a buoy for a short time before breaking apart and completely freeing and dispersing the ashes in water. It costs $129 and comes packaged in an eco-friendly bamboo casing, great for transporting the biodegradable urn with ashes out to the water. If you want to rent a boat service to do the scattering at sea, there are many options available. Marin Memorial Services charges $450 for up to 6 people to scatter ashes in the San Francisco Bay Area. Davy’s Locker based out of Newport Beach, California offers burial at sea services ranging from $250-$3,250. New England Burials at Sea offers scattering service off of the East Coast of the U.S. ranging from $750-$1,850. Most harbors throughout the country will offer a few options for families interested in a water burial.

          Hike-In Services

          • There are many services available that will hike your loved one’s ashes out to a remote location to scatter, however, there’s a fee involved and typically no family or friends can be present. The fee for a hike-in service ranges from $200-$1,000. High Sierra Gardens offers scattering services in the Sierra Nevada Mountains for $200-$300. Hawaii Ash Scatterings will place ashes in remote areas of Hawaii starting at $495. There are many other hike-in ash scattering services available throughout the U.S.

              Church Gardens

              • More and more churches are starting to have areas of their property that are set aside for people who prefer to have their ashes scattered on church grounds. This is typically a much more affordable option that being scattered in a garden at a cemetery or memorial park. Many church’s will simply ask for a donation to keep the garden up to date and grounds cared for.

                Aerial Scattering

                • Scattering from a private airplane runs $200-$2000, depending on the location, length of flight, and whether you are present on the plane, or if it’s unaccompanied. Some examples of aerial scattering services include ‘A Journey With Wings’ that scatters over Catalina Island, the Santa Monica Mountains, or the Santa Ana Mountains for $600 for an unwitnessed scattering up to $1,400 for a private, witnessed scattering. ‘Homeward Bound’, based in Colorado, scatters ashes from the air for $400-$645, depending on the package chosen. There are many other aerial scattering services available throughout the United States – we recommend doing a simple online search and checking out online reviews if you’re looking for one in your area or to do an aerial scattering at a special place.

                  Ash Scattering Services 

                  • There are only a few ash scattering services available in the market for land scatterings and a handful for water scatterings. Ecorial Scattering Services is a new premium service that offers both at various locations nationwide. Learn more about the cost of this and how it works here.

                    Other Unique Scattering Scattering Options

                    • This includes, scattering ashes from a firework shell with Angels Flight. They place the cremated ashes in a firework and has a show including music and watch celebrations. This starts at $3,000. Another unique option involves sending a one’s ashes into space. Celestis Memorial Spaceflights will ship a portion of the ashes into space and costs $1,895 for a single orbit in space, and up to $12,500 for sending a loved one’s cremated ashes on a permanent journey well beyond the moon.

                    Other Costs to Consider

                    • The Cremation: The cost of a cremation varies by what’s included, where it is performed, and who performs it. The most affordable way to be cremated is a ‘direct cremation’. The average cost of a direct cremation ranges from $500-$3,000 and typically only includes a biodegradable casket that’s used during cremation and the actual cremation. If you decide to go through a local funeral home, or add services such as renting a casket, having a viewing, embalming, or other services, this will add a few hundred to a few thousand dollars in cost.
                    • Memorial Service (or Celebration of Life): Many families choose to hold a service for their loved one who passed. This can be at a church, home, community center, or a special place. Typically, family and friends will share stories of the one who passed and speak about the person he or she was. If the person is going to be scattered, many families include this with the service and give family and friends the option to each scatter a portion of the ashes. The costs involved can include renting out a space, food, drinks, music, among other cost associated with a service.
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