Photography Tour Overview: Mount Hood, Crater Lake, Oregon and Washington Coasts, Olympic National Park, Seattle, Mount Rainier and Mount St. Helens, plus wildlife and abundant wildflowers. World travel is something we all crave, but gathered together in the northwest corner of the United States is a vast array of photographic jewels summarized as the magnificent Pacific Northwest. The wildflowers are ‘ripe’ at high elevations during late July, and that is when Idaho-based photographer John Baker of Travel Images will guide a group of 7 photo travelers around the west’s most inspiring scenery. This Pacific Northwest itinerary is diverse and spectacular. From crashing surf to wildlife, snow capped peaks to cascading waterfalls, and wildflowers to the catastrophic devastation of a violent volcanic eruption. Point your camera at Mount Hood, Crater Lake, the Oregon and Washington Coasts with a sprinkling of lighthouses, Olympic National Park, Seattle, Mount Rainier, Mount St. Helens, ocean sunsets, and dawn excursions to the best of the west. Add wildlife such as Black Tail Deer, Roosevelt Elk, and Marmot etcetera, and it is photographic utopia.
itinerary . . .
But first things first! We suggest that you set your camera's clock to the local time, as your images will then synchronize with the times in our included photo tour
Days 1 + 2 | Columbia Gorge Waterfalls, and Mount Hood
Our Pacific Northwest photography tour will start at 11:30 am, and as we head
for the Columbia Gorge we'll pause for the included lunch, and digital
orientation. Into the gorge for several very different waterfalls, and wind and kite surfers riding the Columbia
River breezes. We turn south at Hood River, and shoot a classic Mount Hood scene
with nice side-lighting from the north of the mountain.
Shooting from the side of Mount Hood at dawn, 10,495' Mount Jefferson to the south often juts out of the valley clouds, and is a spectacular sight. Following breakfast at Timberline Lodge you'll get great shots of skiers and snowboarders even in July! There will also be plenty of striking landscapes to be composed on and around the mountain during the remainder of our time here with superb reflections in a nearby lake at both dawn and dusk.
Near Mount Hood, 2 nights
Days 3 + 4 | Mount Hood to Crater Lake
On day 3 we'll head south through Oregon's high desert country shooting Cascade peak vistas, and the Lava Lands volcanic terrain on route. There are always lots of ground squirrels to photograph there, along with views to Mount Bachelor. Then the late light at Crater Lake, along with plenty to drool over during our 2 night stay.
On day 4 we'll do a loop trip around the rim of this ancient volcano, and your images will include landscapes, wildflowers, a waterfall and a fabulous vista from an easily accessible peak at sunset.
Crater Lake, 2 nights
Day 5 | Crater Lake to the Oregon coastline
Out past Diamond Lake this morning to shoot a pair of waterfalls, then we'll follow the Umpqua River for part of our trip to the coast. Hitting the coast south of Coos Bay, we'll shoot aplenty at Sunset Bay, and Shore Acres State Park. The latter offers bird life, great waves, and colorful flowers in abundance. Our first taste of the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area in late afternoon/evening . . . and on to Florence for the night.
Florence, 1 night
Days 6 + 7 | Lighthouses, Cape Kiwanda and Cannon Beach
More dunes creations this morning, and a nice smattering of coastal scenes and experiences today with Seal Rock, Yaquina Bay Lighthouse, and Cape Kiwanda waves high on the menu. The latter is a classic situation and worth the trip over one dune type ‘obstacle’.
On day 7 our focus will be on spectacular Cannon Beach. Haystack and Needles rocks make excellent subjects if sunset and afterglow cooperate, and then there’s Ecola State Park nearby.
Cannon Beach, 2 nights
Day 8 | Cannon Beach to Quinalt Lake
We’ll make an early morning excursion to Ecola State Park to glean the glories and vistas of the peninsula, plus the glowing greens of the old forest. We’ll cross the Columbia River at Astoria around midday and take the Fort Canby loop once inside Washington. Much of the day will take us through the remnants of old forest clear cuts cut with methods that the Washington State no longer adopts. Plenty of foxgloves and other wildflowers to master on route. On the edge of Olympic National Park is Quinalt . . . lots of evening photography at the edge of the lake which will be a our one night home.
Quinalt Lake, 1 night
Days 9 + 10 | Olympic National Park
Heading coast-wards from Quinalt, Ruby Beach has sea stacks, driftwood and plenty of photographic opportunities and challenges. On to Sol Duc falls late in the day. You'll be shooting old growth/rain forest where besides the falls, there are plenty of lush foliage images to capture. Tripods are a must! day 10 will start and finish in Olympic National Park on Hurricane Ridge, and is laden with wildflowers, deer, marmot and snow-capped peaks.
Port Angeles, 2 nights
Day 11 | Seattle
Leaving Olympic National Park today, we'll move east via Poulsbo to one of America's most spectacular cities, Seattle. We’ll cross Puget Sound by ferry with the approaching Seattle skyline being your next images. We'll check-in to our hotel under the shadow of the Space Needle, and after a short break we'll shoot around the Space Needle. Following dinner we'll have an ideal view of the Seattle skyline complete with that, erm, Space Needle once more, and distant Mount Rainier. We'll shoot until the buildings turn a warm gold, which is around half an hour after sunset.
Seattle, 1 night
Days 12 + 13 | Mount Rainier National Park
After capturing some early light we'll take breakfast and
capture another Seattle skyline view. If we're there around midday it's also a good spot get an authentic fish and chip lunch. Then off southwards in the direction of Mount Rainier. On route we'll
spend time at a wildlife sanctuary where photographing North American species of wildlife
is authentic and relatively easy. Birds of prey, badger, beaver, lynx, and wolf, etc. are all here in very photographable situations with a little patience. Mount Rainier will loom, and we'll frame it with various creative juices on the way to our home on the side of Washington's highest peak at 14,410'.
We'll be on the Skyline Trail early in the morning on day 12 will yield many a wildflower foreground to a Mount Rainier backdrop. There’ll be more as we explore the mountain during the remainder of the day including Reflection Lake, Narada Falls etcetera. Fox and Deer appear as the end of daylight approaches.
Mount Rainier, 2 nights
Day 14 | Mount St. Helens
More doses of Rainier in the morning, and then we’ll move south via Elbe to Mount St. Helens to photograph and witness first hand the awesome devastation that took place in 1980. The region of Windy Ridge is a great place to be in respect of the undisturbed devastation and late light photography.
Morton, 1 night
Day 15 | Mount St. Helens and our return to Portland
We’ll head west from Morton in the morning, and cut back to Mount St. Helens
heading for Johnston Ridge. After a stirring video presentation of the 1980
eruption you'll be free to point your camera right into the foreboding caldera.
Then on to Portland for hotel check-in. The included dinner on the last night of our photography tour will feature an 'It's You!' presentation of clients in action by John.
Near the Portland airport, 1 night
Day 16 | Departure day
As there isn't any photography scheduled for the day of departure, your flight home can be arranged for any time today.