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DPChallenge Forums >> Out and About >> Pacific Northwest advice?
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08/02/2006 10:15:18 PM · #1
Hi everyone,

At the end of August, I'm going to be driving up from San Francisco to the Seattle area, and then over to Yellowstone and back home through Idaho and Nevada. I plan on hitting all the major hotspots along the way, but wanted to put out a request for any advice on good locations to photograph. Here's where I plan to stop:

Oregon -- Crater Lake, Klamath Falls, and a quick stop at Cannon Beach to pick up all the blue ribbons lying around in the sand there. :-)

Washington -- Orca migration on San Juan Islands, Space Needle, Mt. Rainier, Olympic National Park.

I haven't planned much of the trip back, other than to see everything I can in Yellowstone, then nose around Idaho Falls and maybe Lake Tahoe and some parts of northwestern Nevada.

If anyone has any recommendations for places along this route that just beg to be photographed, I'd love to hear about them.

Thanks!
08/02/2006 10:29:59 PM · #2
Something I've never tried myself but you might want to check out is the Mt. St. Helens Johnston Ridge Observatory. It's got a great view of the volcano, and if your lucky, you might see it blowing off some steam.

If I think of anything else I'll let you know
08/02/2006 10:31:28 PM · #3
Thanks, Aaron! That sounds like a good place to stop.
08/02/2006 10:43:33 PM · #4
Mt. Lassen and that area should still have a lot of active geothermal activity similar to Yellowstone -- boiling mud pots and sulfurous steam vents and such. I thnk you get there driving north from the Tahoe area or California Hwy 89.

If you go up US 101 instead, you can hit the Avenue of the Giants for some big redwoods.

If you are going from Seattle to Yellowstone, you might try to swing through Glacier National Park (might not be glaciers much longer!).

Jackson Hole and the Tetons are between Yellowstone and Idaho Falls.

If you come back through Utah, you've got the lake, the salt flats, and Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks -- very photogenic by reputation (never made it there myself).
08/02/2006 10:47:57 PM · #5
Thanks, Paul! I originally planned to see Glacier Nat'l Park, but won't have time on this trip. I'm hoping to see the last remaining glacier puddle in Olympia. :-) Thanks for all those other locations.
08/02/2006 10:57:19 PM · #6
If you want some recommendations and examples of what you can find in the Seattle area, you might try stopping in at this site: //www.nwphotographers.net/forum/

It's a group that shoot a lot all around the Puget Sound area, including Mt. Raineer, the Olympia Penn., the Islands, the coast and a lot more. And they have some pretty serious bird shooters too and know all the spots where the Eagles, Osprey, Heron and other birds like to hang out.

For Oregon, you have the coast from Coos Bay to Astoria along 101. Or there is Silver Falls just East of Salom at the Silver Falls State Park. A 5 mile hike with 10 waterfalls along the trails. The South end has a fairly steep climb out if you aren't prepared for it. You have the waterfalls along the Columbia Gorge Scenic Hwy that runs about 20 miles East of Portland to about 45 miles East. There are a number of waterfalls along the road and more if you don't mind a hike. Most are not that far off the parking lots, but the first 700' or so is usually a very steep climb along well maintained trails.

Mt. Hood doesn't have a lot of snow left and isn't all that great looking that way, so you can probably skip her unless you are coming after the first snows.

There is a lot to see in the Northwest and you will miss a lot of it, but you should have a chance to see some pretty good areas.

Mike
08/02/2006 11:04:02 PM · #7
You mention heading over to Yellowstone and near Idaho..

I don't know if this would be exactly in your path but you might want to consider the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument over in Eastern Oregon, and more specifically in that area Smith Rock and the Painted Hills.

I did find a website with examples of what the hills look like and I'm dying to get out that way now that I've developed my photography hobby!

Link to site with examples of Oregon's Painted Hills
08/02/2006 11:48:15 PM · #8
Thanks, guys! Those sound like great places to shoot. I'll definitely add somoe of them to my itinerary.
08/02/2006 11:51:44 PM · #9
As a resident of the north Oregon coast, I can recommend driving up US101 along the Oregon Coast for two or three days worth of stunning views from your car window. The road has plenty of "pull outs" along the headlands for great views up and down the coast. Note: you'll need plenty of patience during the summer as the highway is filled with RV's and is often one lane each direction. Camping is a very inexpensive way to stay, and the Oregon state parks are usually kept clean, and are often right next to the beach tucked away in forests. We'd love to show you around Cannon Beach, take in a sunset or sunrise from some of our favorite spots for photography and just for taking in the beauty, such as Ecola State Park bluffs, Chapman Point, Haystack Rock or Silver Point. Check our Zoomdak's portfolio on DPC to see some of these locations around our coastal village. I'd also recommend the Columbia River Gorge, just 45 minutes up river from downtown Portland, with some great waterfalls right along the highway and some other falls which are well worth the several mile hike up through the mossy Douglas Firs and Western Hemlocks to behold. If you're stopping in the San Juans, I can recommend a great Whale Watching tour boat outfit called Island Adventures out of Anacortes. Our son works as a Naturalist on board their boats and they have a 98% rate of seeing Orcas with a free pass on your next trip if you don't see a whale on that specific trip. Count on four hours on the water, in around the San Juan Islands, and around $50/person for the trip. There is a place on the western shore of San Juan Island which often gets visited by Orcas, that is, they can be seen from the shore. But then you have ferry costs which for roundtrip with a car can run almost as much as the whale watching boat. The Washington State Ferry system is a great deal for "walk on", from downtown Seattle over to Bainbridge Island, only $6/person round trip, for a 35 minute ride across the salt water with great views (on a clear day of course) of Mt. Rainier and the Olympics. For those mountains, I'd recommend a hike above Paradise Lodge on Mt. Rainier, through alpine meadows full of wildflowers, with great views of the glaciers. There is a great loop trail from Paradise Lodge called the Skyline train which runs around 6 miles if I remember correctly, with grand vists south towards Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Hood. For the Olympics, try Hurricane Ridge on a clear day, around four hours drive from Seattle including a ferry ride across to the penisula. From up on that ridge, you'll get great views of Mt. Olympus and the Bailey Range, from among sub-alpine meadows of wildflowers and mountain blueberries, with the possible Black Bear sighting. We just got back from a week long 40 mile hike in the Olympic National Park, our annual getaway, and filled our souls with the grandeur and goodness of this amazing wilderness park. All the best. For some fine photos of the Pacific Northwest, check out Zoomdak's website, //gallery.ecola.us/
08/02/2006 11:56:59 PM · #10
Wow! That's a great list, Charlie. I'm starting to think about blowing off Yellowstone and just staying up there. JK, this trip will give me a nice glimpse of all of the places that I'll have to come back and visit on my next trip. :-)
08/03/2006 12:03:29 AM · #11
Recommendations:

- The Hoh Rainforest in the Olympic NP. More big trees than I've ever seen. Very beautiful and easy walk following a river as far as you'd care to go.

- Don't miss the Tetons. My own experience in that region is that the Grand Tetons are a much (much) better destination than Yellowstone.
08/03/2006 12:03:36 AM · #12
Phillip, I don't know what to suggest, there are too many choices!!

On the Olympic Peninsula, Hurricane Ridge is worthwhile and easy. If you feel energetic, go to Neah Bay and do the boardwalk on Cape Flattery to stand on the most northwestern point in the lower United States.

Mt Rainier is super picturesque, with lots of lovely spots to see - the Sunrise Visitor Center area is top of the list.

There are countless more, but you'd need a few months to see it all.

08/03/2006 12:15:14 AM · #13
Don't forget the Redwoods along 101 in N. California. About 30 miles south of Eureka there is the "Avenue of the Giants", just a side road from 101 that takes you thru some amazing huge trees. There is plenty of places to pull over and walk in the meadows and stand next to the giants.
08/03/2006 12:26:11 AM · #14
You might find a tour of the Boeing 747 Assembly Plant in Everett interesting. No photos allowed, however. Book reservations on the web.

Plan dinner at Snoqualmie Falls Lodge overlooking the falls. Beautiful, romantic setting.

It's a little cheesy but take a ride to the top of the Space Needle. Marvelous observation deck there and a rotating restaurant.

There's a nice Argosy cruise of the Seattle harbor (Elliott Bay). Or possibly take the cruise to Blake Island for a traditional native american salmon dinner complete with drums, folk dance, ... Both depart from the Seattle waterfront.

Several nice photo vantage points of Seattle: Kerry Park on Queen Ann hill, Seacrest in West Seattle.

Consider a Seaplane tour of Puget Sound at sunset. Gorgeous views of Seattle and the San Juan Islands.

Anyway, more food for thought.
08/03/2006 12:38:29 AM · #15
Originally posted by Dr.Confuser:

... Puget Sound at sunset. Gorgeous views of Seattle ...

If you're over by the Olympic Peninsula, it might make sense to take the car ferry from Bremerton back to Seattle -- not something too many get to experience anymore. A but of a pain and a bit pricey -- but better than waiting 45 minutes in line for a 2-minute roller-coaster ride at an amusement park.

On the drive to Bremerton, you might have the chance to stop by Gig Harbor -- the "Carmel of the Northwest." 336588.jpg

Message edited by author 2006-08-03 00:44:52.
08/03/2006 01:00:20 AM · #16
Lake Tahoe is very beautiful!! If you do Tahoe, make sure to see Emerald Bay...which is the prettiest part of the lake in my opinion :-) There's also a beautiful castle there that has a really nice tour if you have the inclination for such things.
08/03/2006 01:03:44 AM · #17
Wow, that Pacific Northwest place is really sounding great. I hope I get a chance to see some of it some day. :D

08/03/2006 01:06:59 AM · #18
I'll put in a second vote for Mt. St. Helens.

At least 10 years ago when I was last there, you needed a permit to hike up the mountain, but they were plentiful on weekdays. If you like hiking, it's a terrific way to see it. I don't know whether hiking is currently allowed, though, given the recent volcanic activity.

I'll put in a second through 99th vote for Crater Lake. It is quite simply one of the most spectacular sights I've had the pleasure of experiencing. And I'm lucky enough to have been there twice. Take the boat out to Wizard Isle, a cone that's grown up through the lake.

For great mountain shots, drive up to Hurricane Ridge in the Olympic Mountains. For a nice short hike, go to Ozette on the Pacific coast - 3 flat miles on a boardwalk, with tidal pools at the other end. It's in the little spike of Olympic Nat'l Park that goes out to the coast.

Dungeness Spit on the northen end of the Olympic peninsula is also a good spot for tidal pools.

Have fun!

Message edited by author 2006-08-03 01:07:47.
08/03/2006 01:17:08 AM · #19
Yowza! I go put my daughter to bed and when I come back, I have 5 more days' worth of photos to take. ;-) This is all such great info that is really going to help make this a wonderful trip. Thanks, everyone!
08/03/2006 01:25:19 AM · #20
Phillip - how many of you will be traveling together? I live in Anacortes and have a small guest house (a large room with bath really) that I could offer you while here. My wife and I l;ove company so it would be no bother. I should be around, and the room should be availble, most of the second half of August and all of September. Right now we have a Chinese teacher staying but he leaves on the 14th. Our location is within walking distance of town and has easy access to Island Adventures for wahle watching, the San Juan Island Ferry and a great side trip no one has mentioned, Mt. Baker's Artist Point.

Let me know and maybe we can make it work.

Message edited by author 2006-08-03 01:26:38.
08/03/2006 01:39:53 AM · #21
Wow, JB, that's an extraordinarily kind offer! I'll be travelling by myself, actually. Let me take a look at my travel details and I'll send you a PM tomorrow. Thanks!
08/03/2006 01:42:36 AM · #22
Phillip, if you are headed West toward Roseburg from Crator Lake, to get back on I-5, you should head to Winston and go to the Wildlife Safari. It is a wonderful drive through animal park and you can get some great wildlife shots. On the drive from Crator Lake be sure to stop at Diamond Lake too.

On that same scenic drive there are lots of waterfalls and great shots of the Umpqua River to see also.

Stop at a little community called Glide and go to the Colliding Rivers Viewpoint. It is the only spot in the US where two river come together head on.

Enjoy your trip:)
08/03/2006 01:43:09 AM · #23
Originally posted by levyj413:

I'll put in a second vote for Mt. St. Helens.

At least 10 years ago when I was last there, you needed a permit to hike up the mountain, but they were plentiful on weekdays. If you like hiking, it's a terrific way to see it. I don't know whether hiking is currently allowed, though, given the recent volcanic activity.

I saw on the news that they recently re-opened the mountain for hiking. I believe they're allowing 100 people per day, by permit.

08/03/2006 01:43:51 AM · #24
oops.. let me try again

Message edited by author 2006-08-03 01:45:37.
08/03/2006 01:45:12 AM · #25
Phillip, if you are headed West toward Roseburg from Crator Lake, to get back on I-5, you should head to Winston and go to the Wildlife Safari. It is a wonderful drive through animal park and you can get some great wildlife shots. On the drive from Crator Lake be sure to stop at Diamond Lake too.

On that same scenic drive there are lots of waterfalls and great shots of the Umpqua River to see also.

Stop at a little community called Glide and go to the Colliding Rivers Viewpoint. It is the only spot in the US where two rivers come together head on.

Enjoy your trip:)
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