Washington State in Pictures: Beautiful Places to Photograph
Rain forests, active volcanoes, and waterfalls help define many of the most beautiful places to visit in Washington, as well as mountain meadows, archipelagos, and charming cities with access to it all. The three national parks of Washington: Rainier, Olympic, and North Cascades all deliver on a lifetime of hiking trails and spectacular sights to see, as do the otherworldly environments of Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands, leaving visitors with the constant question of what to explore next. Wherever the camera focuses in this scenic state, there tends to be something beautiful in sight.
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1. Paradise, Mount Rainier National Park
Hikers on the Skyline Trail | Photo Copyright: Brad Lane
The aptly named Paradise area of Mount Rainier National Park delivers some of the best views of this peak symbol of the state. Visitors get up close and personal with the 14,410-foot Mount Rainier via the Skyline Trail that departs from the Henry M. Jackson Visitor Center. Alongside fantastic alpine views, marmots and wildflowers are often encountered along the trail.
2. Hoh Rainforest
Hall of Mosses trail, Hoh Rainforest
The sights along the Hoh River Trail within the Hoh Rainforest of Olympic National Park feature many shades of green. Much of that has to do with the 12 to 14 feet of rain the area receives each year, contributing to a dense environment of 100-foot-tall western hemlocks and Sitka Spruces, as well as a growing collection of moss, fern, and lichen for even more depth of color.
3. Ross Lake, North Cascades National Park
With mountain backdrops and a turquoise tint in the water, Ross Lake easily takes your breath away. The common spots to snap photos and enjoy the sights of Ross Lake are along the pull-offs provided by the North Cascade Scenic Byway, one of the prettiest drives in the state. Other scenic options to enjoy the water include renting a boat from the Ross Lake Resort.
4. Deception Pass
Deception Pass Bridge
Connecting Whidbey and Fidalgo Islands within Puget Sound, the state park surrounding the Deception Pass Bridge is one of the most popular in the state. It’s not just the hundreds of campsites and family-friendly amenities at Deception Pass that draw such a crowd, it’s the iconic Pacific Northwest scenery of water, islands, and stunning viewpoints that make Deception Pass a popular place to camp.
5. Olympic Wilderness Coast
Rialto Beach at sunset
Lined with impressive sea-stacks, regenerating tidepools, and smoldering sunsets, the Wilderness Coast of Olympic National Park is reminiscent of traveling to another world. Backpackers and photography enthusiasts flock to scenic spots on the Olympic Wilderness Coast like Rialto Beach to capture the moving environment and impressive sea-features, particularly come sunset.
6. San Juan Island
Orca off San Juan Island
The largest of the San Juan Islands, San Juan Island is a great jumping-off point to explore the sights, sounds, and wildlife of this watery region. The island’s largest city, Friday Harbor, is often a great place to catch a guided whale watching tour for dramatic photographs of orca whales. Of equal scenic appeal on the island, Lime Kiln State Park features a very photogenic lighthouse.
7. Spray Falls, Mount Rainier National Park
Spray Falls | Photo Copyright: Brad Lane
In the Mowich Lake region of Mount Rainier National Park, Spray Falls shares a similar characteristic with many other features of the area—an enormous impression on the landscape. Climbing the Spray Park trail to the falls is a vertical endeavor, but the enormous cloud of mist spraying from this 350-foot display of moving water provides an easy way to cool off and enjoy the view.
Leavenworth in the fall
Once a lumber and railroad community, Leavenworth transformed itself over the last four decades to become an authentic Bavarian village complete with bratwurst and big mountain backdrops. The Bavarian architecture of Leavenworth alone is worth a few pictures, and during annual festivals and traditions, the streets are lined with live polka music and lederhosen.
9. Mount Baker
A massive stratovolcano in northern Washington, Mount Baker is a scenic destination throughout the year. Home to a popular ski resort throughout the winter, backpacking and nature lovers explore the slopes throughout the summer and shoulder seasons. For nearly equal alpine splendor, immediately to the east of Mount Baker, Mount Shuksan also vies for eye-catching attention.
10. Enchantment Basin, Alpine Lakes Wilderness
Alpine Lake in Enchantment Basin
Just outside the picturesque town of Leavenworth within the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, the Alpine Lakes Wilderness provides million-dollar views every mile of the trail. Navigating big features like Aasgard Pass and an abundance of massive glacier-fed lakes, the 18-mile trail that passes through the aptly named Enchantment Basin within the Alpine Lakes Wilderness offers sore muscles and life-defining sights.
11. Pike Place Market
Fruit stand at Pike Place Market
A bustling, open-air market in Seattle near the waterfront, Pike Place Market is an iconic image of the city. With fresh produce, fish, coffee, and handmade goods, Pike Place Market truly appeals to all the senses. Whether for people watching, perusing the colorful stands, or snapping a picture of the iconic Public Market sign, there’s no shortage of inspiration at this renowned tourist attraction.
12. Whatcom Falls Park
Whatcom Falls Park
In the university city of Bellingham north of Seattle, Whatcom Falls Park is a scenic natural space with tons of moving water. The moment they step onto the lichen-laid path at Whatcom, visitors are transported far from the adjacent city nearby. Among the many great water features to catch at this 200-acre natural space, the park also features a scenic children’s fishing pond.
13. Bowl & Pitcher Area, Riverside State Park
Just outside Spokane, Riverside State Park encompasses over 11,000 acres along the scenic Spokane and Little Spokane Rivers. The park has many areas to explore and just as many activities to offer, with the Bowl & Pitcher Area perhaps the most scenic spots to enjoy. Best viewed from a Civilian Conservation Corps-era wooden bridge, the Bowl & Pitcher are large boulder outcroppings on the banks of the Spokane River.
14. Johnston Ridge Observatory, Mount St. Helens
Mount St. Helens view from the Johnston Ridge Observatory
Within the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, the Johnston Ridge Observatory provides the easiest access and perhaps best views of Mount St. Helens, including the remaining crater left behind after the dramatic 1980 eruption. Alongside parking spots and interpretive information, the observatory provides instant access to many trails leading to the mountain, which are especially pretty alongside the blooming colors of spring.
15. Port Townsend
Port Townsend lighthouse
A charming city by the sea, Port Townsend is filled with eye-catching Victorian architecture, quaint shopping districts, and endless seascapes filled with boats, piers, and mountain backdrops. For even more photographic opportunity, Port Townsend is an easy base camp for both the Olympic Peninsula, including Olympic National Park, as well as Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands.
16. Pioneer Square
Pioneer Square totem
Dating back to the beginning of the city, the historic Pioneer Square of Seattle features eye-catching Renaissance Revival architecture and a constant flow of people walking the streets. Storefronts, public art, and a mash of fashions add to the photogenic qualities of Pioneer Square, and the family-friendly underground tours of the area add even more perspective to this birthplace of Seattle.
17. Sunrise Visitor Center
View of Mount Rainier from Sunrise Visitor Center
The drive up to the 6,400-foot Sunrise Visitor Center at Mount Rainier National Park delivers tourists to the highest point in the park reachable by car. A stunning place for its namesake time of morning, dawn at the Sunrise Visitor Center presents up-close views of Rainier with a pink and orange glow, and the mountain’s many glaciers glisten in the sun throughout the rest of the day.
18. Methow Valley
On the eastern leg of the North Cascades Scenic Byway, the Methow Valley is renowned for dramatic alpine landscapes and world-class cross-country skiing. Both the towns of Mazama and Winthrop are popular destinations within the Methow Valley, each providing a western charm alongside big mountain backgrounds. Immediately to the west, North Cascades National Park encourages further mountain excursions.
Lavender rows in Sequim
Also known as the Lavender Capital of the World, Sequim is a friendly community on the Olympic Peninsula featuring bountiful color and scenic appeal. Walking the rows of lavender plants at places like Purple Haze Organic Lavender farm provides ample opportunity for pictures, as do scenic strolls down by the harbor and waterfront.
20. Cape Disappointment
Deadman’s Cove at sunset, Cape Disappointment
Not living up to its unceremonious title, Cape Disappointment provides a stunning environment on the far southwestern point of the state where the Columbia River meets the Pacific Ocean. While the scenic and historic lighthouse within this state park is often photographed, other areas of the park, including the equally ominous Deadman’s Cove, are worth the scenic hikes.
Methow mountain mist seeds
FIELD NOTES: Mirabelle Orchard and Vineyard, Fiddletown
SPRING AT MIRABELLE ORCHARD & Vineyard
Warm winter, too early spring and now storms in March. Could this stormy weekend presage “Miracle March” or the resurrection of faltering El Niño? The rain is welcome and may it continue! Saturday, gusts of wind roar though our orchard, once again breaking off dead and brittle branches and twigs from walnut trees. Yellow and white daffodils and narcissus are blown to the ground and coral blossoms of the flowering quince are blasted off the bush. Perhaps winter has returned, making additional clean-up work.
It was quite a challenge to prune fruit trees and grapevines before the early arrival of spring. Just as we finished, the first blossoms appeared on our lone apricot tree, followed by almonds and Mirabelle plums. Flowers are slowly unfurling on pear and ancient prune trees. If the rain is not too harsh, the orchard will soon be a display of exquisite white blossoms. If the process works as anticipated, bees will pollinate the blossoms, nubs of fruit will emerge from the flowers, and a new crop of fruit will be born. But as we know, weather can be capricious and spring frosts can devour nascent fruit. Meanwhile, we watch grasses and weeds grow inch by inch, while eagerly looking at the rising numbers of the rain gauge.
GARDENING TO THE RHYTHM:the Biodynamic Calendar for March 8- 14, by Daniel D’Agostini, Abbondanza
It is Monday morning, March 7th as I write and another wonderful night of rain. Close to four inches in three days at my place and 29 inches for the season so far. Looking good. This week ahead is a time for tending leaf crops and then on the weekend fruit crops. Tuesday is a solar eclipse (not visible here) but best not to be planting seeds at this time. Next week on Monday Saturn and the Moon are in opposition once agin and a great time for sowing root crops, think onion seeds or carrots. We are also in the ascending period of the moon through next Tuesday so I would shy away from any serious transplanting.
For those of you who do begin your seeds and have been doing so you may have lots of little seedlings up now. With all this wonderful moist weather though they can become susceptible to “damp off” a fungal disease that can wipe out your starts. A simple solution is to brew up some Chamomile tea, let it cool and then put in a clean spray bottle and mist all your little seedlings each morning and night until their first true leaves appear. Chamomile is a natural anti-fungal. Okay, have a great week.
Arugula and sorrel are both wonderful in salads, but here are a couple of other things you could do with them.
Sorrel Rice Bowls with Poached Eggs
by Jessica Koslow Bon Appétit June 2014
Yield: 4 servings
2 cups short-grain brown rice
1 cup (lightly packed) sorrel or arugula leaves
1/4 cup olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
1 large watermelon radish or 2 red radishes, very thinly sliced
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided
1/2 preserved lemon, flesh removed, peel finely chopped (optional)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill, plus more for serving
2 ounces feta, crumbled
Cook rice in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender, 45-50 minutes. Drain rice, return to pot, cover, and let sit 10 minutes. Spread out on a baking sheet and let cool completely.
Purée sorrel or arugula, oil, and 1 tablespoon water in a food processor until smooth; season with kosher salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, bring 2″ water to a boil in a large saucepan; reduce heat so water is at a gentle simmer and add vinegar. Crack an egg into a small bowl, then gently slide egg into water. Repeat with remaining eggs, waiting until whites are opaque before adding the next (about 30 seconds apart). Poach until whites are set and yolks are still runny, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer eggs to paper towels as they are done.
Toss radish with 1 tablespoon lemon juice in a small bowl; season with kosher salt. Toss rice, preserved lemon, 1 tablespoon dill, remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and 1/3 cup sorrel purée in a medium bowl; season with kosher salt and pepper and mix in more sorrel purée, if desired.
Serve sorrel rice topped with poached eggs, radish, feta, hot sauce, more dill, and sea salt.
Do ahead: Rice can be cooked 2 days ahead; cover and chill. Sorrel purée can be made 2 days ahead; cover and chill. Bring rice and purée to room temperature before serving.
Lamb Chops with Greens and Sorrel Salsa Verde
Chef Seamus Mullen of New York’s El Colmado Epicurious April 2015
Yield: 4 Servings
8 1 1/2-2″-thick lamb loin chops (about 3 pounds)
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
2/3 cup sorrel, spinach, or arugula leaves
1/3 cup mint leaves
1/3 cup parsley leaves
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced, divided
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
4 ounces king oyster or maitake mushrooms, cut into 1/2″ pieces
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1 bunch cooking greens, such as chard, mustard, or kale, ribs and stems removed, leaves torn into pieces
1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (add up to 3 tablespoons total if using spinach)
Pat lamb dry; season with salt and pepper. Let sit at room temperature 1 hour.
Meanwhile, puree sorrel, mint, parsley, lemon zest, red pepper flakes, about 1 garlic clove, and 1/3 cup oil in a blender, scraping down sides as needed, until mixture is smooth. Season salsa verde with salt and pepper; set aside.
Prepare grill for high heat (or heat a grill pan over high). Grill chops, turning every 2 minutes or so, until well browned and beginning to char and a thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 125°, 8–10 minutes. Let lamb rest at least 10 minutes.
While lamb is resting, heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Cook mushrooms, tossing occasionally, until well browned, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a large plate.
Reduce heat to medium and add shallot and remaining garlic to skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, until shallot is softened and starting to brown, about 2 minutes. Add greens; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until wilted and bright green, about 2 minutes. Return mushrooms to skillet and toss to combine. Stir in vinegar; season with salt and pepper.
Stir lemon juice into salsa verde; taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve lamb chops over greens with salsa verde.
Do ahead: Salsa verde (without lemon juice) can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Add lemon juice before serving.
1 bunch carrots Tin Bird Garden
1/4 lb. arugula Butte Mountain Farm
1 head lettuce Casa de la Pradera
1 Meyer lemon Abbondanza
1/2 lb. walnuts Blue Mountain Orchard
1 piece quince membrillo Casa de la Pradera
1 bunch carrots Tin Bird Garden
1 head lettuce Abbondanza
1/2 lb. chard Butte Mountain Farm
2 Meyer lemons Abbondanza
3 oranges Abbondanza
1/4 lb. sorrel Butte Mountain Farm
2 oz. sunflower greens Butte Mountain Farm
1 bunch parsley Abbondanza
SHOPPING AT www.mlharvest.com
Mother Lode Harvest has local food and farm products available to order at www.mlharvest.com.
THE ORDERING WINDOW IS FRIDAY AT 9 AM THROUGH SUNDAY AT NOON.
Orders received during that time can be picked up on Tuesdays between 10:30 am and noon, or 4:30 to 6:00 pm, at 1235 Jackson Gate Road in Jackson, behind Teresa’s Restaurant. Prepaid orders may also be picked up in Volcano or Plymouth. Payment may be made at pickup by cash or check made out to Mother Lode Harvest, or before pickup by PayPal.
New customers will need to register by using the “join” button on the website before they can shop. A signed customer agreement and membership dues may be mailed to MLH, or brought to the distribution center with your first pickup.
If you have any questions or problems with using the website, please contact our customer coordinator, Michelle, at [email protected], or 419-2503.
MLH Calendar of Events
March 12 12-2:00 GENERAL MEETING TERESA’S BANQUET ROOM NEED EVERYONE WHO CAN TO BE THERE! Board of Directors is hosting lunch.
MARCH 14 Board of Directors Meeting 6:00
MARCH 19 Butte Mountain Farm Tour 1:00-4:00 17336 Butte Mountain Rd. Jackson
We are just squeaking in a winter quarter open house before winter ends, on Saturday, March 19 from 1 to 4 pm at Butte Mountain Farm in Jackson. This will be a great time to visit the farm of Carolyn Boyd, as she has been welcoming a bunch of new lambs into the world. Visitors to her farm always enjoy seeing the baby lambs and the rest of the flock, her extensive chicken coops, and her garden-with-a-view, and learning how she manages it all sustainably.
Take advantage of this opportunity to meet Carolyn, who is also MLH’s Distribution Coordinator, as well as other MLH producers who will be on hand, and feel free to ask them your gardening/farming questions. As with our other open houses, there will be light refreshments served. This event is free, but donations are welcome (suggested donation $5.00 per adult).
APRIL 23 7:00 Showing of the award-winning documentary “With Respect To Farming, ” a journey through a year in the lives of farmers, ranchers, orchardists, dairy owners, and family farms pursuing a sustainable livelihood in the beautiful and remote Methow Valley of Washington State’s North Cascade Mountains. This dvd presentation is being hosted by customer members Joyce Campbell & Bernie Biglow at their home off Shake Ridge Rd at 7:00 PM. Refreshments will be served. Directions will be forthcoming. SAVE THE DATE AND CELEBRATE EARTH DAY APRIL 22, by viewing and discussing this relevant documentary.
JUNE 18 MLH’s Farm to Fork Fundraiser Solstice Celebration: This will be a fun event at Daniel’s farm in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley. We need everyone to help make it happen. We’ll let you know more about this important event at our General Meeting next Saturday. SAVE THE DATE
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