The Best Places You Should Be Taking Photos in Washington.



We are now entering the beautiful state of Washington. I had a really difficult time narrowing down my location suggestions to these five, but man, these locations are sure to satisfy even the most prestigious photographers. This coastal state will take you from the extremes of its rocky shoreline, to vast, dense, forestry and mountains, to some of the country's most recognized architecture.

Small disclaimer: There is no specific order to these locations.



  1. North Cascade National Park

(Photo by; Ben Coffman)


North Cascade National Park is the jack of all trades. Based on the time of year and how much hiking you are willing to do, it is absolutely filled with opportunities.

(Photo by; Kevin Russel)

Constant rainfall from the West and the heat, forest fires and smoke from the East, has taken part in creating a truly unique landscape that is sensitive to environmental climate changes. These conditions allow for environmental extremes to take place here, that are absolutely stunning.

Turquoise cascade waters flowing through the frosted valley floors, set aside over three hundred glacier-capped mountain peaks.

Sounds amazing, doesn’t it?

(Photo by; Jason Hummel)

Where do I go?

Located less than hours out of the city of Seattle, it is pretty convenient to get to this park by car. The service center for this park has made it easily accessible by bike as well if you are looking for a greener alternative to driving and/or would like to enjoy the scenery more intimately on your way. Primary access to this area is from the State Route 20 (SR 20) corridor. The Silver-Skagit Road and State Route 542 (SR 542) are jumping off points for many northern regions of the park including Hozomeen, Mount Shuksan, and Copper Ridge.


(Need more help with directions? Visit;


When is the best time to visit?

The parks service and informational centers are open year-round. They suggest summer months (May-October) for your visit, mostly because driving conditions can become a little risky during the winter months. If you are wanting to come to this park during the winter, be sure to contact the Service center ( to check for road closures and park conditions.


  1. Steptoe Butte Park; Palouse, Washington

(Photo by Patrick Marson Ong)

Waves, upon waves, upon waves of breathtaking, rolling agriculture. Now that's not something you hear about in the average day to day. The butte itself is a hundred and fifty-acre wide, three thousand, six hundred and twelve-foot-tall national natural landmark. As impressive as that may be, it is the surrounding farmlands that have really caught the attention of photographers. The rolling hills adding almost a sense of surrealism to the photos aimed down at the valley floor.

(Ripple Effect, Photo by; Aaron Reed)


Where do I go?

Located on the rolling wheat hills of Colfax, WA. This location is as easy as they come as far as access. Open six-six daily all seasons. Small warning there is a ten dollar day pass fee that is required in order to reach the top of the butte.  


When should I come?

Wheat is the crop most heavily grown in the area below the butte. Keep that in mind when deciding when to travel to this location. Depending on what type of photos you are looking to capture, base your visit on the stage of life that the wheat is in. Late spring through the summer (April-August)  is when the hills should be the greenest. Wheat is commonly planted in the winter and harvested the following fall. To get a little more contrast in the colors of the hills come later in the summer (August-September).

(Photo by; Pete Wongkongkathep)

Also keep in mind that based on the height of the butte visibility of the valley floor may be greatly diminished with rainy conditions.


  1. Seattle, WA

(Photo by; Matt Sahli)

Seattle, WA is a globally recognized city hosting approximately 652,405 people as of 2013. Thriving on a booming tech industry, Seattle has become a harboring for some of the northwest’s most advanced architecture. Besides all that, the city is a melting pot, with a well developed Chinatown and Pikes Market, a market known for its large spectrum of vendors and entertainment. I’m sure you can imagine why the combination of features has landed Seattle on this list of most photographable places.

Where do I go?

With every large city comes a large amount of places that are not only great to experience but great to photograph. Here are a few places you can start your endeavors while in Seattle.

Experience Music Project Museum:

(Photo by; Luc Hienrich)

Atop the Space Needle:

(Photo by; Joel Schat)

Pier 57:


Pikes Market:

When should I come?

Seattle is a high energy, high traffic city, as the weather warms up the people come out..if you don’t enjoy shooting around groups of people you might want to come during the winter months. There is no wrong time to come because it belongs to a temperate climate. Winter conditions usually remain pretty mellow as well as the summers. It is high in humidity due to its location, right on the pier and because of the annual rainfall, so be sure and prepare for that. For the most part, though, Seattle is a great year-round location.  

4.Skagit Valley

(Misty Morning, Photo by Greg Stringham)


This is a little different. Perfectly nestled away in the northwestern tip of Washington. Seattle to the south, Vancouver BC to the north, the San Juan Islands to the west, and the North Cascade National Park to the east. The Skagit Valley lies and waits for summer when thousands of people from surrounding areas flood in to enjoy the country living beauty that harbors in this location. This artistic community is the perfect place to escape the city and be surrounded by natural, colorful wildlife.

(Photo by; Long Boch Nguyen)

Once a year, the small towns occupying the valley are completely transformed by vibrant colors. Skagit valley agriculture is the producer of, quite literally, millions upon millions of tulips, that are then shipped worldwide. It’s in the weeks that these flowers burst to life that the valley begins to buzz. A month-long festival, commemorating the flowers is an attraction for hundreds of thousands of people who want to take part in witnessing the natural phenomenon of bloom.

(Photo by; David Lucas)

When should I come?

Governed by mother nature, it is hard to pin down a specific time that the valley will be most saturated. Due to that, the festival runs for an entire month. April first through the thirtieth is your best best.

Also, due to the nature of the valley, fog commonly rolls in during the early hours of dusk, this makes for some great, moody, imagery opportunities.

(Photo by; Patricia Thomas)


5.Olympic National Park

(Abandoned, Photo by; Ted Gore)

  Olympic National park is a beautiful stretch of land on Washington's Olympic Peninsula in the Pacific Northwest. Crossing through multiple ecosystems, this location is popular with hikers, climbers, photographers, etc... Pretty much anyone who wants to get a little taste of everything on their outdoor adventures.

Where do I go?

I suggest that you do some digging while planning your trip to this location. The park covers approximately nine hundred and twenty thousand acres. So it is important to have pre-emptively decided what area of the park you are wanting to visit.

Here are a few places within the park that caught my interest.


-Ozette Beach  


(Photo by; Michael Sawiel)  

-Hoh Rainforest

(The Giant Green Walkers, Photo by; Jag canape)


-Lake Crescent


When should I come?

This area receives, on average, thirty eight inches of rainfall a year, sometimes more. It will most likely be most convenient to come to this location during the summer (June-September). But convenience isn’t always what makes for the best imagery. Early spring (march-April) is a great time to visit and capture some textural skies and Fall and Winter (October-January) is a great time for moodier darker landscapes. So it really just depends on what you as a photographer are looking for.


Thank you for reading this article, I hope that it can be some help to you, on your Washington based, photography endeavors. Be sure to be hashtagging your best photos #AOV, so that we are able to see the outcome of your trip.




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