Night Sky Images at Winchester Lookout

The Winchester Mountain Fire Lookout is located in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, along the Mount Baker Highway. This is one of the few remaining lookouts in Washington. Most of them were removed, but several are now maintained by local alpine clubs. The Mt Baker Club does a fantastic job of caring for and maintaining the Winchester lookout, you can donate to their efforts here.

During the summer the lookout is open to the public, you can day hike up and spend the day there, or if you’re inclined, you can spend the night. There are no reservations, its first come, you got it for the night. If you hike up and the lookout of already claimed for the night there is plenty of flat space nearby where you can pitch a tent.

I have hiked up and spent the night atop Winchester Mountain 5 times, three of those trips I slept in the lookout, and 2 times I camped in my tent. Basically, if you want to sleep in the lookout, go on the weekdays and go very early. And bring a tent or a bivvy sack just in case! Oh yes, and bring all your water, there is none there, nor along the hike.

The view from the lookout is unbelievable.

As you can imagine the night sky views are fantastic. To the south and east the darkness is almost complete. The western horizon is aglow in the direction of Vancouver to the north, Bellingham to the west and Skagit Valley south.

These 4 images were taken during the same evening. Check out the green aurora glow!

During the same night, a view of Mount Larrabee from Winchester.

Here is one more for good measure. Good luck and happy shooting! I may see yo there.

If you’re interested, Night Sky Photo Tours are available, you can find out more here. 

Silesia Camp and Copper Ridge, North Cascades National Park

The North Cascades National Park turns 50 this year! Learn more about its history here.

This is the 4th post in a series highlighting spectacular places in the North Cascades National Park. You can access earlier posts here.

Silesia Camp is located along Copper Ridge in the northern section of the North Cascades National Park.

You can hike there in one day, access is from the Hannegan Pass trail head. You must have a permit to camp there. Details here.

There are few camp sites with a better view then Silesia Camp.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Diablo Lake Overlook, North Cascades National Park

The Diablo Lake Overlook is located on Highway 20 (North Cascades Highway) at mile marker 132 and is a part of the Cascade Loop .

From the intersection of Highway 20 and Interstate 5, its about 90 minutes drive to get there. The overlook is just east of Colonial Creek Campground. Open to traffic year round, its a wonderful place for sunsets.

Diablo Overlook Panorama

Night sky imaging is also wonderful at the overlook, the lake below and Colonial Peak above make for some stunning shots.

Diablo Overlook

Night 4

Cascade Loop

Stars at the Diablo Overlook, North Cascades National Park

Lake Chelan

Lake Chelan in eastern Washington is a wonderfully friendly and scenic space. At the south end of the lake sits the resort town of Chelan. Here are a few images of sunset from the hills above Chelan, from last weekend.

The local area is filled with orchards and wineries, spring is a wonderful time for a visit. Chelan is part of the Cascade Loop, so you can get all sorts of info for your trip at the Cascade Loop page.

Cashmere, Washington

Just back from a Cascade Loop Road Trip to Cashmere.

Located on the Cascade Loop along Highway 2, Cashmere is about 20 minutes east of Leavenworth and about the same distance down to Wenatchee.

I stayed the night at the Cascade Valley Inn. The images speak for themselves!

Panorama from Cascade Valley Inn, April 2018

Spring is very pleasant here, my visit to Cashmere was wonderful!

Here are a few more images from around town.

No trip to Cashmere is complete without a visit to Aplets and Cotlets! I arrived just in time for the tour!

Washington Pass Overlook, North Cascades Highway

The Washington Pass Overlook, North Cascades Highway is one of those places I most always stop when I drive along the North Cascades Highway.

Most Overlooks are a one time deal, once you’ve seen it, no need to go back!

Um…. not the case here.

The Washington Pass Overlook is one of the most scenic spots along the entire Cascade Loop Scenic Highway. Crossing the North Cascades at Washington Pass and Stevens Pass, the Cascade Loop is one of the most scenic highways in the Lower 48!

The Washington Pass Overlook, North Cascades Highway is in the Okanagon National Forest, and maintained out of the office down in Winthrop. The Overlook is well marked, and the parking area is about 1/4 mile off the highway. There is ample parking, several rest rooms and some lights. There is a 200 yard paved path to the overlook, and lots of railings preventing a plunge.

Night sky imaging, where you capture images of the Milky Way, only works well where you can escape the ambient lights from what passes for our civilization. Here are a few images from my many night time visits! This is one of the locations for the Drive-In Night Sky North Cascades Photo Tours.

The North Cascades Highway closes each winter, usually in November and opens near the end of May. I am always excited for its reopening each spring and eager to visit again.

Spring Trip to the Olympic Coast

Spring Break arrived and we headed west. For us that means a ferry ride and drive along Highway 101, through Olympic National Park, one of the greenest places on earth. We stopped to see Sol Duc Falls along the way.

And after checking into our B&B we headed to Ruby Beach for sunset.

The next morning was rainy, but the skies cleared in the afternoon for a hike along Rialto Beach.

That night we stayed in La Push and enjoyed crazy skies and a lot of hail!

Port Townsend is always a treat for more eye candy.

For information on Photo Tours, Classes and Order Prints its all right here!