The State Capital Building (or Legislative Building) is a beautiful place to visit in the spring time, especially if you can catch the cherry blossoms and daffodils in mid to late March, or the tulips in April. Early morning will provide relative peace and quiet before the masses arrive later in the day.
The University of Washington campus is also an excellent place to catch the cherry blossoms in late March or early April.
The Washington Park Arboretum and Japanese Garden are beautiful in the spring time, particularly from mid-March to early May. You will want to head to Rhododendron Glen and walk Azalea Way. Unfortunately for photographers, the Japanese Garden has restricted hours, charges admission, and tripods are not allowed (though monopods are). Still, I understand it to be a must visit!
bloom map when planning your visit.
bloom map. By mid-morning, you will want to visit RoozenGaarde and/or Tulip Town before the lines get too long.
Palouse Falls is now our official state waterfall. Have you been there? Why not? It's a beautiful state park on the eastern side of Washington - southeastern, to be exact.
Palouse Falls State Park is a 105 acre park that offers a nice picnic area, overnight tent camping on a first come, first served basis, and of course, the dramatic view of the waterfall itself. It's a bit off the main road (dirt road access), and not recommended for trailers or RV's. The park itself is stunning.
On sunny days in the spring, a rainbow forms at the base of the falls in late afternoon.
If you are into waterfalls - and I mean lots of them, there is no better destination than the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area to the south of us. Just a short distance east of Portland (16 miles) the waterfalls begin. Be sure and drive the Columbia River Gorge Highway, both for the history and the views! This highway stretches from Troutdale to Dobson, OR and provides direct access to most of the waterfalls.
Also nearby are Latourell Falls, Horsetail Falls, Ponytail Falls, Elowah Falls, McCloud Falls, Triple Falls, Wahclella Falls, Wahkeena Falls, Punch Bowl Falls, Bridal Veil Falls...well, you get the picture!
There are waterfalls for every interest and ability. Some can be viewed from the parking lot, some require a short walk to a viewing point, and others require a short hike up a trail through beautiful forest.
To get the most out of your visit photography wise, I would plan your visit for a cloudy, overcast day. This allows for even lightning and one doesn't have to hassle with the contrasting shadows and brightness of sunny days.
Stonehenge is best photographed under blue skies, hopefully with a cloud or two present to make the sky more interesting.
This beautiful park might be most famous amongst rock climbers for its challenging routes on excellent quality rock. But it really offers something for everyone with its network of hiking trails and supreme views of its giant monoliths. Keep an eye out for rattlesnakes as they are very common here. There is no camping here, other than the "parking lot" offered to rock climbers.
Camping is primitive in this area, though one has the option of camping in the city park in downtown Mitchell, believe it or not!
Why spring for this year around attraction? Because flowers put on a display in early May.
Well, there they are - some of my favorite spring photography destinations in the Pacific Northwest. I hope you will have the opportunity to visit some, if not all these places in the coming years.
As always, feel free to contact me with specific questions.
If you wish to view more pictures, visit my galleries at www.mountainscenes.com.
Thanks for looking!