Sunday, February 5, 2023

High Divid, Olympic National Park


Image of Mount Olympus Above Flowers
Mount Olympus from High Divide, Olympic National Park
High Divide is one of the most popular hikes/backpacks in Olympic National Park.  Whether day hiking the loop trip (easily done in a day for experienced hikers) or backpacking with camps at Seven Lakes Basin or Heart Lake.

A trip into this area offers so much beauty for the adventurer willing to put the distance in.  Summer offers meadows of flowers, while fall offers vibrant fall foliage of reds, oranges and yellows.  You really can't go wrong on when you visit. Oh, and the wildlife!  Your chances of seeing bears, deer, marmots and more are quite high.

Both camping areas mentioned above a beautiful and prime destinations.  If planning your trip for photography on the ridge, I would recommend giving the nod to Heart Lake or a campsite on the ridge (dry).  Seven Lakes Basin still works, it's just that your hike back to camp in the dark (assuming you are staying for sunset) will be a bit longer.  Still, Seven Lakes Basin is beautiful...

For the image above, Seven Lakes Basin was my place of stay as a last-minute permit became available.  The opportunity to visit this high ridge to both view and photograph Mount Olympus was exciting! And I was not disappointed.

I'm happy to share that this image was recently licensed for worldwide use for print cards.

To see more images from this fantastic area, feel free to visit my Olympic Gallery.

Hope to see you on the trail in 2023!

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

King Tides at Cape Disappointment in Washington

Image of King Tides, Cape Disappointment
King Tides at Cape Disappointment.

"King Tides" is a non-scientific term used to describe higher than average high tides.  In Washington, these typically happen during the winter months of November, December and January for a three-day period.  They are the result of the gravitational forces of the sun and moon basically playing "Tug-of-war".  They typically occur during a full moon and can be further escalated by storms.

In my state of Washington, these typically occur in the winter months of November, December and January, and for a period of three days each.

Image of King Tides, Cape Disappointment
King Tides at Cape Disappointment.
The year I visited Waikiki Beach at Cape Disappointment for the first time and was not disappointed!

This might be the most iconic place to photograph the tides in Washington despite it's remoteness, near the small town of Ilwaco.  The park offers camping, hiking and access to wild beaches not typical of Washington's southern coast.  It's about a 3 hour drive from the Seattle area, and is actually much closer Portland, OR!

Watching and photographing the tides is an incredible experience.  Get there early for the full experience.  Seeing the surf a few hours before high tide and witnessing it build to a crescendo is the exhilarating experience that one brings home with them and tells stories about!

Image of King Tides, Cape Disappointment
King Tides at Cape Disappointment.
Photographer Tips:  While the tides are always exhilarating, the best images are captured when the water is backlit to bring out the greens.  This doesn't happen under heavy clouds.  Plan your trip when you suspect you will see some partial sun or at least diffused light.

Telephoto lenses work the best here.  I enjoyed my 70-200mm lens the most.  A stronger lens could capture the details of the waves up close.

Don't forget to give your camera a break and just enjoy the beauty and raw energy of the surf.  Especially near the high tide when the water is churning every which way.  It was during this incredible time that I heard an interesting "chirp" and noticed it wasn't a bird, but rather a sea otter swimming back and forth on its back "people watching"!  How was he staying afloat?!!

For more images of the Washington coast, feel free to visit my Washington Coast Gallery.

As always, thanks for looking.  Hope to see you at the coast?

Sunday, January 15, 2023

Bryce Canyon National Park in Winter


Image of Bryce Canyon National Park in Winter
Bryce Canyon National Park in winter.

Having visited this park in spring and summer, I had always wanted to witness it under a blanket of snow in winter.  One early February I got my chance.  Closely watching the weather forecast, I saw and incoming storm expected for the area.

My plan was to sleep in my vehicle.  However, at the last minute I discovered I would be bringing guests – my kids, early and middle elementary school ages!  Our only choice was to tent it – their first winter snow camping experience!  We shared the entire Bryce campground with a single motor home.

Temperatures during the day with in the 20’s and low 30’s.  Nighttime dipped into the low teens.

Night came early of course, so we found ourselves bundled in our sleeping bags playing cards with the illumination from our headlamps.  The kids had a blast!  I will always cherish the special memories from this trip.

The next morning, I awoke to a wall of spin drift (blown snow) completely block the outside of our tent door.  It was 13 degrees outside as I hiked to the rim of the canyon for sunrise.  It was beautiful!

This image appears for the month of January in my 2023Western Landscapes wall calendar.

You may view more images from this area in my SouthwestGallery.

I hope you enjoy!

Monday, December 12, 2022

2023 Western Landscapes Wall Calendar

Image of 2023 Western Landscapes Calendar
I'm excited to announce that my 2023 Western Landscapes wall calendar is now available!  It includes images from all over the Westerm U.S. and Canada, including Mount Rainier NP, Olympic NP, Grand Canyon NP, Bryce NP, Canyonlands NP, Glacier NP, Teton NP, Robson PP, North Cascades and more!

You can purchase the calendar for $15.99 ea. at Western Landscapes 2023 Wall Calendar (  What's better is that you can even preview before ordering by clicking on the preview button!

Happy Holidays and hope to see you on the trail!

Image of Canyonlands in 2023 Western Landscapes Wall Calendar

Image of Mount Olympus in 2023 Western Landscapes Wall Calendar

Monday, November 7, 2022

Fall Colors Along the North Cascades Highway

Image of Maple Pass, North Cascades
Lake Ann from below Maple Pass,
North Cascades.
Each year many people enjoy driving the North Cascades Scenic Highway in late fall to view the beautiful colors. This drive is beautiful any time of year but fall offers something a little more special.

The pinnacle of the fall colors may arguably be in the region of Rainy and Washington Pass in early October.  Here the larches turn golden and the berry plants at their feet a beautiful crimson red.  It's a sight to behold and one that keeps tourists coming back for more year after year.

For motorists out for a Sunday drive, the Washington Pass Overlook cannot be missed.  Just a short walk from the parking lot is the jaw-dropping, in your face view of Liberty Bell and its vertical north face with groves of golden larches just below its base.  If you are lucky, you can catch this monolith with a dusting of snow up top!

Silver Star Mountain and Kangaroo Ridge can also be viewed to the east, as well as Highway 20 steeply descending a swith-back below Early Winters Spires on its way down to the Methow Valley.

Image of Blue Lake and Liberty Bell
Blue Lake below Liberty Bell and 
Early Winters Spires.
For those willing to stretch their legs a bit, there are several hikes in the area that offer great rewards!  The easiest of which is Blue Lake near Washington Pass, with views of Liberty Bell and Early Winters Spires towering above the lake and colorful larches.  Don't be intimidated by the climbers hauling ropes and technical gear up the trail!  This is also the approach route for climbers wishing to tackle the various routes up these peaks.  But at a well-signed junction they take a hard left and begin their earnest climb to the base of these peaks, leaving you alone with your thoughts the rest of the way to the lake.  Don't forget to check out the tarn above!

More popular are trails west of Blue Lake at Washington Pass, as witnessed by the number of cars parked along the side of the road, sometimes for a mile or more on weekends.  These trails are right across from each other - Maple Pass to the south and Cutthroat Pass to the north along the PCT.

Maple Pass is by far the most popular of the two, though both are beautiful and offer incredible rewards.  It's a 6.5-mile loop trip with 1,800' elevation gain.  Or you can do a one-way in and out hike if you choose.  The culmination is the view in the first image above, as well as views deep into the North Cascades to the south.  One can also take a side trip to Wing Lake below Black Peak at a junction a saddle before the final climb to the pass.  Wing Lake is the only area that camping is legal - no camping at Maple Pass.

Image of Cutthroat Pass in Fall
Fall larches below Cutthroat Pass, with
Cutthroat Peak in the distance.
To the north is the final leg of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) for thru-hikers, starting from the Mexico border and hoping to finish before the snows start.  If you encounter grizzly looking backpackers, say hi - they might have many stories to share!

This trail climbs ever so gently to the open slopes of Cutthroat Pass - 10 miles, 1,960' elevation gain.  The views begin ~ 2 miles before the pass and may slow your pace substantially!  Gold and red dominate the landscape in season.  Camp sites are located above the pass, both north and south (they are dry - bring water).  The views are fantastic, especially of Silver Star Mountain and Kangaroo Ridge.  For even better views, walk an additional mile to Granite Pass with stunning views of Tower Mountain and Golden Horn, and yes, more larches!

If it can be arranged with two vehicles, one can make this a one-way trip by descending to the east down to Cutthroat Lake and eventually the trailhead at Cutthroat Creek - 10.5 miles.

Further west is the trailhead for Easy Pass which, though beautiful, is not that easy - gaining 2,800' in just 3.5 miles (7 miles round trip). But the views are spectacular at the narrow larch-covered saddle.  For better views, wander the meadows above the ridge and views out to Mount Logan in the heart of the North Cascades.

Image of Silver Star Mountain at Sunset
Sunset on Silver Star Mountain from Cutthroat Pass.
For other options a short distance away, consider checking out Twisp Pass and Stiletto Vista.  This requires driving down to the town of Twisp and turning onto the Twisp River Road and following it to the end.  The hike to the pass is 9
miles round trip, 2,400' elevation gain.  But you will want to continue on to Stilleto Vista a short distance above for the views down to Bridge Creek and across to Logan and Goode.  Larches abound and you can visit the former lookout site.

Nearby, approached by the same road is Copper Pass.  This is another fantastic larch destination in the fall but must be earned.  The trail gains 3,100' in just 5 miles.

Image of Liberty Bell and Early Winters Spires
Early light on Liberty Bell and Early Winters Spires from
the Washington Pass Overlook.
For other ideas, consider driving up the Chewuch River Road out of Winthrop for many more hikes into larch country.  Don't miss checking out the Thirtymile Fire Memorial!

To view these images and many more of the North Cascades, please feel free to visit my North Cascades Gallery.

As always, thanks for looking and I hope to see you on the trail!

Monday, August 29, 2022

Saguaro National Park and Tucson Mountains

Image of Saguaro Cactus at Sunset
My first visit to Saguaro National Park and surrounding areas was a much different experience for this Pacific Northwesterner, whose only previous experiences were that of Utah and northern Arizona.  Needless to say, the cactuses are much smaller and different species in those regions.

Saguaro National Park is actually divided into two sections - east and west, divided by the city of Tucson.  I had never seen such a thing.

Our first outing was a trek up Sabino Canyon on what started as a rather cool and breezy day.  It was pleasant but crowded.  There is a parking fee that can be paid in cash, check or over your phone to their website. Cell phone service is hit and miss though, and I paid for parking three times for my single visit because after hitting the submit button my browser just kept spinning and never sent me to the payment received page.  I returned to the hotel to find three email acknowledgements in my inbox!

I would recommend arriving early to beat the crowds and the heat.  Definitely bring lots of water.  While our hike started out cool and breezy, it quickly warmed up as we climbed up the canyon.

Image of Saguaro cactuses near Gates Pass
The next day I set out on a loop hike up to Wasson Peak, ascending King Canyon Wash Trail to the King Canyon Trail and finishing on the Norris Trail to the summit.  It was a very windy day, especially at or near the passes and ridgetops, and the strong breeze was cold when the sun went behind the clouds.  The views were amazing though and the few people I encountered were very friendly.  

I spent as much time as I could stand on the windy summit before descending down the Norris trail back to the junction, then continued thru the notch and down an incredibly scenic stretch to catch the Sendero Esperanza Trail, which cuts back over to the King Canyon Trail Wash Trail.  However, instead of following it all the way back, I finished my descent by taking the Gould Mine Trail back down to the road and parking lot.  Glad I did!  What a fun hike!  I definitely recommend it and will do it again myself, hopefully on a warmer day.

While I did take my camera gear with me on this hike, it never came out due to the flatness of light in often overcast skies.  Lots of phone pics though!

Image of Sunset from Gates Pass Overlook
The next evening, I returned to this area to photograph sunset from an overlook I scouted the previous day - Gates Pass Overlook.  This overlook, besides providing nice compositions of Saguaro cactuses in the evening light, also offers an incredible vista to the west to watch the setting sun.  As it turns out, it also attracts a crazy amount of people at sunset, some of whom began double-parking and blocking people in rather than parking in the overload parking lot across the highway (a minute walk).

We didn't get to witness much cloud action on this night.  Those that were present in the evening disappeared before sunset.  Still, I was surprised to catch some red in the sky as the last of the sun vanished behind the distant ridge.

The next day began my photography trips to Saguaro National Park proper after having scouted them the day before.  I started my morning in Saguaro East, closest to the hotel and the better morning location, in my opinion.

The Cactus Forest Loop Drive in Saguaro East in a must drive!  It's a paved road that is mostly one-way thru ever-changing scenery as the elevation changes.  The Rincon Mountains serve as a wonderful backdrop thru most of the drive.  There are also many trails to explore.

That evening I returned to Saguaro West for sunset, driving the gravel/dirt Hohokam Road to The Valley View Overlook trail.  A quick hike up to the ridge scored me the silhouetted cactus image at the top of the page, and a pleasant walk out in the dark.

The next day was departure day to catch our flight home.  But I awoke to witness the most dramatic light I had experienced the entire trip!  I quickly set my camera and tripod up on the hotel balcony and began shooting away!  A storm had rolled in overnight, offering rain throughout.  But as the morning sun rose, some of its rays would sneak thru the dark clouds for a couple of moments before fading away.  My experience has been that such an occurrence is usually short-lived.  However, this went on for a couple of hours, making packing difficult!  Slowly, the sun began to win battle and it was off to the airport.

Image of a Lifting Storm Over the Tucson Mountains
You can view these and more of my images from this area in my Southwest Gallery.  You can also see other images from my collection at

As always, thanks for looking! 

Sunday, August 21, 2022

The Southern Picket Range

Image of Southern Picket Range
The southern Picket Range from Mount Fury.
The wild and magnificent Picket Range is a classic sub-section of the north Cascades and considered one of the most isolated areas in the continental United States. The range is typically grouped into the southern and northern range.  Both are spectacular.

Approaches to any of the mountains in the Picket Range are extremely difficult, requiring extreme off-trail travel and often technical mountaineering skills (especially the northern group) and considerable elevation gain due to their relief.  But the rewards they offer are...did I say spectacular?

The southern Picket Range's most beautiful and dramatic side is its northern slopes and faces above a wild and trail-less McMillan Cirque.  This cirque must be seen from above to be truly appreciated.  Sheer ruggedness is what usually comes to mind.  To see this side requires a long lakeside hike or boat ride and then a backpack up the Big Beaver trail.  From there one needs to know where to leave the trail (unsigned) and travel cross-country to find the creek (often river) crossing, which can be raging in typical climbing season and log crossings can be difficult to find.  Once across, jungle-like bushwacking climbing awaits the climber in order to attain higher sub-alpine slopes where travel finally eases, but the difficulties are not over.  Patches of thick slide alder must be crossed to approach Access Cirque - a common camp area.  Above this cirque are steep gullies that are often ice-filled until late in the season and require extreme care and technical gear.

The best views are on the ridges below Luna Peak, Luna Peak, or in this case the summit of Mount Fury.  It's a tough 2-3 day approach, but rewards those determined to accept the challenge.  And the photography opportunities are endless!

This image was recently licensed for worldwide us in a recreational publication, I am proud to say.

You can see this image and more from this area in my North Cascades Gallery.

Hope to see you on the trail!


Saturday, August 13, 2022

Cannon Beach Reflection

Image of Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach
Haystack Rock at sunset from Cannon Beach, Oregon.
Cannon Beach along the Oregon coast is a popular place to visit and an icon for Oregon tourism publications.  And for good reason!  Excellent lodging and restaurants abound in this tourist town, adding to the attraction of their world-famous beaches and parks.

Summer months can be pretty crazy at times as one might suspect.  But for photography and weather, summer actually isn't the best time to visit.

Summer brings warm temperatures for sure, but with it comes the heavy fog bank that often engulfs the coast during this time.  The fog is typically very localized, often dense on the beaches but nonexistent just a short way inland.

Spring and summer provide more favorable conditions.  Winter can also be quite favorable, as is the case here.  This image was taken in winter right around Christmas!

Speaking of tourism publications, that's exactly where this image was recently licensed to!

To see more images of this fabulous area, feel free to visit my Oregon Coast Gallery.

You may also view my complete website at Mountain Scenes Photography, Don Geyer, Mount Rainier, Images, (

 As always, thanks for looking!

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Castle Geyser in Yellowstone NP

Image of Castle Geyser Yellowstone
Castle Geyser
Castle Geyser is one of the oldest Geysers in Yellowstone National Park.  Its eruptions are a height of 90 feet and happen every ten to twelve hours.  During a late afternoon eruption, it's possible to catch a rainbow as a bonus!

Located in Upper Geyser Basin, Castle Basin is one of many geysers in the area and is a nice break from the crowds around Old Faithful.  Don't miss nearby Crested Pool!

This image was recently licensed to a Brazilian editorial publication.

To view more images from this area, feel free to visit my Yellowstone Gallery.  And of course, many more images from other National Parks and scenic areas can be viewed at my website.

As always, thanks for looking!

Sunday, December 12, 2021

NEW! 2022 Wall Calendar!


Image of Don Geyer's Western Landsacpes 2022 Wall Calendar
I'm excited to announce that my NEW 2022 wall calendar is now available for purchase!

This is probably the calendar I have been most excited about in a long time.  All new images from such fantastic places as Mount Rainier NP, Olympic NP, Grand Teton NP, Death Valley NP, Banff NP, Glen Canyon, Mount St. Helens NM, Glacier Peak Wilderness, Alpine Lakes Wilderness, North Cascades, Oregon coast and more!

These images include many special trips that I hold dear to my heart and can't help but smile from the memories.  I hope you will enjoy them too!

It's not too late to order this calendar as a Christmas gift (though I wouldn't wait much longer)!  To order your own copy, please go to:  Western Landscapes 2022 Wall Calendar (

Happy Holidays to all, and here's to a better year in 2022!

As always, thanks for looking and I hope to see you on the trail.

Saturday, May 1, 2021

Cherry Blossoms at University of Washington

Image of University of Washington Cherry Blossoms
 The Cherry Blossoms on the University of Washington's Seattle campus are a sight to behold.  Each year they seem to gain in popularity as groves of people make their way to what is known as The Quad toward the center of campus.  Cherry blossoms actually exist all across campus, but this is where they are concentrated in large volume.

In normal years on a nice sunny weekend day the crowds resemble those of a concert or football game!  Television news cameras broadcast video from the air as helicopters capture images from above.

Image of University of Washington Cherry Blossoms
But this is not a normal year of course, due to the pandemic.  To increase my chances of avoiding any crowds, I chose to go on a weekday, and arrive well before sunrise.  This was a wise choice as I had the entire area to myself as I began clicking away.  Soon another photographer showed up and then we were two for quite some time.  When I left after a couple hours of shooting, their might have been a dozen total people in the area (not counting joggers or students passing thru).  Everyone wore masks.
Image of University of Washington Cherry Blossoms
The time of season for these beautiful trees to reach their peak bloom can vary.  Typically, early April is their prime time.  But I have seen them hit peak in late March some years, and closer to mid or late April other years.

If you live in the area, you can't escape the reports on TV on when they are hitting.

If you are not a photographer (or even if you are), the school has done a really cool thing this year.  In hopes of keeping the crowds down during the pandemic, they installed a web cam high above!  I love this vantage!

Image of University of Washington Cherry Blossoms
There are lots of things to play with composition wise here.  Shooting architecture can be much different than landscape photography in some ways.  Others, not so much.  I like to let my imagination run free and try new things.  Traditional "landscape" compositions like the first couple images above seem to come easy to me.  But then there are other options, such as up close and personal, and peak-a-boo shots thru the blooms of the trees.  The sky is the limit!

Image of University of Washington Cherry Blossoms
The Victorian style architecture of the buildings on this campus really compliment the setting, and are fun objects to shoot in their own right.  

I think I focused a lot more on "shooting high" during this visit, both to capture these beautiful buildings, and also because of what seemed like a sea of "Mask Up" and "Social Distance" signs spread across the ground.  Yeah, there was a downside to visiting during this time.  Some people would move the signs to get them out of their composition, such as hide them behind a tree.  Then move them back once they were finished.

Others, such as me, tried to place them in such a way that they could be easily removed in Photoshop with the spot removal tool or content-aware fill.  The more plain the background behind the image is, the easier this task becomes. Complexity can add challenges.

Finally, what lens to use.  I say bring them all!  I mostly used my 24-70mm.  But I did play with my 70-200mm a bit for close-ups.  Wide angle lenses might have been the most popular for others during my visit.  But you would want to have people in your images, or plan to spend a lot of time in front of the computer removing them!

Image of University of Washington Cherry Blossoms
I hope you get a chance to visit this wonderful place in the coming years.  If you do, I recommend a weekday, and go early (the crowds come mid-day on).

Bring your patience and be respectful of others, of course.  You might have to wait for another photographer to finish, the person taking the selfie to move on, or the group of friends trying to get their group shot just right!  I've even seen wedding pictures being taken here!  No mater, take a deep breath and enjoy the moment.  It will be worth it!

If you would like to view more images from my galleries, please feel free to do so at

As always, thanks for looking!

Monday, December 14, 2020

Western Landscapes 2021 Wall Calendar

 My new 2021 wall calendar is out!  It includes images from all over the western U.S. and Canada, including Mount Rainier NP, Olympic NP, North Cascades NP, Death Valley NP, Canyonlands NP, Assiniboine PP, Yoho NP and more!

You can purchase this calendar here!  Right now you can save 15% by using the code WINTER15!  This is only for a limited time!

I've been creating these calendars to share my travels for several years now, and the project just keeps getting more exciting for me each year. 

In fact, it's hard to choose which images to include as I have so many favorites and keep building on them.

You can view these images and more by visiting my website at  Prints are available.

As always, thanks for looking and enjoy the holidays!  Stay safe!