United States North Cascades

25 spots Public

T. Kirkendall and V. Spring

The North Cascades offer endless opportunities for landscape photographers; lakes, meadows, mountains. Fall time, when the needles of the larch trees turn a brilliant yellow then mellow into a vibrant orange is one of the best times visit. Equally appealing in the fall, are the high meadows were the leaves of the huckleberries turn a brilliant red, and the berries are ripe.

Due to the ruggedness of the area, the North Cascades offer only a few easy access points. Most photographers find themselves frustrated by the lack of entry into this mountainous region unless they are prepared and willing to hike into the wilds.

The North Cascades is an area of rugged, glaciated mountains located in Washington State near the northern end of the Cascade Mountain Range. This area boasts a National Park complex that encompasses Lake Chelan and Ross Lake National Recreation Areas and the North and South Units of North Cascades National Park. The park itself is surrounded by the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest and the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest and included therein are the Mount Baker, Pasayten, and Lake Chelan-Sawtooth Wilderness Areas. Highway 20, a Scenic Byway, is the only road that actually runs across the North Cascades. In this guide are all the scenic locations that can be accessed by road or trail between the Canadian border at the northern end, and Lake Chelan at the southern end.

Access to the North Cascades is extremely limited during winter and spring. If you prefer green meadows with alpine flowers, plan your visit for late-July to mid-August. Fall is the season when the most photographers visit. The sun has moved south and the light is softer. Fall color of the meadows and larch trees brings out locals and tourists who come to savor the warm colors and sunshine before the winter rains set in. Best time for fall color is between the last week of September and mid-October.

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