North Cascades Photography – Skagit Valley Tulips
The start of spring in Skagit Valley heralds the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival.
Broad swaths of brightly colored tulips spring up all over the flats.
This is one stop along the Cascade Loop that you don’t want to miss!
Photographing them is wonderful fun. The saturation of colors, the often cloudy skies and lots of mud always make the trip an experience.
The Washington Bulb Company is the leading grower of tulip, daffodil, and iris bulbs in North America. They grow bulbs throughout the valley and have a huge display garden, Roozengaarde. There is a store, a windmill and manicured beds of flowers, and in the back, large fields of tulips.
You can read about the history of tulips in Western Washington and Tulip Festival here.
Always stick to sunrise and sunsets, and avoid the “Tulip Area” at all costs between 10am and 6pm on weekends and your experience will be a pleasant one!
Each year the location of the fields change, and so do the backdrops. Barns are sometimes nearby the fields, as well as buses, trees and other cool stuff. You can see where the tulips are, and when they bloom through the Bloom Map.
Once you have scouted out where the fields are for the new season you can get a good idea of whats best for each location. Some will be better shot at sunset and others at sunrise.
Parking is always an issue. Sometimes the large fields have a parking area nearby and collect fees for visiting. Sometimes the fields are located near no parking at all. Be prepared to walk a while.
I visit the fields often, they are close by. The skies in Skagit Valley can get crazy late in the afternoon. Often the worst, rainiest days are best: the dark, heavy clouds sometimes give way to magnificent sunsets.
Photo Tours are available, I take tours on weekdays, for sunset and on weekends for sunrise. Here is the link.
Here are a few images from Tulip Festivals Past!