The main contributors to Fall here in the North Cascades are the blueberry/huckleberry bushes, which carpet the mountains in bright reds and the larch, who’s green needles turn bright orange in the first week or October. . .
Larch grow new green needles each spring, and in early October they turn orange and fall off! The elevation of the larch varies in Western Washington, usually you can find the larch between 5,000 and 7,000 ft elevation.
Prusik Peak in the fall is an alluring sight. The larches turn bright orange and if the weather co-operates the blue skies punctuate the landscape.
I luckily won the lottery for a permit this fall and last week I spent 5 days in the Enchantments, exploring and ogling the colors.
These 4 shots are all from a trip I took to the Pasayten Wilderness 2 years ago. I went over 4 days in the first week of October to see the larch turn bright orange. What a sight!
Each shot is two images stitched using CS 6 Photomerge. Before I merged them I opened the two shots as RAW images, synchronized them, and made slight changes to exposure, lens aberration and then using brushes made mods to the highlights/shadows. Once merged I tweaked them a little, but not much. Overall I am pretty happy with them, they are a HUGE improvement over my earlier efforts.
These first two are Amphitheater Mountain from just east of Cathedral Pass. Interesting how the larch form a band across the slopes…
These last two are from the other side of Cathedral Pass, near Upper Cathedral Lake. This trail, known as the Boundary Trail (it runs parallel to the Canada border) is a part of the Pacific Northwest Trail.
The rain has set in and the days are short. Avoiding boredom necessitates a little creativity, which for me includes revisiting past hikes, editing images and trying to fashion a reasonable representation of a place.
The approach is from Tonasket, west to Loomis and then up the Toats Coulee Road to the Iron Gate Trail head.
The sky was blue and trees bright. Iron Gate Trail Head Trees
The trip along the Boundary Trail (Doubling as the Pacific Northwest Trail) offer long vistas, green forests and in early October, brilliant orange larch. Boundary Trail
The trail is a lot of fun, the old Tungsten Mine is an interesting place to explore, and Apex Pass provides sweeping views of Remmel Mountain and the east side the of Amphitheater Mountain. Remmel Mountain
The larch inhabit a band between 6,000 and 7,000 feet of elevation. Amphitheater Mountain
Arriving at Cathedral Pass its a short stroll down to water and reflective views! Cathedral Pass
Not a bad place to camp! Cathedral Peak
Amphitheater Mountain, Reflected in a snow-melt pond
Heading down a little ways to Upper Cathedral Lake just before sunset provides all you need for a true orgy of picture taking!
Back up at the camp site the setting sun made the trees look even more afire!
The sensory overload was fun!
The hike back provided more changes in colors…
The trees along the road had a decidedly different look after only 4 days…
Some time ago I visited the eastern Pasayten Wilderness in early October to catch the larches turning bright orange. I got lucky and had great weather and caught the trees at the perfect time. Amphitheater Mountain at Sunset
As you can see the larch inhabit a specific altitude and when they turn create a band of orange against the green of the other trees… Amphitheater Mountain Bands of Color in Fall
Several of these images are panoramas, created by stitching several images together… Amphitheater Mountain Fall Panorama
Amphitheater Mountain connects to Cathedral Peak at Cathedral Pass. The hike is approx. 30 miles from where you park the car…well worth the hike. Cathedral Peak from Upper Cathedral Lake
Definitely on my list for this summer (and fall!) Cathedral Peak Reflection
Amphitheater Mountain is in the eastern part of the Pasayten Wilderness, in Washington State. The mountain is about 2 or 3 miles south of the Canadian border. I visited there twice this year, on July l5th and 16th and then returned on October 1st and 2nd. The two images below are composites of several images stitched together.