Vistas of Skagit Valley

Skagit valley stretches a long way from Ross Lake to Anacortes. Along the way there are many promontory spots from which to view its magnificence!

Diablo Lake is a emerald jewel at the foot of Colonial Peak.

Sauk Mountain rises more than 5,000 feet above the valley

Samish Overlook affords spectacular views of the valley.

Mount Erie and Cap Sante in Anacortes are wonderful vistas.

2021 Washington State Scenic Calendars are now on sale! Here is the link to see the images and order your copy!

North Cascades Photography – Skagit Valley Sunrise

North Cascades Photography – Skagit Valley Sunrise

Photographing sunrise requires a bit of luck. You have to decide where to be for the sunrise, and so you go, in the dark, hoping for nice light…

Once you’re there and the sunrise starts, its usually too late to change locations. Today was one of those exceptions!

There are many wonderful vantage points along the Cascade Loop Scenic Highway from which to photograph the Skagit Valley. One of my favorites is Sauk Mountain. The Skagit River loops in broad curves to the west…

Skagit Valley from Sauk Mountain

But this is only a hike for the summer months, access to the trail usually begins in late May.  Depending upon the years snow fall the wildflowers start blooming in June. Its quite a sight. Here is the link with directions.

For year round access the view from the Samish Overlook is not to be beat. The overlook is located near the Alger exit on I-5. You need a Discover Pass. There are rest rooms at the Overlook and a trailhead leading to Oyster Dome and other places.

Here are directions to the Samish Overlook:

Directions: Samish Overlook    Lake Samish Rd     Bow, WA 98232
From I-5 exit 240, Alger. Go northwest on Samish Lake Road for .5 miles. Turn left on Barrel Springs Road for .7 of a mile. Turn right on B-1000 Road signed Blanchard Forest Block. Go 1.5 miles to intersection with the B2000, signed for Samish Overlook. Turn left and drive 2.1 slow miles to the Samish Overlook and the trailhead.

Skagit Valley

This morning I got an early start and headed to the Samish Overlook, but the road was closed. At Barrell Springs Road there was a barricade…so no luck.

Sunrise over Samish River, March 17, 2019

It looked like it might actually turn out to be a nice sunrise, so I headed to my 3rd go-to place for sunrise, The Samish River.   Here is the image from this morning. I swear the clouds were trying to spell out something for me. I will work on decoding the message later.

Here is a pano from the same spot.

Sunrise Panorama over Samish River, March 17, 2019

If you can read the message (maybe its in Italian!) please send me a translation!

Photo Tours!

  • Tulip Photo Tours will start soon, these are 3 hour sunrise or sunset tours through the tulip fields.
  • Summer brings North Cascades Photo Tours, day hikes and overnight hikes to awesome places in the North Cascades.

These next images of the Samish River were taken from a bridge along the Bayview-Edison Road.

Here are some images from past visits, from the bridge facing the mouth of the river.

If you go to visit the Samish River be sure to stop by the Bread Farm, in Edison, and bring lots of cash.


Samish Overlook Para Gliders

Samish Overlook is a wonderful place for views.

I visited this morning, hoping to get a few shots of the view with some flowers.

I did!

And I got an extra bonus of two people paragliding off!

Samish Overlook

The Samish Overlook is a wonderful location for capturing images of the Skagit Valley. From the drive-to viewpoint you look out over Chuckanut Drive, Bow, and Samish Island to the south and a myriad of islands and water to the west.

Getting there is easy, take the Alger Exit off of I-5, head west at the end of the ramp and turn onto Barrell Spring Road. In about a quarter mile hang a right and head up hill on a dirt road (there is a sign for the Blanchard Mountain Trail system, and follow all the way to the Lookout. There you will find a paved parking area, rest rooms, benches and a great view.

You will need a Discover Washington Pass to park!

Spring is my favorite time, when the flowers start blooming, but any sunrise or sunset is spectacular.

This is one of my favorite places to take people for the North Cascades Photo Tour, find out more here!   

And if you’d like to purchase prints of any of these images, here is the link!

Sunrise Over Puget Sound

Not far from my house is the Samish Overlook. It is one of my go-to places for sunrises and sets.

On Labor Day I awoke at 5am and though it was mostly cloudy took an chance and made my way there.

From the parking area there are two viewpoints, one facing south with a view of Skagit Valley and Samish Bay

Samish Bay

Samish Bay

and the other looking west out over the Puget Sound, towards the San Juan Islands.

Puget Sound 3 small

Puget Sound 4

Puget Sound 5

Sunrises are always a gradual awakening of colors.

The wind was calm over the water making for some nice reflections.

For more images visit my main web site here.

You will find info on purchase of prints, photo classes and tours.


Looking up at the Overlook

Last two nights and two sets of photos, first on Friday night, Sept. 19th, at the Diablo Lake Overlook, on the North Cascades Highway…

Milky Way over Colonial and Pyramid Peaks

Milky Way over Colonial and Pyramid Peaks

Starry night over Diablo Dam

Starry night over Diablo Dam

and then on Saturday night at the Samish Overlook near Blanchard Mountain.

Skagit Valley, Northern Hemisphere, Planet Earth, in the outer rim of the Milky Way Galaxy

Skagit Valley, Northern Hemisphere, Planet Earth, in the outer rim of the Milky Way Galaxy

We don’t often get the confluence ot no moon and clear skies here in Western Washington so I am counting my blessings!