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.


Chasing wildflowers

Ah, the sweet freedom of the last day of school!

My journey took me through Edison , to the Samish River.

The daisies got me thinking about the Samish Overlook, and so I headed there.

A hang glider swooped and soared above.

Another perfect day… Looking forward to many more!


Samish River Boat

Along the Bayview Edison Road there is a small bridge over the Samish River. The end of the river curves west as it opens into the sound.
The sweeping are is filled with grass and an old, abandoned boat.

This next image is more recent, yesterday in fact and you can see the top of the boat has gotten smashed. The green is starting to arrive, and that wonderful grass will be back soon.

Samish River Sunset

Here are a few images from the Samish River from last week. The sky was abound with color. I love the green grass and the reflection of colors in the river.

This is from the little bridge that spans the Samish along the Bayview – Edison Road.

Samish River Sunset

This has become one of my go-to places for sunsets…the way the sun hits the horizon illuminating the water and boats is sumptuous.
One advice is to scour your neck of the woods and find vantage points for sunrise and sunset. Ideally they would be no more than 20 minutes drive from your home. When the sky is beginning to look crazy grab your gear and head out.
I am always on the lookout for more spots like this. There is not much worse than seeing an incredible sky and not having a spot to make for. Well, actually there is a LOT worse than that, but you get the idea.
This first shot really does it for me, and to be perfectly honest I did not even see the light shining into the boat cabin until I got home! Samish River
The thing that I love about this image is the markings on the deck of the boat. I am guessing that they are from ropes which had been coiled there. Samish River
This last shot…what to say? The abandoned boat in the foreground has been pictured by me many times…and yet I am sure to return! Samish River
Oh, and by the way, this location is on the Bayview-Edison Road, Here is the map.