Columbia River Gorge

The Columbia River Gorge is not a place you can visit once. There is magic there, a magical feeling and once you experience it, you will want to go back again and again.

The drama of the landscape ebbs and flows with the weather; each day the storms of the Pacific make their way eastward filling the Gorge with clouds and sun.

The deep gash of the river cuts a trough thousands of feet deep through the mountains, its steep cliffs covered in green. As the day progresses the shadows shift and colors change. Each day the show is different.

Driving back and forth, up and down the valley, chasing the light I visit each little town along the highway, each has a unique character, a story to tell… life along the river goes at its own speed. I am amazed by the place and the people I am lucky enough to meet. I already want to go back!

These images are from a 4 day trip over spring break. I spent my time hunting for blooming wildflowers and exploring a few waterfalls.

Each week of spring bring new blooms in the Gorge; here are some wildflowers images from Columbia Hills State Park.

Panther Creek Falls is one of my all-time favorite waterfalls. The images tell all.

Rodney Creek Falls is another wonderful, multi-tiered falls, in Beacon Rock State Park.

Here are more random images from 4 days of rambling about…

Wind Mountain Ranch is where I stayed, a wonderful place!

Spider Meadows Wildflowers

Just back from Glacier Peak Wilderness, traveled in and out via Spider Meadows.

My brain goes into sensory overload when I see all those colors! I love it!

I have seen more flowers, and denser stands of flowers elsewhere, but never such a varied array at once.

Purple, yellow, white, red and green, it was awesome!

Trying to capture the scene is not easy! I just started, took a few steps and kept shooting, each viewpoint offering a different scene.

Pasayten Wilderness Wildflowers

The Pasayten Wilderness is more than 500,000 acres of splendor: lush meadows, rugged peaks, sweeping vistas, deep valleys, thick forests and wildflowers…lots of wildflowers!

July brings an explosion of color, thickets of flowers bursting aloud, the bright colors of Indian Paint Brush and Lupine off setting each other in grand style.

Here, see what I mean:

These images are from a trip along the trail to Sunny Pass. From Tonasket take the road to Loomis, ascend along the Toats Coulee Road to the Iron Gate Trailhead and Camp. The flowers start not far from the trips start!

Visit Andy Porter Images for prints, classes and Photo Tours.

Glacier Peak Wilderness – Liberty Cap

Last August I hiked the Spider Meadow – Buck Creek Pass Loop.

Spider Meadows, Glacier Peak Wilderness

Spider Meadows, Glacier Peak Wilderness

What a glorious hike!

We started at Spider Meadows,

And ended the trip at Buck Creek Pass.

Glacier Peak

Glacier Peak

We arrived at the Pass early in the day and waited for the sun to cool off a bit before we ascended the slopes of Liberty Cap and scouted for a place to camp with a view of Glacier Peak. This image is from that night.

The next morning before sunrise we made our way south along the ridge line, heading for High Pass.

The views of Glacier Peak were magnificent. sumptuous wildflowers and greener than green meadows invited us to relax and breathe in the air.

North Cascades Hike: Lake Ann – Maple Pass Loop

Lake Ann

Lake Ann

The feeling of exhilaration from being in the mountains is unsurpassed. Sweat and strain, fresh air and a cool breeze, a lake reflected and gathering clouds: these are all part of what makes the trip Great.

The Maple Pass Loop trail starts at Rainy Pass, on the North Cascades Highway. Ascending through the brush and out into the sun a first view whets your desire for more.

Swinging around the head of a small basin you soon plunge back into the cool forest.

Now the climbing becomes more insistent. The trail angles up along the side of a ridge and switchbacks heavenward. Lake Ann beckons below, her silvery waters calling.

Lake Ann from Maple Pass 2 2015

Heather Pass appears and you keep climbing, but now the wonder of the view cancels any thought of your body.

You are in the mountains!

The clouds invade the valley as you view the world from above. Its time to start heading down.

Clouds

Clouds

Bright colors, my favorite thing!

Flowers

Flowers

Its difficult to keep walking…despite the threatening skies, I just want to sit amid the flowers.

Darkening clouds

Darkening clouds

I see the skies opening in the near distance…

Meadows

Meadows

The thunder and lightening are not far off now.

This summer I am offering photo tours of the Maple Pass Loop.

And if you’d like a bold, bright canvas print of any of these images, here is where to go.

Goat Rocks Wilderness, Washington State

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act. Washington State is blessed with more than 30 Wilderness Areas, one of which is the Goat Rocks Wilderness.
The Pacific Crest Trail passes through the Goat Rocks crossing some of the most stunning terrain along the trail in Washington.
Here are a few images from the Goat Rocks Wilderness.

Mount Rainier and Beargrass from the Lily Basin Trail

Mount Rainier and Beargrass from the Lily Basin Trail

Mt Adams and the Pacific Crest Trail

Mt Adams and the Pacific Crest Trail

PCT along the Knife's Edge, Mount Rainier in the distance

PCT along the Knife’s Edge, Mount Rainier in the distance

Avalanche Lilies along the Lily Basin Trail

Avalanche Lilies along the Lily Basin Trail

Pacific Crest Trail

Pacific Crest Trail

Snowgrass Flats

Snowgrass Flats

Mount Adams and Snowgrass Flats

Mount Adams and Snowgrass Flats

Mount Rainier and Packwood Lake

Mount Rainier and Packwood Lake

Upholstered in Lupine

Upholstered in Lupine

Cispus Basin

Cispus Basin

Morning light and Beargrass

Morning light and Beargrass

PCT Thru hiker "Thirsty Boots"

PCT Thru hiker “Thirsty Boots”

Acres of wildflowers

Acres of wildflowers

Explosion of colors

Explosion of colors

Milky Way over the Goat Rocks

Milky Way over the Goat Rocks

Nighttime in the Goat Rocks Wilderness

Nighttime in the Goat Rocks Wilderness

Skyline Divide, North Cascades

The Skyline Divide Trail is one of many off the Mount Baker Highway (Route 542) that heads up to the high country near Mount Baker. It is one of the busiest trails due to its ease of access and wonderful views.
These images were captured with the morning light after camping on the ridge. The two mountains in the images are Mount Baker and Mount Shuksan. NCI trip 14a

NCI trip 8a

NCI trip 9a

NCI trip 10a

NCI trip 11a

NCI trip 13a

NCI trip 7a

Wildflowers of Washington

My three favorite places to experience wildflower explosions are:
1. The Pasayten Wilderness. Here you’ll hike through acres of nothing but wildflowers, as far as you can see. And I don’t mean clumps of flowers here and there, but solid unending hillsides and ridgetops. Pasayten Wildflowers on the PCT em

Pasayten Wilderness Wildflowers on the PCT em

Wildflowers in the Pasayten Wilderness em

andyporter_Wildflowers at Jim Pass on the PCT,  Pasayten WildernessFlowers on Lakeview Ridge

2. Goat Rocks Wilderness. The south side of the Goat Rocks, along the PCT near Snowgrass Flats has some of the brightest, most colorful, died and gone to flower heaven displays. gr 2 em

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3. Sahale Arm, North Cascades National Park. Here the backdrop for the flowers is absolutely magnificent, the jagged peaks surrounding Cascade Pass juxtaposing with the flowers for a truly breathtaking effect. View from Sahale Arm Trail,  North Cascades National Park Sah WF 1m1emSah WF 3emSahale trail with flowers

Wildflowers of the Goat Rocks Wilderness

The Goat Rocks Wilderness lies along the spine of the Cascade Mountains in Washington State. Nestled between Mount Rainier to the north and Mount Adams to the south, the vistas from the Goat Rocks most always include an awesome backdrop.

Mount Rainier and Avalanche Lilies, Goat Rocks Wilderness
Mount Adams from along the PCT, Goat Rocks Wilderness
Mount Rainier and Packwood Lake, Goat Rocks Wilderness

I visited there for the first time this July. The flowers had just bloomed/were just blooming and the colors were so vibrant…
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Happy New Year to anyone viewing and/or reading here…thank you for Being There and Communicating! May you visit and enjoy many amazing places in 2014!
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