If you’re planning a visit to the North Cascades and you love photography you may want to consider a North Cascades Photo Tour!
Andy Porter is a professional nature and landscape photographer living in Skagit Valley who offers all levels of Photo Tours. Andy leads small groups of people on short (or long!) trips to explore the region and capture its beauty with your camera.
There are a wide range of Photo Tours available, depending upon your time available.
Drive-In Photo Tours are where we visit scenic viewpoints to capture the natural beauty of the area with little to no hiking.
Or you can arrange for a North Cascades Day Hike Photo Tour or an Overnight Photo Tour. Here we don a day pack or backpack and hike into the wilderness to photograph some of the North Cascades Backcountry.
The North Cascades in Washington State are often refereed to as the American Alps due to the stark rugged demeanor of the peaks. The actual name of the range stems from abundant rainfall and resultant waterfalls. The lush forests and meadows adorning the range cloak the mountains in green.
Most mountain areas in the lower 48 are crisscrossed by many roads and trails. The North Cascades are decidedly less accessible. Most of the range is only visited on foot, or horseback.
For me this natural crowd deterrence is perfect, wilderness is best experienced with few, if any people.
These first two images, of Goode Mountain and Mount Logan, are taken along the same trail, North Fork Bridge Creek and require a multi-day trip to visit (its 17 miles, one-way to the Mount Logan vista).
Sometimes people who are accustomed to taking day hikes balk at the notion of overnight trips due to lack of experience, or equipment.
A hiking tour provides an experienced guide to help with equipment, permits and provide general tips on backpacking.
Of course I also provide detailed photographic instruction, so if you love to take pictures you have come to the right place!
North Cascades Hiking and Photo Tours
Here is a link that details more specifics for anyone interested in finding out more information about destinations and registration details.
One of my favorite destinations is Sahale Camp , located at the foot of Sahale Peak the views are unsurpassed.
My favorite Day Hikes include Maple Pass
and Sauk Mountain.
The Glacier Peak Wilderness is a fast fortress of beauty. Newly repaired roads have opened access to some of the most stunning scenery in the state.
A little further east the North Cascades dry out a bit making for fantastic displays of flowers and wide views.
A bit further south, near Mount Rainier the Goat Rocks Wilderness provides some of the most stunning views in the state.
Tours can be selected as day hikes, overnight trips or multi-day backpacks. Just send me an email or call with any questions, I am happy to provide any trail details or other info if you want to visit these places yourself, and am happy to accompany you if you would like a Photo Tour!
Planning for Your Tour
When to come for a visit? The best months to visit the North Cascades are June-September. Each year the snow in the high country melts and the trails become accessible starting in June and July. Sauk Mountain melts out first, sometime in June and Sahale Camp in mid to late July. September is a wonderful time for a visit, the falls colors and lack of bugs make back country trips more pleasant. Nighttime temps can drop to freezing at any time of year.
Weather – North Cascades Weather is…unpredictable. Summer brings some hot sunny days, and also cold and rainy periods. Late July and August can see weeks of beautiful sunny days, or solid rain. Fall weather is cooler and nights can see temps well below freezing. Generally temps in the summer are in the 70’s in the day and 50’s at night.
What to bring for imaging?
• Camera, lenses, filters, a tripod (light weight, if possible), extra batteries and memory cards.
• Water, snacks and any other food/beverages.
What you need to bring, equipment-wise, is dependent upon the adventure you choose. For backpacking and overnight stays you’ll need a good backpack, sleeping bag and pad, hiking shoes, and your clothes and sundry items, which we’ll cover later in the trip planning. A limited number of backpacks and sleeping pads are available for loan. We supply tents and cooking equipment or you can bring your own. Day hikes require a simple day backpack for your camera gear and food/water.
What is “strenuous”? All trail guide books rate the difficulty of each hike. But these terms are dependent upon your frame of reference. “Easy” means that the trail is short and almost completely flat. “Moderate” means that there may be some elevation gain, usually no more than 500 feet, and the trail is not taxing for someone in decent shape. “Strenuous” means that the trail is both longer (up to 10 miles in a day) and gains significant elevation, up to 2,500 feet. Remember that you’ll be carrying not only your camera gear on these trails, but if there is an overnight stay, your pack may be as heavy as 30-40 lbs! “Very Strenuous” is a hike that gains more than 3,500 feet elevation in one day. I see people aged 7 to 75 on the hard trails often, so your age is not the most important factor, it’s more of your experience with backpacking and general fitness level. Please speak to me directly and we can discuss which level is best for you and your companions.
Setting up a Customized Tour
One, two or multi-day tours are available from May through the end of September. Fill in the form below giving me some idea of your interests and I will get back to you right away with specific suggestions. Please contact me with ANY questions!
North Cascades Day Hike – $200.00 per person
North Cascades Overnight or Multi-day Trip – $300.00 per person per day