I have done a fair amount of landscape photography. I’ve been from one end of the country to the other and seen many glorious sites worth photographing. These five places however stand out as can’t miss locations…and they’re all located in Washington state. I’ve never been completely shut out at any of these (provided I went at the right time of year) and I am sure you’ll agree they are all beautiful. Add these to your bucket list if you’re a landscape shooter.

Photo by Scott Bourne – Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs Creative Commons

Steptoe Butte, Palouse Country – Eastern Washington

In eastern Washington there is an area widely described as “The Palouse.” There is a town called Palouse and it’s in the area, but this is more of a generic term to describe an under-photographed landscape location I’ve visited many times. Amongst the gems in the Palouse is a place called Steptoe Butte. It’s best in early spring and mid-summer. The colors and the environment, especially during the sweet light of dawn or dusk will amaze you.

Photo by Scott Bourne – Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs Creative Commons

Sol Duc Falls, Olympic National Park

Olympic National Park is massive and simply cannot be seen by car in a day. There are wonderful spots – usually no more than a mile from the road that many people never see. One such spot is Sol Duc Falls. I love this place. I’ve been here at all times of year, but winter is pretty dicey. Late spring, mid summer and early fall are the best times for this short hike. Walk all around the falls on both sides and you can shoot for a week.

Photo by Scott Bourne – Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs Creative Commons

Paradise Falls, Mt. Rainier National Park

This one is a bit tricky. It used to be more accessible by car, but it’s worth the hike. This waterfall has many parts to it which explains why no two images of it may look the same. That is reason enough to visit Paradise falls. Late spring is the best time for water but late fall can be nice too.

Photo by Scott Bourne – Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs Creative Commons

Tipsoo Lake, Mt. Rainier National Park

Not as famous (or crowded) as it’s brother Reflection Lake, Tipsoo is an easy drive from any part of the park and it’s so accessible you can literally shoot it from the car. In the fall look for Big Horn Sheep up in the mountains nearby. Good all year long. Not as accessible in winter because the park service closes the road but if you are a die hard you can ski or snow shoe in. I don’t recommend either :)

Photo by Scott Bourne – Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs Creative Commons

Skagit Tulip Festival

This is not quite as good as it was 15 years ago but if you’re in the Seattle area in the spring it’s absolutely worth your time. Other than in Europe, I’ve never seen so many colorful tulips in one place. Get there VERY early because parking is tough and the later it gets, the more tourists show up.

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