Posts Tagged ‘tatoosh range’

Tatoosh Sunset from Mazama Ridge

Wildflowers and the Tatoosh Range from Mazama Ridge in Mount Rainier National Park, Washington State, USA.

sunset at the tatoosh range on mazama ridge in rainier national park

Wildflowers on Mazama Ridge (Purchase)

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   A slightly different version of some previous photographs of the Tatoosh Range from Mazama Ridge in Washington State’s Mount Rainier National Park. I had a great evening hiking from the Paradise area, and this sunset was a big part of that. This area remains one of my favourite places in the park, and the near constant view of the Tatoosh Range is one big reason why. Wildflowers also help. Next time I will hike from the Paradise Inn, not from the bottom of Paradise Valley, however. Not a forgiving trail in the dark!

You can view more of my photography from this and surrounding Mount Rainier areas in my Mount Rainier National Park Gallery.

Mazama Ridge in Mount Rainier National Park

   Sunset over the Cascade Range from the Skyline Trail on Mazama Ridge. The Paradise Inn, Henry M. Jackson Visitor Center and Paradise Valley Road are in the foreground – Mount Rainier National Park, Washington State, USA.

sunset over mount rainier national park from mazama ridge

Sunset in Mount Rainier National Park from the Skyline Trail on Mazama Ridge (Purchase)

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   On the first day of my trip to Mount Rainier National Park last year I hiked up to Mazama Ridge. I’d seen a number of photographs from there before, and it looked like a good place to start exploring the area around Paradise – beyond the views available from the roadside. I parked at the small lot (elevation: 5250 feet or 1600 meters) near the Paradise River bridge in Paradise Valley, and hiked up the Fourth Crossing Trail. I’ve been part way up this trail in the past, and though parts of it feel a lot like climbing stairs much of this is right next to the Paradise River which makes it a bit more pleasant. The Fourth Crossing Trail eventually meets up with the Skyline Trail after a climb of around 250 feet (76 m) in elevation. If I had to do this again I would park near the Paradise Inn and walk the Skyline trail from there rather than heading back down to my car along the Fourth Crossing Trail in the dark.

   From the junction of the Skyline and Fourth Crossing trails there is a series of switchbacks to get you up to Mazama Ridge (at an elevation of around 5800 feet (1770m)). The Skyline Trail then comes to a junction with the Lakes Trail (which Google refers to as the Mazama Ridge Trail). As I was still primarily scouting I headed down the Lakes Trail in search of wildflowers and places to photograph. This trail heads downhill gently at first, but if you wish it will take you all the way down to Reflection Lakes. The panorama below is a view of the Tatoosh Range before the trail gets down into the trees.

the tatoosh range from mazama ridge

Summer wildflowers and the Tatoosh Range (Purchase)

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   This stretch of the Lakes Trail is also where some of the iconic views of Mount Rainier with wildflowers are found. If you do hike this trail, or any of these trails in Mount Rainier National Park please don’t trample the wildflowers or other foliage along the trails. The “keep on the trail” signs are around for a reason as some visitors to these sensitive areas seem to see nothing wrong with wandering off the trail and crushing the wildflowers. It was at this point in the trail I was talking to one of the park volunteers and we noticed some moron about 50 feet off the trail behind us trampling through the wildflower field. If that wasn’t bad enough, he was dragging an aluminum stepladder around up there. After I’d left up the Skyline Trail I ran into the volunteer again – he’d given the stepladder guy a good lecture. This really shouldn’t be necessary…

   After making a few photographs along the Lakes Trail I headed back up to the junction with the Skyline Trail. I scouted the Skyline Trail up past the Stevens Van Trump Historic Monument at which point the light turned the sky a nice colour and the shadows disappeared from the foreground. At this elevation the Tatoosh Range comes into a better view compared to lower down on the Lakes Trail. I’ve said this before but often I prefer photographing the Tatoosh Range over Rainier itself – especially when in the Paradise area. I wrote a bit more about this in an earlier post featuring a panorama of the tatoosh range. Rainier takes up a lot of the sky and can be tough to photograph backlit by the sunset in the evenings. Dawn would probably be an ideal time, but I’m saving that for when I actually stay at the Paradise Inn or relatively nearby.

the tatoosh range from mazama ridge

Summer wildflowers on Mazama Ridge (Purchase)

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   I had seen a few photographs with the shadows of mountains at sunrise and sunset, but hadn’t give it much thought in terms of finding this phenomenon myself. It was on Mazama Ridge I saw this for the first time. The dark blue in the sky is the shadow of Mount Rainier cast down towards Stevens Valley and the Cascade mountains to the east.

the shadow of mount rainier from mazama ridge

The Shadow of Mount Rainier from Mazama Ridge (Purchase)

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   I’ve shown the following image before, but I think it remains my favourite of all the images I made that evening on Mazama Ridge. A lot of Magenta Paintbrush (Castilleja parviflora) in the foreground (as opposed to the usually dominant Lupines) and great sunset colours in the sky. This was near the intersection of the Skyline Trail and the Paradise Glacier Trail.

wildflowers and the tatoosh range from mazama ridges skyline trail in mount rainier national park

Rainier Wildflowers and the Tatoosh Range from Mazama Ridge.
Wildflower species include Broadleaf Lupine (Lupinus latifolius), Magenta Paintbrush (Castilleja parviflora) and Western Anenome seedheads (Anenome occidentalis) (Purchase)

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   You may also be interested in my report from the area north of the Paradise Inn – The Skyline Trail and the Golden Gate Trail and the Mount Rainier National Park gallery in my image archive.

A Few Images From Paradise At Mount Rainier

The Tatoosh Range just after sunset – from Paradise in Mount Rainier National Park, Washington State, USA

sunset over the tatoosh range in mount rainier national park

Sunset over the Tatoosh Range from Paradise in Mount Rainier National Park (Purchase)

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   I recently caught up on a bit of my photo editing backlog and have now added just over 50 new photographs to my Mount Rainier National Park Gallery in my image library. I have published a few of those images in previous blog posts, but I thought I would share a few more from the Paradise area of Mount Rainier National Park here.

   It’s not easy being a Marmot! While I was relaxing on a rock waiting for better light along the Golden Gate Trail in Mount Rainier National Park, I saw this Hoary Marmot (Marmota caligata) doing the same. Well, it probably wasn’t waiting for better light, but relaxing after a hard afternoon munching on lupine foliage and gathering nesting material. It clearly knew I was there, but didn’t seem to care at all. Probably was used to people along a relatively busy trail in the Paradise area of Mount Rainier.

hoary marmot in mount rainier national park

A Hoary Marmot (Marmota caligata) relaxes on a rock along the Golden Gate Trail in the Paradise area of Mount Rainier National Park in Washington State, USA (Purchase)

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   You can spot the deer, you can get in position to photograph them as they move through the wildflower field, but you can’t make them look at you! A pair of Black-tailed Deer (Odocileus hemionus columbianus) were nice enough to amble right past me in the wildflower fields on the Golden Gate Trail above Paradise, but never once glanced in my direction. I even scuffed my feet in the gravel trail once… nothing. At least I know I wasn’t disturbing them.

black tailed deer foraging in wildflower field

A Black-tailed Deer (Odocileus hemionus columbianus) foraging in the meadows near Edith Creek at Mount Rainier National Park, Washington State, USA (Purchase)

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   There is something I always enjoy about the combination of lush wildflowers (in this case mostly Broadleaf Lupines and some Pink Mountain Heather) and a waterfall. The mosquitoes thought so too!

wildflowers and an edith creek waterfall in mount rainier national park

Wildflowers surround a small waterfall on Edith Creek at Paradise in Mount Rainier National Park, Washington State, USA (Purchase)

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   I have always found this angle of view on the Nisqually Glacier to be interesting from Ricksecker Point and other areas near Paradise. This time I photographed it from the Nisqually Vista Trail for an even better view. In this photograph you can see the icefall of the glacier and the terminus at the bottom, as well as the very beginnings of the Nisqually River from the melting ice.

terminus of the nisqually glacier and icefall on mount rainier

Terminus of the Nisqually Glacier on Mount Rainier (Purchase)

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You can see even more photographs from the Paradise area in my Mount Rainier National Park Gallery.

A Tatoosh Range Wildflower Sunset

Panorama of the Tatoosh Range from Mazama Ridge in Mount Rainier National Park, Washington State, USA.

tatoosh range and wildflower sunset panorama in mount rainier national park

The Tatoosh Range and Wildflowers at Sunset (Purchase)

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   Sometimes with scenes like this one I just can’t help but make a few panorama photos. Some places, in my mind at least, almost require this format to more accurately convey the impact the scenery has when actually standing there. A simple wide angle photograph doesn’t always accomplish this like a panorama can. Of course, a photograph is a poor imitation of the actual experience, so this is a place I plan to return to next year – most likely again during wildflower season. This is of course the Tatoosh Range in Mount Rainier National Park as seen from Mazama Ridge. While not as evident as in some of my earlier photos from this trip, there is a nice field of wildflowers (mostly Lupines, Paintbrush and Sitka Valerian) in the foreground. This view can be found along the Skyline Trail on Mazama Ridge, uphill from the junction with the Lakes Trail.

   While editing photos from my Rainier trip it has become obvious that I have so far heavily favoured the Tatoosh Range as a background for my photographs in the park. I did make a lot more photographs of Rainier itself on this trip, but I think my favourites are still of the Tatoosh. Why? Well, my last few trips to Rainier have been in pursuit of wildflowers, and the Paradise area is a fantastic place to find them. That close to the mountain though, the peak takes up so much of the sky and is such an imposing element in a composition I find it can overwhelm the photograph. Weather is another factor – clouds often hide the view of Rainier itself, and the Tatoosh range is much closer and is not always enveloped by the same clouds. I should try Paradise at sunrise though, I bet the light on Rainier would be much easier to work with than at sunset. On this trip I did photograph Rainier from Tipsoo Lake at sunrise, and I found that to be not only great light, but a suitable distance from Rainier to work quite nicely as a background for photographs. The Sunrise area is also a great place to photograph Rainier, though not as heavily populated by wildflowers.

Mount Rainier Wildflowers – Mazama Ridge

Wildflowers and a view of the Tatoosh Range from Mazama Ridge’s Skyline Trail in Mount Rainier National Park, Washington State, USA

wildflowers and the tatoosh range from mazama ridges skyline trail in mount rainier national park

Rainier Wildflowers from Mazama Ridge
(near Stevens Van Trump Historic Monument). Species include Broadleaf Lupine (Lupinus latifolius), Rosey Spirea (Spiraea densiflora), Magenta Paintbrush (Castilleja parviflora), and Buttercup (Ranunculus eschscholtzi) (Purchase)

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  Late last week I headed down to Mount Rainier National Park to photograph the wildflower displays. My first stop was at the Paradise area of the park as this is one of the best areas for good wildflower displays. I stopped at the visitor’s center, grabbed a rudimentary map of the area and headed to Mazama Ridge. I parked at the end of Paradise Valley and used the 4th Crossing Trail to access the Skyline Trail a little more quickly than I would have from the area around the Paradise Inn. I was thinking ahead to walking back down in the dark and a quick route seemed like a better idea! From the Skyline Trail I first headed down the Lakes trail (to the area near Lost Lake), but didn’t find a lot of wildflowers aside from one great patch just below the junction of the two trails. I was waiting for better evening light so scouting the area was worthwhile and a nice hike (some great views further down that Lakes Trail). Heading back up I made a few photographs and then got back on the Skyline Trail and headed up the ridge towards Sluiskin Falls.

wildflowers and the tatoosh range from mazama ridges skyline trail in mount rainier national park

Rainier Wildflowers and the Tatoosh Range from Mazama Ridge.
Wildflower species include Broadleaf Lupine (Lupinus latifolius), Magenta Paintbrush (Castilleja parviflora), Buttercup (Ranunculus eschscholtzi) and Western Anenome seedheads (Anenome occidentalis) (Purchase)

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  Having made it all the way up the Skyline trail to the Sluiskin Falls and the Stevens Van Trump Historic Monument area, I ran into the treeline. I wasn’t really expecting it that “low” at around 1860 meters (6100 feet). Since wildflowers were not going to be a consideration going further up, I waited for the light to warm up a little in the evening and then started working my way back down the Skyline Trail.

  Both the first and second image in this post were made on the Skyline Trail between the monument and the junction with the Lakes Trail. If you are heading up to Mazama Ridge I think those areas and the one lupine field just a few hundred feet down the Lakes Trail are your best bet for wildflower viewing this year.

Why I Save "Borderline" Images

late evening light on firs and cedars at ricksecker point
Late Evening Light at Mount Rainier National Park
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Save your photos! Well, some of them.

  Sometimes I read how others delete all the shots they aren’t immediately happy with, not just those that were out of focus etc. As I have written before I do go through and quickly delete photos that are obviously not up to par (focus accidents, test shots etc) – but then I tend to sit back and digest them for a while. Immediately after I shoot the impressions I have of the results may not be very objective. I wait for a while to process most images so I can more clearly see what is going on, and to distance myself from my initial expectations. Even after some distance and thought I do not always get things “right” in my choices, and sometimes images fall through the cracks.

  The image here is one such example. This is a late evening shot I made in Mount Rainier National Park in October, 2010. Ricksecker Point is a good vantage point for Rainier itself, but unless you get some really special light things will look just like all the other “iconic” shots from the same spot. I had gone there hoping to get some good sunset shots near the Tatoosh Range but this just wasn’t going to happen with that day’s conditions so I started looking for alternative compositions. I noticed the glow of the late evening light on these fir and cedar trees and made a few photographs of what I saw. When I first looked at these at home though, they did not really seem to stand out.

  A few weeks ago I was going through some of my folders of photographs from 2010. I like to review things occasionally and look over shots I have passed by in favour of images that, at the time at least, appear stronger. I noticed this shot and was somewhat surprised I had never really noticed it before. It had not been a throwaway but was not selected for bigger things at the time either.

I am curious what other photographers do with the shots they initially think are “borderline”? Do you purge everything but the strongest images right away or do you sit on a lot of shots so you can evaluate them later?

Tatoosh Range Panorama from Paradise

The Tatoosh Range in Mt. Rainier National Park from Paradise.

28 exposures stitched, Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro

Click for larger version…
tatoosh range from paradise

Eagle Peak – Tatoosh range

Western end of the Tatoosh Range at Ricksecker Point – Mt. Rainier National Park.

eagle peak at the western end of the tatoosh range lane and eagle peak at the western end of the tatoosh range

eagle peak at the western end of the tatoosh range lane peak at the western end of the tatoosh range eagle peak at the western end of the tatoosh range