Today is the start of a little series on engagement photoshoot locations in the Pacific Northwest! And today we are going to start with some of my favorite places that I have shot at that involve a little bit of hiking for engagement photos near Seattle! If you are interested in a list of places I have yet to shoot, go check out my Pacific Northwest Photo Wish List here!
Rattlesnake Lake is located in North Bend, Washington and is one of the most popular requests for a location to shoot at that I get! It is a great spot for many reasons but the first one being that it is just a simple walk to get around to the other side of the lake and you don’t even have to do the walk if you don’t want to as the lake is just right there. It has beautiful light coming in over the top of the mountains, lush greenery, gorgeous tall trees and of course the lake. Its a great location year round as well.
Rattlesnake Ridge trailhead starts right next to Rattlesnake Lake in Snoqualmie. It is a 4 mile hike roundtrip with 1,160 feet elevation gain. It is one of the easier hikes in the area for the beautiful view that it provides. But on a hot summer’s day it can be quite the challenging hike. If hiking is not your thing, I might not recommend this one for you! But if you are up for it, the views are to die for!
Franklin Falls is also located in North Bend on your way up to Snoqualmie Pass. It is only a 2 mile roundtrip hike with 400 feet elevation. I happen to know a little shortcut though that just about cuts out all of the hills on this hike! It is family friendly with only a few rocks to climb down at the end. It is a gorgeous waterfall and you can get right up next to it and I’ve even had clients get in!
Wahclella Falls is located within the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon. It is also an easy hike that is only 2 miles roundtrip (although quite a bit of a drive if you are in the Seattle area) and hardly any elevation gain. But you feel like you have entered another world once you get close to the falls with high rocks and boulders covered in moss all around you. And then the falls are simply epic. You can get down pretty close to them and get incredibly wet from the mist coming off the falls.
Gold Creek Pond
Gold Creek Pond is located up near Snoqualmie Pass and is only 1 mile roundtrip and basically no elevation gain. Its a gorgeous lake and I went there in the winter in the snow! For how easy of a hike it is, it is an amazing view with the river, mountains and lots of greenery. Definitely family friendly.
Snoqualmie Falls is such a beautiful falls and attraction here in Washington. A few years ago it was easy to climb over a fence and get down next to the falls, but unfortunately a larger fence was built which makes it quite challenging to get down there. I’ve had clients do it although I do not recommend it But if you are determined to get down there, you definitely can! The viewpoints and river just down the way are gorgeous spots to shoot though and ones that are becoming more popular for my clients.
Point Defiance Park
Point Defiance Park is located in Tacoma, Washington and really there is no hiking involved in this location but its beauty is similar to that of the other hiking spots. Its my MOST POPULAR spot to shoot as it provides a variety of options to shoot at. There are the rose gardens, the epic mossy woods, overlooks of the water and then Owen’s beach. So for those of you who are not decisive in terms of what you want your shoot to look like, this is the place for you!
Paradise, Mount Rainier & Myrtle Falls
Paradise at Mount Rainier is one of my all time favorite locations, especially during wild flower season. You can simply drive right up to the main parking lot and Mount Rainier is RIGHT THERE (as long as its not covered in fog). You really do not have to hike anywhere for gorgeous scenery but I usually encourage my clients to make the 1 mile hike to Myrtle Falls with a gorgeous river, wild flowers flowing throughout the valley and spectacular views of Mount Rainier.
Longmire, Mount Rainier (winter)
In the winter we often can’t get all the way up to Paradise, and Mount Rainier might not even be visible during the winter months with all the fog, rain and snow. But Longmire can be a gorgeous spot for snowy sessions! It is a bit of a trek and a 4WD vehicle with chains is recommended.
Snoqualmie Pass (summer)
There are many gorgeous spots all along Snoqualmie Pass that are available during the summer and I would be happy to help pick out a spot for your session!
Snoqualmie Pass (winter)
Alpental is a favorite spot of mine to hit up in the winter for snow filled sessions! Hardly any hiking is really required besides trekking through some good high snow. A capable car and chains are recommended.
Deception Pass always blows me away every time I am out there! and is out in Oak Harbor Bowman’s bay is gorgeous and the light that comes through at sunset is to die for. There is also hardly any hiking involved in this location but it is up there in terms of beauty!