Photography Hikes During August 2017

Members of our Seattle Photography Committee typically go on shorter, easier hikes to leave plenty of time to photograph nature. We took two hikes during the month of August 2017. See what we captured.
Anita Elder Anita Elder
Seattle Photography Committee Chair
August 28, 2017

At The Mountaineers, we love to hike! For members of our photography committee, we typically plan shorter, easier hikes to accomodate plenty of time to photograph nature. We took two hikes during the month of August 2017. 

Around the beginning of August, I led a photography hike at Crystal Mountain. I had gone up the day before to go horseback riding to Henskin Lake with a couple of other Mountaineers photographers. The trail was very steep, which was a bit scary on the way back down (but a good workout for the thighs and core).

Towards the end of the ride, a strange dog came running down the hill towards the horses, causing the last three horses to bolt and run at full speed. I was on the last horse and hang on for dear life, with visions of falling and messing up my new knees in the process! Thankfully, I didn’t fall, but I did come home with massive bruises on my thighs! A teenage girl did fall off her running horse, but luckily, she didn't sustain any injuries.

The next day, our hike was around the summit of Crystal Mountain and was categorized as a family activity. Once the gondola opened at 10am, we rode to the summit as a group, filling two full gondolas.

With our team of hikers at the top and situated, we hiked to the top of a peak near the Green Valley ski lift. We were lucky – the wildfire smoke from Canada was starting to go away and we could see Mount Rainier! The trail was steep and rocky and on the short side, but offered amazing views of the Northway Peak and the valley below.

After hiking back down, we headed down a trail towards Powder Pass, stopping to photograph flowers and butterflies. When we finished hiking, everyone ate lunch at the Summit House restaurant in their patio area. It was a fantastic end to the hike and a great way to socialize and get to know each other better. Some stayed afterward to go on a ranger talk along the ridge – reports back to me said it was worth the additional hiking.

Later in the month, another photography hike I led was to Paradise in Mount Rainier National Park. We met early, enjoying cooler weather and fewer people around. The plan had been to hike to Myrtle Falls, then take the Golden Gate trail, but after some discussion we opted to hike part of the Skyline Trail instead. Skyline was a much gentler elevation gain and many of us hadn’t been on this trail.

Before we even left the Myrtle Falls area, a mama hoary marmot climbed up on the foot bridge right next to my feet wanting some food. She allowed me to get several close-up shots of her, before figuring out she wasn’t getting any food from me, then headed up a small hill to her babies. Further down the trail, we saw more marmots, but none as brazen as that mama marmot!

Editor's Note: Follow Anita's example and Never feed wildlife when you're outside. practice Leave No Trace on the trail, becuase A fed animal is a dead animal.

We hiked a bit beyond 4th Crossing Trail to the point where the trail started to climb higher. After taking some waterfall and flower photos, we turned around and headed back to the visitor center area. Since I’m a much slower hiker, especially when there is an incline involved, I pushed ahead while others stopped to take more photos. Looking back, I saw a black-tailed deer crossing the path of some of our group, as it made its way down into the valley.

It was a fantastic day for hiking and photography with a perfect sky that prevented washed out photos!

Photos by Anita L. Elder

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