Nisqually River Valley, Mt. Rainier National Park, Washington

Nisqually River Valley, Mt. Rainier National Park, Washington

When possible, I’ll try to dedicate an entire day to making landscape photographs. By late evening, especially during the long daylight hours of summer, I’m exhausted.

I often have to fight the urge to stow my camera when it appears I lost the light of day. But during this time, I create my favorite photographs.

Such was the day I took this photograph in the Cascade Mountains of Washington state.

It was my first opportunity of the year to visit Mt. Rainier National Park. Snow blankets much of the Cascades throughout winter and spring, not allowing vehicular access until Memorial Day.

Earlier in the day, I explored along State Route 410 up to Cayuse Pass. I then ventured south to Highway 123 and the Stevens Canyon Road, making multiple stops, heading towards the Paradise Visitors Center.

As I passed Reflection Lake, overcast skies obscured Mt. Rainier late in the evening. Not thinking I would have more photo opportunities, I continued on my drive when I saw this composition. I then stopped at Inspiration Point, where I captured this photograph.

The sun’s low angle was shining through a break in the clouds on the horizon, illuminating the forested slopes of the Nisqually River valley and a few of the lower elevation ridges. Multiple layers of mountain ridges, including Tumtum Peak, are visible as the eye progresses through the scene.

Throughout the rest of the evening, beautiful light continued. I captured additional photographs before the sunset.

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