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Best times to visit Oregon coast/Olympic National Park

Kevin Ferris, Feb 07, 2000; 10:26 p.m.

Is there any particular time of year (eg, late August) when the Oregon coast, or Olympic National Park, at its most photogenic?

Thanks in advance.
Kevin Ferris


Chris Gillis, Feb 08, 2000; 02:43 a.m.

Speaking of the Oregon Coast: Folliage is an issue for some, your going to get less of it in the winter, ect. But, with plenty of evergreens this is not too much of an issue. I was in NW Oregon Coast in late December and found it to be amazingly photogenic: perfect weather, beautiful combinations of foliage and trees with dropped leaves. I was able to make the most of it at Cape Lookout and north. However, if the weather is terrible, the chances for photos will be too. But, that is the nature of the NW.

David Henderson, Feb 08, 2000; 09:15 a.m.

Depends on your attitude to risk. There's less chance of rain in July/August but then there's much less chance of solitude also. As the poster above indicates, the winter can be fabulous, but you take a risk of getting nothing. Hurricane Ridge is plowed at weekends only December-April I believe. I stayed at Lake Quinault a couple of years ago and they'd had 84" of rain that year and it was only July!

Derek Franks, Feb 08, 2000; 01:55 p.m.

I know that on Toliak Point on 3rd beach at Olympic they pull the rangers out of the area during winter. While the coast in that area isn't necessarily a bad place to be, the fact that they don't station rangers there says alot about how nasty it can get. I was in olympic in August last year and loved it. True, there were plenty of people, but they were pretty much only there during the weekends. Anyways, if you walk far enough, you can always find solitude. I personally would rather put up with people and be pretty sure that I was going to get good pictures than hang around on the coast in nasty weather hoping that it will clear up for a day or two.

Srini Chakravarthi, Feb 09, 2000; 10:58 a.m.

I was in Olympic NP May 1st week, last year. There was almost no rain except inside the rain forest. Ofcourse there were no crowds. However there was still snow in the higher reaches and at Hurricane ridge.

Bob Lester, Feb 11, 2000; 08:57 p.m.

My favorite time at the Oregon Coast is winter and early spring. Less traffic and few people. And I prefer the moodiness of the weather. You take the chance of constant rain, but more often than not there are breaks. July through October are the best for sunrises and sunsets, but the whole coast is packed when the weather is good. Anytime of year you risk steady rain. In the summer, there can be thick fog at sunrise and again at sunset. It depends on what you want. I have some of the classic sunset photos at Cannon Beach and Siletz Bay, but thirty-five cents will get you a better one on a postcard. I think Ray Atkeson has the best photos of the Oregon Coast. You might get one of his books to see what interests you.

Joseph Albert, Feb 18, 2000; 02:27 a.m.

I think fall is the nicest time. In summer, there is less rain, but it can be foggy and windy. The most spectacular part of the coast is from King's Mountain natural area in california, through the redwoods, and into the southern oregon coast up to Bandon. Generally, the southern oregon coast is much less crowded, much less developed, and more dramatic than the northern oregon coast.

Ron Addison, Feb 20, 2000; 12:21 a.m.

I did Olympic National Park in late July, and I was happy with the results - good weather. Columbia River Gorge is also great. Oregon coast is very good in late April and early March. Very green but not raining every day. I have done it on my own. I also did it with an eight person three instructor tour. The tour got to places such as secret beach that I would have never found - or would have drowned while engrossed in photography. Email me for info on the tour if interested - I have no financial connection to this tour.