Vancouver Washington photographer for families who want a fun & laid back experience that results in a beautiful collection of family photos.
April 14, 2022
The PNW wildflowers make spring in Oregon and Washington one of the most beautiful seasons. After a long gloomy winter, we are all ready for a burst of color, warmer weather, and getting outdoors more with our families.
There are numerous locations in both states that are phenomenal. On this blog, I will share my favorites to visit with my family and believe they will be yours too. They are close or within a few hours drive from Vancouver and Portland, easy to hike, and offer incredible backdrops for photos with your kids!
Located at Lacamas Lake in Camas Washington, you’ll find vibrant purple Lilly fields from mid-April through mid-May. Camas Lilly fields are accessible via a short hike through the park. The .7 mile Lilly loop is easy for younger kids and parents carrying babies and toddlers in a pack.
There is also a lake, playground, and other trails that are easy for families. If you are looking for a quick and easy hike with beautiful wildflowers, this is a great location!
Dalles Mountain Ranch is located within the Columbia Hills Historical State Park in The Dalles Washington. Once a homestead ranch, there are historical buildings still standing. You feel like you stepped back in time on an old cattle ranch. Further, in the spring the gently rolling hills come to life with bright yellow balsam root and purple lupine flowers. It is a definitely a must see in the spring and is absolutely breathtaking! We love to go about mid April.
This park requires a Discover pass and make sure to pack a picnic so you can refuel before heading back home. It always makes my kids take great naps for the ride back!
Located in Mosier, Oregon. Just east of Hood River, Rowena Crest sits above the Columbia River on a hill that offers incredible views of the Columbia River Gorge, Mt Hood, and Mt Adams on clear days. You can simply walk right into the fields of flowers exploding with vibrant yellow colors from the parking lot and continue onto a moderate hike. When we take our kids, there is more than enough space for them to run, hike, and play before the hike becomes more strenuous.
Watch the cliffs with kids and this park is not dog friendly. (this is Jack, our first baby, pictured in the parking lot area before we knew it was not dog friendly. But hey, I won an award for that photo!) However, Hood River is very close and dog friendly! Grab some lunch at one of the many breweries before heading home!
Mount Rainier kept a piece of my heart after the first time I visited this magical place. It is pristine, lush, full of subalpine wildflowers, and your kids will love seeing wildlife! Although it is is the farthest location from Vancouver and Portland area, it is worth the drive. The best time of year to see wildflowers is late July to early August.
Make a weekend trip and stay at Paradise Inn and take your family on part of the Skyline loop trail. Though the trail becomes more difficult as it gains elevation, you can start at the parking lot of Paradise Inn and see many wildflowers, marmots, bears, deer, and the view of Mt Rainier is incredible. Moreover, the park offers so many other kid friendly hikes but this area is by far my favorite with my kids!
Ok, so they aren’t wildflowers but they are beautiful and a fun family day trip that I had to add to my list of favorites for flower locations! Wooden Shoe Tulip festival located in Woodburn, Oregon is a very popular destination in April for the colorful fields of stunning tulips. Family friendly and lots of fun activities other than enjoying the flowers.
Although we love the tulip festival in Oregon, we also found a smaller tulip farm in Woodland Washington that is great for families that want a low key experience and less crowds. We discovered this location when my daughter was a baby and we didn’t want to drive hours away to see the tulips, so we headed to Woodland and it didn’t disappoint.
A few things that were helpful for us to bring on our trips were snacks, layers in case it gets windy or chilly, your camera or phone camera, sunscreen, hats, extra water for kids and pets, and a child carrier.
Whatever location you choose, your family family will love seeing all the beauty of the PNW! We are so lucky to live in an incredibly stunning area of the world. Enjoy and have fun!
Pssst…do you love these locations and are looking to update your family photos? Head over to my family photography site or contact me about booking your next family photos in one of these beautiful locations!
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