I love the North Cascades Highway (Highway 20) in Washington for breathtaking views and a peaceful retreat. The Washington Pass Vista Point offers panoramic views of majestic mountain peaks. Take your time and appreciate the splendid viewpoints, including the Washington Pass Vista Point. It’s a must-see attraction for nature and outdoor enthusiasts, tourists, and anyone looking to retreat from everyday hustle and bustle.
Getting a drone photo from the pass has been on my must-do list for several years. Finally, this past week, I got the opportunity. There was a little smoke in the air, making the air not quite as clear as I would have liked. But still, not bad. And we got some clouds to add interest to the sky. [Note: I did check to be sure there was no aerial fire fighting or TFRs in the area to be sure I wouldn’t be interfering with fire fighting operations.]
I had taken my almost new (to me) Mavic 2 Pro drone with me just for this occasion. Three batteries were charged the night before we left for the journey. All equipment was checked and re-checked to be sure I hadn’t left something out, or forgot to charge a battery.
We drove over the pass on Thursday and camped an Klipchuck Campground, a few miles west of Mazama. We stopped at the Vista Point on our way over Washington Pass. The sun was low in the sky and the valleys were in deep shadow.
If you have not driven over the North Cascades Highway, you really should add it to your to-do list. It is a spectacular drive any time of year. Earlier in the year all of the mountains around will be snow-capped.
Below is a photo of Diablo Lake from the Diablo Lake Vista Point.
The next day we spent the morning having breakfast and shopping in town – or towns: Winthrop and Twisp. If you haven’t been to eqpd in Twisp, you really should check it out. They make very cool bags. After this stop, we now own more than 10 of their bags in various sizes, colors and styles. In their manufacturing facility in Twisp they have a good assortment of bags you can purchase. There are also many seconds that can be purchased at a discount. Quite often the problem with the bag is difficult or impossible to spot. One of the bags we got on this trip (the one on the left in the photo below) had a very minor defect in the pattern printed on the bag.
After shopping we headed back to the Washington Pass Vista Point. Scattered clouds had come in, giving an interesting sky. We walked up to the overlook, then looked around for a place away from people to launch my drone. We found a nice flat rock, probably 15-20 feet across, several hundred feet from the main viewpoint with no trees above it to snag the drone on takeoff.
I flew my drone for almost 20 minutes, taking a number of still photos and several panorama shots. The 360° panorama below was the best of the bunch. From where the drone was you can see both sides of the pass, including the hairpin turn of the highway south of the Vista Point.
Click on the image below and move your mouse to spin the image so you can look in all directions. To view full screen, click on the  in the upper right hand corner.
The 360° panorama above was taken with my Mavic 2 Pro (26 RAW photos), edited with Lightroom to try to tame the blown-out sky, then stitched into a 360° Panorama with PTGui, and uploaded to kuula.co for viewing.