Clark County is downright gorgeous. For those of us who like to share our adventures, the region is perfect, offering moody skies and stunning sunsets, incredible hikes and fantastic history. Amateur and professional photographers throughout our towns find themselves in awe with each trip to our great outdoors. We live in a land of mountain views and water features, all accessible from well-maintained trails or seen from beautiful vantage points, so it is little wonder that, when we explore, we often post our trips onto social media platforms like Instagram. While we each have our favorite spot, there are eight local destinations that have become popular for capturing the perfect #PNWLife image. Start with these eight, then branch out and find your own place to show off the beauty of our backyards.
Whether you take a picture inside or outside the fort is almost irrelevant, but everyone should go inside at least once. What makes Fort Vancouver a great place for pictures is that the wooden walls and towers make for an amazing background in any weather. In the fog and mist, the fort stands out against the dreary skies, helping to make your image truly timeless. Around the fort, huge historic buildings also make good pictures, as do the views of the river to the south.
With a picturesque bridge spanning a beautiful creek, Moulton Falls is another must-explore destination to showcase the beauty of the region on your feed. The bridge and river might even be more popular than the falls, which are also gorgeous. For the best colors of the river and bridge, go on an overcast day or a day in the fall. Except for summer days that are warm, the area isn’t crowded, giving your pictures a feel of solitude in nature.
Waterfront Renaissance Trail
With views of the Columbia River, Mount Hood and the bridges spanning the river, this paved path is a must-photograph area during sunrises and sunsets. There are also numerous art installations along the path that are already posing for your pictures. In a few years, the views along this path will be the defining images shown while talking about Vancouver, so get down to the path now to be ahead of the trends and possible crowds.
With a stunning view of Mount Hood, Wintler Park is the ideal destination for a sunrise picture in Clark County. When the clouds are right and the sun is perfect, the sky will erupt in reds and oranges behind the massive mountain to the southeast. Even at sunset, this spot is great, showing off the alpine glow on the mountain before darkness falls. This park is underrated, and you’ll love sharing it with friends through your stunning pictures.
This small park is yet another underrated place to capture the beauty of the Pacific Northwest. Offering a lake, small waterfalls and even a picturesque bridge, Lacamas Park is best explored in the late fall, the winter and the spring months, when the water is highest. Whether you are going for gloomy skies off of a still lake, fast flowing water rushing down a rocky path, or a well-maintained dirt trail running between a forest floor of ferns, this park has it all.
Want to have your picture taken standing on a log that has fallen into a perfectly calm Pacific Northwest Lake? How about images of tall trees above you as you stand in deep ferns? If you haven’t been to Battleground Lake, these are just a few of the highlights you are missing. While crowded on summer days, the off-season will have you mostly alone while wandering the 10 miles of hiking trails available to you at the park.
While technically not in Clark County, Dog Mountain in the spring bloom is one of the most popular nearby places for pictures along the entire Columbia River Gorge. Each spring, especially during May and June, the hillsides along this steep and beautiful trail erupt in a colorful bloom of Balsamroot. The trail — 7.4 miles round trip — gains 2,800 feet in elevation, so be prepared for a long hike. Bring water, food and the right gear. The flowers aren’t the only great part of this trail; the views of the Columbia are world-class.
This is yet another destination just outside of Clark County, but worth the extra drive. Beacon Rock is a two-mile trail leading to a fantastic overlook of the Columbia River Gorge. The trail, which climbs 600 feet, has numerous overlooks that help make it photographically incredible. The walkways — built off the rock wall — highlight the elevation you are gaining and can be somewhat scary for those with height issues. Jutting 848 feet above the Columbia River, the views are incredible from the top of this trail. If this isn’t enough, the State Park also has waterfalls that very few people go and see.