Olympic National Park, Washington

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Of all the US national parks, the most diversified in character and climate is found in Washington State. With nearly a million acres spanning elevations from sea level to over 7,900 feet, Olympic National Park offers a stunning range of photographic subjects. From pristine coastlines with sea stacks, pebble beaches and tide pools, to mossy old-growth rain forests, waterfalls, glacially-carved lakes, and alpine meadows with mountainous backdrops—all offer photo opportunities in the swiftly shifting light and weather patterns of the Pacific Northwest.
"This was my first trip with Joseph Van Os and I was very pleased. The leader knew exactly when to take us to various sites based on weather and lighting and adjusted the itinerary accordingly. The leader was also very attentive to each participant to see if they needed any help with techniques or composition and lent me a bracket and made a small repair to my tripod. The trip definitely exceeded my expectations and I look forward to my next trip with Joseph Van Os."
- Debbie C.

The western side of the park has the wettest climate in the continental US, soaking under nearly 12 feet of precipitation annually. But amazingly, the northeastern side is the driest part of the Pacific Coast outside of southern California. Countless art-calendar photographs of deer browsing in flower-carpeted meadows have been taken in this park! Olympic marmots, denizens of these same meadows, offer comic relief and excellent photo subjects. At Hurricane Ridge, sweeping panoramas are punctuated with stately alpine firs whose tangled roots are home to a marauding band of tourist-acclimated ground squirrels. Much of the wildlife in this exceptional park is remarkably unwary—including Clark’s nutcrackers, gray and Steller’s jays, and even mountain goats.

The western side of Olympic National Park is part of the only temperate rain forest in the northern hemisphere and the exuberant growth of the vegetation reflects this factor. The Hoh Rain Forest protection area was established in 1938 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt after his visit to the tract. Moss-draped bigleaf maples, towering Sitka spruce, hemlocks, Douglas firs and verdant fern hollows remain as FDR would have seen them and are exciting photo subjects. Easy beach access allows us to explore some of the rich tidal pools and dramatic sea stacks of the rugged coast.

Such diversity is the basis for five full days of photography as we explore a dramatic cross section of habitat of one of Washington State’s finest natural areas. Predictably good weather at this time of the year provides an excellent window of opportunity to capture the amazing diversity Olympic National Park offers.

Check out Melissa Scott's trip report from our latest Olympic photo tour
For trip questions or to enroll give us a call at (206) 463-5383

Tour Itinerary

Day 1 (June 23)

Participants fly to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and meet the leader at the airport in the afternoon. We drive to Port Angeles in time to check into our hotel, enjoy dinner and prepare for the week ahead. (D)

Days 2–3

Sea stacks along the Washington coastWe fill the next two days by taking advantage of the best light and weather in specific areas of Olympic National Park. Much of our time is spent at the higher elevations around Hurricane Ridge, where we find alpine meadows with both wildflowers and wildlife set against dramatic mountain backdrops. At sunset, stunning views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Vancouver Island and Mount Baker offer opportunities for graphic images framed by forest silhouettes. (BLD)

Day 4
Following an early morning shoot at a lavender farm near Port Angeles, we make our way to the Pacific coast, stopping to photograph at locations such as Lake Crescent, Marymere Falls and the Sol Duc River. We arrive at our Northwest-style lodge in time to settle in and for a sunset shoot on one of the most scenic coastlines of the Pacific Northwest. (BLD)

Days 5–6

Moss-covered trees in Olympic National ParkWe photograph the panoramas and details of the park’s west coast at both sunrise and sunset; capturing iconic images of the lichen and moss-draped temperate Hoh Rain Forest and the low tides and ever-changing aspects of nearby Pacific beaches. We work our way back to Port Angeles on the afternoon of Day 6, stopping at scenic locations along the way. Food options are limited in this area, and we may have box lunches to maximize our time in the field. (BLD)

Day 7 (June 29)
After breakfast, we return to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport today for flights home. Please schedule your flight departures for no earlier than 2 PM. (B)

Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris is an Authorized Permittee of the US National Park Service

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Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris Enrollment Information

Olympic National Park, Washington

Jun 23, 2024 - Jun 29, 2024

A deposit and completed and signed Registration Form are required to reserve a place on a Joseph Van Os Photo Safari.


All prices are quoted in US dollars and all payments must be paid in US dollars. For deposits we accept Visa, MasterCard and American Express. Final payment of the trip fee is due 120 days prior to departure and may be paid by check or bank transfer. If you wish to make your final payment with a credit card a 3% convenience fee will be charged.

We must receive written notice of your cancellation. Based on the cancellation date the following apply:

Trip deposits are non-refundable.
150-91 days before the trip start date: We will refund any payments made exceeding 50% of the total trip cost.
90-61 days before the trip start date: We will refund any payments made exceeding 75% of the total trip cost.
Within 60 days of the start of the trip: No refund.

If, on the trip start date, your space has been resold and the tour is full—as designated by “Limit” number of travelers on the tour website page—we will refund your payment, minus the non-refundable trip deposit and any discounts given to resell your space.

No partial refunds are made for unused portions or services of a trip for any reason. Trips are sold as a package only. This policy also applies to tour extensions and independent travel arrangements. Cancellation fees are not transferable.

We strongly encourage you to protect your travel investment and purchase a comprehensive travel insurance policy that includes emergency evacuation coverage. We can provide travel insurance options, or it can be purchased online. A CANCEL FOR ANY REASON policy is available. Trip participants without travel protection insurance are considered “self-insured.” Without insurance you assume all risks and losses for any conditions requiring your cancellation.

Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris are within the capabilities of average people in good health. Some of these trips require the capability of walking for several miles over uneven trails, stepping from a small boat to a wave-washed rocky beach, flying in small planes and helicopters, and occasionally hiking at high elevations—all while carrying an assortment of camera equipment. If you have concerns about your own capabilities and/or fitness as it relates to a trip, please inquire with our office before reserving a space. By forwarding a signed Registration Form and trip deposit, you certify that you do not knowingly have any physical or other conditions of disability that would create a risk for you, or other trip participants and you agree to inform our office in writing if changes in your health, including viral illnesses, occur any time prior to the tour. We reserve the right to request a doctor's statement of good health. The company's or trip leader's judgment shall provide the ultimate determination of an individual's ability to embark upon or to continue a trip. Once a trip has been confirmed, medical circumstances will not be considered as exceptions to our cancellation policy. We assume no responsibility for medical care or for special dietary requirements. Tour members are asked to refrain from smoking with or near the group.

Participants will receive three emails before the trip departs: 1. Initial Tour Information sheet confirms the deposit and provides pre-departure information. 2. Invoice/Practical Information provides clothing and photo gear recommendations, climate data, and applicable health advisories. Visa information will also be included (if applicable). 3. Final Tour Information includes arrival instructions, itinerary revisions (if any), hotel addresses, trip telephone contact information and participant list. We provide the trip leader's telephone number(s) and/or email address with final documents so you can inquire about special photographic questions you may have regarding your trip. We welcome your calls or email messages to info@photosafaris.com.

Information supplied upon enrollment describes the specific details that are included in your trip fee. Generally, these include lodging in double room occupancy, all meals (specified in the itinerary as BLD denoting breakfast, lunch, or dinner), ground transportation during the trip in vans or small busses, internal tour air transportation as specified, meal and baggage tipping, and guide services provided by the trip leaders. Not included are airfare or other transportation from your home to the trip staging location, airport departure taxes, insurance, alcoholic beverages, and bar expenses (plus bottled water and soft drink expenses on international tours outside of North America), tips and gratuities to local guides, phone calls, passport or visa expenses, laundry, or items of a personal nature. Gratuities to Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris trip leaders are optional and always appreciated. Rates are based on group tariffs; if the trip does not have sufficient registration, a small party supplement may be charged.

Most of our trips are priced in double occupancy (shared) accommodations. Single accommodation is available for a supplemental cost in many locations; see the pre-departure trip information or call our office for details. You will be charged the single supplement fee if you desire single accommodation or if you wish to have a roommate, but one is not available. In some remote locations, clients with single rooms are infrequently compelled to share a room due to circumstances beyond our control. In such cases, appropriate per diem refunds will be made reflecting the direct cost of the single room at the facility where clients are required to share. There is no additional single supplement fee on ship-based cruises if you request a roommate and one is not available.

Cost increases may occur unexpectedly due to rising costs of airfares, ground transport, fuel surcharges, accommodations, and currency fluctuations, among others. Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris, Inc. may be compelled to amend prices, and we reserve the right to do so without prior notice. An increase in trip prices shall not be sufficient grounds for any refund of funds paid for the trip other than as determined by the terms of our cancellation policy.

Whenever possible, our trip participants are lodged in comfortable, modern hotels. We select among the best available accommodations but refrain from extravagance. Some interesting photographic destinations are far removed from modern amenities, however, and where necessary we will be accommodated in rustic country inns, cabins, or tented camps.

Meals are always a special part of our trips for the camaraderie they engender and the opportunity they provide to try new foods from different areas. Depending on the trip and specific locale, participants order restaurant meals from the full menu or, less frequently, table d'hôte. Some trips include picnic lunches in the field. Fruit juice for breakfast and coffee or tea is included with the meals. Soft drinks are included with meals on tours within North America. Participants are responsible for their own bar tab (including bottled water, soft drinks, as well as alcoholic beverages on tours outside of North America) at restaurant lunches and dinners.

Our itineraries are intended as examples only. Participants should allow for flexibility due to changes in weather, natural history or cultural events, or other logistical arrangements deemed necessary by Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris, Inc., or our leaders.

The second tour leader (and any subsequent additional leaders) listed for each trip on the website will be added as the group size warrants. If only one space remains on a trip, and logistics permit, we accept two people traveling together, even if it exceeds the trip maximum.

Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris, Inc. and/or their Agents act only as agents for the passenger (trip participant) in regard to travel including, but not limited to, sightseeing, meals, lodging, transportation, and all other services whether by railroad, motor coach, automobile, van, boat, ship or aircraft or any other conveyance, and they assume no liability for injury, damage, loss, accident, delay or irregularity which may be occasioned for any reason whatsoever, or through the acts, bankruptcy or default of any company or person engaged in conveying the passenger or in carrying out the arrangements of the trip.

They can accept no responsibility for losses or additional expenses due to delay, cancellations or changes in flights or other tour services, and by force majeure including sickness, weather, strike, war, volcanic eruption, terrorist acts, political unrest, quarantine, epidemics, pandemics and outbreaks, or other causes. All such losses or expenses will have to be borne by the passenger, as trip fees provide for arrangements only for the times and locations stated. Baggage is at the owner's risk entirely.

The right is reserved to 1) substitute hotels of similar category for those indicated and to make any changes in the itinerary or transport where deemed necessary, or caused by changes in flight schedules or equipment substitution; 2) cancel any trip prior to departure due to low enrollment, in which case full refund of the paid trip funds will be given, but Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris, Inc. is not responsible for any other trip preparation expenses such as penalized or non -refundable air tickets, visa fees, travel insurance premiums and medical related expenses; 3) At the company’s sole discretion, suspend or postpone any trip due to force majeure or disease outbreak in which case the trip may be rescheduled, or a refund issued less any non-refundable deposits paid to tour component providers on behalf of the passenger, or a travel credit given, but Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris, Inc. is not responsible for any other trip preparation expenses such as penalized or non-refundable air tickets, visa fees and medical related expenses; 4) substitute trip leader(s) for the leader(s) originally specified, in which case the substitution is not a basis for participant cancellation or refund other than provided by our normal cancellation policy; or 5) accept or retain any person as a member of any trip.

Trip prices are based on tariffs and exchange rates in effect at the time of publication and are subject to adjustment in the event of any change therein.

A signed Registration Form with the Enrollment Conditions and Release and Assumption of Risk sections must be returned by each participant prior to the commencement of the trip. Participation by any trip member will be declined in the absence of the signed Registration Form including the Release and Assumption of Risk section, with no trip fee refund. No modification to the Registration Form including the Release and Assumption of Risk section will be accepted.

Should Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris, Inc., or anyone acting on their behalf be required to incur attorney's fees and costs to enforce this agreement, the enrolling trip participant(s) agree(s) to indemnify and hold them harmless for all such fees and costs. In the event a lawsuit is filed, the enrolling participant(s) agree(s) to do so solely in the County of Lewis in the State of Washington.

I have read, understand, and agree to the terms, conditions, and provisions of the enrollment information, as stated on the Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris website and the Enrollment Conditions section of this form, especially noting the policy on cancellations, refunds, and limitations on responsibility.

I am aware that during any trip or tour that I am voluntarily participating in under the arrangements of Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris, Inc., a Washington corporation, and its employees, agents and associates, certain risks and dangers exist while traveling in the United States, foreign countries, and wilderness areas in any country or territory that include the possibility of property damage, bodily injury, and death. There is a possibility of accident or illness occurring without access to immediate or timely medical treatment or facilities. There is a risk of tropical or communicable diseases that may require quarantine and removal from the tour at my expense, food-related illnesses, the risk of personal injury and property damage or delay or inconvenience by forces of nature, wildlife or wildlife models, quarantine, political instability, acts of terrorism, strikes, government restrictions or regulations change, thefts, and the risk of accidents during travel while on foot or by aircraft, train, automobile, van, bus, boat, ship, or other conveyance. I understand that such risks cannot be eliminated without jeopardizing the essential qualities of this trip or tour. In consideration of, and as part payment for the right to participate in such trips, tours and/or other activities and services arranged for me by Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris, Inc., its employees, agents and associates, I have and do hereby assume all risks, and hereby release Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris, Inc., its employees, shareholders, agents and associates, and will hold them harmless from any and all liability, actions, causes of actions, debts, claims, and demands of every kind and nature, howsoever caused, which I now have or which may arise of or in connection with any of my trips or tours and participation in any activities arranged for me by Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris, Inc., its employees, agents and associates.

Should Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris, Inc., or anyone acting on their behalf, be required to incur attorney's fees and costs to enforce this Agreement, I agree to indemnify them and hold them harmless for all such fees and costs. In the event a lawsuit is filed, I agree to do so solely in the County of Lewis in the State of Washington and further agree that the substantive law of that state shall apply in that action without regard to the conflict-of-law rules of that state. The terms hereof shall serve as a release and assumption of all risk for myself, my heirs, executors, and administrators, and for all members of my family.

If any part, article, paragraph, sentence, or clause of this Agreement is not enforceable, the affected provision shall be curtailed and limited only to the extent necessary to bring it within the requirements of the law, and the remainder of the Agreement shall continue in full force and effect.

I acknowledge that if anyone is hurt or property is damaged during my participation in this activity, I may be found by a court of law to have waived my right to maintain a lawsuit against Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris, Inc., its employees, shareholders, agents, and associates, based on any and all claims from which I have released them.

Olympic National Park, Washington: Moderate Activity Level

On this tour walking for one to two miles during the day on national park trails over uneven and varied terrain can be expected.  Some trails require negotiating rocks, logs and roots, wet and slippery rocky tide pools and sandy beach.  Anticipate Pacific Northwest summer weather with cool temperatures requiring a light jacket in the morning and a possibility of morning fog.
Trip Details
Jun 23 - Jun 29, 2024
Fee: $4,895 from Seattle, Washington
Deposit: $1,000
Limit: 7 participants
Activity Level: ModerateModerate

Single Supplement: $925
  • Photograph wildlife in vibrant alpine wildflower meadows
  • Explore photogenic and iconic Northwest temperate rain forests draped in moss and lichen
  • Shoot dramatic coastal seascapes, tide pools and sea life
  • Trip limited to 7 participants
  • Includes all meals, lodging, ground transportation, national park fees, photo guide and instruction
Tour Leaders
Melissa Scott

Melissa Scott

The tour to Olympic National Park presented an amazing variety of landscapes from various beaches with sea stacks, tidal pools and boulders, to a beautiful rain forest and mile-high mountain (Hurricane Ridge) with spectacular views. Our group leader was terrific - offering guidance when asked; suggesting vantage points and working constantly to be sure the group's needs were met. Highly recommended.
—David R.