Cape Flattery – a place that flatters with its beauty

“…there appeared to be a small opening which flattered us with the hopes of finding an harbour…” – James Cook, 1778

When we come back from our photography trips and look through our photos, we realize our favourite images often come from unplanned locations. Initially, we hadn’t planned to visit Neah Bay and Cape Flattery – after all they are well off the beaten track – 101 Highway hugs Olympic National Park.

On the first day, after taking photos in the early morning at Hurricane Ridge, we decided to detour to Neah Bay. It was already late (in photographic terms) at around 9:00 AM and the light had already become harsh and unpleasant but we thought at least let’s check out the place and locations. Then next time we visit we would be ready for some serious photography.

However, after we passed Sekiu, dense fog blanketed the road. We couldn’t have been happier! For us, not only is fog a great mood setter but it provides fantastic lighting conditions when it starts dissipating and the sun’s rays cut through it. At this point we knew we had made a great decision.

Closer to Neah Bay, we made a few stops along the road because the coastline views were superb.




At the entrance to Neah Bay the fog began to disappear. Kasia grabbed the X100S and I reached for the X-T1 paired with the XF 56mm and we kept switching the cameras every few minutes as we saw yet another wonderful shot.


The fog started to give way to the strong sun.




Then we decided to drive to Cape Flattery in the hope of finding at least some fog leftovers. When we got there we parked our car and began the short hike. After 20 minutes we encountered a place of stunning beauty with a great atmosphere.



We are sure the same feeling hit James Cook on March 22, 1778 when he wrote: “…there appeared to be a small opening which flattered us with the hopes of finding an harbour…On this account I called the point of land to the north of it Cape Flattery.”

Long before James Cook named the cape, from this very vantage point an indigenous people, the Makahs, observed European expeditions searching for the Northwest Passage.



We stayed at this most northwestern point of the contiguous United States for at least two hours. Despite its now being late morning, the sun still had some problems getting through fog, so we could take photos late into the morning, savouring the spirits of land and sea.


All images were shot with the X100S and Fuji X-T1 paired with the XF 14mm F2.8 and XF 56mm F1.2.

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2 thoughts on “Cape Flattery – a place that flatters with its beauty

  1. A very large percentage of Washington residents have neither been nor even heard of Cape Flattery or of The Palouse. Bravo on your travel decisions

  2. We were in Washington State on the Olympic Peninsula two years ago, but decided not to go up to Neah Bay. These superb photos make missing this remote corner of the state seem like a very bad decision. Isn’t fog a wonderful lighting fixture?

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