Camp Cascades: Jul 29—Aug 09, 2017

Register for WaitlistTour Details

Price: $1,895
This tour is currently sold out.
Departs: Seattle
Tour Limit: 14
Operations Manager: Greg Lopez
Download Itinerary: PDF (1 MB)

Route Map


Tour Leaders


Michael O'Brien

Michael O'Brien is a freelance artist, author, and environmental consultant living in Cape M...


Louise Zemaitis

Louise Zemaitis is an artist and naturalist living in Cape May, New Jersey where she is a po...

More Information

Register for the Waiting List

This departure is sold out! Add your name to the waiting list, or inquire about this tour by calling our office (1-800-328-VENT or 512-328-5221), or emailing us (

Sooty Grouse

Sooty Grouse— Photo: Tom Lawler

A unique summertime youth program explores the biologically rich ecosystems of Washington State’s majestic Puget Sound and incomparable Mt. Rainier National Park.

Camp Cascades, co-sponsored by the Black Swamp Bird Observatory, American Birding Association, and Leica Sport Optics, offers young birders between the ages of 14 and 18 the unique opportunity to experience the beautiful Pacific Northwest with their peers. Focusing on two spectacular parts of Washington State, the camp provides a comprehensive survey of the flora and fauna of the Puget Sound region and the dramatic Cascades Mountains.

Daily activities will be based around thorough exploration of each of the distinct regions we visit, and campers will be educated on all forms of nature. Several lengthy hikes, birding field trips, and discussions will complement free time during which campers will have the luxury of exploring and discovering their natural surroundings on their own or in small groups.

Campers should expect to witness some of the finest coastal and mountain scenery in North America. Along the shores of Puget Sound, we’ll experience the renowned temperate rainforests—a mixture of mighty, ancient conifers and lush, riparian forest, often festooned in a fantastic living carpet of mosses, liverworts, and ferns. Amid the forests, glaciers, and tundra of Mt. Rainier National Park, we’ll encounter magnificent vistas, plunging waterfalls, and meadows carpeted with wildflowers.

A sampling of the characteristic birds of the region includes Tufted Puffin, Rhinoceros Auklet, Marbled Murrelet, Harlequin Duck, Sooty Grouse, three species of sapsuckers, White-headed Woodpecker, Varied Thrush, and Chestnut-backed Chickadee. Outstanding activities include hikes in ancient old-growth forests, a trip to the tip of the Olympic Peninsula, half-day hikes to spectacular Comet and Narada waterfalls in the national park, a hike on Mt. Rainier’s Skyline Trail for more world-class alpine scenery, and a grand finale day-hike to Mount Fremont Lookout from the park’s Sunrise area.

Long, learning-filled days emphasizing the region’s distinct birdlife and habitats; lots of hiking and some camping; elevations range from sea level to 7,000 feet; cool mornings and mild days with some precipitation possible.

Listen to Birdnote’s October 9, 2016 show: Investing in Young Naturalists – With Victor Emanuel and Barry Lyon 

Black Swamp Bird Observatory