Camp Cascades: Jul 29—Aug 08, 2012

Register NowTour Details

Price: $1,350
Departs: Seattle, Washington
Tour Limit: 14
Operations Manager: Greg Lopez
Download Itinerary: PDF (149 KB)

Route Map


Tour Leaders


Barry Lyon

Barry Lyon's passion for the outdoors and birding has its roots in his childhood in southern...


Victor Emanuel

Victor Emanuel started birding in Texas 69 years ago at the age of eight. His travels have t...

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Register for this Tour

Register for this tour by phone (800/328-VENT or 512/328-5221), or by downloading a tour registration form. Signed and completed forms can be faxed, mailed, or scanned and emailed to the VENT office.

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