Add Vantage

15 epic Northwest views

We have extraordinary landscapes in the Northwest. Emerald- green forests, snow-capped mountains and the (occasionally) blue Pacific Ocean are some of the sights, but too often, we don’t take them in. Chances are you’re minutes from an incredible view, no matter where you are in the region. So dust off your camera and pack a sack lunch because here are some of the best natural and man-made vantage points the Northwest has to offer, from Whistler, B.C., to Joseph, Oregon.


Capilano Suspension Bridge, North Vancouver Step slowly over one of Vancouver’s oldest attractions, which has been giving visitors a view (with a tinge of vertigo) from 230 feet above the Capilano River since 1889. If you want to play amongst the trees, book a Treetops Adventure which takes you over seven suspension bridges 100 feet above the rainforest floor. Open through Jan. 1.

ZipTrek’s Whistler Zipline, Whistler If you’re up for adventure while you’re in Whistler, B.C. (you don’t really go there to lay around all day, do you?), don’t miss ZipTrek’s Eagle Tour, which includes five zip lines, one of which is more than 2,000- feet long and drops nearly 20 stories. Don’t shut your eyes – or you’ll miss the view. Open year round.

Peak 2 Peak Gondola, Whistler This feat of engineering offers 360-degree views of the gorgeous Whistler and Blackcomb mountains. The gondola is perfectly suited to get you between one peak to the other so you can explore the trails on Blackcomb, but the ride itself is an attraction. Almost 150 stories above the valley floor (it’s the highest lift of its kind in the world), the Peak 2 Peak Gondola will make your jaw drop and your stomach flutter, in a good way. Don’t miss the occasional glass-bottomed car for a clearer view. Open daily through September.

The Eye of the Wind, North Vancouver Witness the first wind turbine at this elevation. At more than 200 feet high, The Eye of the Wind sits atop Grouse Mountain, which rises more than 4,000 feet above sea level. Visitors can ride up in a glass-walled pod to the top and get a 360-degree view of Vancouver, B.C. Bonus: The turbine is functional and there is potential for it to provide a significant percentage of the Grouse Mountain’s electricity.


Liberty Bell Mountain, Methow Make your way over to Washington Pass on the Cascade Loop Scenic Highway to get your view of Liberty Bell Mountain, which peaks at nearly 8,000 feet. The Washington Pass Overlook will give you a view, from almost 5,500 feet up, of the North Cascades National Park and the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. Open year round.

Mount Rainier, Ashford There are several vantage points on Mount Rainier and more than a few of Mount Rainier. Crystal Mountain’s Mount Rainier Gondola is one of the newest. Riding up nearly 2,500 feet from the base to the top of Crystal will get you one of the best views of Mount Rainier and the Puget Sound.

Canoe Pass and Deception Pass Bridges, North Whidbey These two bridges connect Fidalgo Island and Whidbey Island and are one of the most photographed attractions in Washington. Walk across to enjoy the stunning 20-story view of the Strait of Juan de Fuca below. Open year round.

Tiger Mountain Paragliding, Issaquah If you like unrelenting views and adrenaline, you might want to try paragliding off Tiger Mountain in Issaquah. Book a tandem flight and leap off the grassy slope launch at 1700 feet above sea level. Then soar.

Mount Constitution, Orcas Island At 2,409 feet, Mount Constitution on Orcas Island is no Mount Rainier, but a 360-degree view from the top of the observation tower of the majestic San Juan Islands while bald eagles soar around your line of sight is hard to beat. Open year round.

Thompson Hill Cellars, Kennewick Thompson Hill is a little bump in the extremely even-grounded city of Kennewick that’s home to a bed and breakfast and winery. A visit here will net you a spectacular view of the Tri-Cities. Sip a glass of wine at sunset and sit back and enjoy some incredible colors in the evening sky. Open year-round.

Airial Balloon Rides, Snohomish There’s not much of a better way to see the Washington landscape than thousands of feet up in a hot-air balloon. Airial Balloon Company in Snohomish offers different packages that offer views of the Cascade and Olympic mountain ranges, Seattle and Everett skylines, and more from the perfect vantage point – the sky.


Vista House at Crown Point, Corbett The historic landmark overlooks the Columbia River Gorge. Make a visit to take in the majestic Columbia River from 733 feet above its surface. The man behind Vista House, Samuel Lancaster, described Crown Point as a place where “… the Columbia could be viewed in silent communion with the infinite.” Open through mid-October.

Gondola at Wallowa Lake, Joseph Eastern Oregon’s Wallowa Mountains are commonly referred to as Oregon’s Alps. Hop onboard the gondola at Wallowa Lake and ride 3,700 feet to the summit of Mount Howard. Open through October 2.

Astoria Column, Astoria: Built in 1926, the 125-foot-high stoic Astoria Column is perched atop the 600-foot- tall Coxcomb Hill in Astoria, Ore. Before you climb up the stairs and look out over the Columbia River, be sure to grab a balsa wood glider from the gift shop. You can launch it from the top of the column viewing platform. Bonus: This year, Astoria celebrates its bicentennial.

Portland Aerial Tram, Portland This gondola in the city takes you 3,300 linear feet from Portland’s Waterfront into the West Hills. It’s part of Portland’s public transportation system. Clear blue skies and a $4 ticket will get you picture perfect views of Portland, Mount Hood, Mount Saint Helens and Mount Adams. Open year round.

is a contributor to 425 magazine.
Find Out First
Learn about Eastside food,
fashion, home design, and more.
no thanks