The Cascade Mountains of Washington State form a north-south backbone extending from the Canadian border in the north to the Columbia River in the south. An hour’s drive from the Seattle area brings one to the first of many access points into the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, a 360,000-acre preserve of mountain streams, alpine lakes, deep evergreen forests and snow-covered peaks. Fifty miles from the Seattle-Tacoma region on Interstate 90, you’ll find the Denny Creek area, with a well-maintained five-mile trail that follows streams and lush mountain meadows to Melakwa Lake. Another trailhead nearby leads to Granite Mountain and more alpine and subalpine lakes.
Frame your wildlife shots with one of the big-lens additions to Nikon’s super-telephoto lineup. The AF-S Nikkor 400mm ƒ/2.8G ED VR, AF-S Nikkor 500mm ƒ/4G ED VR and AF-S Nikkor 600mm ƒ/4G ED VR are designed for Nikon FX and DX format D-SLRs. All include the VR II Vibration Reduction system, which lets you shoot handheld at shutter speeds four times slower than would otherwise be possible. A Nano Crystal Coat, which is an extra-low refractive index coating, reduces potential ghosting and flare and nearly eliminates internal lens element reflections. Three ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass elements minimize chromatic aberrations. To reduce the weight, the lens barrel is constructed out of rugged, die-cast magnesium.