Washington’s North Cascades National Park is remote, rugged, and inaccessible by car. Though that may deter some from visiting, those are the elements that make it appealing to photographer Nathaniel Wise, who was attracted to its beautiful — but wild vistas.

Visiting North Cascades requires great effort and a keen interest in hiking or backpacking — the beauty of the park is only accessible to those who commit to the wilderness experience.

Though Nathaniel grew up in southeastern Georgia as a dreamer, rather than an adventurer. He spent his childhood thinking about the diverse landscapes of the western states and their mountains, deserts, rocky coastlines. But after he moved to Washington, he became a convert to a more physically active and adventurous lifestyle.

Once there, he also regained an appreciation for photography — a longstanding hobby that he’d lost touch with until he was re-inspired  by the beauty of his new home. In fact, he went out and bought a camera almost immediately after unpacking.

He hopes that his photos convey his deep appreciation for the incredible landscapes that have come to act as his home, that his snaps will inspire others to venture out and explore the trails, mountains, and valleys for themselves. His aim is that they will also motivate visitors to keep the land pristine and protected, for others to appreciate.

While Nathaniel’s moments in the wilderness of North Cascades have been plentiful, he recalls his first real taste of autumn up in the mountains: the huckleberry bushes had turned a brilliant shade of red and the larch trees had started to golden. There was a light dusting of snow blanketing the peaks around him. The air was crisp — perfect for hiking. It felt like a fairy tale to Nathaniel, but this sense of magic can be found regularly in North Cascades National Park.

See more of Nathaniel’s work on his Instagram.