There’s nothing that screams spring in Seattle more than the University of Washington cherry blossoms. After a cold, wet winter it’s always refreshing to see the pink and white bloom come to life. With many flowers come many visitors all with camera in hand, because the University of Washington cherry blossoms provide a classic Seattle photo op.

University of Washington cherry blossoms

The biggest question is: when do the University of Washington cherry blossoms reach full bloom? Well, it all depends on Mother Nature (daylight and consistency of temperatures), but it usually happens between mid-March and early April. That means it’s different every year. To give you a feel for when to expect your photo op, here is when the University of Washington cherry blossoms reached full bloom the last several years:

2018: March 27th
2017: April 1st
2016: March 11th
2015: March 14th
2014: March 21st
2013: April 3rd

The University of Washington provides cherry blossom updates on Twitter and UWNews. The school also streams a live feed of the Quad on YouTube. That way you won’t miss your photo op!

University of Washington cherry blossoms

The other big question is: where on campus are the University of Washington cherry blossoms? The easy answer is the Quad. But if you don’t know where the Quad is…here is a map. If you’re lucky, you can find street parking near campus. If not, park in one of the parking garages on campus (I use the Central Plaza Garage near Red Square), or the university suggests parking in lot E1.

The Quad is the most photographed location at the University of Washington. And it’s all because the 30 beautiful Yoshino cherry trees around it. The trees were originally purchased by the school from Japan in the 1930s and planted in the UW arboretum. In the 1960s, the cherry trees were then moved on campus to the Quad. They’ve been attracting attention locally, nationally, and worldwide ever since.

University of Washington cherry blossoms

As is usually the case with any Seattle photo op, the earlier in the day you visit the University of Washington cherry blossoms the better. The hoards of visitors tend to arrive in the late-morning and continue to throng throughout the day.

Have you visited the University of Washington cherry blossoms? How was your experience? What are your photography tips and tricks? We’d love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below or connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Vimeo. You can also visit Moarly Creative for ideas on more awesome Seattle photo ops.