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.
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. In 2023, they reached full bloom on April 4th. To give you an even better feel for when to expect your photo op, here is when the University of Washington cherry blossoms reached full bloom for several years:
2018: March 27th
2017: April 1st
2016: March 11th
2015: March 14th
2014: March 21st
2013: April 3rd
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.
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 UW 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 to learn more about our video production and content creation company.
And if you’d like to learn about other photo opportunities in the area, be sure to see our posts about Skagit Valley tulips and daffodils, golden larches, Sahale Glacier, and whale watching in Seattle.