My Brother-in-law Dan and his wife Beth are in town this week and we thought we'd get out and see some waterfalls. You can't really come here and not got see them. Elowah fall is one of my favorites and I just had to take them there. This is also my first landscape photo with the Rokinon 14mm f/2.8. This lens is a beast and just does some really cool stuff you can't do with a narrower lens. This is a pano, merged from 4 images.
In late January the kids and I snuck out for a beautiful morning hike in one of our favorite spots in the Columbia River Gorge. Wahclella falls lies at the end of a fairly short loop that you can access from the same exit as the Boneville dam. The falls was in full-force, and fuller than I'd ever seen it.
The kids and I both had this Wednesday off for Veteran's Day and instead of hanging out at home where they'd just play video games and I'd edit photos, I planned a fairly epic hike to use the free time.
The Trail of 10 Falls wanders through the Silver Falls State park and reveals views of these beautiful ten waterfalls over 7.2 miles. I'd recommend you give yourself plenty of time if you're with kids, or camera. Probably around 4 hours or longer. We took around 4.5 and barely made it back to the car before park closing at 5pm. I could have taken another 2 hours to set up shots and explore each spot, but the kids weren't having any of that.
Double Falls is off on a short 100 foot trail and it's hard to capture its beauty in photographs. The short upper fall pours into a small pool before overflowing and forming the second fall.
I lived a little closer (or so I thought) to these falls in college and we seemed to make it out there about once every 6 months. Things haven't changed a lot, except the condition of the trails. It used to be a muddy mess out there in winter, but the trails are all in very good condition.
If you like walking behind waterfalls, this is your place. One of the things I really appreciate is the different basic shapes of these ones. The Middle North falls is a huge sheet of water in most any condition or water level because of the way it breaks over the ledge. North falls cuts through a narrow channel creating a strong tube of water that almost twists as it pours off the cliff. South and Lower South are much more dependant on the level of water for their shape.
As you are planning your hike, I'd recommend reviewing the map to decide on direction and starting location. The South Falls parking lot is the most popular and has a bathroom, lodge gift shop and other facilities, but is often more crowded. The North Falls parking lot is much smaller, with less stuff. It has an outhouse.
The loop has one section that I found less exciting and perhaps worth skipping or considering. The Rim trail that leads from North falls back to the South Falls parking lot is roughly 2 miles long, and has much less of a view. It also parallels the road. You can cut back down to the main Canyon trail at the Winter Falls parking lot and overlook area. You'll be backtracking over trail you've already seen, but I find it really nice to see the falls from a different perspective and you can take the Maple Ridge Trail on the way back as well if you want to change it up a little. This was our standard method when I came here a lot as a college student.
Now that I'm reacquainted with this excursion, I'll certainly be coming back when the seasons change. Ice would be fantastic!
I could have made this one the normal height of a photo in portrait orientation, but it's 74.4 megapixels and there's just a ton of detail. If you click on it, you'll get the zoomed-out view of the whole thing from the bridge.