Columbia River Gorge

Jan 27, 2018
Washington and Oregon

After yet another workshop in Portland, I headed east since I did the coast last time. Unfortunately, the Eagle Creek Fire has closed most of the Oregon-side of the Columbia River Gorge trails and waterfalls, so most of my original plans were up in, pardon the pun, smoke.

NIKON D7000 with 18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 ISO100 1/1 @ f/22 18mm

I started on the Washington side at Beacon Rock State Park, stopped over by the Bridge of the Gods, and then drove up into the Gifford Pinchot National Forest for Panther Creek Falls and what turned out to be a little off-roading around the forest before heading back down.

NIKON D7000 with 10.5 mm f/2.8 ISO200 1/1 @ f/16 10.5mm

That night, I stayed in Hood River, Oregon on the other side of the historic Hood River Bridge. The following morning, I hiked up a trail behind Mosier, Oregon before heading back to the airport. I was surprised at how this impressive but easy hike with a giant waterfall and beautiful vista was tucked away behind this little town, drawing no attention to itself, without even a marker for the trailhead.

NIKON D7000 with 18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 ISO100 1/8 @ f/14 18mm

Along I-84 back toward PDX, most trails were closed, including the Multnomah Falls area, so I took a couple photos from the parking and rest stop area before getting back on the freeway.

NIKON D7000 with 18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 ISO100 1/80 @ f/4.5 22mm

Hopefully next time I’m up this way, fire restoration will be in a better state and I’ll be able to check out more of what Oregon has hiding away along this serene riverfront. It’s a tragedy that so much of this area burned, and that very little of it made the news because the rest of the country was focused on the California fires. But from the highway, you’d hardly know it with most of the mountainside as green as Oregon has led me to expect, peppered with crystal flowing waterfalls deep inside the trees.