Latourell Falls

I headed off for another adventure in the Columbia River Gorge, but this time I went down the Oregon side, headed for Angel’s Rest, which is a short hike to an overlook.

I got off in Corbett, OR, and took the Historic Columbia River Highway. There are lots of great overlooks, like this one at the Portland Women’s Forum Overlook, with a view of Crown Point, and Beacon Rock in the distance.

I enjoyed top-down cruising on this little adventure, thanks to Mr Miata. Here we stopped at Crown Point, Vista House.

Vista House is a classic stopping point on any trip in the Gorge. I can even see it from Steigerwald Wildlife Refuge back home.

So I guess I shouldn’t be surprised I can see Steigerwald from Crown Point! Hey, it’s right down there!

I continued down the old highway, enjoying driving through the tunnel of trees, when I came to Latourell Falls. I stopped to stretch and have a look at the falls which was an easy stroll from the parking lot.

The water was coming down so hard I had a tough time keeping my lens dry!

I had a black & white assignment to do for photo club, so I used one of these shots. I liked the contrast of the water against the rocks, and the texture of the rocks.

I returned to the parking area and pulled out my Curious Gorge Guide, and saw that Latourell has a 2 mile hike up to the upper Latourell Falls, and it rated it as easy to moderate, where Angel’s rest was rated moderate to difficult. Since I’m just getting in shape, I decided this sounded like a better option. I grabbed my pack and headed up the trail.

The trail is pretty, winding through the woods. Lots of little wildflowers here and there. It was shady and cool.

A few more peeks at lower Latourell Falls between the trees.

What a peaceful walk. There were other people on the trail, but not enough to be annoying. In fact I felt safer with a few people around, since I was alone.

I got tired and stopped for a break to drink some water, and laid back on a log and looked up at this amazing tree for a bit. Just think about how old that tree is! Think about the people who preserved this so we could enjoy it! We are so lucky to live in a place where that is a priority and we can afford to do so.

Finally I reached Upper Latourell Falls.

This picture doesn’t do it justice! It was pounding! There was a lot of water coming off of it, a mist reaching me even though I was still quite a ways back. Maybe this video will help: Upper Latourell Falls from Stephanie Roberts on Vimeo.

It’s all downhill from here…

More pretty flowers.

Finally I came to a rest stop with a view of the Columbia River and a nice bench for sittin’ and thinkin’.

Continuing down the trail, I came to this crazy tree!

And I saw a snail, which I guess isn’t too exciting, except we just don’t really have snails in the Portland area, I have hardly ever seen snails just hanging around. We got SLUGS, oh boy do we ever, but not snails.

Thank you, Mr Talbot!

Then the trail went back to the Historic Highway, and it was a short walk back to the parking area.

This was a really nice, easy hike, and the waterfall was totally worth it. I’m so glad I stopped to check it out!


Beacon Rock State Park

I spent a lovely afternoon at Beacon Rock State Park, right up the road in the Columbia River Gorge.

I have not spent much time up there. I did a little scouting trip a few weeks ago to check it out, and went back to spend more time photographing and doing a little filming, which I turned into this little video: Beacon Rock State Park from Stephanie Roberts on Vimeo.

On the way down I stopped at Cape Horn for a look at the Gorge, and Phoca Rock, out in the middle of the river. Down the left bank you can see Beacon Rock in the distance.

Someone planted a flag on the top of Phoca Rock. Apparently it’s been claimed for another nation now 🙂

I got to Beacon Rock and went for a nice stroll around the big meadow. I’m getting in shape this summer, so it was challenging for me. I was pretty tired by the end of it, and I was lugging a tripod and camera gear.

Saw this guy along the way, just sunning himself on the path.

From across the meadow I took a zoomed in photo of Beacon Rock, and by zooming way in on that I could see the path to the top. Apparently it is currently closed because of wind damage from a storm last winter.

After the meadow walk I strolled down to the docks. I want to come back and get a reflection of the rock in the water some morning. A friend took a picture like that and I was really impressed.

Cool rock formations on the Rock.

This was a very relaxing afternoon. I could not have asked for any better.