Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Another Waterfall Friday

October 24th.  In less than a week, my right foot would go under the knife.  It happened to be my Friday off, and I was chomping at the bit for a woodsy ramble.  Of course the weather forecast wasn't very promising.  Rain predicted to start after 11 am.....ugh.

Fall colors are here!

But it was my last chance to hike for several months - a final opportunity to catch some fall colors.  I just couldn't stay home.  Rain be damned!

Usual trailhead signage

After pondering destination choices, I decided to visit a couple favorite trails on Mt. Hood's east side.  Located in the mountain's rainshadow, I hoped this would guarantee a little drier weather.  Not only offering spectacular scenery and fall colors, these treks also boasted a pair of lovely cascades.  Yessiree, it was gonna be another waterfall Friday!

A few larch trees

I've found that when planning to hike the more popular trails, it pays to get up early.  I rose at my normal weekday time, and instead of heading to work, pointed my car towards Mt. Hood.  I arrived at Tamanawas Falls trailhead just a little after 8, second car in the lot.

Scenic bridge crossing Cold Spring Creek

I was delighted to have the trail to myself.  From the parking area, I immediately crossed the East Fork of Hood River over a sturdy log bridge.  For the next half mile, I meandered along its banks, taking in the green fir forest, accented with an occasional burst of yellow deciduous leaves.

Leaf-lined trail

At the first junction, I left the East Fork behind, climbing up a small ridge, with views looking over a cluster of golden larch trees.  Shortly thereafter, I came upon a smaller log footbridge crossing Cold Spring Creek.

Fallen leaves make cool patterns

Besides the destination waterfall, this bridge was one of the most scenic spots of the trail.  Cold Spring Creek gurgled merrily, framed by tall firs and mossy boulders.

Tamanawas Falls

From here on out, the trail paralleled the banks of Cold Spring Creek.  The walk here was a pure delight.  Golden leaves lined my path.  Frothy rapids churned below.  Huge mossy trees towered high above.  Gorgeous!

A closer look at the falls

Besides the amazing natural beauty and waterfall at the end, this trail is also popular due to it's short length.  From Cold Spring Creek, just over a mile of trekking will bring you to the base of 100-foot-high Tamanawas Falls.

Gigantic mushrooms

The approach to the falls is dramatic.  After crossing a huge rockslide at the base of some high basalt cliffs, the canyon narrowed.  Rounding a forested corner, the trees suddenly thinned out, and there before me, framed by the canyon's end, Tamanawas Falls suddenly came into view.

Hangin' out with the falls

A truly stunning location.  The falls spilled over the top of an ancient lava flow, creating a white curtain of water.  The high basalt cliffs and adjacent green forest framed this cascade nicely.  Although disappointed by a lack of fall colors, it still made a perfect photo subject.

Color is everywhere!

I hiked down slippery rocks, getting as close to the fall's base as I dared.  Recent rainfall had the cascade roaring, and the spray forced me to keep my distance.  Still, I set up my tripod and captured tons of shots, wiping water droplets off my lens in between takes.

Gold-lined trail

After a lengthy photo session, I retreated into a stand of trees for a quick snack.  While enjoying my cliff bar, I spotted a cluster of huge mushrooms - each as large as a salad plate.  Besides the obvious waterfall, another photo subject!

Wonderful, mossy Cold Spring Creek

Although the base area here often gets crowded with hikers, I had the place to myself the entire time.  It was nice to be able to take all the photos I wanted and not have to wait for people to move out of the way.  I also enjoyed the silence.  Some people don't understand why I like to hike by myself.  Although I do enjoy sharing the experience with friends, there are times I crave the solitude of nature.  Today was one of those days.  Spending quiet time in a spectacular area does wonders for the attitude.

Red leaf standout

Darkening clouds in the sky finally convinced me it was time to head back.  One of the great things about an out-and-back trek on such a fine trail was getting to see it all a second time.  Although I stopped to photograph a few of the sights I'd missed, the return trip was much quicker.

Nice creek views along the trail

I didn't see a soul until I was almost back to my car.  By then, half a dozen vehicles had crowded in, and I spotted three parties heading towards the first bridge.  Being an early bird has it's rewards!  I was glad I'd gotten my butt out of bed at o-dark-thirty.

Not only did I miss all the people, the rain held off the entire time.  Although prepared to get wet, I was happy to be loading a dry backpack and coat into my car at hike's end.

Bridge selfie

But now it was barely noon - way too early to head home.  Although the sky was threatening to pour, there was one more trail on today's agenda.  After a quick lunch break, I drove further up the road to check out Umbrella Falls.  Crossing my fingers, I hoped my luck would hold out long enough to beat the rain a second time.

Join me for my next post and see what happens!

P.S.  To my faithful readers, I have comment word verification turned off in my blog settings, but that pesky box keeps showing up anyway.  According to one of my blogging buddies (thanks Stewart M!) you can ignore the word verification and your comment will still post.  I love reading all your comments, so please don't let that darned thing stop you from saying hello!  :)

Sharing with:  Outdoor Wednesday and Wednesday Around the World.


  1. How gorgeous, Linda! I love everything about waterfalls...the sound, the smell, watching them. I find it very soothing and peaceful.

  2. Dearest Linda; What an amazing scene and pictures♡♡♡ Especially, I was SO impressed with your great water fall shots!!!I wish I knew how you do with your camera p:-)
    Take Care with your foot, my friend.
    Sending Lots of Love and Hugs from Japan, xoxo Miyako*

  3. A beautiful trail and a splendid waterfall. You have proved two of my maxims about walking/hiking:
    1 Always start as early as possible
    2 More days are ruined by bad weather forecasts than bad weather.

  4. Awesome waterfalls I look forward to the next ones. Hope th eoperation goes ok

  5. Amazing photography Linda. The soft water images are so good. Great long exposure on those.

    If you want to get rid of the word verification box, just make your comment box embedded into your post, and not in a pop-up window or separate window. You can find that in the Blogger Settings.

  6. The early bird certainly does catch the worm in your case. Such a fabulous walk to have all to yourself.

  7. Linda, what a gorgeous post. Your hike to the waterfalls was lovely. So many pretty nature scenes along the way.. The larch tree colors and the mushrooms are beautiful. And the waterfalls is awesome. What a great hike. Enjoy your day!

  8. Linda--these photos are beautiful! My favs are the huge mushrooms (I love all our natives) and the bridge crossing the creek. Lovely!
    Hope you don't lose your power tomorrow. Be safe.

  9. Hi! Your fall photos are breathtakingly beautiful. I enjoyed your autumn leaf photos too. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Stunning photos! What a spectacular place. This is my type of outing.

  11. Really great photos - I especially like the mushroom one.

  12. Outstanding hike and awesome pictures. I like how you do the selfies by taking a tripod. Must do that sometimes. Hope your foot is coming along. I got clearance to drive this week, but have to wait til Feb to go skiing!

  13. What gorgeous falls and scenery!

    Unfortunately, the word verification is still on for those of using Wordpress.

  14. I love the shots with the smooth water..... so very beautiful


  15. I'm having trouble commenting, so sorry if this is repeated.
    I've enjoyed taking this walk with you...such a peaceful spot. The shots of the waterfall are just beautiful!

  16. You still have some nice fall colors-

  17. Hi Linda, This was a great hike to do before you had the foot surgery. I love the selfies and admire you for carrying the tripod! Water, fall leaves, and those huge mushrooms - you scored.

  18. What a wonderful hike and gorgeous photos.

  19. Oh my! that glorious waterfall! you have captured it beautifully. I wish I had somewhere near me like this so I could practice waterfalls. I love the scenes you have shared and the details of the autumn leaves. I hope your operation goes well. I am visiting you from Wednesday Around the World.

  20. Beautiful photos Linda! Tamanawas is a favorite hike of mine.

  21. As always you take excellent photos of your hiking trips. I don't leave a comment every time but I am looking.

  22. Those waterfall pictures are beautiful! I also love hiking alone. Sadly most peoplease don't understand. I tried to leave off the verification box on my blog but got too much spam.

    1. Darn autocorrect. People not peoplease. Not sure where that came from.

  23. So much to love about your great outdoors - autumn leaves, waterfalls, towering trees, giant mushrooms. Wonderful hike as always.

  24. Fabulous waterfall and a beautiful area. I'm like you I like to go out into the woods alone too.

    I'll be waiting for your next post.

  25. Although the waterfall is beautiful, my favorite pic is one of the first ones of just the trail itself meandering along by the water. Such a picture of calm.

  26. Beautiful! What an amazing place and that waterfall is pretty spectacular. I love the shots of the creek.

  27. Another great post of the trails you like to hike!

  28. I love the moving water shots, and especially the gigantic mushrooms. Looking forward to part 2!

  29. Looks like a beautiful hike. We explored Mt. good for this first time this summer, and I absolutely loved it. We'll have to add Tamawanas Falls to our list for next year! Hope your foot is healing nicely.

  30. Hi Linda,
    Thanks for stopping by our blog and your condolences on our dear bunny! Love your pictures and we seem to have similar interests. Hope to see you out and about one day - your pics will certainly inspire us to explore further around Oregon! :)

  31. Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful trek with us - I certainly wouldn't have the stamina to keep up physically, but greatly appreciate accompanying you visually! Beautiful captures.

  32. Thanks for sharing these excellent photos of a remarkable place! BTW, if you change comment preferences to "Embedded" that should take away the verification form.

  33. I understand why you like hiking alone, I'm actually confused why more people don't like hiking alone. What always kills me is people saying I'm "brave" for hiking and camping alone. Great waterfall, glad you beat the crowds so you could share it with us.

  34. Spectacular !!! Tom The Backroads Traveller

  35. Amazing waterfalls! I also love the green mossy rocks. So beautiful.


Don't be shy! Please leave a comment.