Monday, August 31, 2015

Return to Wahclella Falls

Wahclella Falls is my go-to waterfall.  Located in the Columbia River Gorge, it's a short drive and an even shorter hike along lovely Tanner Creek to access this silky little beauty.

Bridge and waterfall (from top of an adjacent boulder)

Yep, it's a good "bang for your buck" hike.  And in early July, still nursing a healing foot, it fit the bill for easing myself back into hiking.

Tanner Creek

Of course such a short, easy, accessible trail means it's also wildly popular, so I rose early that day, arriving at the trailhead by 7 am, to beat the masses.

Under bridge peek-a-boo

The trail follows beautiful, mossy Tanner Creek for a mile through an ever-narrowing canyon.  Even in July, the effects of our hot, dry summer could be seen.  The moss wasn't as green as usual.  It looked a little dry and brown around the edges.

Full falls view

But arriving at canyon's end, Wahclella Falls was as stunning as ever.  And there was still a decent amount of water tumbling through it's chasm.

Lovely mossy rocks

Trying to capture a different perspective of this cascade,  I spied a house-sized boulder towering over the creek.  It appeared others had climbed to it's top and taken photos from this perch.  Strapping my tripod to my backpack, I clambered onto an adjacent log, and scrambled along it's length.

Another photographic angle

From the log, I then had about a 15 foot climb up the face of this boulder.  I gingerly dug my toes into tiny clefts in the rock and grasped onto tree roots, and other handholds.  At one point, I began to question my sanity for trying to scale this boulder (with a recovering foot, no less!) but in the end, I finally heaved myself on top.

Tall cliffs

From my perch on the boulder's apex, the views weren't too bad.  But the waterfall still hid behind the bridge slightly.  No matter, I'd expended lots of energy (and adrenaline!) to get here, I was gonna get some photos!

Tiny wildflowers

After making lots of images from the boulder's summit, I carefully crawled back down it's face (even scarier than the climb up!)  I then prowled around the splash pool and bridge, trying for that money shot.

Picturesque Tanner Creek 

I really got lucky with the early hour visit.  I had the place to myself almost the entire time.  It was nice to be able to take photos without waiting for other people to move.  About 9 o'clock, when others began arriving, I took this as my cue to leave.

Creekside boulders

Wandering back along the return trail, I made a few stops to capture the beauty of Tanner Creek.  The large mossy rocks, and dense green foliage is scenic in any season, even a hot dry summer.

The last of the summer flowers

I spied these purple beauties near the trailhead.  Since our spring bloom had happened so early, I didn't expect to see any wildflowers.  So these were a bonus!

Gorgeous purple wildflowers

A peaceful early morning romp in the woods.  It was so nice to be out on the trail again. 

Sharing with:  Our World Tuesday


  1. Linda, I can almost smell the air and hear the water! Your photos are absolutely gorgeous!

  2. Stunning shots of the falls!

  3. You are very fortunate to have this beautiful waterall not tofar away from you and I love the way some of the water jas that milky look. Love the tiny wildflowers image. Favourite shot is no 5.

  4. What a pretty spot. It always amazes me how easy it is to miss the crowds by rising a little earlier; you'd think that more people would have the same idea - glad they don't though.

  5. This is the perfect spot for me as a nature and hike lover. I bet the fresh air is just the best thing there. The sights of the waterfall are out of this world. Truly fantastic. The Columbia River Gorge is just stunning.

    Mersad Donko Photography

  6. Hello Linda, The waterfalls is gorgeous, It is nice that it is close by and a short walk. The flowers are pretty too. Lovely images as always. Enjoy your day!

  7. Your water pictures always make me stop and admire them. But the wildflowers were so welcome, since we have had so few around here as well. You must be just about back to normal with that foot by now, I'm hoping you are at least. :-)

  8. You are so fortunate to live in the midst of such incredible beauty, and you capture it so seemingly effortlessly, yet now we know how tough some of those amazing shots can be!

  9. So many wonderful photos of falling water! Gorgeous!

  10. Gorgeous captures!
    Climbing about with your healing foot...
    you wouldn't be you if you didn't give it your all.
    Glad you did... as long as it didn't hurt too much!

  11. Hi! Your falling water photos are always breathtakingly beautiful. I like the last two flower photos very much too. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Beautiful! Just love waterfalls!

  13. I can see why that's a go-to hike, it's very pretty.

  14. Breathtaking images, Linda! I love them all. And the mossy rocks? My beautiful.

  15. Very nice series - my favorite is the second

  16. Thanks Linda for sharing all this beauty. Tom The Backroads Traveller

  17. Nice area. It's satisfying to go the extra mile for good photographs by getting into unusual places for shots.

  18. Beautiful photos! I didn't know you were a rock climber! :)

  19. Fabulous images and I'm a water nut myself but gee aren't ALL the falls int he gorge popular? haha You live in one of my favorite spots and thank Far Side for sending me here....she mentioned your son is coming to Helena (where I live) and thought we should connect. Can't wait to add your blog to my reading list! :)

  20. Beautiful shots, and what a fabulous place to visit


  21. Ummmm I can almost smell the damp earth and hear the roar of the waterfall.

    gorgeous images.

  22. Lovely, Linda! Waterfalls, woods, and wildflowers are pretty much my fave.. you capture them so remarkably! I love the water rushing over the rocks. I would love to visit this place one day!

  23. Gorgeous views of the waterfall and I love the wild flowers.


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