Sunday, November 29, 2015

Fall Comes to Mt. Hood

Yes....this post is from September.  Yes....I'm still woefully behind.  And're going to see some fabulous fall colors.

Frosty fall leaves

Lassen National Park was great, but it was time to reacquaint myself with my own backyard.  The following weekend, I took a short trip to good ol' Mt. Hood - my local playground.

Mt. Hood towers over a golden meadow

In search of fall colors, I headed over to Hood's east side, parking at the Elk Meadows Trailhead near Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Area.  I'd heard reports of huckleberry bushes in full autumn finery around Umbrella Falls, and was dying to check things out.

Backlit red leaves

Overnight temps had dipped into the 30's and I was surprised to see frost on the leaves at the beginning of my hike.  After such a hot summer, it was a shock to need gloves and a knit cap!  But I love cold weather hiking and knew I'd get toasty warm once I got moving.

The multi-hued huckleberry bush

The trail to Umbrella Falls climbed through a dense fir forest, it's understory covered in places by colorful huckleberry bushes, their leaves a kaleidoscope of reds, yellows and oranges.  Really brightened up the woods.  A most pleasant distraction for my camera.

Trailside color

It's a quick 2 mile jaunt to lovely Umbrella Falls.  I visited this area last year and the autumn color show around the waterfall was incredible.  Hoping for a repeat performance, I was sorely disappointed when, upon reaching the falls, the leaf colors were practically nonexistent.  Not only that, but Umbrella Falls was bathed in alternating bright morning sun and dark shadows, extremely difficult lighting conditions for photography.

Umbrella Falls close up

Sigh....what's a photographer to do?  I'd hiked all the way up here, I wasn't going to go away empty handed.  So I focused on a shaded area of the falls, zoomed in and got some macro shots of the running water.

Another waterfall macro shot

The green moss and reddish rock color made for some interesting photos, don't you think?

Bright bushes line the creek

Better than nothing, anyway!  And I did get a couple of nice images of some brightly colored bushes near a footbridge spanning the creek.

Hood peeps over the crimson bushes

After spending the better part of an hour at Umbrella Falls trying to capture something, I finally decided to pack it in and continue on the rest of the loop trail.  From last year's hike, I knew this path would meander through Mt Hood Meadows' ski area before circling back to the trailhead.

More lovely red hues

Last year I hiked this portion in pouring rain, and didn't get many photos.  This year, with the day's bright sunshine, I stopped frequently to capture what I'd missed.

Tons of color in this ski run

Surprisingly, the best fall colors were in the middle of ski runs.  Crimson huckleberry leaves, golden hues, and bright yellow colors made checkerboard patterns in the clearings.  Oh, it was amazing!

Patchwork color under the HRM Lift

Having been skunked at Umbrella Falls, the fantastic colors I found under the ski lift more than made up for things!

Golden ferns

A great day to be up on the mountain.  I hiked a mere 5 miles and 1500 feet elevation gain, but it was good to be back on the home hill and fun to see my favorite ski area dressed up for fall.

Sharing with:  Through My Lens and Our World Tuesday.


  1. Absolutely gorgeous and dreamy series, Linda! I love the colours and the feel here!

  2. I can see why you wanted to cover this trail when you could see color. Beautiful!

  3. The under the ski lift photos are awesome! Soon you will be skiing again:)

  4. Umbrella Falls really is a hard one to photograph. I have only had luck in the evening right after the sun goes down behind the trees, but before it goes down behind the mountain. I'm sure you will know what I mean LOL! Great autumn shots. We did have a pretty season, that is for sure!

  5. I really enjoyed the falls. I think the water looks perfect.

  6. Hello, lovely Autumn colors and leaves. I like the views of Mt. Hood. The waterfalls shots are beautiful. Great post! Happy Monday, enjoy your new week!

  7. Que maravilha.
    Gostei destas belas e coloridas fotografias.
    Um abraço e boa semana.

  8. You did get some nice colors

  9. Linda, wonderful fall colors in your photos. I need a video of the waterfall to hear the water falling over the rocks! Lovely.

  10. There's always a silver lining when we take a closer look at our surroundings. Beautiful as always!

  11. Gorgeous Linda, I've only seen Mt Hood in july!

  12. A wonderful series of images Linda - I especially like the backlit red leaves - stunning!

  13. Gorgeous Fall colors and I do love Mt. Hood!! Terrific captures, Linda!! Thank you so much for sharing the beauty!! Hope a great week!!

  14. Gorgeous series of photos. I especially love your waterfall macro shots.

  15. What a great look back. There's nothing wrong with posting photos from some time ago - I'm almost a year behind in some of my posts...

  16. Beautiful! Love the frost trimmed leaves...and that mountain! Gorgeous!

  17. Oh gosh Linda, your photos are amazing! We have got to do this hike if we make it to OR again. The falls are amazing! Your macro shots are breathtaking!

  18. What a stunning area, Linda! Such beautiful landscapes and gorgeous Autumn colours.
    I've been posting a lot of old photos lately as I haven't been out with my camera for over 6 months due to 2 surgeries and a 3 week stay in a chronic pain program. I'm looking forward to some walks with my camera!

  19. These colors are the high angle too. I have beautiful fall pictures on my computer to share too, somehow I am way behind too...

  20. Brilliant post. Colours are amazing. Favourites shot are no 3 and the 2 waterfall shots

  21. Nothing more beautiful than fall colors on a favorite hike, with a sunny day to boot! Loved the pictures and was reminded once again how much I love this time of year. :-)

  22. Gorgeous, Linda!
    A winter wonderland is descending heavily on us here in the MN northwoods today!

  23. Love the waterfall shots, capturing the water mid-fall. - Margy

  24. Very beautiful scenery. I wish I were there.

  25. Nice waterfall captures and colours. Not a bad playground to have on your doorstep.

  26. So where are the colours?!?!? Great post. I miss that time of year.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  27. As expected, your part of the world didn't disappoint with fall colors!

  28. I love the fall colours and the waterfalls are beautiful as well.


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