Upon returning home from our fantastic mid-October Utah trip, I was keen to check out the fall colors I'd been missing. One of my favorite spots for autumn leaf peeping is Silver Falls State Park.
A crown jewel of the Oregon Parks system, this 9,200 acre property is the largest and most popular state park in Oregon. Situated in a deep basalt canyon are 10 gorgeous waterfalls, the area's main draw.
This park is lovely year-round, but I think autumn is the best time to visit, when the dense forests erupt in brilliant color.
Planning my visit for a Friday off work, I was a bit disappointed to see the forecast called for rain. But I decided to go anyway - maybe it would only be a few showers (I'm such an optimist!)
|Another view of South Falls|
But I pulled into the parking lot in the midst of a heavy downpour. Ugh! Good thing I brought my raingear.
After suiting up and covering my backpack and camera, I headed down the paved path past the lodge, leading to the canyon and waterfalls.
|More gorgeous color!|
South Falls, the first waterfall on the trail, is visible a short distance from the lodge. A gorgeous 177 foot tall cascade, it tumbles gracefully down a steep basalt cliff. A hiking trail winds down the canyon wall, passing behind this cascade's lacy curtain.
|South Falls looking up|
The autumn leaves were fabulous! Although a tiny bit past prime, there was no shortage of vibrant yellows and orange hues. The cloudy, wet weather made the bright colors pop (one advantage of photography on a rainy day)
Choosing a prime South Falls vantage, I set up my tripod, tried to position an umbrella over top, and got to work.
|Cascade through the vegetation|
The waterfall was running full and strong - another advantage of rainy day photography!
After a few dozen photos of South Falls from above, I wandered down into the canyon for a capture at it's base. I didn't lack for photo subjects along the way! As a matter of fact, my trip took much longer as there was always something lovely to distract my camera.
|Top 'o the falls|
I'd hoped to hike further down the trail and visit a few more waterfalls. But after a hour, the heavy rainfall had drenched my gear. Not wanting to ruin my good camera, I beat a hasty retreat back up the canyon.
|Multi-hued vine maple|
On the return path to my car, I did get distracted again. This lovely multi-colored vine maple tree was just begging to be photographed.
|South Falls Lodge|
As was the beautiful, rustic South Falls Lodge. Framed by brilliant yellow leaves, and tall, stately Douglas Firs, how can any photographer pass up a scene like this?
I spied a couple of pretty leaves in a puddle and got inspired. The raindrop ripple made for an interesting composition, and I patiently waited for the right moment to snap my shutter. The bubble that happened to form was icing on the cake.
Fall colors are fleeting, and although poor weather hampered the day's explorations, I was still glad I'd made the trip. Despite the rain, I came away with several lovely images. Now, months later, it's been kind of fun to look back and remember the glorious autumn show, courtesy of Mother Nature, at Silver Falls State Park.
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