Hiking Wahkeena Falls (updated with photos, duh)

The day after Logan went home I had another dental appointment in Vancouver. Since it was at 9:00 AM, Leslie and I decided to hike Wahkeena Falls in the Columbia Gorge afterwards. Hoping to see as many flowers as we did a few days before at Mt. St. Helens, I took my 100mm macro-focus lens knowing that a wide-angle lens would better handle some of the scenics.

As it turned out, I guessed wrong again. I should have at least taken the 70-200mm lens, even if it was heavier. Despite the lens’ limitations, I hope these shots suggest some of the beauty that draws me back here year after year.

After a moderate climb we got some nice views of the Washington side of the Gorge


and the Columbia River stretching eastward.


The main appeal of the hike, though, is the magical, green world created by the Wahkeena River cutting through the cliffs.


Even when it’s stifling hot at the bottom of the gorge, the natural air conditioning keeps temperatures relatively comfortable.

It’s hard to tell where the river is until it emerges in a short waterfall.


Even in the middle of the summer brilliant green ferns line the canyon walls, bathing the trail in reflected light.


On this trip, though, flowers were rare, so rare that this Fireweed stood out.


I’m still working on building up my endurance and Wahkeena Falls is nearly straight up at times. We’d hoped to hike over to Angel’s Rest and back, but ended up deciding we didn’t want to hike the ridge line as temperatures rose.