Fairy Falls, Columbia River Gorge

One of my self-imposed autumn jobs (and by “jobs,” I mean “fun project that I’m looking forward to”) is to photograph as many of the Columbia River Gorge waterfalls as possible. Since moving back to Oregon I’ve suffered a kind of photographic procrastination when it came to these waterfalls. I mean, they’re always going to be there. So why photograph them right now?

Well, the simple answers are a) I have the time and b) I’m tired of leaving all this beauty unphotographed (by me, anyway). Recently, I realized that I was spending a lot of time and effort searching for great photographs when huge amounts of untapped photography potential were a little over a half hour’s drive from my home. I’m lucky enough to live just a quick drive from these places. Let’s get to photographing them, says I!

So the “project” kicked off a couple weeks ago with yet another trip to Oneonta Gorge. And last week I managed to check off a waterfall that I’d never visited before: Fairy Falls.

Fairy Falls is a 2-mile roundtrip hike from the Wahkneea Falls trailhead (which itself is just half a mile from Multnomah Falls). Despite it being a short hike, it’s uphill to the tune of about 800 vertical feet.

The trailhead sign at Wahkeena Falls.

The trailhead sign at Wahkeena Falls.

I had heard rumors about a Lego brick mortared somewhere into the walls along the trail, but despite being so focused on the wall that I nearly walked off the trail a couple of times, I saw no such thing. Is this a real thing? Or is this one of those sadistic attempts to befuddle and potentially kill distracted hikers?

The trail up to Fairy Falls.

The trail up to Fairy Falls.

I never saw that stupid Lego brick. Does anyone have a photo?

I never saw that stupid Lego brick. Does anyone have a photo?

 

After a series of switchbacks that leads to an overlook of the gorge (known as Lemmon’s viewpoint), the trail continues up, crossing Wahkneea Creek several times over photogenic footbridges.

The trail as it nears Fairy Falls.

The trail as it nears Fairy Falls.

 

It’s not too much longer before Fairy Falls itself cascades right next to the trail. It’s impossible to miss. With low pre-wet-season water levels, there wasn’t a lot of mist coming off the falls, although I’m willing to bet that this thing is quite the mister during the rainy season. I’ll be back to photograph it in a couple of months, without a doubt.

Filtered sunlight from near the base of Fairy Falls, Columbia River Gorge; prints available (use the "Contact me" form below).

“Cascadia’s throne.” Click to view larger. Prints available.

"Fairy Falls, low flow, split toned," prints available (use the "Contact me" form below).

“Fairy Falls, low flow, split toned.” Click to view larger. Prints available.

Filtered sunlight from near the base of Fairy Falls, Columbia River Gorge.

“My personal raincloud” Click to view larger. Prints available.

Fairy Falls, Columbia River Gorge, Oregon. Prints available (use the "Contact me" form below).

“A part in the veil.” Click to view larger. Prints available.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized.