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Winter Time in the Columbia River Gorge

Wintertime in the Columbia River Gorge is a sight to be behold.  The snow covering the mountains seems to impart an extra sense of ruggedness as icicles thousands of feet tall highlight frozen cascades.  

Over the weekend, of 12/17 - 12/18, I was able to escape for a couple of hours each day to photograph some of the most spectacular drive-up scenery in the country along the Historic Columbia River Highway.

Day 1.  The trip began with a trip out to the Women's Forum Viewpoint.

 
Vista House on Historic Columbia River Highway from the Portland Women's Forum Viewpoint.

Vista House on Historic Columbia River Highway from the Portland Women's Forum Viewpoint.

Next, I drove 4 miles east, past the view house to look at Latourell Falls.   This waterfall was easy to access with a very short hike along a somewhat slick snowpacked path.  The scene at the base of the falls was icy and slick.  Take note however that if you're photographing from the lower falls, the trail is under a bit of construction, so remember to zoom in tight to exclude any unnatural features.

Winter At The Base Of Latourell Falls

Winter At The Base Of Latourell Falls

Day 2.  Today I tackled the highway from the east and started at Horsetail Falls.  The falls are literally right next to the road and access is incredibly easy.   The photo below was actually taken from the roadside viewpoint.

 
Horsetail Falls

Horsetail Falls

Lastly, it was on to the grand-daddy of them all — Multnomah Falls.  Dropping more than 600 feet, this double waterfall is a must-see.  The scenery is spectacular and justifiably, attracts many sight-seers.  Here are a couple of shots I managed to get by setting the tripod just behind the rockfall kiosk on lookers-right of the viewing platform.  This viewpoint provides a much more open, head-on view of the falls.  

Multnomah Falls Vertical

Multnomah Falls Vertical

Multnomah Falls Landscape

Multnomah Falls Landscape

Robby Miller