I spent this past Sunday hiking and photographing the Gorge with some friends including two of my oldest friends Brice and Nathan. I actually met them both in Kindergarten and we have remained buddies ever since. Nathan is in town for work and an avid outdoor explorer. I wanted to give him a taste of the adventures we have around Portland so I setup a trip out to the Gorge to do some sightseeing and hiking. We started at the Chanticleer Point and made a number of stops along the way including: the Vista House, Latourell Falls, Shepperds Dell, Bridal Veil Lookout, the Vista House, Multnomah Falls and our “featured” hike along the Wahkeenah trail. We didn’t have a ton of time so we chose a shorter distance hike up to Fairy Falls; plus I’m not really built for endurance so it was a manageable distance for me.
The Wahkeenah trail hike up to Fairy Falls was great – there were multiple spots along the trail to setup and photograph the water as it streams down the hillside. About 3/4 of the way up there was a great lookout point over the Colombia River Gorge to take in the vistas. Finally at the top we reached Fairy Falls, though not large it was quite beautiful. The hiking up to the falls is a constant uphill climb and with my camera gear packed it made the trek quite a workout for me. If you aren’t a hiker or just extreme novice beginning I might recommend trying an even easier hike like the one to Elowah Falls, far less of a climb and shorter this is a great first hike for people. With that said the Fairy Falls hike was actually pretty easy – the path is well marked and laid out and there are tons of spots to catch your breath along the way. I think this is an adventure that a beginner plus would love and doesn’t take too much time. You can use the extra time to go a little slower and focus on creating some interesting images.