2022 Oregon Trip

Saturday, June 18

Salt Creek Falls

It rained today. Again.

The weather looked a little more promising this morning, and the forecast said we might get a few hours of partly-cloudy skies in the morning. One of the main areas we wanted to photograph was the Cascades Lake area around Mt. Bachelor and Sparks Lake. The lady at Koosah Falls warned us about all the late snow in that area, so we were anxious to see how it would affect our plans.

As we drove up the mountain toward Mt. Bachelor, we saw the snow-covered peak from the east, but it looked like it had a white parka hood tightly hugging it from the west. When we crossed the pass, Mt. Bachelor was enshrouded with thick clouds from the west and thin clouds covered most of the lakes area. There was a small opening in the clouds for a view of one of the sisters, so we stopped at the Sparks Lake junction and walked out into the meadow. It looked like the meadow had been snow-free for a couple of weeks, so we could walk out and shoot along a small meandering stream. The light only held for about 20 minutes, so we continued on the Cascades Byway to Salt Creek Falls.

It was completely overcast at Salt Creek Falls, and it looked like it could rain at any time. We hiked down the trail toward the base of the falls on a well-graded, wide trail that switch-backed down the side of the ridge. At the end of the trail was a viewpoint that was still about 100 feet above the river. Then we realized that the Forest Service had closed an older steep trail that went nearly all the way to the base of the falls and replaced it with the trail we came down. Although the old trail was much steeper, it also took us down to the base of the falls.

Salt Creek Falls Salt Creek Falls
Salt Creek Falls from Viewpoint Salt Creek Falls from Trail

It drizzled on-and-off most of the time we were shooting at Salt Creek Falls. The falls were running full, which created a delicate, lacey appearance when shooting with a relatively-fast shutter speed. The roar of the falls provided a constant reminder of how much water was going over the falls. It rained a bit as we hiked back to the parking lot, but we managed to stay mostly dry today until we drove back to camp.