Deep Freeze in the Pacific Northwest

A couple of weeks ago, the roads were clear and the temperatures were some of the coldest that the Pacific Northwest had seen in sometime. It provided the perfect opportunity to load up the camera gear and take a drive down south to Oregon and into the Columbia River Gorge to see what some of the prettiest waterfalls I have ever visited looked like surrounded by ice.

The first stop on our little mini-adventure was to the tallest waterfall (at 620 feet) in Oregon, the absolutely breathtaking Multnomah Falls.

The upper and lower tier of Multnomah Falls encased in ice during the last cold snap.

The upper and lower tier of Multnomah Falls encased in ice during the last cold snap.

We walked up to the Benson Footbridge that crosses 105 feet above the lower tier of the waterfall.  At that point, we turned back due to the ice as neither my mom nor myself wanted to fall on the slippery trail (silly me, the yak traks were back down in the car) and risk breaking camera gear, or worse, losing it over the side of the trail.Upper Multnomah Falls

On the way back to the car, I turned and was fortunate enough to witness the moon rising directly above the falls.

Multnomah Moonrise

There wasn’t much daylight left, so we put the cameras back in the car and made our way to one more waterfall that I was sure wouldn’t disappoint…Horsetail Falls.

Horsetail Falls Ice

At just over 200′ tall, Horsetail Falls is perhaps one of the most easily accessible (there’s a parking lot right across the street) and certainly one of the prettiest falls for photography.  In the winter time, the walkway around the falls becomes a treacherous skating rink so I highly recommend wearing a pair of yaktrax over your shoes.  They are like tire chains for your feet and you will be glad to have the secure footing, especially once you watch the others slipping and sliding around.

Horsetail Ice

Unfortunately, I didn’t have as much time as I would have liked down in the Gorge this trip, so hopefully there will be another deep freeze this winter so that I can go back down and explore some more.

Until the next adventure…

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