While traveling through the Pacific Northwest of the United States, I followed the Columbia River Gorge highway along the Columbia River. The gorge or canyon separates the states of Washington and Oregon. Many beautiful spots are along the highway, but most are crowded with visitors and have limited parking.
Spending the night in Cascade Locks, Oregon, I decided to seek out the waterfalls called Mossy Grotto. Up before sunrise and arriving at the trailhead early, I was the only car in the lot.
The trail is called Ruckle Creek Trail #405. The hike in and out is a 1.6-mile trail, but well worth the effort. On the trail, you will climb some pretty good grades through beautiful thickets of forests and a few open meadows. In the last half you follow the creek bed over many slippery, moss-covered rocks! The falls are located about 300 yards upstream once you reach the creek bed.
When you arrive, you will be greeted by a beautiful 20-foot waterfall and bright green mossy rocks and logs. The early morning did not allow much light into the gorge, making long exposures very easy. This photo was taken with a Canon 5Dsr, 14mm 2.8 lens. The setting was ISO 50, Aperture f/18, shutter speed 10 seconds. This setting gave me the movement of the water and the detail in the rocks and logs.
The huge boulder in the foreground gave the image enough depth to complete the composition. I stayed about an hour, and the light did not change much, but I had the entire quiet scene all to myself.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor