Sudden Descent-Comet Falls in Mount Rainier National Park

    Van Trump Creek drops abruptly from the top of a massive cliff wall forming Comet Falls which plunges in a series of three steps into a lush green valley over 450 feet below in Mount Rainier National Park, Washington.
    Van Trump Creek drops abruptly from the top of a massive cliff wall forming Comet Falls which plunges in a series of three steps into a lush green valley over 450 feet below in Mount Rainier National Park, Washington.

    Comet Falls is one of the most impressive falls in Mount Rainier National Park, so it was definitely on my list of places to get to on my trip to the park. The most intimidating part of getting to it was the hike to get there.

    The 1.7-mile distance was nothing, it was the 1,400-foot elevation gain involved that I knew was going to kill me! It had been a while since I had really been out hiking and I knew I was a bit out of shape. I emptied my bag of anything but the necessities to lighten the load and set out in a light rain. It was just the right conditions for waterfall photography.

    After stopping to shoot a few times along the way (and many more to catch my breath!), I came to this view looking down the valley to Comet Falls. What a beautiful scene. The sun peeked out occasionally, but stayed behind the clouds long enough to capture a series of images, this one being my favorite because of the shape and the detail in the falls. I ventured closer to the falls after that, but it was difficult to scramble too far because of the rain soaked vegetation.

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    Finding My Way-Deer Creek Falls in Mount Rainier National Park

    Deer Creek rounds a bend in the dense forest and twists and turns its way over Deer Creek Falls as it plunges into a canyon in Mount Rainier National Park in Washington.
    Deer Creek rounds a bend in the dense forest and twists and turns its way over Deer Creek Falls as it plunges into a canyon in Mount Rainier National Park in Washington.

    As promised, I am going to start posting some new pictures! This is Deer Creek Falls in Mount Rainier National Park. It was the second falls that my son Justin and I stopped at early one morning this past August.

    It was an easy hike along the Owyhigh Lakes Trail from the trailhead along Highway 123. The trail runs alongside Deer Creek and offers multiple vantage points of the falls. The canyon below was deep and there’s no chance to get any lower. I settled for framing up a variety of compositions while wedged between the trees. This is my favorite of the bunch because it includes the one last twist at the bottom that leads your eye to the top of the lacy falls.

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    The Giant Awakens-Mount Rainier Emerges From The Clouds

    Mount Rainier emerges from early morning clouds and towers over Upper Tipsoo Lake and a meadow sprinkled with wildflowers in Mount Rainer National Park, Washington.
    Mount Rainier emerges from early morning clouds and towers over Upper Tipsoo Lake and a meadow sprinkled with wildflowers in Mount Rainier National Park, Washington.

    As was true with most of the mornings at Mount Rainier National Park, the Tipsoo Lake area was socked in the clouds when I arrived before sunrise. At least this morning you could catch occasional glimpses of the peak as the skies started to lighten.

    I setup in the same spot I had setup many other mornings during the week. I hoped for something to happen this morning as it was my last. Unfortunately, sunrise came and went. I took a shot now and then when Mount Rainier appeared, but Lake Tipsoo was rippled by a steady breeze and nothing turned out that great.

    I did make the fortunate decision to head across the road to explore Upper Tipsoo Lake and the meadow filled with wildflowers surrounding it. I focused on flowers at first, but noticed that the clouds were breaking up over the peak. I wandered around until I found this pleasing composition including some of the wildflowers and Mount Rainier towering off in the distance. It was a beautiful sight and made for a great ending to a trip!

    Click on the image to view it larger in the galleries. Fine art prints are available.

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    Woodland Serenity-Silver Falls in Mount Rainier National Park

    The Ohanapecosh River winds through a dense green forest and drops over Silver Falls into an aquamarine colored pool in Mount Rainier National Park, Washington.
    The Ohanapecosh River winds through a dense green forest and drops over Silver Falls into an aquamarine colored pool in Mount Rainier National Park, Washington.

    I just returned home from a trip out to Mount Rainier National Park outside of Seattle. My son Justin joined me for the first part of the trip and we had fun exploring the park for our first time. We were greeted by clear blue skies and unheard of temperatures close to 90 degrees in the park. Not at all what I expected!

    After a fairly fruitless first day where it was just too darn hot to want to do much, we decided to hit a few waterfalls early the next morning before the sun made its way into the woods. The first stop was at Silver Falls just inside the Stevens Canyon entrance. It looked simple enough to get to and I had the GPS coordinates to the trailhead plugged into the car. I suppose it might have helped if I would have followed its directions, but instead I had in my head a different spot for the falls. After turning around multiple times and getting out to search along the roadway, we were ready to give up and ask for direction at the park entrance. That is until we turned the corner and then the GPS directions made sense! It turns out that we had been using the official park map (more…)

    Beauty Among Chaos-Panther Falls in Washington

    In a series of tumbles and turns through a vibrant green forest, Panther Creek fans out as it drops over Panther Falls outside of Carson, Washington.
    In a series of tumbles and turns through a vibrant green forest, Panther Creek fans out as it drops over Panther Falls outside of Carson, Washington.

    I spent a lot of time planning for my trip out to the Pacific Northwest this spring. I mapped out over a hundred waterfalls and created a schedule that would hopefully allow me to shoot most of them. Of course I set aside quite a few days to shoot the waterfalls in the Columbia Gorge. In my plan though, I also investigated the Washington side. I (more…)