Friday, July 31, 2009

Wahclella Falls

Joel and I were given a GREAT gift of tickets to a concert that was on Tuesday night. Thanks to Ricki, we got to see a wonderful show. Because my hubby is not used to being out so late (hehe) he decided to take Wednesday off and spend it with us crazies here at home. We had decided a week earlier to go for a hike together, so I did a little reading and I wanted to try Wahclella Falls in the gorge. Take I-84 East to the Bonneville Dam/Fish Hatchery exit and turn right. The trail head is right there. We almost stayed home, it was over 100 that day and I was a little bit concerned about the heat and the boys being out in it for too long. Since it was in the gorge, with lots of trees and lots of water we decided to give it go, with the agreement that if we started out and it was just too much we would turn around and go back home. It turned out to be a great hike! The 2 mile round-trip trail follows Tanner Creek up to the falls, you walk across various little bridges and a flight of wooden stairs. The cliff face that you walk next to is amazing. Although still very hot, the shade of the trees and the water below offered relief. The falls are described in the hiking book as:
...a two-tier cataract, dropping perhaps 20 feet to a ledge, then bursting through a rock niche to drop another 60 feet or so into a wide pool.

As we came around a bend in the trail we immediately knew that we had made the right decision to go on the hike. We guessed that it was about 30 degrees cooler than the 100+ temps that we had just come from and the falls was gorgeous! I literally, not realizing it, stopped in my tracks and stared in awe.

Only one bad thing about the hike - I brought the camera but I FORGOT MY MEMORY CARD. I kicked myself many times along the hike but when we came into view of the falls I nearly cried. How could I have done something so silly as forgetting the card?? Luckily, Joel had his cell phone and it has a decent enough camera, so he got some pictures along the way.

The gorge in the gorge that we were hiking into.

One of the little foot bridges that you cross has this beauty on your left and Tanner Creek down to your right.

Tanner Creek

Another view of the gorge and creek.

The rocky cliff face that the trail is cut into.

We're up the trail aways now, this is looking back toward the Columbia River and gorge. The fuzziness of the picture is due to the heat! Watching the heat waves was dizzying at times.

A little piece of heaven. The boys and I were a bit ahead of Joel, he got this great picture of the falls and we add a bit of perspective to it all.

Another great shot of the falls.

And another one...

I like this picture of Oliver because he's cute and because you can see big brother off exploring to the lower right.

Still in the wonderfully cool shade, we walked just a little bit from the falls and let the boys play here for quite a while. You could still hear and see the falls so it was very calming.

Getting wet, Noah is building a small dam and Oliver is just trying to find good throwing rocks.


Anonymous said...

I already feel cooler. It's 105 as I view this and yet these pics are refreshing. Of course the A/C dosen't hurt either.
Thanks Tiff
G-Pop Bruce

Suz... said...

please, please, please take us here the next time we visit! Beautiful!!! and, also, glad you liked the concert.

Johnson Family said...

It was soooo nice up there, really hard to hike back into the heat. And Su, OF COURSE, we will take you there! We can't wait to go again.

Elite Stitches said...

Great pictures, especially since I know they're from a phone...! Looks like a little bit of heaven.

Shana said...