Spectacular fall color on Mt. Hood and at Tamanawas Falls

I didn’t have to work until evening on Tuesday, so I headed up to Mt. Hood to check out the fall color. GO NOW! It is spectacular! The drive up Highway 26 is really pretty with vine maple and various trees whose leaves turn yellow. I continued down 26 over Blue Box Pass, and all the vine maple along there is on fire. I went down the road to Timothy Lake a short distance, along which is MORE brilliant vine maple.

Burning bush

Tuesday was pretty overcast, but the clouds were high, so I could see Mt. Hood in its entirety, nearly completely white with snow.

The mountain we love

I stopped at Umbrella Falls at Mt. Hood meadows, which is looking lovely. There is some muted fall color there, and the air is filled with the pungent smell of decaying vegetation. Lots of wildflowers grow there in the summer, and the area is now one big pile of rotting plant matter.

Umbrella Falls

I continued down Highway 35 and stopped to hike to Tamanawas Falls. What a gorgeous hike this time of year! There is a whole bunch of vine maple along the trail and it is all bright yellow right now. Throw in a beautiful little creek and pleasant surroundings, and you have yourself a fantastic fall hike.

Leaves over the creek

And because of all the precipitation up there lately, the waterfall is looking pretty decent. I didn’t have time to do the longer loop back, unfortunately.

Tamanwas Falls

It looks like a big rockslide took out part of the trail a short ways down from the waterfall at some point and they’ve recently re-routed it across the slide. Was that from this past winter? I also saw a footbridge in the creek at the bottom of that slide, but where the heck did it come from? The trail doesn’t cross the creek upstream from that point, so where would a footbridge have washed down from?

Mysterious bridge

I drove home via Hood River, taking Highway 35 down to Interstate 84. 35 is absolutely AMAZING right now: vine maples, big leaf maples, poplars, and others are all at their peak of color. It is truly a spectacular drive right now. When I got to Hood River I wanted to turn around and drive it again, or else get out of my car, turn around to face the mountain, and shout “BRAVO!” It really felt like I was driving through Mother Nature’s own personal color show.

Here are more photos.