[/caption] One of my favorite hikes near Mt. Hood has got to be one of many trials that face the west part of the mountain. the views are spectacular and there is a lot of peace and solitude. There aren’t any paved roads, only narrow and windy gravel roads that take you to around 4000 feet elevation gain. One of the most scenic trails is the Timberline trail which takes you around Bald Mountain. At this part of the trail you can get some of the most spectacular photos of the mountain. The Mt. Hood national forest surrounds the mountain in the foreground and the birth of the Sandy River is directly below, along with the dozens of amazing waterfalls pouring out from the glaciers clinging along the mountains flanks. The photo shown here was taken just below McNeil point and you can see one of the waterfalls that helps form the Sandy river on the upper left. Muddy fork travels directly below which becomes part of the Sandy river. At this particular spot you are in the middle of two relentless creeks on both sides. You are basically on an island that only allows you to go straight up if you are trying to avoid the water. However, I did have to jump across the muddy creek, which can be very dangerous if the water level is high. I usually spend a few minutes looking for the safest spot to jump since I don’t want to break any of my equipment. You can also see another waterfall on the far right of the photo. I took this shot when I noticed how picturesque this photo looked with this Foxglove in the foreground of Mt. Hood. I was using my Canon EOS Rebel T1i along with my Tokina 12-24mm wide angle lens. On this day the haze was particularly bad and the glare from the sun was pretty intense. I made sure to attach my UV, warming and CIR-PL filters in order to soften the sky and bring out the colors of the vegetation. I set the camera to Program/Normal mode which put the aperture at F7 and the shutter speed at 1/125 second. I set the ISO to 100 and the white balance to -1 step due to the brightness of the sun. I was trying to get as much in the frame as possible so I had the focal length at 20mm. I didn’t want to have any blur in the corners of the photo so I ended up having to crop each of the corners. Since I was looking up for so many of my shots, several parts of the photo looked somewhat blurred. This was mostly due to a combination of things…. The field of view was huge, there were several subject in the photo and each subject was either close or farther away. It was like trying to take a 3D photo. Hiking in this part of the Mt. Hood national forest is best during late Spring or Summer. You will still find some snow and the flowers are amazing.