Tag Archives: Dry Creek Falls

Dry Creek Falls, Oregon

[/caption] Dry Creek Falls is one of the least visited waterfalls in the Columbia River Gorge but it’s one of the most photogenic waterfalls in the area. The hike to the waterfall is a moderate 5.4 mile round trip hike and you will be amazed at the forested canopy as you slice your way through the gorge. Dry Creek falls is a 50 foot water fall that plunges through a 300 foot cliff but you can only see parts of it high above the falls. You will want to hike over the diversion dam when you get to the falls and set up your tripod. I was surprised that I was able to get near the base of the waterfall without getting totally drenched. I noticed that there are sometimes lulls in the wind gusts and you have time to get a few shots off before you need to wipe the water off your lens. I was setting my shutter speed between 2 seconds and 4 seconds, depending on the amount of glare from the sun. I made sure to use my histogram in order to have the best settings as possible in use. I set the ISO at 200 and attached my ND4, CIR-PL and warming filter in order to get the ghosting effect of the water and bring out the colors of the basalt rock and vegetation. Since Dry Creek Falls is known to pretty much dry up you will want to visit during late spring or early summer. The vegetation doesn’t really explode until late spring and if you wait too long in the summer the water level is very low.

Dry Creek Falls, OR

[/caption] Dry Creek Falls is known to be one of the most seldom visited waterfalls within the Columbia River Gorge scenic area. This is the main reason that I had never took the time to make the 5.5 round trip hike to the waterfall. However, I am very glad that I finally decided to make the hike to this spectacular and very secluded and seldom visited gem. Sometimes you need to decide for yourself before you let someone else decide whether something is worth visiting or not. I was totally amazed at this scenic hike along the PCT, especially with the canopy of neon green trees and vegetation that littered the area. There are plenty of wildflowers along the trail and you also follow along the creek just before ending at the falls. I also happened along a deer that had been grazing just above the hiking trail. Parts of the trail do cut through some power lines but its only for a few hundred yards and once you get far enough on the trail you will no longer hear the busy I-84 traffic. Unfortunately, because the waterfall was used as a diversion dam back in the day, parts of the falls below the water is littered with iron and old concrete along with an old pipe just below the falls which is hard to keep out of your photos. However, I was able to take many photos as well as this one shown that doesn’t show any remnants of the dam. I took this shot while using my Canon T1i along with my Sigma 17-70mm lens. I was standing just behind the old dam so I could set the focal length at 28mm and then frame the huge walls surrounding the area. I made sure to attach my ND8, warming filter and CIR-PL so I could have the camera in Shutter Priority. I set the shutter speed at 4 seconds and the aperture was at F-16. I had the ISO at 100 and the white balance at -1.3. Because the falls are in such a secluded area which get only limited light I was able to take this shot at 12:00pm even though the sun was directly behind the falls. It’s hard to imagine that there is probably even a bigger waterfall in the cliffs behind dry creek falls. This is a hike definitely worth making and you will really enjoy the solitude of the area.