[/caption] Beautiful view of Broken Top from crater meadow in the Three Sisters Wilderness area. If you’re looking for a great area to get in some great hiking and have an opportunity to get some great photos and take in some great views, you won’t want to pass up the chance to hike near Broken Top mountain. However, if you’re going for only a day hike and you want to avoid the killer up hill elevation gain that you must endure via the Green Lakes trailhead, you may want to cheat a little by driving to the Broken Top trailhead. However, you will need to endure over 4 miles of a rugged dirt road that calls for a high clearance vehicle and lots of patience. Once you get to the parking lot you will find yourself with having to deal with only about 500 to 1,000 feet of elevation gain, depending on what you want to do. You are pretty much smack dab in the middle of Broken Top and you can continue along the trailhead or span out in several different directions once you get to a well marked intersection of trails. This photo was taken along the crater meadow with two lava cones in the foreground and on both the right and left of Broken Top. There are plenty of wildlife in the area as well as dozens of alpine flowers dotting the landscape. You will also walk across several small to medium sized creeks as well as see several waterfalls. Even during mid Fall, you will find yourself hiking through snow as well as several snow bridges.
[/caption] A neon green fern standing over Tanner creek as the water travels towards the Columbia River. The early parts of the trail towards Wahclella Falls follows closely near the creek before it quickly climb’s high above the water. The first 1/4 mile offers some excellent opportunities to stand along the rocky beaches and snag some great photos like this one. There are several areas where the huge mossy rocks create a slow moving pool so you can easily walk out along the creek and snap some photos of the forest lining the waters edge. I was using my Sigma 17-70mm lens and set the focal length at 31mm in order to frame the fern and use it as the main subject but keeping a large field of view so the entire photo is in focus. I set the shutter priority at 20 seconds so I could blur the water as much as possible and having no wind helped keep the foliage from showing any movement. I attached my ND8, CIR-PL and warming filter in order to set the shutter to 20 seconds. I was standing on the trail and used my tripod, bubble level and remote switch. The aperture was at F-14 and I set the ISO to 100 and the white balance to -0.7. This was my last photo of the day and it was about 6:20pm and there was very little light, which made it a great opportunity to open the shutter for a longer period and really take advantage of the low light. Now I just need to go back next week to see if the wildflowers are taking hold.