[/caption] The trail that starts near the Devil’s Cauldron takes you to the summit of Neahkanie mountain and offers you great views of the Pacific Ocean.
[/caption] Cape Falcon and Oswald West State Park is the place that has just about everything you could ask for. It’s a short walk to Smuggler Clove and Short Sand Beach with two waterfalls cascading into the Pacific Ocean. There are incredible views that follow along the Cape Falcon trail with sheer drop offs plunging several hundred feet down to the ocean. A campground offers an extended stay which is good since there are several different trails that offer over 20 miles of hiking trails. There are several spots to take in the horizon looking out towards the ocean with incredible views of the crashing waves thundering against the rocks and impassable beaches far below. I took this shot back on 3/23/10 and it was about 2:00pm in the afternoon. As you can see the sun was directly above which was creating some intense sun glare. I set the ISO to 100 and the white balance to -0.3 in order to offset some of the overexposure. I also attached my warming and CIR-PL to tame some of the suns rays and bring out the warm colors of the rocks. I was using my Canon T1i along with my Tokina 12-24mm wide angle lens. A wide angle lens allows you to garner as much to this panoramic view as possible. It would really hurt if you were to fall from this spot. This is a popular viewing area and there is also a narrow and less traveled trail that takes you lower but the views aren’t as good as this. You can see as far as Cape Lookout which is about 30 miles from where I took this photo. I had the camera mode in Program/Normal so the aperture was set at F-9 and the shutter speed at 1/200 second. I tilted the camera down a bit in order to avoid too much glare which helped bring out the colors and context of the cliff below as well as the land masses in the far distance. I also wanted to avoid any sun spots from appearing in this shot. I’ve never taken any sunset shots from this spot but I could imagine it would be pretty spectacular. However, you would need to watch your step and bring plenty of light since one false step would surely be your last.