Tag Archives: snow-shoeing in the Cascades

Trillium Lake, Oregon

[/caption] Trillium Lake normally freezes over during the winter months and allows snow-shoers, x-country skiers and the occasional ice fisherman to take advantage of the winter paradise! This photo was taken from the north side of the lake with Mt. Hood behind me. I took this shot at about 2:25pm and as you can see the sun was included in this photo in order to brighten the photo as much as possible without allowing too much glare to ruin the shot. In order to avoid this I made sure to attach my CIR-PL and set the ISO at 100 and reduced the white balance to -0.7. I was hoping to increase the brightness and reduce the saturation surrounding the trees but due to the snow, I was limited in my attempt to have each tree stand out more. I had the camera in Normal/Program mode so the aperture was at F-10 and the shutter speed at 1/400 second. I ended up increasing the brightness on my Adobe Photoshop to 25 since the color of the sky was over saturated and the trees were barely noticeable. I was using my Sigma 17-70mm lens and kept the focal length at 17mm in order to get the most panoramic photo as possible.

White River snow park near Mt. Hood, OR

[/caption] The White River snow park trail system offers an opportunity to walk through an ancient forest as well as experience some pretty awesome views of Mt. Hood as well as Mt. Jefferson and the Three Sisters in the distance. However, you will need to prepare yourself for a very strenuous climb since it’s very steep and long. If you go to the top you will end up with about 2,000 feet of elevation gain. they only thing that stops you is a huge cornice with a 500 feet drop off on both sides. You end up on the edge of a cliff with nothing but an eroded moraine below. Since you will have to navigate through the forest as well as climb some pretty steep areas, you will want to bring plenty of snacks and water. The trail is pretty much right in the middle between Timberline ski lodge and Mt. Hood Meadows. There are several different routes that you can take but snow shoeing through the forest is the most peaceful and rewarding way to go. During the summer months you can hike on some of the more popular trails but during winter you have the opportunity to make your own trails.

Winter moon in the Cascades

[/caption] Every once in a while you’re lucky enough to be photographing the landscape when you look up and notice that the moon is in the distance. However, I’m never lucky enough to witness the moon within a close proximity of my subjects that I may be photographing. Whenever I’m able to include the moon in some of my photos it’s always pretty far away and hard to notice unless I use my telephoto. I can only imagine the day that the moon is enormous and very close where I can take a picture of a snow capped mountain or the ocean at sunset standing side by side. Until then, this is the best that I can come up with. While I was returning from my snow-shoe trip in the Mt. Hood wilderness I decided to snow-shoe inside the deep forest and look for some descent photography opportunities but then I noticed that the moon was just above the trees. Luckily the sky was still a perfect shade of blue and the clouds were allowing me several photo opportunities without them in the frame.

Mt. Hood, OR

[/caption] Awesome view of Mt. Hood after a snow storm blanketed the lower elevations near Government Camp. Mt. Hood stands out like a giant ice cream cone with plenty of deep rich vanilla snow drenched over its summit. Snow shoeing is one of the best and sometimes the only way to get photos like this. Plan on bringing plenty of water and snacks and expect some awesome views.

Snow covered forest in winter


There is nothing more awesome than snow-shoeing deep in the forest just after a huge snow storm blankets the forest. I took this shot as well as many others while I was snow-shoeing within the Mt. Hood Wilderness. I had just finished photographing Mt. Hood when I decided to blaze through the trees and see what kind of pictures I could get. I was fortunate to have been visiting the day after it had snowed. I was trying to capture the perfect photo as I positioned my camera in every angle I could. This shot was taken at about 11:45am and I was pointing towards the sun. This created some reflections off the trees and made them look somewhat blueish as this can happen when you’re taking pictures in the snow. I was also shooting at about an 80 degree angle so this makes the light have to bend at a pretty steep angle which can also completely change the lighting and the perspective of the shot. I made almost no changes to the saturation or brightness in photoshop. This is pretty much a raw photo with me mostly just cropping parts of the edges out since I was using my wide angle lens and the edges were dark due to the use of my filters and lens hood. I was using my Canon T1i along with my Tokina 12-24mm wide angle lens. I had the focal length at 13mm in order to get as much of the trees in the frame. I attached my warming and CIR-PL filters in order to calm down the overexposure of the bright sunlit skies as well as eliminate any shadows that may appear from the trees. The camera mode was in Program/Normal so the aperture was at F-4 and the shutter speed at 1/40 second. I wasn’t using my tripod so I did increase the white balance to +0.7 so I could still keep the ISO at 100. I was lucky enough to avoid any sun glare, especially since I was looking almost directly in the sun and the aperture was at F-4. Using the trees to block parts of the sun and having filters helped avoid this

Oregon Cascades

[/caption] There is a very short and scenic snow-shoe trail that will take you to one of the most scenic and beautiful spots to view Mt. Hood. The trail is right off Hwy 26 and within an earshot from the chairlifts of Mt. Hood Ski Bowl. You can see the condos and lodges in Government Camp as well as hear the groomers plowing along the groomed runs of the ski resort. The Summit trail starts near the ski bowls west parking lot and ends at the Mazama sno-park. However, the lakes are right between the two chairlifts at Mt. Hood Ski Bowl. As long as there is enough snow covering the two small lakes you can gingerly snow-shoe along their banks or even navigate your way through them. The day I visited it had snowed over 2 feet of cold champagne powder the night before and I was the first to visit since the snow had fallen. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky and the conditions were epic. However, the high winds were whipping the snow from the trees which made it seem as though it was snowing at times. I was using my Canon EOS T1i along with my Tamron 12-24 wide angle lens. I had the focal length at 24mm in order to add as much of the mountain to this shot as possible. I also wanted to get the small branch in the foreground as well as frame the mountain with trees on both sides. The lake is in the foreground and you can almost make out the creek carving its way through the snow. I wanted to increase the field of view as much as possible so I kept the ISO at 100 and the white balance to -0.3. I took this shot on 2/25/11 and it was about 11:30am so the sun was somewhat bright but still low enough to create shadows from the tall trees. The camera mode was at Program/Normal mode so the aperture was at F-10 and the Exposure Time was 1/200 second. I was using my warming filter and CIR-PL to highlight the mountain but calm the intensity of the sun drenched blue sky. The warming filter also helped eliminate too much glare from the snow. I highly recommend using both of these filters whenever photographing in snow during a sunny day.

Mt. Hood, OR

[/caption] After two days of champagne like snow that fell in the Oregon Cascades near Mt. Hood, the clouds gave way and there was an abundant of sun to go around on Wednesday. After several weeks of dismal weather that brought very little snow, we had experienced a truly epic day in the Cascades. There is a great snow-shoe/x-country ski trail that is just 65 miles east of Portland. It’s a quick and easy drive from the city. The Enid lake loop is a very pleasant and easy 2.7 mile loop. You can also continue on the Crosstown trail if your eager to go further since there are miles of trails that zigzag throughout the wilderness. Unfortunately, you will have little luck finding a vantage point to get a clear view of Mt. Hood. Enid lake is one of the only places that opens to a view of the mountain. You can also blaze your own trail if your looking for some fresh powder void of any markings. The morning started out sunny and crisp but unfortunately the afternoon gave way to much warmer temperatures. I guess all things must come to an end. As the day went on the temperatures started to melt the snow from the trees which made it seem as though the forest was being inundated with rain drops the size of pennies. I took this particular shot around 11:00am, just as the sun was peeking through the tallest trees. Frozen Enid lake is in the foreground with Mt. Hood looming in the background. I spent most of my trip photographing the trees that had been blanketed by the snow. This particular photo was taken without a tripod since I decided that I wouldn’t need it. I was using my Canon EOS T1i along with my Tokina 12-24mm wide angle lens. I set the focal length at 18mm and since the camera was set in Program/Normal mode the aperture was at F-7.1 and the shutter at 1/125 second. Due to the sun gaining in intensity I set the ISO to 100 and the white balance at -0.3. I was also using my warming filter and my CIR-PL due to the blue skies blanketing the backdrop. I saw several rabbit tracks in the snow as well as a small creek that followed many parts of the trail. I’ve hiked and mt. biked some of these trails during summer and they are simply awesome. You can’t beat a short drive from Portland to revel in some of the most spectacular scenery in the Cascades.