Pacific Northwest Nature Photographers Events



Cold Spring Creek and Lookout Mountain,  October 1st & 2nd


Fall River Pano by Erik Lundh 

Where: Government Camp rest area on Hwy 26. 

When: Leave Govt. Camp at 5:00a.m. Please be on time. This is one of the few times that I get fussy about the time. We'll be cutting the time close as it is for sunrise so we won't be waiting for alarm clock mistakes <grin>. If you don't want to meet for sunrise, you can meet up with us later as stated in the itinerary section.

Directions: If you're unfamiliar with the Mt Hood area, I strongly suggest obtaining a map to determine the best way to get to Hwy 26 and/or Hwy 35, then travel accordingly.

From Portland: Follow Hwy 26 East approx 40 miles to Government Camp. The rest area is on the north side of the highway at the east end of town right next to the Chevron Station.

From Columbia Gorge and Eastern Washington: Meet Mark Hudon at the intersection of Hwy 35 and Forest Road 44. He'll be parked at the intersection road with his interior lights on. Follow Hwy 35 from Hood River, south to the intersection. This will save you a lot of back tracking to and from Government Camp.

Food: Bring some! We'll be on the trail well past noon!

Parking and Misc: both trailheads require a Northwest Forest Pass. Remember to bring a flashlight for the hike to the sunrise. In Oregon passes can be purchased at these locations. In Washington, the passes can be purchased at these locations. note that the Washington list is a little more complicated to access. you have to perform a search by city, vendor, or forest. Last year the annual pass was $30. As far as I know the cost has not increased this year.

Alternative for rain? If the forecast calls for more than a 60% chance of rain, I'll be skipping sunrise, and we'll meet at the Cold Spring Creek trailhead approx 8:30 a.m.

Itinerary: We'll leave Government Camp at 5:00, and head for Lookout Mountain for the sunrise. We expect to be at the trail head by 6:00a.m. and in position by 6:30. Sunrise is at 7:08 and civil twilight is at 6:39. This spot isn't for fall color, it's just a great place to catch the sunrise. If you're not interested in sunrise, or you simply can't make it that early, you can meet up with the group in the trailhead parking lot at approx 8:00 a.m. We'll make sure we don't leave any sooner than that. Directions to the trail head are provided below.

Red Tip by Rick Lundh, 2005.

After sunrise we'll head for Cold Springs Creek where we expect to get some spectacular colors! The image provided by Rick Lundh at the bottom of this page is of Cold Spring Creek in the fall of 2004.

We'll plan to meet back at Government camp between 1:00 and 2:00 depending on how much material we find to shoot along the creek. We can eat or have a beer or both and discuss what to do with the remaining daylight. There are several options such as Trillium Lake, Salmon River Trail, sunset at Timberline Lodge, etc.  

Is this date solid? October 1st is a solid date. Rick and Erik Lundh scouted the area ahead of time to see how the colors are coming along. IT'S LOOKING  VERY GOOD!!!. 


Photo by Rick Lundh 

Road Conditions: According to those who have been there, these are your typical forest roads so don't bring your brand new Cadillac! Also remember that this time of year the weather can change quickly so have good tires and it wouldn't hurt to carry a set of chains just in case.

Clothing: As I stated above, the weather can change in a heartbeat so dress accordingly, and bring a dry change of clothes. And, don't forget gloves so you can work the camera controls!

Directions to the Cold Spring Creek trail head: The trail head is on the West side of  highway 35 about 1-2  miles North of the turn off to Dufur and Lookout Mt. (highway 44) or approx. 19 miles from Government camp.

Lodging: For those visiting from out of the area, here are some links to lodging options in the area:

Government Camp

Hood River