Pacific Northwest Nature Photographers Events

Gifford Pinchot National Forest, October 6th & 7th, 2007

Photo by Darrien Chin

Contact: Curtis Knight

On Saturday, October 6th at 6:30a.m. the Pacific Northwest Nature Photographers will meet at the Mt Adams Ranger Station, Trout Lake, Washington.

No strenuous hiking is planned for this outing. It's really not necessary in the areas we'll be shooting. 

Approximate itinerary will be as follows:


6:30a.m.: Meet at Mt Adams Ranger Station, We'll decide on where to shoot first based on sky conditions. Trout Lake reflecting Mt Adams is just a few minutes away. However parking is extremely limited so we'll need to carpool. Some folks might prefer to shoot Trout Lake Creek at the bridge, in the morning light.

After Sunrise, we'll go to Natural Bridges and/or the Trout Lake Creek bridge. Natural Bridges is indicated on some maps as "The Big Trench". There is a spider web of berry picker trails and roads in the immediate area so once you've finished shooting the trench, be sure to wander around the trails and the roads.

We'll meet back at the Natural Bridges parking area for lunch (around noon), and discuss the options for the rest of the day.

Photo by Darren White

Options include the 88, 23, and 90 roads, the Trout Lake Big Tree area, Trout Lake Creek (at the campground), and Langfield Falls.

We can discuss sunset during lunch as well. Options include Goose Lake, Trout Lake, Surprise Lakes, or Conboy Lake National Wildlife Refuge. Conboy is about a 40 minute drive east of Trout Lake.


Sunrise: Surprise Lake. The rest of the morning will be in the Surprise Lakes vicinity. I expect people will probably begin to break off for home after lunch as it'll be a long drive for just about everyone, including yours truly. For those who want to do more shooting, there are several lakes near-by, including Mosquito Lake, Hidden Lakes, Goose Lake, and Forlorn Lakes.

Please note that the itinerary police will have the weekend off... J If we decide to shoot something/somewhere different, it's ok to change our plan. This is your event more than it is mine. I'm only here to provide ideas.



Photo by Darrien Chin

To Trout Lake: From Portland/Vancouver area: Take I84 to Hood River and cross the Columbia River to the

 Washington side. Turn left (West) onto Hwy 14, and drive approx 1.5 miles to Hwy 141.

From Seattle area: Take I5 to Vancouver and either take Hwy 14 east to hwy 141, or cross into Portland and take I84 as described above.

Follow hwy 141 north approx 20 miles to Trout Lake. As you enter Trout Lake you'll see a Chevron Station.  To go to the ranger station, bear left, following hwy 141 through town, approx 1 mile, to the ranger station on the left. If you prefer to go straight to the Trout Lake Creek bridge, bear right and drive about 100 yards to the bridge.

For Seattle area people, there is a back route to Trout Lake, but it will likely not save you any time. You would go through Morton and Randle. The 23 Road is washed out at Babyshoe Pass, so the route gets a little complicated and round-about. So if you'd like detailed directions, email me or give me a call. My land line number is listed in the Vernonia phone book.

Surprise Lakes:

  • From Trout Lake, take FR60(hwy 141) to FR24.
  • travel north on 24 several miles to Surprise Lakes.

I've got a good map of the Mt Adams district, and the ranger station is open saturdays so if anyone wants to buy thier own map, you'll be able to get one easily.

Accomodations and Camping

Motels, and B&Bs (When choosing a place to stay, remember that Kelly's Trout Creek Inn, enthusiastically gave us permission to cross their property to access the creek)

Trout Lake Creek Campground (I'll be camping here both nights)

Forlorn Lakes Campgrounds - there are several little lakes and each one has a campground. Note that the best access is from the east side via road 6035. The road from Goose Lake (6040) is rough as a cob, and thus really slow driving. In fact if you're not driving a truck or SUV I suggest not even considering it.

There are no reservations at the campgrounds, but this time of year, we'll have the place to ourselves.

BRING WATER!!! Bring water if you're camping! none of the campgrounds have potable water.

Finally, if you have any questions, please feel free to either give me a call, email me, or post a question in the forum. See you in Trout Lake!

More Information

Fall color in 2006 in the Gifford Pinchot

Langfield Falls - a short drive from Natural Bridges, and a 1/4 mile hike from the parking lot.

Big Spring Creek Falls: Follow FR23 from Trout Lake almost to the junction with FR 90, where FR23 is currently closed. About 100yards before you get to the junction is a wide turnout on the outside of a tight corner. There is a sign partially blocked by vegetation that marks the waterfall.

The Trout Lake Big Tree: Quote from the GPNF website: "The Trout Lake Big Tree is one of Washington States largest Ponderosa Pines. The tree has a diameter of 84 inches and is 202 feet high."

To get to the Trout Lake Big Tree, take the Mt Adams Hwy (aka forest road 17) to FR80, follow FR80 to FR 8020, and follow the signs to the big tree. There is a spectacular display of vine maple in this area.