Oregon Coast Trip Report of Coastal Scenes and Waterfalls

New Fine Art Pictures of Sea Stacks, Storm Waves, Sunrises and Sunsets

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Oregon Coast Landscape Photography
Oregon Landscape Photography

Cape Disappointment, Shore Acres State Park, Samuel Boardman Scenic Area, Gold Beach, Yaquina Head and Columbia River Gorge were all on the to-do list for this trip.

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Being from Florida, I associate the rain and storm season with the summer. The western coast of the United States, particularly in the Pacific Northwest, is more of a wintertime season. There are several days in the winter when large 15-20 foot high swells coincide with high tides resulting in some amazing waves crashing on the shore at Cape Disappointment and Shore Acres State Park.

Cape Disappointment was the main target, and the forecast had it for January 10th. I flew to Portland on the 9th and headed out to the Cape before dawn the next day. I had seen photos of this event for years, but they are not the same as being there. It was a little foggy, but it was spectacular.

huge exploding storm waves at Cape Disappointment in front of the lighthouse in Washington State
"Cape Disappointment" - Click Photo To Purchase

Huge rolling storm waves in front of the lighthouse at Cape Disappointment in Washington State
"Cape D Wave" - Click Photo To Purchase

This closeup photo of one of the waves displays the beauty and the violence of Mother Nature. The small bay where these waves come into is not somewhere you would want to be in a boat. The waves toss huge logs around like toothpicks.

A closeup view of a huge storm wave at Cape Disappointment
"The Wave" - Click Photo To Purchase

As a real bonus, the forecast had another day of high surf at Shore Acres State Park on the 12th. Again, I arrived early. The waves continued to build throughout the morning as the tide came in. Incoming waves would bounce back off the rocks, merge with another incoming wave to form waves that were of the 20 foot high variety and then crash on rocks with an incredible splash. You can see a fence on the rocks that gives you an idea of scale.

A huge exploding wave towering over the rocky coast at Shore Acres State Park, Oregon
"Shores Acres Explosion" - Click Photo To Purchase

With the forecast of large waves over, I headed south to the Samuel Boardman Scenic Area. The sea stacks there have trees growing out of the tops of them, which add such a wonderful element compared to the ones without the trees. I had tried photographing there before, but heavy fog prevented me from capturing any images. There was a little less fog this time, and I was pleased with the results.

A Sea Stack on the Oregon Coast in the fog and framed by trees in front of a sunrise sky
"Coastal Fog" - Click Photo To Purchase

Sea Stacks in front of colorful sunrise skies on the Oregon coast
"Southern Stacks" - Click Photo To Purchase

A view of the Oregon rocky coast at sunrise with trees growing out of the tops of the sea stacks
"Coastal View" - Click Photo To Purchase

Warm sunrise light on the grass and sea stacks at Gold Beach in Oregon
"Gold Morning" - Click Photo To Purchase

I had discovered an area several years ago with a footbridge over a small stream, but it was summer and there wasn’t any water flowing. With the winter rains, I was hoping for something much different. I couldn’t believe the difference. It’s a small scene, but the lush Oregon greenery surrounding the cascade is beautiful.

A cascading stream under a wooden footbridge with deep green forest color in Oregon
"Silky Smooth" - Click Photo To Purchase

I headed north and decided to stop in Newport near the Yaquina Head Lighthouse. There was fog forecasted for the next morning, and I thought that could result in a nice image. When I got there, the fog was so thick I couldn’t see the lighthouse, but I got into position down on the rocky beach and waited for the fog to begin to clear. I was very happy with the combination of the long exposure on the water and the fog over the lighthouse.

An early morning view of Yaquina Head Lighthouse from the beach in the fog on the Oregon coast
"Yaquina Fog" - Click Photo To Purchase

I only had a couple of days left before I would have to head home, so I decided to see how the winter rains were affecting the waterfalls in the Columbia River Gorge. Much of the Gorge has been closed for several years due to the Eagle Creek Fire, but it has begun to re-open in spots.

The fog over Latourell Falls instantly grabbed my attention to photograph it from a position I had not before. At Wahclella Falls a mass of logs blocked the final section of the trail, that I assume were the result of recent storms. I carefully crawled over them. At first, I wasn’t sure about the logs in the pool at the base of the falls, but after looking at a variety of images taken, I like the one with the logs the best.

A view of Latourell Falls through the trees in the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon
"Latourell Falls" - Click Photo To Purchase

Wahclella Falls cascading down from the mountain into an aqua river with orange logs in the foreground in Oregon
"Wahclella Falls" - Click Photo To Purchase

My final stop was at Panther Creek Falls just over the border in Washington. I had been here twice before in the summer, but there was less water flowing. I was hoping the winter rains would result in water flowing over the right side, which was something that has been on my list for a while. I was thrilled to arrive and find it flowing so well and can finally check this one off the list.

A full flow of water coming down at Panther Creek Falls in Washington State
"Panther Creek Falls" - Click Photo To Purchase

I’m not sure what is up next, but I hope to get back to the Desert Southwest. These days, a lot of factors come into play. You can see more photos in my galleries for the Pacific Coast and the Pacific Northwest.

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