Portland, Oregon

The eclipse gave us an opportunity to go back to Portland, Oregon and explore more of its surroundings. Here’re our top five activities:

Oneonta Gorge

Oneonta Gorge

1. The total eclipse
As far as experiences go, the total eclipse is definitely one of the most unique and surreal. Pictures don’t do it justice at all, that’s why I decided not to focus on taking pictures, especially because it’s only about 1 min long. The difference between 90% coverage eclipse and totality can’t be any more dramatic. At about 95% coverage, it starts with dusk and cooler temperatures, and the moment the moon covers the entire sun, complete darkness falls and you can even see some of the brightest stars. One minute later, the light comes back and everything goes to normal.

Only a few not so great pictures :)

Only a few not so great pictures :)

Locals savored mimosas while waiting for totality

Locals savored mimosas while waiting for totality

Thanks Trader Joe for the eclipse picnic!

Thanks Trader Joe for the eclipse picnic!

2. Hike through Oneonta Gorge (.6mi roundtrip)
This is a short hike but so much fun! Definitely need to be there in the morning if you want to have the canyon almost to yourself. Wading through cold water on an early Oregonian morning may not sound enticing, but once you see the canyon walls covered in moss and ferns towering above, you don’t mind your feet getting numb. The only “challenge” or more of a bottleneck are the logs piled up at the entrance to the canyon. But there’s even a rope installed to make the climb easier.

Climbing over the log pile reveals a stunning canyon

Climbing over the log pile reveals a stunning canyon

6R8C5522

In August the water level is pretty low, which makes for an easy passage

In August the water level is pretty low, which makes for an easy passage

This is the deepest point in August

3. Silver Falls State Park – Trail of Ten Falls (7.5-8 mi)
It’s a long hike, but it takes you through lush forest and you get to see beautiful waterfalls along the way. Ok, not all waterfalls are spectacular, but there are at least 4 very nice ones with the trail passing behind them. We got there early in the morning and had no trouble finding parking at the North entrance. From there, the trail seemed to go downhill most of the time, which made for a relatively easy walk. Some of the waterfalls worth seeing – North Falls, Middle North Falls, Lower South Falls, and South Falls – all have a trail where you can walk behind them.

From left to right: Middle North Falls, Lower South Falls, South Falls.

From left to right: Middle North Falls, Lower South Falls, South Falls.

North Falls early in the morning - barely any people

North Falls early in the morning – barely any people

We had perfect weather for the hike

We had perfect weather for the hike

Loved how the trees reflected in the river

Loved how the trees reflected in the river

6R8C5890_mix

6R8C5855

Relatively easy trail

Relatively easy trail

Keeping with the waterfall theme, the falls along Historic Columbia River Highway may be worth a stop if you’re in the area. Multnomah Falls are pretty impressive, but it was hard to enjoy them because of the crowds, especially during the eclipse weekend.

From left to right: Horsetail, Multnomah, Latourell

From left to right: Horsetail, Multnomah, Latourell

4. Angel’s Rest Trail
The first thing we did after we landed and got the rental car, we drove to the Angel’s Rest trailhead. At 6:30pm the parking lot was surprisingly still full. It’s a 2.3mi uphill battle to get to the top for an amazing view at sunset. It was pitch dark by the time we got back to the car.

Almost to the top of the trail

Almost to the top of the trail

The end of the trail rewards you with an amazing view

The end of the trail rewards you with an amazing view

More exhausted than expected

More exhausted than expected

Gorgeous view at sunset

Gorgeous view at sunset

The sun was almost gone, but we had another 2 mi to go back down

The sun was almost gone, but we had another 2 mi to go back down

To see the same view, with less effort, go to the Vista House. However, I believe the challenge of the hike makes the view more spectacular.

View from the Vista House

View from the Vista House

5. Mount Hood and Timberline Lodge
We spent a night at the Timberline lodge on mount Hood. The exterior of the lodge appeared in the movie “The Shining,” but it’s not at all terrifying in real life :) During the day, we took the Magic Mile Sky Ride to a higher point on the mountain and in the evening, we went to Trillium Lake but were too pooped to hike around it because of #4 above. After dinner, we watched the sunset and retired to our tiny room for the night.

Image from Imdb.com

Image from Imdb.com

Craft elements from the lodge

Craft elements from the lodge

"Heated" pool was pretty cold

“Heated” pool was pretty cold

Mount Hood from Trillium Lake. The lodge is somewhere on the right side of the mountain where the tree line ends

Mount Hood from Trillium Lake. The lodge is somewhere on the right side of the mountain where the tree line ends

Found a pocket of flowers

Found a pocket of flowers

Sunset view from the lodge

Sunset view from the lodge

Sunset view from the lodge

Sunset view from the lodge

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>