It’s hard to believe our Oregon trip was 9 months ago but the magic of the coast and the scent of the evergreens are still strong in our memories. We’re road-trippers at heart. We love LONG drives down desolate roads, where the only pit stops are to see a landscape or viewpoint…and to pee in the woods. We had the opportunity to fly into Portland for a wedding photography workshop and then head out in a lovely little Subaru rental for a leisurely drive from Portland through Columbia River Gorge, on to Mt. Hood area and then to the coast. We booked a few sessions along the way and spent a few cold nights in our tent. Mainly we wanted to share some of our trip photos because the views were insane but we also wanted to mention a few awesome things about the new gear we bought for the trip!
We started the trip at Wahclella Falls in the Columbia River Gorge area. This beautiful and short hike doesn’t disappoint. The huge waterfall and deep teal pool is surrounded by a wall of rock and evergreen. We got to see this part of the trip with the workshop we were attending so we didn’t have much time to explore. If we ever head back to this region we will definitely head back to Wahclella! After Wahclella we stayed in Portland for a few days before heading back East towards the Columbia River Gorge and our next hike: Angel’s Rest.
We snagged some photos of a roadside waterfall right after leaving Angel’s Rest which was our first true hike in Oregon. Angel’s Rest is a fairly quick out and back, mostly uphill on the way in. It’s views are worth it! We recommend getting their early to avoid the crowds at the top. Be careful at the top not to miss the trail. It looks like you can scramble some rocks to cut the hike short but the trail is just off to the right into the woods. We drove towards Mt. Hood from here. We took Rt. 35 to Frog Lake Campground for the night. It was SO cold up there but we had the best little spot in this quiet campground. The highlight of that night was finding out why it was called Frog Lake. There are tiny, tiny little frogs EVERYWHERE. We could barely walk along the beach of the lake without stepping on the little guys but we did our best. After some good beer from the local camp store and a warm fire we tucked into our Big Agnes tent for the first time. It was a chilly night but our brand new sleeping bags kept us pretty toasty. I also wore my Chakos for the first time which was perfect on the beach, with toes in the water and at the campsite…they’re so versatile, cute and comfy.
As we were leaving Frog Lake the next morning, we ran into some through hikers from the PCT which was SO COOL. They had heard through the grapevine on the trail that our campground manager was a provider of delicious snacks! He gave them oreos, pretzels, etc. It was such a fun thing to see and imagine being a part of one day! From Frog Lake we headed closer to Mt. Hood for a session with some fun folks. We met them at Mirror Lake for an awesome and short hike to a remote and super-picturesque view of Mt. Hood over Mirror Lake itself.
Mirror Lake is definitely worth a visit. There are back-country campsites up there that would be worth spending a week at. After we left there, we had a bit of freedom because we didn’t have a destination to get to or a campsite booked. We ended up finding an other-worldly spot for the night not too far from Mirror Lake. We don’t even remember the name of the campground but it was just a tiny spot for the night. We found Old Salmon River and a trail winding along the bank in this old-growth rainforest…it was awesome.
After a night in the rainforest we headed gung-ho towards the coast! Our greeting point was Cape Kiwanda for some beer and a sand dune adventure.
Just a short drive up the coast from Cape Kiwanda is Cape Lookout, where we stayed for a few nights to really take in everything the Oregon Coast has to offer. At Cape Lookout we lazed and dazed in the sun, soaked up the moody vibes of the fog rolling over the cliffs, cooked, drank, collected agates on the stone beach and took a long hike out to the ‘lookout’. This was the last leg of our trip before heading back to PDX for our flight home so we really soaked it all in. We met up with some friends for another portrait session and got to experience a hidden trail near Hug Point. Everything about the coast is breathtaking but our favorite part really was experiencing it with the friends we met and made along the way!
The emerald waters and those cliffs literally call my name!! We can’t wait to go back to Oregon and explore some more!!
But first, some un-sponsored gear plugs for anyone interested simply because I spent a TON of time researching and want to share the love. (we’re not paid for mentioning these brands).
Big Agnes Tumble Mntnglo Backpacking Tent
We spent a long time looking for the right two person backpacking tent. This tent is just enough space, we love the color/look/style. The best feature is the mesh top for stargazing at night. Highly recommend.
Exped Hyperlite Sleeping Pad for 2
We also spent a lot of time researching 2-person sleeping pads. As a couple, we wanted to be able to cuddle…duh, but we also wanted something light weight, small. We didn’t think an inflatable pad would be a good option but once we saw the way this was made, with separate compartments for each person, we had to try it. It’s so comfortable and easy to inflate with the Exped Pump Bag
Marmot Trestles 30 Backpacking Sleeping Bag
Just like it says in the description, low bulk, high warmth. Cozy. We love these in cold or warm weather!
Any questions about our gear, our trip or our photos…just ask! Thanks for reading! Wonder Onward!