The last two days of our Pacific Northwest trip were full of seeing everything we could before heading back to North Dakota. My husband and I had been planning this trip in our heads for a few years now and when the pandemic canceled all of our other plans we finally went for it. Even through we had talked about this road trip before, I don’t think we could have ever realize how beautiful this area is.
We were able to drive for six days and see mountains, rocky beaches, a rainforest, the tallest pine trees we had ever seen, sandy beaches, windy mountain roads, waterfalls, and more mountains! My husband and I both grew up in West Fargo, ND, where everything is flat for as far as you can see. Being able to see the beauty and variety of such a small area of the world made us ready to continue to travel to see what else we have been missing!
On Day 5 we woke up in Portland, OR with big plans to drive a loop around waterfalls and Mt. Hood and make it back to Portland for the night. Our first stop was the famous Multnomah Falls. I had read online that these falls are very popular and the huge parking lot can fill up! We made a plan to head there first right away in the morning and thankfully there were only a few people at the falls when we arrived. Sadly, do to the trial being closed we were not able to hike up to the bridge. However, that also meant there were no people on the bridge and in the photos!
I sent a few photos of this amazing waterfall to my family and my mom responded as soon as she recognized the waterfall. She has had a photo of this waterfall hanging in her office for years!
After seeing the first waterfall, we back tracked to the old highway and started climbing high above the interstate we started on. Our first stop was the Women’s Forum Viewpoint. From here we could see Washington across the river and the Vista House off in the distance. It was a breathtaking view! Then the windy road took us right up to the Vista House next!
When I was researching this stretch of waterfalls, I kept seeing things about how amazing Multnomah Falls is. However, I actually love Latourell Falls the most! This waterfall was a skinny stream of water that fell straight down from the high cliff above. The water only touched the rocks for a short time before falling straight down and the cliff side pulling away. I love the yellow-green growth on the side of the rocks and the amazing shapes the rocks have been carved out in. Everything about this waterfall was amazing!
At this point of the trip, I was on day 4 of a sore hip. When we were hiking in the mountains on our first full day, I pulled something in my hip. It made going up hill and doing stairs really difficult! Thankfully, my husband was willing to scope out the upper part of the hike to see if it was really worth it. From where I was waiting, I couldn’t help but laugh at how much he looked like big foot stomping through the forest!
We felt like we were back in the rainforest for this waterfall! The surrounding trees and river were beautiful. Can you spot my husbands in the next photo? We both walked down to the water from different spots on the trial, not realizing we were going to end up so far apart!
Horsetail Falls was the last waterfall before we decided to go see Mt. Hood. More and more people were joining us at each parking lot and it was becoming difficult to find a spot to park. We were ready to break away from the crowd and continue our adventure!
Next up was Mt. Hood! We ended up being really lucky with our visit to Mt. Hood. It isn’t every day that the mountain is out and perfectly viewable against the clear blue sky! We drove towards Mt. Hood with a simple lakeside hike planned. However, we quickly realized most of the area was closed due to the wildfires. We found a spot with reception and started looking at what options were left! Thankfully, we were able to find a nice hike up to lake where you could see Mt. Hood. It was a much longer hike than we originally planned, but it was worth it!
After our hike we headed back to Portland for the night. On the way back we found a spot to watch the sunset hit Mt. Hood. We got there just in time and it was beautiful!
Day 6 – Back to the Mountains
On our last day, we had to drive from Portland to Seattle to catch our flight the next morning. We had two stops planned, Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Rainier. The weather was rainy and cloudy, but we hoped to see both mountains! Unfortunately, Mt. St. Helens was hidden behind the clouds. We started driving towards the base of the mountain, but the fog and rain only got worse so we ended up turning around to have more time at Mt. Rainer.
I was disappointed we couldn’t see Mt. St. Helens, however if we would have keep going we would have missed Mt. Rainier! It was foggy up on the mountain, but we still had a nice hike. I finally got to see the fall color I was hoping for all week! We hiked up to a waterfall and enjoyed the cool air. Then, as we got back to the car, it started to rain and the fog thickened. Suddenly, we couldn’t see the building on the other side of the parking lot. If we had waited any longer to start our Mt. Rainier hike, it would have been too wet outside to enjoy it, and way too foggy to see anything!
That was the end of our trip to the Pacific Northwest! Click the links below to catch up on part 1 and 2 of our trip!
Ready to look back at some of our past trips?
Alecs Kay Photography is a Wedding & Portrait Photographer in Fargo, ND