This is a gallery of attractions reached from Klamath Falls in southern Oregon.
Oregon has been plagued with immense wildfires at Columbia Gorge, Chetco Bar and Crater Lake. The smoke, I'm told, just cleared from Klamath Falls and Lake of the Woods two days before I arrived. Winter is just around the corner, but there were breaks in the clouds, which allowed some rewarding drone flights.
If we begin with Crater Lake on the enclosed screen grab map, Diamond Lake, Lemolo Lake, Watson Falls and Toketee Falls with its lake are North of Crater Lake on Route 138.
South of Crater Lake, Route 62 going West takes us past Mount McLoughlin with its nearby lakes—Fourmile, Lake of the Woods, Fish, Howard Prairie and Willow. Continuing to Prospect, we pass then Rogue River Canyon, Natural Bridge, Mill Creek Falls, Prospect Falls and Barr Creek Falls. Keep following Rt. 62 to Peyton Bridge at Lost Creek Lake.
Arriving from Susanville in California, I drove to remote Fourmile Lake for its view of the steep-sided Mount McLoughlin. Mount McLoughlin has lakes on four sides, so I decided to visit them and use the dramatic peak as a part of the compositions.
The trip involves a lot of driving; coming back to Klamath Falls from the area around the peak, I flew the drone at two sites on Upper Klamath Lake. Klamath Falls is at the South end of the big lake.
When I visited Crater Lake, I was relieved to see that a several inch snowfall had put out most of the fires. My first day there, the only spot on the entire rim around the lake where I could take a picture of the lake was at the Lodge on the South end. The snow closed the rest of the rim drive. The next two days were warm and sunny, much of the snow melted and the entire eastern Rim drive was open. What a difference!
I’ll mention one more thing you will notice in my gallery: Mount McLoughlin elevates air as the wind blows, condensing moisture and creating clouds around the peak. I got one telephoto shot at 8:00 in the morning, and never saw the peak in the clear for the next two days! A week later, it was warm and sunny for photography—but much of the snow had melted…
I made two forays to Oregon’s coast. The first was West of Portland to Haystack Beach and Rock. That section of coastline is stunningly beautiful. In good weather such as occurred while I was there, the rewards are never forgotten.
The second foray came a month later, driving a hundred-mile stretch of coast from Eureka, California to Gold Beach in southern Oregon.
That second trip was in Summer 2017, a season when persistent fog can blanket the entire coast for days at a time. I was fortunate to get a few hours of beautiful sunshine during two of my days.
On that second visit. That enabled me to fly the captivating Arch Rock, Whaleshead Beach, Thomas Creek Bridge, Pistol River, the Battery Point Lighthouse and Gold Beach.
All but the Battery Point lighthouse in that list are within twenty miles of each other, so I could get a lot done in a brief time. The lighthouse is actually just over the state line in California, but I included it here as I drove past it each day entering Oregon. That’s our secret.
When the fog finally rolled in to stay, I left town in search of clear skies…
Most of these spots were quite accessible; with open areas where the drone could be launched clear of all those trees.
The exception was Arch Rock, where the only view is facing West, between trees on a headland, – and you still have to climb over the fence to get any decent view from there!
That required using the spot I dubbed the ‘Arch Rock International Airport,’ a tiny platform on the South side of the peninsula. The drone had to fly south, turn out to sea and come around on the West side to fly down to the arch. Then it had to return and be guided between the trees to a landing. A challenging flight!
For your convenience, I included as Gallery number 8 my videos from my earlier trip to Haystack Beach.
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