Fall Leaves Along Highway 26 in Oregon

Fall leaves found along Highway 26 in Central Oregon (Mike Cavaroc)
Fall leaves change on maple trees along Highway 26 in Central Oregon.

Not even realizing it, mid-October turned out to be the perfect time of year to be driving through Oregon. Fall leaves were at their peak all along Highway 26 and made for an amazing display for practically the entire drive. Highway 26 itself is an extremely scenic drive that crosses virtually the entire state and in addition to all the fall colors, also passes by John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, among other things.
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Sweet Creek Hike Near Mapleton, Oregon

Sweet Creek flows through a lush forest in Western Oregon (Mike Cavaroc)
Sweet Creek Trail in Western Oregon’ alt=’Sweet Creek flows through a lush forest in Western Oregon.

The Sweet Creek Trail begins just outside of a small community called Mapleton, Oregon. I hiked it with my aunt on the way out of Eugene heading toward the Oregon coast. It’s a great representation of the Pacific Northwest and lush, old growth forests that are found all over Oregon. The hike goes up for one mile before reaching a small waterfall that naturally varies with the seasons. Given that it was fall there wasn’t too much force behind it, however it can change dramatically in the spring.
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Fall Colors at Oxbow Bend, Grand Teton National Park

Fall colors decorate the valley around Oxbow Bend as snow falls in the Teton Mountains in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming. (Mike Cavaroc)
Fall colors on aspen trees surrounds Oxbow Bend in Grand Teton National Park.

Yesterday I was hoping for a dramatic sunrise over the fall colors at Oxbow Bend in Grand Teton National Park. I was a little disappointed not just in the amount of photographers lined along the water’s edge, but also in an overcast sky that eventually brought some more heavy snowfall. Before the snow started to fall again, I headed just east of Oxbow Bend to the next pullout to get away from the crowds and get what turned out to be, in my opinion, a much more scenic shot of the area. Granted the water’s not very prominent in this shot, but since I was mainly going for the snow and fall colors, I’d say I accomplished my goal with flying colors!
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Moose Under Fall Cottonwood Trees in Gros Ventre Campground

A bull moose wanders through sagebrush and fall cottonwood trees in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming (Mike Cavaroc)
A cow moose stands beneath fall cottonwood trees in Grand Teton National Park.

Unless I wind up unexpectedly coming back with some new shots of these particular moose, this is probably going to be the last post of the small group of moose that have been hanging around the Gros Ventre Campground in Grand Teton National Park. Fall’s beginning to wind down, snow’s on the mountains, and I’m itching to start seeing other sites around Jackson Hole again. This was however, one of the last shots I got of the moose and also one of my favorites. The lighting, the pose, the composition; it all just works for me.
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Fall Colors on Shadow Mountain

Fall colors cover the forest road on Shadow Mountain in Bridger-Teton National Forest, Wyoming as the Grand Teton looms in the background. (Mike Cavaroc, 2009)
A dirt road winds through aspen trees with fall leaves in Bridger-Teton National Forest.

I think this may be my favorite fall shot thus far this season. Earlier in the season I had driven up Shadow Mountain in Bridger-Teton National Forest for sunset and was stunned at the colors bursting off the leaves. I went back the other day, this time for sunrise and was thrilled to find that there was still plenty of color left along the entire road. The last shot I got was this one as I was driving through the last stretch of aspen trees and there in between them all was The Grand Teton shooting up over the tops of the trees. It was a perfect end to a fantastic morning!
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Sunrise at Schwabacher Landing

The first light of the day hits the Teton Mountains viewed from Schwabacher Landing in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming (Mike Cavaroc)
Sunrise lights up the Teton Mountains from Schwabacher Landing in Grand Teton National Park.

Last week I headed out to Schwabacher Landing for the first time in Grand Teton National Park for sunrise. The cottonwood trees along the Snake River were all in full transition to fall colors which only helped to make the scene that much more scenic. It’s a quiet and peaceful place just off Highway 89, but set back and down a hill enough so that road noise is minimal.
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