The fall colors in Oregon is just simply amazing. From the Willamette Valley to the Klamath Basin, Owyhee to the Coast the colors of October and November are breathtaking. I recently had a chance to visit Northeastern Jackson County in Oregon and hike through Prospect State Scenic Viewpoint. One of the two hundred or so, Oregon State Parks. The park is located 45 miles’ northeast of Medford in the northeastern section of Jackson County at the foot of the Cascade Mountain Range. It is not too far off the beaten path but just far enough that it is not overridden by tourists. Think of it as more of a local’s day hike destination.
I began my hike parking large lot with plenty of room for RV’s at the Pearsony Falls Trailhead. From the trailhead, it is a mild downhill walk that is easy family friendly trail. Pearsony Falls, one of four waterfalls in the park. Once arriving at the falls, I was greeted by beautiful light, crisp air and a brilliant sense of calm. Pearsony cascades about 30 feet at the top to a pool down below. The top the falls are split into 2 sections making for some dramatic photography options. Just below the falls are some naturally fallen trees that have created stunning moss covered natural bridges allowing for some access on both sides of the creek.
Continuing down the trail, you will come upon a great vista location for the Avenue of the Boulders. Avenue of the Boulders is a large cascading waterfall on the Rogue River. Upstream some of the river is diverted for a power generation facility located downstream. During high water flows, it must be rather impressive to witness the spectacle of Avenue of the Boulders. As during my visit, flows seemed to be about average and it was still extremely impressive. This was my first visit at the Avenue of the Boulders, I have traveled by it many times but have never stopped. I would recommend anyone traveling through Prospect to stop and see this magnificent location. It is most certainly awe-inspiring.
If you continue to hike down the trail, you will find yourself at the top of a beautiful canyon called Cascade Gorge with the mighty Rogue River flowing at the bottom. I hiked the trail until the top of Mill Creek Falls where a makeshift log bridge was used to cross and continue the trail. I chose not to continue here but to turn around and loop back to the trailhead. Mill Creek Falls is 173 feet tall and from the precipice you cannot see the bottom.
Round trip, I would estimate the hike was about 3 miles and would be great for family adventures. The first part of the trail could even be navigable for some in wheel chairs built for off pavement use. I would not recommend the second section along the canyons edge for smaller children or those with mobility issues.
Out for a Hike is a series of short editorials written by photographer Brian Gailey during his adventures. Out for a hike is written for the blog, Humans Being. A blog for the fine art landscape photography e-commerce site, www.BrianGailey.com