the blog of Seldom Seen Photography


I’ve lived in Washington a long time and driven by Lake Crescent in Olympic National Park seemingly countless times (okay, perhaps several dozen), but I’ve never taken the short trail to Marymere Falls. Last week I cured this default. I left Tacoma before sunrise (and boy is that early this time of year), hoping to catch the rising sun on the Olympics from the shores of Hood Canal, but the sky was overcast and the sun rose without apparent effect. But overcast skies are great for waterfall photography, so I drove on and reached the Marymere Falls trailhead, reaching the parking lot a little after 7 a.m.

I was the first  one there, which is always a plus when photographing popular spots. And this hike is popular, and deservingly so. It travels through moss-covered old growth forest along a pretty creek to a beautiful waterfall. It is short, only 1.5 miles roundtrip, and is flat until the end, where it climbs several hundred feet to the falls.

Though it is an out-and-back trail, end of the trail near the falls has a small loop. As the trail nears the falls, it crosses over Barnes Creek (on a relatively new steel bridge) and then quickly over Falls Creek (on a classic one-person-wide wooden log bridge. From there, the trail climbs uphill and forms a small loop, leading to two viewpoints of the falls, one directly at the base, and one higher up nearly level with the top of the falls. I found the views at the lower level, and part way up from there, to be better for photography than at the upper viewpoint.

I mostly had the falls to myself, only interrupted by two sets of people who came quickly through, and I spent about 20 to 30 minutes photographing (leaving shortly before about a dozen people arrived). I spent another 20 to 30 minutes photographing in the forest on the way out. All in all, it was worth the stop, and I wondered why it took me so long to give it a try.

Detail shot of Marymere Falls.

Barnes Creek along the Marymere Falls trail.

Scene in the forest along the trail.

Devils club growing along the trail.

Large old growth tree adjacent to the trail. It’s hard to tell how big this tree is by this photo, but I estimate it is at least 6 to 8 feet in diameter.

9 responses

  1. What a sweet little hike and images Joe! Superb exposures on the falls, and that huge old tree is stunning!

    July 17, 2017 at 1:45 pm

  2. Heide

    You have so beautifully captured the verdancy of the Pacific Northwest, Joe — especially the quality of the light, and that rich green. Gorgeous images!

    July 17, 2017 at 3:12 pm

    • I sometimes forget how green it is here in western Washington. When I shoot in the forest, I find it hard to get the green color correct, but glad you like it!

      July 18, 2017 at 12:23 pm

  3. Wow, amazing pictures!

    July 18, 2017 at 2:45 am

  4. The beauty of God’s world is so remarkable. I am glad you experience it and share it with the rest of us. Blessings form Nancy at Boyer Writes

    July 18, 2017 at 3:52 am

  5. Every photo in this series is a beauty. Well done, Joe. 🙂

    July 18, 2017 at 7:03 pm

  6. Nice Joe All Photos are really so good great work check my website Best photographer in Lucknow

    July 20, 2017 at 12:43 am

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