Last year, about this time of year, Liddy and I pointed the Prius north. We traveled up to the Aspen Groves of south western British Columbia in search of the autumn colors. I broke that story up into three posts:

Because the Washington State Fair Photo Salon consumed so much of our time in August and September, Liddy and I can only make a short road trip this year. Our target would be the North Fork of the Lewis River in Southwest Washington.

The main attraction from my bucket list is the waterfalls on the river east of Cougar, in Gifford Pinchot National Forest.

Getting There

Yesterday, October 8th, was a stereotypical Northwest day. It had rained all night. It rained all morning while we drove south on I5 to Woodland. And it continued to rain as we drove east on SR 503, following the Lewis River to Cougar.

The roads to Cougar are what you should expect for a state highway that serves a number of small mountain communities. Good surface, not always as wide as you would like. It was an easy run in the Prius, so I imagine just about any vehicle would do as well.

Along the way, you will pass a number of lakes created by hydro electric dams across the Lewis River. The projects are owned and managed by PacificCorp. They provide a number of recreation opportunities which can be referenced on the Washington recreation page of their website.

The lakes are: Merwin Reservoir; Yale Reservoir; Swift Reservoir.

Yale Lake Autumn

I took this shot from a Yale Park, one of PacificCorp’s recreation areas. All of the lakes look to be quite popular in the summer for family recreation. It’s an easy drive from Portland, Oregon.

I like the fall colors behind our fisherman trolling the lake. The sun had finally been allowed to break through the clouds and brighten up the scene.

Thanks for taking a moment to enjoy another Northwest Moment.

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