Harbourfront Walkway in Nanaimo

The Harbourfront Walkway, boat docks and Nanaimo Water Harbour Airport in Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada

nanaimo harbourfront walkway in nanaimo british columbia

The Harbourfront Walkway and Fishing Boats in Nanaimo Harbour (Buy Print/License)

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   I was lucky to spend a week photographing Nanaimo, British Columbia and other parts of Vancouver Island in 2013. I made this photograph on one of several evenings where I walked along the Harbourfront Walkway past many small shops and marinas. I previously shared a different view of Nanaimo Harbour but I think I prefer the wider field of view in the above photograph as it shows more of the fishing and other boats in the marina.

Lower Falls Trail in Golden Ears Provincial Park

Lower Falls and the emerald pools of Gold Creek at Golden Ears Provincial Park in Maple Ridge, British Columbia, Canada.

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Lower Falls in Golden Ears Provincial Park

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   One of the easier hikes to do in Golden Ears Provincial Park is the Lower Falls Trail (map) along Gold Creek. The trailhead is easy to find at the northwest end of the parking lot (the grey spot just after the Gold Creek Bridge on the map linked earlier). This hike is only 5.5km (round trip) and has minimal elevation change which makes it much more accessible than some of the other trails in Golden Ears Park. The trail has also been upgraded in recent years, so much of it is crushed gravel. Personally I dislike walking on crushed gravel and prefer a natural trail even with tree roots, slugs and the occasional puddle. I guess the resurfacing does have some benefit in initial parts of the trail that were often filled with puddles and mud in the spring and fall, but I would have preferred they left the rest as is. I have previously hiked to Alder Flats on a number of occasions, and while that is a nice hike, it doesn’t have the scenery one gets to enjoy along the much easier Lower Falls Trail.

   After walking about 1km up the trail from the parking lot I came to the first spot where I stopped for photography. There are many small side trails down to the creek along the entire Lower Falls Trail (be sure to follow those instead of making your own). My first stop was only about 5 meters from the trail and showed a nice summer view of Gold Creek. This looks to be a good spot to stop during fall foliage colors as well.

   My next stop was probably the most famous spot along the Lower Falls Trail – the viewpoint where one can see Gold Creek and parts of Mount Blandshard. Just before this viewpoint you’ll see a number of side trails to a beach which is a great spot to stop and eat lunch or just relax.

lower falls and gold creek with a flowering streambank arnica

Lower Falls and Streambank Arnica

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   After a 10-15 minute walk from the viewpoint I arrived at my ultimate destination: Lower Falls itself. The water levels shown here are probably more typical in late August, but were this low in late June due to our lack of winter snowpack in the mountains and a drought this spring/summer. In normal years this waterfall will be a raging torrent in fall, winter and spring – and can be quite dangerous. I was able to get up on a rock and photograph Lower Falls from a nice vantage point but only due to the lower water levels and lack of strong currents (and depth) in the water below. In far too many of the past years people have fallen into the water at various points in Gold Creek and died as a result.

   Many of the cracks in the rocks near Lower Falls had Streambank Arnica (Arnica lanceolata) growing in them. I was lucky that one of the Arnica plants was in a good position to include in the above composition along with the waterfall. On my way back to the main viewing platform I photographed one of the other Streambank Arnica plants growing in a crack in one of the boulders beneath the falls.

streambank arnica growing out of rocks near lower falls

Streambank Arnica (Arnica lanceolata) flowering next to Lower Falls

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For more of my photographs from the Golden Ears area visit my Golden Ears Provincial Park Gallery.

Kalamalka Lake Viewpoint in Vernon

Evening view of Vernon and Coldstream looking over Kalamalka Lake in Vernon, British Columbia, Canada

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Kalamalka Lake Viewpoint near Hwy 97

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   Kalamalka Lake and other areas around Vernon are among my favorite places in British Columbia’s Thompson Okanagan region. The above view of Kalamalka Lake, Vernon, and Coldstream was made on the same evening as another photograph of mine: a Panorama of Kalamalka Lake. Unless I am in a hurry, I always seem to stop at this lookout to stretch my legs and look at the view. On this day I was coming back from Kelowna at just the right time for some blue hour photographs.

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View of Kalamalka Lake from Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park

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   This second view is from Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park along the Corral Trail. In the larger version of this photo you can just see the viewpoint from the first photograph above on the hill in the upper left hand corner.

For more photographs of Vernon, Coldstream and the surrounding areas please visit my Thompson Okanagan Gallery.

Gold Creek and the Golden Ears Mountains

Gold Creek winds through the mountains and forests of Golden Ears Provincial Park in Maple Ridge, British Columbia, Canada.

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Gold Creek along the Lower Falls Trail in Golden Ears Provincial Park

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   If one were to point to an “iconic” composition from Golden Ears Provincial Park most would choose the second image here, showing some of the peaks of the Golden Ears mountains. While this may be the most popular scene, I decided to feature a slightly different composition in the photograph above. Even without the mountains in the background, I still like the impact of this scene. I have a few different compositions of this, but I think the wider panorama above shows off the area more effectively. In conditions where there were clear skies and/or some snow on the mountains, I think the bottom scene might prevail.

   I have previous photographed this area, but never really have encountered “perfect” conditions for doing so. I had planned on photographing this area in the snow last winter, but snow wasn’t really part of our 2014/2015 winter unfortunately. I headed to Golden Ears Park a few weeks ago on a cloudy day, as I knew my main goals were wildflowers, waterfalls, and Gold Creek itself. When I reached this view, about half way to Lower Falls along the Lower Falls Trail, I decided that the iconic view was worth a photograph regardless. The slight haze in the sky and the clouded background still allowed for enough contrast to photograph Evans Peak (left) and Edge Peak behind the foreground of Gold Creek and the many Red Alder (Alnus Rubra) trees lining the edge of the forest.

emerald green waters of gold creek in golden ears provincial park

Emerald waters of Gold Creek in Golden Ears Park

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   Which one of these compositions do you prefer? Do you think the second composition here is effective despite the imperfect conditions in the sky?

For more of my photographs from this area visit my Golden Ears Provincial Park Gallery.

Golden Ears Provincial Park – Gold Creek

Gold Creek winds through the trees and rocks at Golden Ears Provincial Park in Maple Ridge, British Columbia, Canada.

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Gold Creek near the Lower Falls Trail in Golden Ears Provincial Park

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   Golden Ears Provincial Park in Maple Ridge, British Columbia has almost all I want in a photo location – everything from tall mountains and forests to creeks, lakes and waterfalls. A few weeks ago I spent an afternoon and evening hiking and photographing in Golden Ears Park, mostly along Gold Creek. The first photo above shows Gold Creek along the Lower Falls trail in a spot where I had intended to stop and take a water break, but ended up photographing as well.

   Downstream from Gold Creek Bridge the bed of Gold Creek narrows into a rock lined “canyon” with fewer boulders to stir up the surface of the water. The emerald green pools of the creek are on full display in this stretch up until it empties into Alouette Lake at North Beach. The colours here are from minerals suspended in the water from its journey down from the mountains. This photograph was made along the North Beach Trail in one of the few pools I was able to find not filled with swimmers and boaters. The water levels here are what you would typically see in late August, but due to drought were at this level in late June. This did make for my best time shooting at Lower Falls, but I’ll make that its own blog post coming soon.

emerald green waters of gold creek in golden ears provincial park

Emerald waters of Gold Creek in Golden Ears Park

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For more of my photographs from this area visit my Golden Ears Provincial Park Gallery.

North Vancouver and the North Shore Mountains

North Vancouver and the North Shore Mountains – photographed from Stanley Park (best viewed large)

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City of North Vancouver and the North Shore Mountains

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   I made this photograph of City of North Vancouver below the North Shore Mountains (The Coast Range) back in 2013 from Stanley Park seawall near the Brockton Point Lighthouse. Earlier in the evening I had photographed another version of North Vancouver that I have shared here previously. That photograph has turned out to be relatively popular so I thought I would share its panoramic cousin. Some day the North Shore Mountains will again have a lot of snow on them so I can make a number of photographs of the city with a snowy backdrop – I am looking forward to that.

For Prints, Licensing and many other photographs of Vancouver please visit the Cities & Buildings Gallery in my Image Library.

Hiking in the Wildflowers at Mount Rainier National Park

Hiking in the wildflowers around Tipsoo Lake in Mount Rainier National Park, Washington State, USA.

hiking in the wildflowers at mount rainier national park

Hiking in the Wildflowers at Mount Rainier’s Tipsoo Lake

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Due to the very dry, hot spring/summer which has come after a winter with a lower than normal snowpack, I hear the wildflowers are nearing (or at) peak now at Mount Rainier (July 1, 2015).

   2012 was the first time I visited Mount Rainier National Park during the height of the wildflowers in the Paradise and Tipsoo Lake areas. I had been to Rainier a few times at that point, but once you see fields of wildflowers this dense it becomes harder to visit any other time of year. I made this image of 3 hikers near Tipsoo Lake on a foggy afternoon which made for perfect conditions to photograph this location.

For more wildflower photographs from this and other visits to the park please take a look at my Mount Rainier National Park Gallery.

Mount Shuksan Tarn Reflection

Mount Shuksan reflected in a tarn on Huntoon Point in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie Forest, Washington State, USA.

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Tarn Reflection of Mount Shuksan at Huntoon Point

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   Last fall I published a number of posts from a trip to the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest as I traveled up Highway 542 to Artist Point. When you walk SE from the Artist Point parking lot along Kulshan Ridge to Huntoon Point, you may reach this small tarn that can show great reflections of Mount Shuksan. This is not an unpopular photography location, though it is certainly much less photographed than a reflection from Picture Lake. This was my first time at this tarn, and I was treated to very still waters in the tarn that yielded a near perfect reflection of Mount Shuksan.

For Prints, Licenses and more photography from this location visit my Mount Baker Snoqualmie National Forest Gallery.