Pic of the Week 4/7/16: Forty Foot Hole Reflection

April 07, 2016  •  2 Comments

New Pic of the Week is now up on the blog! Check it out below


Pic of the Week: Forty Foot Hole Reflection

Location: Wichita Mountains, OK

Date Taken: 04/02/16


Fourtry Foot Hole: Wichita Mountains #2Fourtry Foot Hole: Wichita Mountains #2


This past weekend a friend and I made a trip to the Wichita Mountains for some landscape photography. I have been to the Wichita Mountains many times before and it seems like each time I go I find something new to shoot. For this trip I wanted to photograph the sunrise in the Forty Foot Hole. The Forty Foot Hole is a small canyon in the refuge located near the Boulder Picnic Area and Dog Run Hollow. There are two ways to hike this location. One way is the upper trail that follows the rim of the canyon to Lost Lake. Along the way there are some exciting views of the cliffs and West Cache Creek below. The other path (and the one we started with) takes you through the canyon and brings those rock faces up close and personal. There was also some fun hiking in the canyon as we had to boulder hop and climb some of the walls to get through it. While it wasn’t a difficult hike the extra climbing and scrambling made it more challenging.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when we got in the canyon and what kind of photographs I would come back with, but I was hopeful to catch the sunlight hitting the canyon walls and maybe, if the wind was calm enough, catch a nice reflection in the creek. I had done some internet research on the location and tried to decide what time we needed to arrive to ensure we wouldn’t miss the sunrise. My friend arrived just after 4:45am and after some discussion and planning we started off towards the refuge. I made a quick pit stop to get some gas and grab some breakfast. When we arrived to the refuge we did a little driving and navigating and found the road that leads to the trail. There was just one small problem. The gate to the road was closed and secured. A sign was sitting next to it stating “Daytime use only Gate opens 9:00am”. I was shocked and dumbfounded. Almost all their other trails open at sunrise and close at sunset. We decided to move to another location for the sunrise.

Driving north out of the refuge and towards Meers I found a nice spot that gave us a pretty good view of Mt Sheridan and Roosevelt Peak. After we shot the sunrise we came back to refuge and to the road where the entrance to the Boulder Picnic area was. This time the gate was open. It was now 8:00am and I was worried that we missed our chance to catch the light on the canyon. But when we finally got to the canyon the light was just about where I wanted it. I quickly found a composition that I liked and began shooting some photos. The creek was a little higher than normal, but the lack of wind created these perfect reflections in the water. I found a composition that I really liked with this great view of both canyon walls, one of which was being illuminated by soft morning light. I lowered my tripod and slightly angled my camera to emphasize the canyon walls and the reflection in the water. There are some strong leading lines with the reflection and the rocks along the creek leading your eye through the scene. This is really a unique place of the Wichita Mountains and one I am very impressed with. I plan to be shooting there again now that I know what time the trail actually opens.



Kista (Jacobi) Taylor(non-registered)
Gorgeous Shot. The Wichitas are in my backyard, absolutely love the area! Thank you for sharing your talent with us!
Marcia L Jacobi
Very nice picture! Yes, I had thought of the possiblilty of the trails being closed when you told me you wanted to be there for sunrise. Glad it worked out!
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