Tuesday, August 30, 2011

{Day Off} Tumalo Falls

With the way this series is going, you people are going to start thinking I have tons of days off. This is NOT true. I work my tail off, so I like adventures in my free time.
This weeks adventure took Sammy and I to Tumalo Falls, the biggest waterfall in Central Oregon.
About a 20 minute drive from Bend, the dramatic cliffs indicate that you are almost at the falls.

Tumalo Falls

Tumalo Falls is visible from the parking lot, and the North Fork trail follows the creek up into Deschutes National Forest for about 3 1/2 miles before running into Happy Valley trail.  Dogs are required to be on leash in the immediate vicinity of Tumalo Falls, but about 40 yards past the last viewing deck, there are very few people on the trail, so Sammy gets his freedom. We are watchful and respectful of other hikers and their dogs though, don't worry. 

The trail climbs steadily uphill, through old growth Douglas Fir and some Ponderosa Pines as well. The different micro-climates in Central Oregon always surprise me. This trail makes me feel transported back to my old Mt. Hood stomping grounds.
About 15 minutes hike from the top of Tumalo Falls, the trail widens out, and the sound of freezing glacial water crashing can be heard.

Waterfall #2 can be seen from atop a cliff. It makes me sad all the tourists that flock to Tumalo Falls, and probably less than 5% hike any higher than the overlooks. They don't know what they're missing!

Another 5 minutes along the trail, and we arrive at this!
Waterfall #3!! Stunning!! 
The trail levels out here, and continues on for two more miles before running into Happy Valley. Sam and I did some exploring and found several gorgeous pools in the creek. 

Tumalo Creek is very cold, and very clear and clean. It is also the watershed for Bend City Water, and ask any local, our tap water is some of the best around! Blessed people we are here in Oregon. 
I started hearing thunder rumbling in the distance, and storms build quickly here at this time of year, so we began heading back to the car at this point. 

We did take one more creekside stop for splashing, and found this fun tower.

This is looking Southwest from above Tumalo Falls, the canyon to the right is South Fork.

The rain started falling just as we arrived back at the car. But we had one more quick stop before our trip was done. 

 These are the same cliffs we saw coming in, and the storm that chased us away!!!

A few years back, James and I came out here for a hike and decided to carve our initials in an Aspen. We hadn't visited the spot since.

That little blob the in upper right says '08. I would have stayed longer, but the thunder was really crashing and lightning was snapping all around, so we had to leave in a hurry!!

Any cool spots near your town that you frequent? How about crazy storms brewing? Or initials carved in a tree? Don't get mad at me for doing it, it was an act of love. And I love trees. Tell me all about it!

And check out our other day trips to Mt. Hood and Sparks Lake

Sharing this post at Centsational Girl's Favorite Things in my Town Link Party!


  1. Those pictures make me want to get on the next plane and fly out to Oregon. Absolutely gorgeous. And I love that you re-visited a place where you carved in your initials. :)

  2. Wow that looks absolutely stunning! What a perfect day trip. So jealous of that scenery! :) And thanks for your sweet blog comment!

  3. Very jealous!! We love hiking but it's lacking here in Iowa!! Looks like we need to head west!


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