ExplOregon: Sahalie & Koosah waterfalls
MCKENZIE BRIDGE, Ore. - Oregon is known for its diverse landscape and abundance of waterfalls. We went to two of the most popular waterfalls just off the McKenzie River Trail: Sahalie and Koosah Falls.
Sahalie Falls is northeast of McKenzie Bridge off Highway 126 East. You will see a sign that says Willamette National Forest Sahalie Falls Viewpoint; that's where you turn in. This parking lot will likely be filled with cars on the weekend as Sahalie Falls is about a one-minute walk from the parking lot.
If you'd like a longer trek, you can walk the loop which is about 2.5 miles and takes you to both falls. There is often a much larger crowd at Sahalie Falls and you can see why with this magnificent 100-foot drop.
From there it's a fairly easy hike with a clearly defined path and great for families.
The McKenzie river rushes past a majority of the trail with small rapids and clear, glass like water. You'll also see many varieties of lichen. Fun fact: the more varieties you see, the fresher the air. So breath it all in when you’re out there!
Nestled in the lush forest, you'll hear Koosah Falls before you actually see it.
There's a viewing area you can stop in at just off the trail, sit on a bench and take in the picturesque views. It’s an awe-inspiring timelessness to see these waterfalls, and luckily, we have a lot here in Oregon.
Blue Pool & Tamolitch Falls
Note: The Blue Top Fire has closed the area to the public until further notice
The third falls normally clumped into this group is called Tamolitch Falls. It's actually dried up, but there is still a body of water at the bottom of the dried up falls that gets replenished from underground. It's most popularly called Blue Pool. But if you're looking for it on a map, go with Tamolitch.
We stopped by Blue Pool as well. For a more rigorous hike, you can continue along the McKenzie Trail which will eventually place you at the Tamolitch Falls and Blue Pool Viewpoint. Or, you can drive there, it's labeled Tamolitch Falls and you’ll pass it going to the Sahalie Falls Viewpoint on Highway 126E.
There you can start your hike which starts off in a forest landscape and eventually takes you through an old lava flow and up to a point where you are looking down on Blue Pool. There are trails that can take you down to the surface and often in the summer, you’ll find people swimming in the chilly water.
As beautiful as the pictures are, they don't do this place justice, the clear blue-tinted water is an Oregon must.
Unfortunately, the trail to Blue Pool is closed due to the Blue Top Fire.
The trail leading to Sahalie and Koosah falls is still open.