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Have you ever seen Blue Pool become Tamolitch Falls?

You've seen Blue Pool, the stunningly clear opal of water at the base of a natural lava dam on the McKenzie River. But have you ever seen Tamolitch Falls? This year might be your chance. (2017 photo courtesy Chris Liedle)

MCKENZIE BRIDGE, Ore. - You've seen Blue Pool, the stunningly clear opal of water at the base of a natural lava dam on the McKenzie River.

But have you ever seen Tamolitch Falls?

This year might be your chance.

In normal or dry years, the river disappears beneath the lava - and the reappear as Blue Pool at the base of a basalt cliff.

But this past winter was unusually wet, causing water to flow over the top of the cliff and cascade as Tamolitch Falls into the pool below.

If you want to see it, you need to check the McKenzie River flow at the Clear Lake Outlet, the USDA Forest Service says.

If the river flow has been greater than 900 cubic feet per second for at least 4 days, you will likely see the falls.

That scenario may happen with increased frequency this year, thanks to the wet winter - and work the Eugene Water & Electric Board is doing upstream of the falls.

EWEB plans to close the Carmen Diversion tunnel as part of the upgrade of the Carmen-Smith Hydroelectric project.

That will put the full riverflow in the McKenzie channel. As a result, the falls may return in May and even June until summer really takes hold in July, the Forest Service says.

IF YOU GO | Share your photos #LiveOnKVAL at burst.com/kval

LEARN MORE | Willamette National Forest Tamolitch Falls (Blue Pool) information


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