DESCHUTES NATIONAL FOREST
NEAR BEND OREGON
Activity: Day Hike
Date: August 28, 2019
Distance 2+ miles, 320’ elevation change, 90 minute duration, rated Easy
If you like waterfalls then the Pacific North West is definitely the place to be, boasting more waterfalls then anywhere in North America. Oregon has some splendid falls and Tumalo Falls, a short drive from Bend, is a good one. Be advised that the last couple of miles or so are unpaved gravel, washboard National Forest roads. It can be done in everyday vehicles, but it can be a rough ride. Also this is a popular spot so plan accordingly as parking can be tough in the small lot at the trailhead. If you don’t have a Northwest Forest Pass then it will be $5 cash.
Tumalo Falls in Tumalo State Park is 89’ tall and is on Tumalo Creek, part of the Deschutes River watershed area which is glacier fed. Tumalo, it is believed, is an Native American word for icy water. That would make sense if it is glacier fed. But one thing is for sure it is a grand falls and the whole area is magnificent. There are two viewpoints a short distance from the parking area. After taking in the beauty of the falls I headed out with Bruce Petersen, my good friend and fraternity brother, whom I had not seen in decades. Bruce is from Bend and he guided me along the North Fork Trail, which was easy to follow, along Tumalo Creek. We took in multiple wonderful smaller waterfalls along the route including Double Falls. Double Falls has a similar drop to Tumalo Falls but broken up into several drops.
It was late in the day, and although Central Oregon brags about 300 days of perfectly blue skies, on this day a light rain began to fall, (lovingly referred to as “liquid sunshine” which of course keeps Oregon green and beautiful), and a few lightening flashes accompanied by the rumble of thunder aided in our decision it was time for us to head back. Also Bruce was a trooper as he was rehabbing from knee surgery, but was quickly on the mend and his doctor okayed our couple miles or so hike, but if you have more time there is more trail and more waterfalls to be enjoyed.
Waterfalls are enchanting, magical, places of awe… let’s find some more because who doesn’t love waterfalls? If you love waterfalls like I love waterfalls then please LIKE, FOLLOW, COMMENT, and SHARE. Thanks for joining Bruce Petersen and I while ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’.
Roger Jenkins, Pursuing Balance Through Adventure