McKenzie River - Oregon

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This photo was shown on Earth Science Picture of the Day for 08-17-2004

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Location In Willamette National Forest on the McKenzie River in Linn County, Oregon.

National forest recreation site. Sahalie Falls is a day use area on Route 126, 6 miles south of US Route 20 and 20 miles north of Mckenzie Bridge. There is a picnic area, restrooms, and wheelchair accessible path to a falls overlook. There is a $5 per day use fee or use a Northwest Forest Pass or Golden Eagle Pass.

Koosah Falls is accessible from the Koosah Falls viewing site and the Ice Cap Camp campground, about 1/2 mile south of Sohalie Falls.

Tamolitch Falls is a moderate 2.5-mile (one-way) hike from National Forest Rd. 655 about 1/2 mile north of Route 126 near the Trail Bridge powerplant intake facility.


The Waterfall trail connects Sahalie Falls and Koosah Falls along the east side of the McKenzie River. This is an easy, beautiful trail that will take you about 10-15 minutes one way.

The trail to Tamolitch Falls (the "Blue Hole") is through old growth Douglas Fir and Hemlock, the last mile crossing a lava flow.

You may encounter fairly heavy mountain bike traffic on the trail to Tamolitch Falls, but we did not consider this to be a problem. The bikers were all very considerate of hikers and the bike speeds are pretty slow on the difficult (lava flow) parts of the trail.


Sahalie Falls and Koosah Falls are pretty easy to find as is the trail between the two. To find the trail to Tamolitch Falls, go 5.5 miles south on Route 126 from Sahalie Falls. Turn right and cross a narrow bridge. Proceed past a DOT depot to a gravel road and go 0.5 miles to the trail head.