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Bend/Redmond Central Oregon Hiking Oregon Throwback Thursday Trip report

Throwback Thursday – Tumalo Falls

On 8/2/2011 during a week of vacation in Central Oregon we did a 6.8 mile loop hike visiting several waterfalls, most notably Tumalo Falls.

We began at an interpretive sign at the end of Tumalo Falls Road (Road 4603) on the North Fork Trail.
Tumalo Falls trailhead

North Fork Trail sign

We kept right at junctions passing the lower viewpoint with its straight ahead look at the falls and continued to the upper viewpoint beside the falls which is less than a quarter mile from the trailhead.
Tumalo Falls

Tumalo Falls

Tumalo Falls

Tumalo Falls

The beauty of the falls and the easy access make it a very popular destination but we were there early and had the view to ourselves. Most people turn back after reaching the upper viewpoint but we continued on the North Fork Trail further into the forest.
North Fork Trail

The trail stuck close to Tumalo Creek passing Double Falls after .8 miles followed by Middle Tumalo Falls .9 miles later.
Double Falls

Middle Tumalo Falls

After passing a spring the trail crossed the Middle Fork Tumalo Creek on a footbridge.
North Fork Trail

Smaller fork of Tumalo Creek

Beyond the footbridge we took a brief detour toward the North Fork Tumalo Creek to see Lower North Fork Tumalo Falls.
Lower North Fork Tumalo Falls

After returning to the North Fork Trail we continued to follow the Middle Fork Tumalo Creek passing several more nice waterfalls. The names of some of which we are not certain of.
Small waterfall on Tumalo Creek

Middle Fork Tumalo Falls

Lower Middle Fork Tumalo Falls

Middle Fork Tumalo Falls
Middle Fork Tumalo Falls

Shortly beyond Middle Fork Tumalo Falls we arrived at a junction with the Swampy Lakes Trail which we turned left on and promptly crossed the creek on a log.
Tumalo Creek Crossing

From this trail we could see part of snowy Tam McArthur Rim where the headwaters of Tumalo Creek originate.
Tam McArthur Rim

We followed the Swampy Lakes Trail just over 2 miles from the creek crossing to a junction with the Bridge Creek Trail where we turned left along Bridge Creek to complete the loop. One final waterfall awaited along this final 1.3 mile section – Bridge Creek Falls.
Bridge Creek Falls

A moderate to easy hike the loop is a great option for waterfall lovers spending time in the Bend area. Happy Trails!

Flickr: Tumalo Falls

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Coastal Range Hiking Oregon Trip report

Wilson River

So far so good. We managed to get a hike in each month leading up to the marathon in April. Our recent visit to the Wilson River in the Tillamook State Forest was our final hike until after we’ve raced and recovered. We picked this hike because it provided a fairly level 8 miles which seemed like a reasonable outing at this point in our training. We chose Saturday morning for the trip based on a forecast showing no rain until that afternoon versus rain all day on Sunday. Yep, I fell for it again. The drunk monkeys that come up with the weather forecast weren’t even close as the 0% chance of precipitation was more like 95% as it rained or drizzled on us almost the whole time. Fortunately it didn’t rain hard since we hadn’t put our rain gear back into our packs.

The Wilson River trail extends over 26 miles, but for this trip we planned to hike out and back along a 4 mile section from the Jones Creek Day Use area to Bridge Creek Falls. It was great to get back on the trail and especially nice to see some signs of Spring. We set off from the parking area following the river west toward the Tillamook Forestry Center. Since the center opens at 10am the gate on the suspension bridge was still closed so we passed by and headed toward Wilson Falls after taking a quick peak back at Kings Mountain. Heather and I had done a loop hike in 2010 up neighboring Elk Mountain and down Kings Mountain. It remains to this day one of the toughest hikes we’ve tackled.

Kings Mountain
Kings Mt. from the Wilson River Trail

The forest was beginning to transition from Winter to Spring as buds were showing or already opening on many plants and several varieties of early flowers were blooming trailside.

Snow Queen
Snow Queen
Trillium
Trillium
Wood Violets
Violets
Slender Toothwort
Slender Toothwort

The river was running quickly due to heavy recent rain which had also swelled the creeks and runoff streams feeding into the river. Even if it hadn’t been raining there was no way our feet were going to stay dry. 🙂

Wilson River
Wilson River
Cedar Creek
Cedar Creek
Runoff flowing over the trail
Wilson River Trail
Trail crossing below Wilson Falls
Trail crossing below Wilson Falls

We had two waterfalls to visit on this portion of the trail. The first was Wilson Falls which lay hidden right beside the trail until we were almost directly below it.

Nearing Wilson Falls
Wilson River Trail
Wilson Falls
Wilson Falls

The second falls was also our turnaround point. We had to leave the river and cross Highway 6 to find the short trail to Bridge Creek Falls. An impressive fall in a narrow canyon.

Sign for Bridge Creek Falls along Hwy 6
Bridge Creek Falls
Bridge Creek Falls
Bridge Creek Falls
Trying to give an idea of the size of the falls.
Bridge Creek Falls

We hadn’t had any company on the trail and had only seen a handful of fishermen on the way to Bridge Creek Falls, but things got more crowded on the trail on the return trip.
Slow traffic

Slug
Another slowpoke
Rough skinned newt
This one moved to the side to let us pass
Rough Skinned Newt
Finally we came to a standstill
Newt

We didn’t wind up going into the Forestry Center. The rain had picked up and we were wet and muddy when we arrived back so we decided to pass on this trip. We did cross the suspension bridge in an attempt to return to the car from the opposite side of the river but washouts had closed that portion so we backtracked across the bridge and returned the way we had come that morning. The hike worked out just the way we’d hoped. Good scenery, no crowds, and not too taxing physically. Truly a hike that says “Happy Trails”.

Flickr album: http://www.flickr.com/photos/9319235@N02/sets/72157642067822544/
Facebook album: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10203510030938590.1073741869.1448521051&type=1