Toketee Falls, Oregon

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Toketee Falls in August 2013

Oregon has so many beautiful waterfalls, and Toketee Falls is another one to add to the list. I flew into Eugene five years ago, with the goal of visiting Crater Lake National Park. There are a number of falls in the park, but there are also many falls along the way to the park. Toketee Falls was one of those stops along the way back to Eugene.

I thought the hike to Toketee Falls was a bit longer than it actually is…goes to show what happens in five years. At 0.75 miles round-trip, it’s a pretty quick jaunt to the falls and back. I don’t remember it being a difficult hike, though I do recall that there were some stairs that led down to a viewing area. The viewing area has a somewhat steep drop near it which made me a bit dizzy (as someone who’s not a fan of heights). I have read that some people have made it to the base of the falls, but it’s something I would in no way attempt. I’m not that brave! You are a bit of a distance from the falls, so it might be wise to bring a zoom lens. It will also allow you to get some better shots of the fascinating basalt columns surrounding the falls.

Directions:

  1. Toketee Falls is off of OR-138, which runs east-west between I-5 and US-97. It’s somewhat closer to US-97 than I-5.
  2. The turn for the falls will be near mile marker 58 (58 miles from Roseburg on I-5). There will be a sign for Toketee Falls.
  3. If you’re headed east, you would turn left onto NF-34/Toketee-Rigdon Road.
  4. After a short distance, you’ll turn left to head to a parking area for the falls. The trail starts here (and heads west).

Accessibility: 9/10 (Easy)
Height: 113′
Length of Hike: 0.75 miles round-trip

Where in the World is Toketee Falls?

Amnicon Falls #2, Wisconsin

I am a bit surprised I haven’t already posted about this waterfall along the Amnicon River in Amnicon Falls State Park. I think it may be due to the way I named it on my photo site. It’s a smaller waterfall, but I’ll still mention it nonetheless.

Amnicon Falls State Park is one of those locations that is just plain enjoyable to explore. You’ll find a surprising number of waterfalls in the park: Upper Falls, Lower Falls, Amnicon Falls #1 and #3, Snake Pit Falls, and Now and Then Falls. You’ll find these along different trails. Amnicon Falls #2 is just another of the falls you’ll find!  And while you’re in the area, also check out Pattison State Park, where you’ll find Big Manitou Falls and Little Manitou Falls.

Directions:

  1. From Duluth/Superior, head east on US-2.
  2. Just after the intersection of US-2 with WI-53, you’ll notice a sign indicating that Amnicon Falls State Park is coming very soon.
  3. At the sign indicating the park, turn left onto County Road U.
  4. After a very short distance on County Road U, you will find the entrance for the state park. Stop and purchase a day pass if you need one. The ranger at the visitor’s center was extremely helpful at directing me to the falls and telling me how to get to Pattison State Park.
  5. Right near the visitor center, you can head right down a rather narrow park road to the end of the road, where you’ll find a parking area just a few feet from the river. Head upstream to find the unnamed falls.

Accessibility: 9/10 (easy, more for the confusing loop of trails than anything else)
Length of Hike: 0.5 miles or so (can be longer)
Height: 6′

Amnicon Falls #2 in May 2010

Where in the World is Amnicon Falls #2?

Watson Falls, Oregon

Watson Falls in August 2013

Watson Falls is one of the many waterfalls you can find along OR-138. It’s one of the taller waterfalls in that region, or one of the taller ones that is very easy to visit. Toketee Falls is not that far away, though that requires a slightly longer hike (though still definitely worthwhile).

At 272′ tall, Watson Falls is pretty impressive. I have seen others indicate it might be the best waterfall in the area, but I guess I still liked Toketee Falls more. It is tall, but there wasn’t a huge amount of water flowing over the falls when I visited. This left it looking rather wispy. The bigger issue was probably the timing, though. As I have mentioned before, I can’t always plan to show at the perfect time in the perfect weather. The weather was actually stunning…sunny and very comfortable temperatures. But the sun was making it difficult to photograph the falls. I think the photograph here was in front of the falls, but there weren’t many great shots. I think I was able to get a good view from the right side of the falls standing very close to the rock wall. I think earlier in the year and with the right lighting, I would agree Watson Falls could be even more stunning.

Directions:

  1. Watson Falls isn’t particularly hard to find if you’re on OR-138. You will have entered Umpqua National Forest. It’s to the east of Toketee Falls and the Diamond Lake Ranger Station.
  2. If you are headed east, you will turn RIGHT onto National Forest Road 37 (Fish Creek Road). It should be clearly signed for Watson Falls.
  3. You won’t be driving very far at all down this road, as the parking area should be almost directly off the road.
  4. From here, it’s about a 0.35 mile hike to the falls.

Accessibility: 7/10 (easy/moderate)
Distance of Hike: 0.7 miles round-trip
Height: 272′ (could be up to 302′)

Where in the World is Watson Falls?

Upper Falls, Wisconsin

I’ve always wished people could become a little bit more creative when naming waterfalls. Upper Falls does clearly describe that is a waterfall further upstream along the Amnicon River, but it’s just not that exciting from a naming perspective! Even “Upper Amnicon Falls” would provide more information about where it’s located, and it could probably be referred to that way! There is the equally as exciting Lower Falls, which is actually pretty cool (as is Upper Falls). If you’re in the same park, there are two falls that were better named, Snake Pit Falls and Now and Then Falls. And then there are other drops that I don’t know if they really have a name, so I’ve called them #1, #2, and #3.

I mention these to indicate what you really get when you visit Amnicon Falls State Park is at least 7 waterfalls! Upper Falls is pretty neat, but you have to take all of them together to appreciate them. It’s a very nice park, and if I had family there, I would totally be taking them there all of the time. It’s really fun to explore all of the trails to find even more falls, even though they aren’t particularly tall. (Upper Falls maybe clocks in at 15′ or so…) And if this doesn’t excite you, don’t forget Big Manitou and Little Manitou Falls aren’t that far away (in Pattison State Park). (Big Manitou clocks in at 165′ tall.)

Directions:

  1. From Duluth/Superior, head east on US-2.
  2. Just after the intersection of US-2 with WI-53, you’ll notice a sign indicating that Amnicon Falls State Park is coming very soon.
  3. At the sign indicating the park, turn left onto County Road U.
  4. After a very short distance on County Road U, you will find the entrance for the state park. Stop and purchase a day pass if you need one. The ranger at the visitor’s center was extremely helpful at directing me to the falls and telling me how to get to Pattison State Park.
  5. Right near the visitor center, you can head right down a rather narrow park road to the end. You’ll see Lower Falls, and then you can head upstream to see Upper Falls.

Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Height: 15′
Length of Hike: negligible

Upper Falls in May 2010

Where in the World is Upper Falls?

Snake Pit Falls, Wisconsin

Northern Wisconsin has a number of great waterfalls, and if you’re looking to see a whole bunch in a single hike, then head to Amnicon Falls State Park (which is not that far from Pattison State Park, which contains Big and Little Manitou Falls). Inside Amnicon Falls State Park, there are the not-so-creatively named Upper and Lower Falls, along with other falls along the river (#1 and #3 have been posted). The waterfall with the coolest name, by far, is Snake Pit Falls, and it is a really beautiful waterfall also.

While it does require a little bit of exploring the loop trail, Snake Pit Falls is clearly marked with a sign. It’s hard to say how tall this portion of the falls is. After searching around on the internet, I later discovered there is another drop a few feet after the one shown below. I may have photographed the lower drop during the exploration, but I didn’t seem to notice both drops at the same time. The total drop is somewhere around 20′. I found this particular drop to be very scenic. Each of the drops along the Amnicon River seems to have its own distinct features. It doesn’t look like a series of continuous rapids that blend together over time. I’m guessing the falls flow year-round, except in extremely dry conditions. It had literally just snowed minutes before, lending a certain chilly but appropriate ambiance to the falls.

Directions:

  1. From Duluth/Superior, head east on US-2.
  2. Just after the intersection of US-2 with WI-53, you’ll notice a sign indicating that Amnicon Falls State Park is coming very soon.
  3. At the sign indicating the park, turn left onto County Road U.
  4. After a very short distance on County Road U, you will find the entrance for the state park. Stop and purchase a day pass if you need one. The ranger at the visitor’s center was extremely helpful at directing me to the falls and telling me how to get to Pattison State Park.
  5. Right near the visitor center, you can head right down a rather narrow park road to the end of the road, where you’ll find a parking area just a few feet from the start of the loop trail.

Accessibility: 9/10 (easy)
Height: 20′
Length of Hike: 0.2 miles round-trip

Snake Pit Falls in May 2010

Where in the World is Snake Pit Falls?

Amnicon Falls #3, Wisconsin

There are at least four named waterfalls in Amnicon Falls State Park, but there are numerous other waterfalls along the various rivers and creeks meandering there. One of those waterfalls is described here. The main set of named waterfalls (including Upper and Lower Falls) is not difficult to visit, but some of the other falls in the park are a little more “hidden.”

By “hidden”, I mean that they may not be marked, and it may take just a little bit of exploring to find them. On the day I visited in May, it was actually snowing and was surprisingly chilly, but I put up with the cold to find these falls. This particular falls might be easier to identify because it appears as if there are the remnants of an old bridge on either side of the falls. I believe the falls are near Snake Pit Falls, so look around there if you are unsure. It’s a really great state park to explore.

Directions:

  1. From Duluth/Superior, head east on US-2.
  2. Just after the intersection of US-2 with WI-53, you’ll notice a sign indicating that Amnicon Falls State Park is coming very soon.
  3. At the sign indicating the park, turn left onto County Road U.
  4. After a very short distance on County Road U, you will find the entrance for the state park. Stop and purchase a day pass if you need one. The ranger at the visitor’s center was extremely helpful at directing me to the falls and telling me how to get to Pattison State Park.
  5. Right near the visitor center, you can head right down a rather narrow park road to the end of the road, where you’ll find a parking area just a few feet from the river. Head upstream to find the unnamed falls.

Accessibility: 9/10 (easy, more for the confusing loop of trails than anything else)
Height: 6′
Length of Hike: 0.3 miles round-trip

A waterfall in Amnicon Falls State Park in May 2010

Where in the World is Amnicon Falls #3?

Amnicon Falls #1, Wisconsin

All of the different waterfalls in Amnicon Falls State Park are rather complex to explain. For a smaller park, there is a lot of exploring to do. As you circle around, you’ll be surprised at how many falls you can find hidden around unexpected bends. On the Amnicon River, there are a number of named falls, including Upper Falls, Lower Falls, and Snake Pit Falls. Upstream of these falls are many unnamed drops. This falls is one of them.

None of the upstream drops are significantly big, though they are often very photogenic. When I visited in mid-May, it was rather chilly outside, and it was snowing on-and-off. Even though spring had arrived, there wasn’t a significant amount of water flowing in the river. At the right time, the river might be raging.

Directions:

  1. From Duluth/Superior, head east on US-2.
  2. Just after the intersection of US-2 with WI-53, you’ll notice a sign indicating that Amnicon Falls State Park is coming very soon.
  3. At the sign indicating the park, turn left onto County Road U.
  4. After a very short distance on County Road U, you will find the entrance for the state park. Stop and purchase a day pass if you need one. The ranger at the visitor’s center was extremely helpful at directing me to the falls and telling me how to get to Pattison State Park.
  5. Right near the visitor center, you can head right down a rather narrow park road to the end of the road, where you’ll find a parking area just a few feet from the river. Head upstream to find the unnamed falls.

Accessibility: 9/10 (easy, more for the confusing loop of trails than anything else)
Height: 6′
Length of Hike: 0.2 miles round-trip

A waterfall on the Amnicon River in May 2010

Where in the World is Amnicon Falls #1?

Big Manitou Falls, Wisconsin

Big Manitou Falls from the left viewpoint in May 2010 (with fresh snow falling)

Big Manitou Falls is big. It has the distinction of being one of the tallest waterfalls in the region that includes Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, and possibly even the Lake Superior watershed. At 165′ tall, it’s not shabby.

Now, the unlucky thing about Big Manitou Falls…The views really aren’t truly spectacular. There’s no obvious (or SAFE) way to get to the base of the falls, and the view from the left side of the river, while good, are not top notch. I think from the major viewpoint, you can’t get a real sense of how tall the falls are. There are trails on the right side of the river, but they don’t seem to lead anywhere important. Oh well, it’s still a nice waterfall. Check out the smaller, but equally impressive, Little Manitou Falls.

An update from August 2015:  When I first visited Big Manitou Falls, I viewed the falls from the left side of the river (once facing the falls). It wasn’t particularly easy to get a complete view of the falls. On the return visit, five years later, I discovered that there was another viewpoint on the right side of the falls. This viewpoint provides a much more complete picture of the falls, though you still won’t be at the base. I actually think seeing the falls from both sides provides some uniquely different pictures.

Directions:

  1. From US-2/US-53 in Superior, head south on WI-35 for 13 miles, following the signs to Pattison State Park.
  2. Once you reach Pattison State Park, you can turn left and go toward the camping area. There is a trail that leads to the falls…
  3. Or after paying at the area mentioned in step 2, you can continue down WI-35 for a short distance, turn onto County Road B, and find the parking area just to the left. This leads much closer to the falls, and allows for easy access to the right viewpoint.

Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Length of Hike: 0.2 miles round-trip
Height: 165′

A view of Big Manitou Falls from the right (in August 2015)

Where in the World is Big Manitou Falls?

Now and Then Falls, Wisconsin

Now and Then Falls in May 2010

Now and Then Falls is definitely an interesting waterfall. The waterfall is unlikely to register to some since it has so little water flowing over it, at least when I visited Amnicon Falls State Park. The other falls in the park were flowing powerfully in early May (after all the snow melt), but this falls was still puny.

What made the falls interesting to me was the color. In the Lake Superior region, I do not usually remember the green colors from the mosses that are usually found in the Pacific Northwest area. Now and Then Falls seems very “green” in comparison to many falls in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan.

Directions:

  1. From Duluth/Superior, head east on US-2.
  2. Just after the intersection of US-2 with WI-53, you’ll notice a sign indicating that Amnicon Falls State Park is coming very soon.
  3. At the sign indicating the park, turn left onto County Road U.
  4. After a very short distance on County Road U, you will find the entrance for the state park. Stop and purchase a day pass if you need one. The ranger at the visitor’s center was extremely helpful at directing me to the falls and telling me how to get to Pattison State Park.
  5. Right near the visitor center, you can head right down a rather narrow park road to the end of the road, where you’ll find a parking area just a few feet from the falls.  Now and Then Falls is in the opposite direction from the larger falls.

Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Height: 6′
Length of Hike: negligible

Where in the World is Now and Then Falls?

Lower Falls, Wisconsin

I visited Amnicon Falls State Park this May. I had arrived at the Duluth airport just a few hours earlier, and headed to the park. It hadn’t really started snowing yet, though there were a few sprinkles.

Once inside the park, you’ll find numerous named waterfalls and a number of other waterfalls along the Amnicon River and its tributaries. Lower Falls is one of the more impressive falls in the park, dropping 15 feet or so. The height is not terribly important here. It’s the beauty of the rock surrounding the falls, along with the pedestrian bridge above the falls. On the right side of the picture is an island formed where the river splits in two. You can explore the island and view many other falls.

Directions:

  1. From Duluth/Superior, head east on US-2.
  2. Just after the intersection of US-2 with WI-53, you’ll notice a sign indicating that Amnicon Falls State Park is coming very soon.
  3. At the sign indicating the park, turn left onto County Road U.
  4. After a very short distance on County Road U, you will find the entrance for the state park. Stop and purchase a day pass if you need one. The ranger at the visitor’s center was extremely helpful at directing me to the falls and telling me how to get to Pattison State Park.
  5. Right near the visitor center, you can head right down a rather narrow park road to the end of the road, where you’ll find a parking area just a few feet from the falls.

Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Height: 15′
Length of Hike: negligible

Lower Falls with pedestrian bridge above (May 2010)

Where in the World is Lower Falls?