Lower Sahalie Falls, Oregon

There are some waterfalls that are overshadowed by larger counterparts. If you took what I’ve designated as Lower Sahalie Falls are transported it anywhere else, it would be a destination on its own. In this case, Sahalie Falls (and Koosah Falls nearby) could lead you to overlook Lower Sahalie Falls.

Lower Sahalie Falls is larger than it appears. There’s an optical illusion of sorts that makes it seem a smaller. What you can see in the picture below is about 20′, but there’s more above. It was very difficult to get the upper portion of the falls, and that was due to the angle of the rock along the river. The logs in front of the falls also hide a bit of the drop.

Depending on where this waterfall was and how easy it was to get to, I would have gone out of my way to see this waterfall. Luckily, I didn’t have to. It’s in between Sahalie and Koosah Falls, and the hike is very easy and enjoyable. Look for Lower Sahalie Falls as you’re exploring this beautiful part of Oregon.

Directions:

  1. There are multiple ways to get to the falls, though they will all require some drive. If you’re in Albany/Corvallis, you could head east on US-20. From Bend, head west on US-20. If you’re in Eugene, head east on OR-126.
  2. The falls are found on OR-126…If you’re on US-20, you would turn and head south on OR-126. If you’re already on OR-126, it would obviously be a “straight-shot”, though it’ll be a curvy drive. There are two parking areas, one for Sahalie Falls and one for Koosah Falls, though there is a trail that connects both falls.
  3. The Sahalie Falls parking area is the further north of the 2 parking areas, and once you park there, it’s a short 100 feet to Sahalie Falls. Then veer left and follow the trail along the McKenzie River.
  4. Lower Sahalie Falls is found downstream from Sahalie Falls.

Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Height: 30′
Hike: 0.1 mile round-trip

lower sahalie

Where in the World is Lower Sahalie Falls?

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Sahalie Falls, Oregon

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Sahalie Falls in September 2015

There are two Sahalie Falls, and they aren’t that distant from each other (maybe 60 miles or so as the bird flies, 110 miles driving distance). The Sahalie Falls near Umbrella Falls isn’t as easy to get to as it used to be. On the other hand, this Sahalie Falls (along with Kooshah Falls), is very easy to visit.

The biggest difficulty might be getting to the vicinity of the falls. It’s about a 150 mile drive from Portland and a 55 mile drive from Redmond/Bend. I started in Portland, and in one day I was able to hit Gooch Falls, Shellburg Falls, Sahalie and Koosah Falls. It was a long drive, but most of these falls don’t require a difficult hike.

Once you get to the parking area for the falls, the hike to the falls is extremely short: only about 100 feet or so. And after arriving, you’ll probably be rewarded with an amazing waterfall. I visited in September, which for some waterfalls is a low volume time since there may not be much rain during the summer months. And yet, as you can see, Sahalie Falls was pretty intense. Overall, this is an awesome waterfall, and you’ll be able to see Koosah Falls also (along with some other “smaller” waterfalls, which are still impressive).

Directions:

  1. There are multiple ways to get to the falls, though they will all require some drive. If you’re in Albany/Corvallis, you could head east on US-20. From Bend, head west on US-20. If you’re in Eugene, head east on OR-126.
  2. The falls are found on OR-126…If you’re on US-20, you would turn and head south on OR-126. If you’re already on OR-126, it would obviously be a “straight-shot”, though it’ll be a curvy drive. There are two parking areas, one for Sahalie Falls and one for Koosah Falls, though there is a trail that connects both falls.
  3. The Sahalie Falls parking area is the further north of the 2 parking areas, and once you park there, it’s a short 100 feet to the falls. (Check out Lower Sahalie Falls downstream.)

Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Height: 73′
Hike: 200 ft round-trip

Where in the World is Sahalie Falls?

Umbrella Falls, Oregon

Umbrella Falls in October 2013

I sometimes visit too many waterfalls. I had been going through pictures at one point, and noticed there seemed to be a waterfall I hadn’t identified. I remember that the waterfall was in Oregon, and went back to find out it was Umbrella Falls. I’m not sure why I missed it!

Umbrella Falls is actually found on Mount Hood. As you’re driving up to the trailhead (which ends up at the ski area if you go a bit further), you will be treated to some amazing views of the summit. The trailhead is relatively easy to find, and the hike to Umbrella Falls is relatively short at just over a quarter mile one-way. It didn’t take a particularly long time to hike to the falls, and it was a very enjoyable hike the whole way. The waterfall is 59′ tall, and is really very beautiful. On the October day I visited, it was surprisingly warm even at this higher elevation, and while the sun made it slightly difficult to photograph the waterfall, it was perfect otherwise.

There is another waterfall, Sahalie Falls, that can be viewed by continuing along this trail. It’s an additional 2.1 miles one-way. I decided to not hike that distance, and I’m guessing it was because it was later in the day and I may have been worn out. From maps, it also looked like Sahalie Falls could be quickly accessed from one of the other forest roads, but I found that the road I was looking for had been blocked off (if I remember correctly). That may have changed in the two years since I’ve been there?

Directions:

  1. From the intersection of US-26 and OR-35, head east/northeast along OR-35.
  2. You will drive just over 6 miles to the “exit” for Mt. Hood Meadows Road.
  3. Drive north along Mt. Hood Meadows Road for about 1.5 miles. If you look to the right as you drive slowly by, you may notice the trail for Umbrella Falls. I believe there was a sign for the falls, but it wasn’t immediately obvious.
  4. I turned around in the ski parking lot (after taking some pictures of Mt. Hood), and then looped back around down and parked on the side of the road.
  5. I started along the trail to Umbrella Falls. It’s a pretty simple/straightforward trail.

Accessibility: 9/10 (easy)
Distance of Hike: 0.25 miles one-way
Height: 59′

Where in the World is Umbrella Falls?