Koosah Falls, Oregon

Koosah Falls is a freebie that comes along with a visit to Sahalie Falls. They’re both beautiful waterfalls. Well, actually, you don’t have to visit both falls since they can be accessed separately, but you’d be a fool not to visit both of them! So plan some time to visit both of them.

Koosah Falls in September 2015

Sahalie Falls does have its own parking area, which means it is a short hike to the falls. There is a separate parking area for the Waterfalls Loop Trailhead and Ice Cap Creek Day Use Area. If you’d prefer not to do a hike between the two falls, you can head to that parking area and see Koosah Falls with another short hike. I didn’t remember how long the hike was between the two falls, and just looked. It’s not long, but I could understand why someone might decide to drive from one falls to the other. It’s a 2.5 mile hike round-trip. I rated it as an easy/moderate hike. I usually remember the really difficult hikes (or ones that were more difficult than I expected).

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, and 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. Head further south to find the parking area for Koosah Falls. You may have to look for the Ice Cap Creek Day Use Area.

Accessibility: 8/10 (easy/moderate) for the 2.5 miles round-trip hike from Sahalie Falls
Height: 80′
Hike: 0.1 mile round-trip from the Koosah Falls parking area; 2.5 miles for the hike from Sahalie Falls

Where in the World is Koosah Falls?

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 Koosah 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?

Salt Creek Falls, Oregon

Salt Creek Falls in August 2013

Salt Creek Falls is reported to be the second tallest single-drop waterfall in Oregon (after Multnomah Falls). At 286′, Salt Creek Falls is extremely impressive, to say the least.

As I left for the falls today, I was expecting the parking area for the falls to be extremely busy, as it is a Saturday. It ended up not being extremely busy, and I was able to find a parking spot almost immediately. I didn’t get to see the falls right away, because almost instantly after arriving, a rather intense hailstorm (with some thunder) hit. I’m actually glad I wasn’t driving. That finally subsided, and I was able to walk to the falls. It’s a very short walk, so if you’re headed to Crater Lake from Eugene, you could stop here quickly.

There is a main viewpoint for the falls, and then there is a trail that leads down to the base. Both of these are more than adequate. The upper viewpoint might even be handicapped accessible, and most visitors could view it with very minimal difficulty. The benefit of taking the trail down is that you get to see the amazing cliffs that you were standing on just moments before. The volcanic rock was really interesting.

I was also planning on visiting Diamond Creek Falls, which is a 1.5 mile hike from the parking area, but the rain and thunder deterred me from going further. (I do not care for thunder at all, and reports on the radio indicated that there were some pretty severe thunderstorms in the region.) You might decide to check that out also.

Directions:

  1. The falls are found almost directly of off OR-58, east of Oakridge and west of the US-97 intersection.
  2. There are multiple signs indicating the turn for Salt Creek Falls. If you are headed east, turn right.
  3. Take a sharp right and continue down the paved road to the loop at the end. The parking area is actually very close to the main road.
  4. It’s a very short walk along a paved path to the Salt Creek Falls viewpoint. To find Diamond Creek Falls, go to the far left end of the parking lot, and park near the Diamond Creek Trailhead.

Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Height: 286′
Length of Hike: 0.1 miles round-trip

Where in the World is Salt Creek Falls?