Sunday, June 20, 2010

Tumalo Falls In Depth

Tumalo Falls
Bend Oregon is truly a magic place but especially so if you happen to be an avid landscape photographer. First off the central Oregon locale is a great launching point for many nearby shooting locations and the town is clean, well kept, and has every thing one would need in a small town. For me being partial to waterfalls the crown jewel in the area is Tumalo Falls. A mere 10 miles almost due west of the city these falls are a must see. Tumalo falls is not a state park so please do not confuse this area with Tumalo Sate Park located off of Highway #20 also right outside of Bend. Tumalo Falls and the creek that feeds it are part of the Bend watershed but the public is welcome. There is a medium sized parking area complete with toilets when you arrive. There are two viewing areas for the falls including a perch that overlooks the top. The area seems to be popular for mountain bikers and cross-country skiers in the winter months. Besides hiking to the top of the falls you can continue on another 4 miles to Happy Valley.

The perspectives of the falls that you see here required me to go off trail a bit trying to tread lightly respecting the ecosystem.

Tumalo Falls

For a bit of history on the area you will learn that there was a very destructive fire that occurred in 1979 that destroyed the area including Tumalo Creek. Only recently in 2004 there was a concerted effort to re-build the area by excavating and reshaping the natural flow of the creek as well as hand planting 700,000 trees. You will notice how young the forest is surrounding the falls and it really makes for a unique landscape.

Nearby China Hat
Getting there: From 3rd St. in Bend (ie. downtown Bend), turn west on Franklin Ave. Drive 1.2 miles (past Drake Park) to Galveston Ave. (also signed as Tumalo Rd). Turn right and drive 10.8 miles along Galveston (which turns into Skyliners Rd.). Immediately after crossing Tumalo Creek, turn left onto Road 4603. Drive 2.5 miles to the Tumalo Falls parking area. The road 4603 is closed in the winter so hiking in is the only way to reach the falls.

Directions are courtesy Leon Turnbull of Thanks Leon...

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