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Visited: November 28, 2015
Description: A quick hike to a beautiful two tiered waterfall in Southern Oregon.
Length: 0.8 miles
Elevation: 200 feet
Duration: 1 hour
Difficulty: Easy. Can be a little more challenging if you decide to hike down to the falls.
Terrain: Dirt trail, stairs.
Parking: Lot (43.264041, -122.427408)
Best time to go: Anytime
Bring: Camera, Hot hands or gloves (in winter)
Toketee Falls has been on the HikeSnobs’ bucket list for a while. It is most commonly described as the most beautiful waterfall in Oregon so we had to see it for ourselves. When we decided to head up north we knew we had make a detour here.
Coming from OR-138 W, you’ll be following the road until you see the Toketee Falls exit on the left. Follow the signs for the falls and before you completely cross the short bridge, you will turn left toward the parking lot.
You’ll know you’re in the parking area when you see this 12 foot centipede-like redwood pipeline. This pipeline diverts most of the North Umpqua River water downstream to a powerhouse generator. Feel free to take a closer look at this or even take a sip of the water.
After parking, we followed the trail and hiked along the well-maintained dirt trail for about 10-15 minutes.
The stream feeding the waterfall will be on your left.
After a few sets of stairs, you’ll reach the overlook.
The view was incredible. It was just as we had imagined them to be.
We assumed there would be a trail straight down to falls from the overlook but there wasn’t. Alice spotted an opening in the fence and the HikeSnobs scoped out what lurked below the opening.
Before we tell you guys about our climb down, let me preface you with the fact that Linda is the braver HikeSnob who always “encourages” Alice to get over her fear of heights.
As the HikeSnobs made their way down, the path was extremely icy and slippery due to the cold weather. Multiple times, Linda mentioned turning back (Maybe she was suffering PTSD from a previous adventure she took in the snowy Sierra Buttes fire lookout). Seeing the worried look on Linda’s face, Alice took a page from Linda’s playbook and motivated her to move forward. We have been dreaming about this waterfall for so long, it would be a shame to stop here.
With Alice’s new-found bravery, the HikeSnobs moved forward. The climb down was steep. There was rope left behind that were tied to some branches to make the descent down easier but it was frozen solid. The rope didn’t help much… our hands were freezing so we could barely keep a good grip on anything. We took it section by section checking our hands every few minutes to see if we lost a finger to frostbite yet. (We had a few close calls on this trip already!)
Once we got down the steepest portion, we cautiously proceeded forward. We could hear the sounds of the falls getting louder and louder. We knew we were in for a treat. After climbing over a few trees and over a few slippery rocks, we saw the falls face on.
The columnar jointing of this ancient basaltic formation gives this two tiered waterfall a magical and fairytale-esque feeling. The curvatures of the falls are beautifully framed by the growth of the towering trees. It’s hard to imagine that a place like this truly exist. Even though our butts were freezing, we were happy to have a moment of complete bliss.
We spent as much time as our bodies could allow us to. Before losing feeling in anymore body parts we decided to make the climb back up. Alice activated a hot hand she had in her pocket which may have been the true savior of the hike. Passing the hot hand back and forth, we regained feeling in our fingers and made the climb back up. It was much easier with warm fingers as we pulled ourselves up the slippery rocks.
We successfully made it to the top and celebrated our thrilling climb. With adrenaline pumping through our bodies, we were ready to push forward to our next hike.
- The hike to the base of the falls should be easier in warmer conditions.
- Pack a lunch and really enjoy your time here
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