Tumalo Falls

Tumalo Falls

Elev. Gain: 
425 ft.
High: 
5,515 ft.
Where:
Bend, OR
Distance: 
3.80 miles (round trip)
Difficulty: 
Easy
Rating: 
3
Easily attained views of multiple waterfalls just minutes from Bend, Oregon
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Features

Overview

Barely ten miles outside of Bend and featuring several impressive waterfalls within a short walk of the parking lot, the North Fork Trail past Tumalo Falls makes for a wonderful (easy) adventure for hikers of all ages. Bring a picnic, load up the station wagon, and come on down.

The payoff is immediate on this hike – at the parking lot you'll hear the roar of Tumalo Falls almost as soon as you see it, just a short 50 yards from the trailhead. This lower viewpoint at the base of the falls offers a great vantage of the 90' waterfall – the tallest on Tumalo Creek – as it drops vertically down a sheer rock face. You'll have to try very hard to take a bad picture here.

Although you could jump back into your car and call it a day, we think it's more than worth the effort to hike the quarter-mile trail to the top of the falls and take in the view up close, right next to the plunge. As you zig-zag your way up, notice the young forest taking hold after being devastated by wildfire in the late 1970's.

From the upper viewpoint, head northwest on North Fork Trail, following Tumalo Falls upstream on easy tread to Double Falls at 1.0 mile. After enjoying the 36' stair-step waterfall, press on for another 0.90 mile to Upper Falls (sometimes called Middle Falls). Although the view from the trail is partially obscured by vegetation, a better view is available via a short scamper down to the base of the falls.

Permits & Tips

Northwest Forest Pass required. Toilets and picnic tables available at trailhead. No water. Dogs allowed on leash. This trail is busy all summer long, and we recommend coming early in the day to take advantage of the relative solitude. Watch for mountain bikers as they are permitted to ride the trail in the uphill direction only. Obey the signs, stay on trail, and keep your distance from ledges at the overlooks.

>>Google Directions

How to get there

From Bend, head east on NW Galveston Ave/Skyliners Road for 10 miles. Immediately after crossing Tumalo Creek, turn left at the junction onto (gravel) Forest Road 4603, signed for Tumalo Falls. Continue for 2.5 miles to the trailhead and parking lot at the end of the road.