Tumalo Falls is a 90 foot waterfall on the Tumalo Creek west of Bend. To get to the trailhead we took Skyliners Drive about 10.5 miles from town and turn right on Forest Service Road 4601, which is clearly labeled for Tumalo Falls. FSR 4601 is a gravel road about three miles long ending in a parking area at the base of the falls.
Just a short walk from the trailhead is a viewing area for the falls. It’s a great place for a photo before heading up the trail.
About a quarter mile up the trail is another viewing area right next to the creek as the water tumbles over the falls.
From the top of the falls the trail continues up following Tumalo Creek for another 3.75 miles to an area called Happy Valley. Jim and Gail (Life’s Little Adventures) hiked this trail two years ago around the same time of year so we knew from their blog that we would run into snow blocking the trail before that.
There are two more sets of falls above Tumalo Falls. When we arrived at the first set, we found a great area to view the river.
We met another hiker who told us the snow was very deep above the third set of falls so we decided to turn around at that point. We returned to the nice view point at the second falls to enjoy a little lunch.
This is a great hike with a little something for everyone. We met a few families with children making the short, but steep climb up to the top of the first falls. From there you can turn around or you can keep going as far as you like. No matter the distance, the scenery along the creek is beautiful.
It’s difficult to believe that our month here in Bend is already drawing to an end. We extended our stay here a couple of days to let some rainy weather pass through the area, but things are improving so we’re now continuing our journey to the northwest. Next up is a short stay along the Columbia River. More on that later . . .