Hiking to Tumalo Falls – Bend, OR

Bend, OR

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.

Looking back to the parking area from the top of 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.

Snow on the trail – Can we turn back yet?  No way says the nimble hiker!

More snow . . . Keep going!

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.

Turn around now? “Keep going,” says the nimble hiker.

It keeps getting deeper!

Just keep going . . .

. . . and going!

The third set of falls

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.

Lunch with a view

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 . . .

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14 Responses to Hiking to Tumalo Falls – Bend, OR

  1. Spectacular falls and I always love your “lunch with a view” photos! The new shoes still working??

  2. Debbie L says:

    WOW! We dream of hiking to such gorgeous waterfalls. Maybe we will find one like that in Wisconsin this summer. And I’m sure we won’t find snow….or could we??? CRAZY weather. We actually hiked in some snow once in shorts, too. Great memories….

  3. Laurel says:

    Way to go, hiking in the snow in shorts! :-)) The falls are so gorgeous.

  4. Mary says:

    That is a gorgeous waterfall. What a pretty area, even with the snow. Lol

  5. Great first shot of the waterfalls. Oh my hiking in shorts in the snow, how about that!

  6. Woohoo…it’s great you got to see several of the falls along this trail! Can’t let a little snow stop you two!

  7. Gorgeous! I really need to take a trip to Oregon one of these days…
    Alicia @ GirlonaHike.com

  8. Gay says:

    Beautiful falls! This is a hike I would LOVE! Doesn’t snow add so much excitement on the trail?

  9. Diana says:

    What a neat waterfall! That first photo almost makes it look like a smaller Lower Yellowstone Falls.

  10. Jodee Gravel says:

    And going, and going, and…..that’s quite the snow bank to traverse in shorts!! Beautiful falls – I bet the sound was amazing :-)))

  11. pmbweaver says:

    Oh my gosh. This hike is gorgeous!! I love the falls. Glad you are going back at the end of August. It will be neat to see what that area looks like then. Keep enjoying the adventure.

  12. Great first shot of the waterfalls.

  13. geogypsy2u says:

    I’m sure glad the nimble hiker pushed on as those waterfalls are outstanding.

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