Sahalie Falls and Koosah Falls are located on Highway 126 in Oregon’s Central Cascade mountains.
These falls mark the terminus of two thick flows of basaltic andesite lava that dammed Clear Lake and moved into the McKenzie River 3,000 years ago. The results are two breathtaking waterfalls with foaming white water cascades in between.
Sahalie (or “Heaven”) and Koosah (or “Sky”) are Chinook Jargon words – part of a rudimentary trade language that allowed people to exchange news and goods in the area. The Kalapuya, Molalla, Sahaptain and Chinook peoples traveled and traded here, perhaps on their way to obtain obsidian in the high Cascades or to gather huckleberries.
A Waterfall Loop Trail connects Koosah and Sahalie waterfalls. It is part of the famous McKenzie River National Recreation Trail, and offers up close views of the wild McKenzie River. Both sites feature parking area, interpretive panels that tell the story of area geology, restrooms and observation points. Sahalie Falls Viewpoint is fully accessible.
LOCATION: 17 miles northeast of McKenzie Bridge
ACCESS: To access Koosah Falls Day Use Area, from McKenzie Bridge travel east on Hwy 126 approximately 17.3 miles. Turn left at the Ice Cap Campground/Koosah Falls sign. To access Sahalie Falls Day Use Area, proceed another 1/2 mile north of the Koosah Falls turnoff on Hwy 126. The parking area is located on the left.
ELEVATION: 3,100 and 3,000 feet
SEASON: May — November (snow dependant)
FEES: No Fee
FACILITIES: NO water, vault toilet (Sahalie Falls only)
ACTIVITIES: viewpoint, hiking
ACCESSIBLE FACILITIES: (Sahalie Falls only) vault restrooms, trail to viewpoint of waterfall, interpretive kiosk
The video shows some extreme kayakers enjoying the waterfall. Fun to watch, however very dangerous to do.
Sahalie and Koosah Falls are on the McKenzie Pass – Santiam Pass Scenic Byway. This is a must see item on your visit to the area. Hike around the falls on the Waterfalls Loop Trail. Find info on Sahalie and Koosah Falls Viewpoints and the Waterfall Loop Trail here, if you’re up for a short hike, follow the trail linking the two falls.
- CategoryArea Waterfalls
- LocationMcKenzie River
- By Chris LaVoie
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org