Once a majestic waterfall, the McKenzie River has changed course and gone underground a few miles up stream. The river only flows over the falls a few times a year, the rest if the time the water emerges from the rocks underwater in the basin of waterfall pool.
This is a unique site. While it is rare to see a large waterfall ledge completely dry, the color and composition of the pool is also unique.
One of the first things you’ll notice is the color of the water. The topaz blue color of the water is almost iridescent – like a blue anti-freeze. The water is so clear that is seems to be only about 5 ft deep – yet closer inspection will reveal that in many spots its over 30 ft deep. So pure in fact that you’d swear the water wasn’t moving – yet at the end of this glass like pond – a volume of water rushes out as the McKenzie River is reborn.
The waterfall ledge is a favorite for jumping on a hot summer day. (The water is cold and be very careful to check the area for safety first).
You can hike over the waterfall ledge and find a trail that leads you down to the side of the pool.
This unique place is part of Oregon’s famous McKenzie River Trail. It is on the top half of the trail about 2 miles from the halfway point on the trail. The trail goes right by this interesting feature and is a popular place for hikers and mountain bikers to stop and rest while taking in this unique site.
If you are hiking the trail you can access this by either hiking down approx 3 miles from Carmen Smith Reservoir or hiking about 2 miles up the trail from Trailbridge Reservoir. There is free parking at both sites.
WARNING: The water here is extremely cold – despite being listed as one of the worlds top 50 places to swim – this is not a swimming hole.
- CategoryArea Waterfalls, Hiking
- LocationMcKenzie River
- By Chris LaVoie
- Email: email@example.com