For our first hike in the area we chose a trail loaded with waterfalls. The Tumalo Falls Loop is about seven miles long and follows several creeks (map) so you get to see all sorts of spectacular drops...waterfall lovers will be happy! Jen and Deas and their three sweet dogs joined us for the first couple of miles.
Hike details: North Fork Trail to Swampy Lakes Trail to Bridge Creek Trail.
If you don't like waterfalls you're out of luck on this blog today, we saw a lot of them!
|Tumalo Falls lower viewpoint is right off the parking area.|
|Jen and Deas and Hans pose at the top of Tumalo Falls.|
|Mushroom the size of a childs head!|
My favorite waterfall of the day:
|And even closer...wonderful mosses and lighting!|
After about 3.5 miles we reached the Swampy Lakes Trail, a 2.7 mile section of our loop that did not pass any swampy lakes! We did have to cross a branch of Tumalo Creek though:
|Pretty, clear Tumalo Creek looks very different from the roaring falls we had been seeing.|
|There was no bridge at this crossing, just a fortuitously fallen tree.|
After a stretch of trail without any water, just beautiful, shady forest, we reached the Bridge Creek Trail and, once again, were treated to waterfalls!
|Viewing these falls was a little treacherous so we just got a peek.|
|The canyon we descended.|
|The final falls of the day.|
This was a lovely loop hike with gentle elevation gain for the first 3.5 miles. Most of the trail passes through forest so you are nicely shaded on a warm summer day. Hans and I attempted this hike a few years ago, earlier in the season (June, perhaps) and ran into heavy snow and had to turn around. Being fairly close to town this trail system gets heavy use and can be quite crowded on the weekends. $5 per day recreation fee required, or free with an Interagency Pass.