McKenzie River Trail / Blue Pool

Sisters, Oregon

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This is the very definition of an “easy” and “best” hike. The route, a portion of the 26-mile McKenzie River National Recreation Trail, takes you on a 4.0-mile (out and back) walk along the beautiful McKenzie River, through an enchanted old-growth forest, then up onto lava flows and cliffs above the river, and finally, to an incredible, intensely blue pool at the base of a dry waterfall (Tamolitch Falls). For 2.0 miles above the falls (outside the described hike), the riverbed is completely dry most of the year, as the water runs underground, with the river fully and spectacularly reemerging at Blue Pool.

McKenzie River Trail / Blue Pool Professional Review and Guide

"This is the very definition of an “easy” and “best” hike. The route, a portion of the 26-mile McKenzie River National Recreation Trail, takes you on a 4.0-mile (out and back) walk along the beautiful McKenzie River, through an enchanted old-growth forest, then up onto lava flows and cliffs above the river, and finally, to an incredible, intensely blue pool at the base of a dry waterfall (Tamolitch Falls).

For 2.0 miles above the falls (outside the described hike), the riverbed is completely dry most of the year, as the water runs underground, with the river fully and spectacularly reemerging at Blue Pool."

Activity Type: Hiking, Mountain Biking
Nearby City: Sisters
Distance: 4
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Easy
Duration: 2 hours (round-trip)
Season: At an elevation of 2,500 feet, there may or may not be snow in winter, but the trail will be muddy and the water high. In summer, the route is cooled by the dense forest canopy.
Local Contacts: Willamette National Forest
Local Maps: Willamette National Forest; USGS–Tamolitch Lake
Driving Directions: Directions to McKenzie River Trail / Blue Pool

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May 2018