In 2007 we went for a camping trip to Oregon to see Crater Lake National Park and the surrounding area. We discovered a brochure describing the Falls around the area we were camping at – Clearwater Falls, Toketee Falls and Watson Falls. The Falls are located in the Umpqua National Forest. Clearwater Fall’s height is 29 feet, Toketee Fall’s height is 113 feet and Watson Fall’s height is 272 feet.
Clearwater Falls is a spring fed waterfall and truly looks like it is springing out of the ground. The falls and the area surrounding the falls is unique with intertwined roots, fallen logs, moss, cascades, and pools. The hike to the falls is a short walk from the parking lot. The falls is located on Highway 138.
Toketee Falls was my favorite waterfall out of the three. The falls are tiered – the first drops 40 feet and the second drops 80 feet over a cliff and into a pool below. The trail to the falls brings you to a viewing platform that looks across to the falls – the hike alone is worth getting out to stretch the legs and then you see the falls for the first time – gorgeous, breathtaking, stunning. The North Umpqua River flows through a gorge creating Toketee Falls. Fun Fact: Toketee is a Chinook word meaning pretty or graceful. The falls is located on Highway 138 – turn on to Road 34. The falls are now regulated by a dam built just upstream, which reduces the water flow over the falls.
Fun Fact: Watson Falls is the highest waterfall in southwest Oregon. The waterfall roars over a lava cliff into a pool below. The hike to the falls is short but you climb up to the falls (rated as difficult) – you can see the falls from the parking lot. I thought the trail was manageable but challenging at times – seeing the falls and the breathtaking views is worth the hike. Once you reach the base of the falls expect to get a little wet from the spray of the waterfall. The falls is located on Highway 138 – turn on to Road 37 to get to the parking lot.
After a morning of hiking we went to Diamond Lake to relax and take a swim. On the way you will see Mount Baily to the west and Mount Thielsen to the east. Driving along Highway 138 through the Umpqua National Forest you will find things to see and do. This area is so lush and green with multiple waterfalls and lakes.
Another side trip worth the stop – National Creek Falls – a beautiful waterfall. The falls are created by a spring-fed creek and drop about 40 feet over a ledge that forms two columns of falls. The pool at the bottom of the falls is perfect for dipping a toe in on a warm day. I could not get over how green and lush is was at the falls. The hike to the falls is down hill and then hike back up. National Creek Falls is located west of Crater Lake National Park off Highway 230.
National Creek Falls (Photo by RSheridan)