Central Oregon – Tumalo Falls (#20)

 December 3, 2011
Info: (from my Hiking book: Oregon Hiking: The Complete Guide to More than 490 Hikes). The people who call Bend home are lucky to live such a short distance from such incredible beauty. Here, for instance, at the end of a long paved road into the forest is not one, but several waterfalls on Tumalo Creek, which flows all the way down to Bend, passing through Shevlin Park. In 1979, a wildfire started by a campfire burned off six-square-miles of stately trees. It’s amazing how much the forest has recovered, and this hike doesn’t stay long in the burn before getting into the good high-country forests. Follow the South Fork Trail 0.2 mile to the right to find the top of 97-foot Tumalo Falls. Continue along the creek another 3.2 miles, passing four sets of waterfalls along the way. At a junction, go left on the Swampy Lakes Trail 2.1 miles on a high ridge (note that this trail enters Bend Watershed, and that animals and mountain bikes are not allowed). Then follow the Bridge Creek Trail to the left 1.3 miles back to the lot.
Directions: From downtown Bend, turn west on Franklin Avenue. Just past Drake Park, turn right on Galveston Road, which becomes Skyliner Drive. After 10 miles or so, Skyliner crosses over Tumalo Creek where you’ll fork left onto Tumalo Falls Road. Follow this washboard gravel road for 2-3 miles where it ends at the picnic area to the trailhead, approximately 12 miles west of Bend with several hiking and mountain biking trails nearby. 
So, this wasn’t my first choice on my adventurous weekend hike. The hike that I did want to do was completely covered in snow so I decided to make a trip out to Central Oregon to visit my man and see if we can find this fall that eluded us a few weeks ago. My drive to Terrebonne is always a pretty drive. Decided to test my “borrowed” camera at the Detroit Dam.  Didn’t do to bad.
Not sure what this green “orb” is all about but it’s on my next picture.
Would have been a great picture except for this green flying saucer on my picture.

Scott and I tried to find this fall a few weeks ago thinking it would be in the Tumalo State Park – Yeah, NOT. This time, I left the directions on my phone so we could find it easily. Also texted Scott the directions just in case too. The gate that leads straight to the park was locked so we had to hike in. The hike was approximately 2.5 miles from the gate to the falls. Good walk but would have preferred to drive in because I would love to have seen the other falls as well.  I think the snow would have prevented that from happening anyways. Kids enjoyed the walk in – not so much the walk back to the car. 
The handsome boys! Tre and Scott
 So, testing my photographic skills and took a picture of the moon. Can you see it??? Can ya? Can ya?

Mason had a great time with the ice. Slipping and sliding every where but he was laughing so I’m thinking he wasn’t getting hurt. 
After awhile we finally get to the bridge and notice there are quite a few trails that lead every where! Can’t wait to go back in the Spring/Summer to do a few of those! So excited!

We took a few pictures on the bridge. Here I go again, testing my photographic skills

Mason and dad taking pictures
He doesn’t look cold, does he?

Just follow the bend in the road and voila, you hit the base of the falls

To get to the top of the falls, you follow a trail straight up about 1/4 miles. Harder when it’s snow and ice but overall pretty easy.

I bet he’s cold!
Here they come!

Since I had a “borrowed” camera, I took most of the pictures but it wouldn’t be a blog without ONE picture of me.  (I would have taken my normal “self-portraits” but my fingers were numb and I wouldn’t take my gloves off!)

Pictures I took while I was waiting for the boys to show

Love the ice and the snow!

Picture of the creek. I’m assuming this is the creek that we would follow to see the other waterfalls. I’ll update the blog when I return in the Spring/Summer – or possibly early Fall.

Looking downstream

This hike was pretty easy overall. Well, at least the hike going IN to the park. I HIGHLY suggest that you drive in so you will have to wait till Spring/Summer before the gate is open. That way, you will have time to do all the other trails in the area or most of them or ONE LONG one.