Tamolitch Falls, McKenzie River Trail

April 6, 1986

Since it was such a perfectly beautiful day when we met at the South Eugene parking lot, I asked the assembled throng if they would prefer to do a car shuttle and an eight-mile hike rather than the four miles listed on the sign-up sheet. Since everyone agreed that they would prefer this plan, we left one car at the trail near Trail Bridge and drove on up stream to start our hike near the south end of Clear Lake. Beginning here gave us lovely views of the McKenzie, Sahallie Falls, Koosah Falls, Carmen reservoir, the huge old cedars and Doug fir in the Tamolitch Valley and Tamolitch Falls. There were only a few spots of snow left along the upper end of the trail, so it was fast downhill hiking for everyone.

We took our lunch break at Tamolitch Falls and all marvelled at the pristine cobalt pool there. For me this is a magic place that somehow soothes, refreshes and excites simultaneously. Although the hike in March had been fortunate enough to see water coming over the falls, I’ve never had that experience. The rarity of a dry falls with a huge pool of water beneath it is a fascinating phenomenon. I consider it a companion piece to Upper Proxy Falls where there is a falls and a pool but no above ground outlet. Of course, both are the results of the lava formations of that area.

I think that this eight miles is the most spectacular section of the McKenzie River Trail, and I very much enjoyed sharing it with such a good group of companions. They were Rientsje Braunius (visiting from the Netherlands), Tom Cawi, Ruth Coffman, Marion Ellis, Gladys Grancorvitz, Mert Heyman, Jeanie Holmes, John Hudson, Mae Jackson, Ruth McCalop, Mary Millman, Alys Riley, Judy Stiek, Suzanne Steussy, Carol Wayne, Art Wild, and leader Anne Montgomery. Thanks to you all for making this a great trip.

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