Still day two of our family travels in southern Oregon. We left majestic Crater Lake and started to head back to base camp in Roseburg, Oregon. With the beautiful lake behind us, we decided to see how many waterfalls we could visit before we got back and darkness came. Along Route 138 there are more than a dozen stunning waterfalls flowing into the mighty Umpqua River to stop and see right off the road. Some require a short walk while others are within sight of your car. Each one is unique and impressive. Learn more here!
Tip: Plan a whole day for this and bring snacks and a pick-nick lunch! There are no restaurants or gas stations, but the park restrooms are very well kept.
Our first waterfall was Clearwater Falls. This smaller falls cascades over, thru, and under emerald green moss covered rocks and tree roots. The water looks like it is gushing out of the ground instead of over it. A short walk up the 29 foot slope brings you to the top of the falls where you can see the calm, clear spring-fed pool that is the source of the falls. Aaron and I both braved a crossing of the water by using a downed tree as a tight-rope. We really wanted to stay and enjoy the scenic meadow and spring, but we had more to see!
Tip: Bring sturdy walking shoes and a water-proof jacket for the spray (or get wet!).
Next up was Whitehorse Falls. This is another small falls, but still impressive. A well-maintained wood walk-way allows you to easily get in front of the falls for a grand view. Thousands of gallons a minute of pure snow-melt water roared over the short drop. Aaron and Elijah made Mish and I a little nervous by inching out on a log that straddled the top of the falls. Great picture, but nerve-racking.
We headed for our next waterfall, Watson Falls. Watson Falls was by far the most impressive of the cascades. The falls hurtle over a cathedral amphitheater wall of basalt 293 feet high, crashing into a long talus slope with a deafening roar. The cold spray from the falls mists everything around, including us. We had another scare form our other furry four-footed son, Albie. He decided he was done with sightseeing and headed back to the car without us. We spent a frantic 10 minutes yelling and looking for him. Mish ran back to the car to find Albie patiently waiting to go.
Hint: Walk all the way past the small wooden foot bridge to the base of the falls, it is worth the extra exertion!
At our next waterfall, we left Albie in the car (he preferred it). Fall Creek Falls is actually a series of 4 falls that drop a total of about 120 feet. Even if it is not a single plunge, they were still amazing. Luckily we had no scares this time. We simply enjoyed Mother Nature’s impressive show.
Last up was Susan Falls. This is the only one that you will have to hike in a mile to see, but it is well worth it. Your reward is an up-close and personal encounter with a 35 foot veil of water. I liked this falls not because of its size, but for its simple beauty. The way the water spread out along the rock face made for a perfect picture of natural beauty.
By the time we left Susan Fall, the light was getting very dim. Even though there were more falls to spot, we decided that we had a grand experience and would save the others for another time. Some things just should not be rushed. Plus, we had a busy day planned for tomorrow and wanted to get some food and rest. So, off we went feeling very inspired and looked for a late dinner.
Final Tip: Relax, slow down, enjoy the simple pleasure of being with your family.
Next week: The Oregon Vortex!