After Mount Bachelor, Tumalo Falls is perhaps Bend’s most visited natural feature in the winter…and for good reason. From the parking lot, this dog-friendly, 2.5-mile trail along Tumalo Falls Road winds through a glaciated valley filled with 30 year-old ponderosa pines planted after the Bridge Creek Fire in 1979. This little section of road is a hot spot for locals wanting to get a little exercise and a glimpse of Central Oregon’s tallest waterfall.* Alternately, you can park at Skyliner Sno-park (0.4 miles back down Skyliner Road) and take a far less trafficked route up to the 89-foot falls by following a small trail on the south side of Tumalo Creek.
Further, if you are looking for a work out, a little more peace and quiet, and a full tour of the area, continue on the Tumalo Creek and Falls Trail all the way to Happy Valley, where you'll see countless incredible cascades. Wake up early for this full-day adventure, as the climb all the way to Happy Valley is 12 miles and 2,400 feet.
* Note that we mean our Central region; 286-foot Salt Creek Falls falls into our Southern Cascades region.
Winter backcountry adventures can be dangerous outdoor activities that pose significant risks as conditions affecting safety (i.e. weather, snowpack stability, avalanche hazard) are constantly changing. Prior to engaging in these activities each individual should get the proper training to make safe decisions and be equipped to use avalanche safety resources and tools. Please visit our Backcountry Skiing and Avalanche Safety post to learn more.
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