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Tamolitch Falls

McKenzie River

Willamette Foothills, Oregon

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Tamolitch Falls

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  • The author on the first documented Descent.- Tamolitch Falls
  • - Tamolitch Falls
  • Scott Baker on a later trip in 2018- Tamolitch Falls
  • Ben McKenzie on a later trip in 2018.- Tamolitch Falls
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Beautiful views. Swimming hole. Hiking trail. Moderately easy access.
Cons: 
Hard to know when the falls are running. Four-wheel drive access to falls
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Region:
Willamette Foothills, OR
Route Characteristics: Character:
Wooded (Forested), Park
Gauge URL: 
http://levels.wkcc.org/?g=uk1
Overall difficulty: 
V
Motorized watercraft allowed: 
No
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring
Put-in location (lat, long coordinates): 
44.312328, -122.026516
Suitable for:
Kayaks
Shuttle required: 
No
Take-out location (lat, long coordinates): 
44.312328, -122.026516
Total Distance: 
0.10 mi (0.16 km)
Typically multi-day: 
No
Current Local Weather:

Notable Hazards + River Information

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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Contributor

Tamolitch Falls is a unique waterfall on the McKenzie River. This area is where the McKenzie River comes back up into Tamolitch Pool (also known as the Blue Pool) after being forced underground at Carmen Reservoir. It's known as a dry falls, and it only comes into existence after long periods of rain when the river will flood over the lava bed.

Use the Trail Bridge gage for flow information. The flow was about 2,600 cfs on this trip, and that correlated to about 200 cfs at the falls. At twice this flow, the falls would be ideal; it is definitely worth the trip if you are lucky enough to get it when the falls are running. A group returned a few days later when the falls were running at 3,100 cfs, and the falls cleaned up nicely with the additional flow. Based off these two data points it can be interpreted that 3,000 cfs on the Trail Bridge gage would be a good minimum to shoot for. At the minimum flows had on this trip, a couple hard hits were taken, good lines were had overall. Because the falls rarely come in at a runnable flow, it could not be confirmed if anyone had kayaked the falls prior to this trip; local paddlers may have run it in the past and simply not posted any information about it.

If you have time after the falls, the McKenzie River has some great play waves with eddy service when flows are high. Most of the waves can be accessed from the main highway.

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(26 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(56 within a 30 mile radius)

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