Pets allowed
Allowed
Elevation Gain
?
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
4.00 mi (6.44 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

This section of the McKenzie River Trail heads upstream from the Trail Bridge Campground to Tamolitch Pool, and it is a very popular hike any time of the year. The trail winds its way in and out of the forest and provides great views of the McKenzie River, old lava flows, and other geologic features. With the lush old-growth forest surrounding the trail, this is an ideal hike to escape the summer heat or be shielded from the rain.

After 2.5 miles on the trail you are rewarded with the beautiful Tamolitch Pool, also called Blue Pool. No longer a waterfall, the river now emerges from under the rocks. The crystal clear water is deep blue in color - a photographers dream! The edge of the falls is a great place to relax and enjoy the natural beauty.

The full McKenzie River Trail is over 26 miles long and connects many beautiful spots in the Willamette National Forest. You can also access Tamolitch Pool by hiking downstream from Carmen Reservoir, and you can expand your adventure with many other hiking destinations including Clear Lake, Sahalie and Koosah Falls, Trail Bridge Reservoir, and Belknap Hot Springs. There are also many campgrounds along the trail as well.

Be sure to share the trail with fellow hikers and mountain bikers. Adventuring during the week if possible is recommended. The small parking area can fill up quickly on busy weekends. A map is located at the trailhead, but no other facilities are available.

Note: Cliff jumping is dangerous and the water is very cold, even in the summer. There have been several fatalities related to cliff jumping into this cold water. Scrambling down to the water's edge may be the better choice if you're looking to swim.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

High

Parking Pass

NW Forest Pass

Pros

Beautiful views. Swimming hole.

Cons

Busy.

Trailhead Elevation

2,317.00 ft (706.22 m)

Net Elevation Gain

300.00 ft (91.44 m)

Features

Bird watching
Wildlife
Old-growth forest
Wildflowers
Geologically significant

Suitable for

Biking

Location

Field Guide + Map

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Comments

06/28/2018
Family, kids, dogs and anybody friendly trail. Some parts are rocky but most of them are easy going trail with even your running shoes(but not recommend). My favorite trail in summer. You can actually go down to the water but there is no official trail. It is literally you just climb over a bunch of rocks which can be dangerous, so be careful.
08/07/2018
Just completed the entire mckenzie river trail, and this was our first nights stop. River was still running good in June, river was dry, but there was still a trickle from the hill breaking the glass in July.
Further warning for those who don't know: Blue pool is always ice cold. Take caution when swimming, and I don't recommend jumping from the cliffs.
06/29/2018
Just a few tips to add.

Don't wear sandals. Wear hiking shoes, or trainers at least. While this is an easy rated hike, part of the trail climbs up over steep and jagged basalt rock. On a busy summer day, I witnessed several cringeworthy moments of pure awkwardness watching hikers in flip flops negotiate the rocks. I also passed a hiker who took a nasty fall; the lava rock shredded her leg from ankle to hip.

The trail was crowded, with multiple user types: mountain bikers, trail runners, anglers, dogs, and hikers. I still enjoyed it, but I'd say this is definitely a trail where you want to bring your patience, courtesy, and trail ettiquite.

The water was quite literally ice cold. It's been said already, but one cannot overstate that.

This is a special place. I've hiked a lot of mountain river canyons and I was still amazed by the geology and clear blue waters of the McKenzie.
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