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Posted on Mar 3, 2015

Adventures in Oregon: Sahalie Falls & Koosah Falls

The last time we ventured into the Cascades was Christmas which felt like it was only a minute ago but somehow was actually 2 months ago (… how is this possible?) We realized we were long overdue for a hiking excursion there so last Saturday we set our sights on Sahalie and Koosah Falls. We drove south to Eugene, turned onto Highway 126 and wound our way along the McKenzie River for about an hour. It was such a beautiful drive!

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We started at Sahalie Falls and hiked the Waterfall Trail which is an easy 2.6 mile loop. We decided to head north first, crossing McKenzie River on a very narrow log bridge.

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Annie wasn’t too sure about it. She literally would not set paw on it until Sasha and I made it all the way across.

We continued along the trail, following the river south. The trail itself is fairly rocky – not one you want to hurry along without looking down, unless of course you like tripping.

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The combination of moss-covered rocks lining the trail, towering trees and crystal clear air really gave a sense that you were outside of time. Walking through those woods along that path, it could have been any day, any year, any century. Beautiful & serene doesn’t even begin to describe it.

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We followed the trail on down to where the river empties into Carmen Reservoir and then headed back up the other side. The dogs had their requisite bribe snack for being patient while I took a perfectly reasonable amount of photos.

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The water in McKenzie River is perhaps the bluest and most pristine water I have ever seen in my life. Rushing along, it truly looked aquamarine and yet so unbelievably clear.

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As we rounded the bend, the rainbow dancing off Koosah Falls came into view.

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After snapping a million few photos, we continued on up the trail to finish the loop out at Sahalie Falls.

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If you look closely in the photo below, there are two crazy people standing right at the edge of the falls. They had to cross the smaller falls to the right to get where they are – crazy, I tell you! Nothing happened to them thank goodness but just in case you weren’t sure – waterfalls that furiously plunge 100 feet down are not something you want to go dip your toe in. There’s your PSA for the day.

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At the base of the falls, Andrew spied a small cross leaning against an old log. ‘Sahalie’ means heaven in Chinook jargon. I don’t know the story of that little cross but it was an unexpected and beautiful reminder of God and His abiding presence everywhere. I needed that reminder.

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Hiking – it can take you far and bring you near all at the same time.

 

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Check out our other Adventures in Oregon on the Oregon page

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