Looking for a short hike with a stunning waterfall in central Oregon? Look no further than Tumalo Falls near Bend, Oregon! This waterfall is breathtaking!
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About Tumalo Falls
There are some stunning waterfalls near Bend, Oregon. The 97 foot Tumalo Falls is a must-see if you are in the area.
This waterfall is on Tumalo Creek which goes through the Cascade Mountain Range. This stunning fall is a popular destination for those visiting Central Oregon. It will not disappoint!
To get to the waterfall, you’ll need to drive about 20 minutes west of Bend. For access, go to the Tumalo Falls Day Use Area in the Deschutes National Forest.
It should be noted that there is a recreation fee for this area. Don’t worry though, there is a kiosk for you to get one at the day use area.
Be aware that the access road, Tumalo Falls Road, is not paved. It is loose stone, but it’s not the end of the world. I was able to drive the road in a Toyota Corolla. However, I had to drive slow so the loose rocks weren’t coming back up and hitting the rental car.
Follow the gravel road all the way to the end and you’ll find a parking lot by the Tumalo Falls trailhead. At the parking lot, there are bathrooms and some information about the area.
If you find that the lot is full, you can go back and park along the road or in the lot by the kiosk where you can buy your day pass.
The Hike To The Top of the Falls
One of the best parts about this waterfall is it’s a very short hike to be able to enjoy the view. While it might be short, there is some elevation gain to get to the upper viewpoints of the falls. But, it’s rated an easy hike because it’s only about a half mile there and back.
The Tumalo Falls Lower Viewpoint
However, the first viewpoint is about a minute walk from the parking lot. And for such a quick walk, it has some great views!
The Upper Viewpoint
After you enjoy the first viewpoint, you can start to make your way up to the upper viewpoint. As I mentioned earlier, it is a short hike to the top of the falls, but the elevation gain might be tiring.
Both times I went, I remember being out of breath on the short walk up. I had people encouraging me at the top, saying “don’t worry, it’s almost over!”
After a couple minutes, you’ll reach the top and you’ll find another viewpoint! The Tumalo Falls upper viewpoint gives you a great view of the waterfall that’s much closer than the lower viewpoint. It also gives you a great view of the mountains!
If you want to venture past the viewpoint, you’ll find some great spots to view Tumalo Creek. My favorite view is just past the viewing spot for Tumalo Falls from the top.
If you continue further along the trail along Tumalo Creek, you’ll come to find some bonus waterfalls. You can download the AllTrails map before you head to Tumalo Falls if you are worried about getting lost. There is absolutely no service in the park.
Hiking to the Bottom of Tumalo Falls
Looking to get up close and personal with Tumalo Falls? You can hike right to the bottom of this massive waterfall! From the parking lot, go right and you find signs pointing you to another trail.
You’ll come to the bridge that goes over Tumalo Creek. Instead of going over it, take a left and you’ll end up on the trail towards the base of the waterfall.
When I went, the whole trail was pretty overgrown and not well marked. But, I promise it’s absolutely worth pushing your way through the over growth!
At a couple of spots, I had to step on some stones in the creek to continue the path to the base of the waterfall. So, I would recommend wearing a pair of waterproof hiking shoes, which thankfully, I was. Being on the rocks in the creek gives you some great viewpoints as well!
When you finally reach the base of the waterfall, pat yourself on the back for fighting the overgrowth trail. And of course, enjoy the beauty of this 97 foot waterfall up close.
Why Visit Tumalo Falls
If you’re ever in Bend, Oregon, Tumalo Falls is a must visit. This waterfall is easily accessible as it’s only a short hike to the top. It has various viewpoints available as well as hiking and mountain biking trails to enjoy more of the Deschutes National Forest.
In the summer season, it’s open from May through October. In the winter season, it’s open from December through February. In the winter months, you’ll have to
There are bathrooms located at the parking lot by the Tumalo Falls Trailhead.
You can ride mountain bikes in some sections of Tumalo Falls Day Use Area. I saw a couple of people mountain biking when I went there! Just note that the path up to the upper viewpoint is for biking uphill only.
If you’re looking for more to do near Bend, Oregon:
And if you’re looking additional waterfalls to chase, check out our other waterfall posts!