Thursday, August 21, 2014

Gettin' Our Hike On at Tumalo Falls

Since we're in one of the most beautiful areas of the country, we thought we'd plan a big backpacking trip, and tackle part of the Pacific Crest Trail here in Oregon. We haven't done a multi-day trip in awhile, and they are a pretty amazing experience.

But you can't just go traipsing off into the wilderness, willy-nilly. Just like anything in life, it's a much more pleasant experience if you train a bit, to get mentally and physically prepared. I, personally, absolutely need to get mentally prepared, because I can defeat myself within the first few miles with my Jedi mind tricks.  

Tumalo Falls promised a waterfall or two, with options to hike more or less, so that seemed like a perfect start. It was only about 20 minutes from home, and this is what we saw as we approached:

gorgeous views, and we didn't even have to work for it!

This is a great sightseeing hike for anyone coming to visit Bend, and coincidentally, we had Mike's cousin and her husband visiting us - giving us the perfect reason to check out local spots. You can walk just a 1/4 mile uphill to a viewing platform and get a pic that looks like this:

Short walk, big reward.
Mike and his favorite t-shirt, the kitty shark.

I mean, seriously. It's like out of a movie or something. There's a trail that runs through the woods, along the stream, and overlooks the very top of the waterfall. When you have beautiful scenery, hiking is easy.

from the very top, looking down 97 feet. gave me butterflies!

There was this tall, dead tree right next to the waterfall, that was home to a bunch of squirrels! See that tiny little hole to the left of that crack? Here's the zoomed in version:

a little squirrel, poking his head out! he lives like 9 stories up in the penthouse.

We hiked another mile and a half back to Middle Tumalo Falls, along a nice shady trail. It was pretty much perfect - no mosquitoes and lots of mushrooms for Mike to hunt out.

the river that feeds Tumalo Falls.

Middle Tumalo Falls is two-tiered and falls 65 feet.

It was short, as far as hikes go, but totally worth it for the scenery. It reminded us how much we love being outside and how much there is to see. Sometimes it's hard to motivate and get out there (which is why guests are a total blessing), but once you're there, it's amazing. So make some plans and get out there, you'll be so glad you did!