Oregon's Highway of Waterfalls
Scattered along the North Umpqua River and Highway 138 are more than a dozen unique and majestic waterfalls just waiting to be explored.
East of Glide when the lush forest starts to thicken is the first waterfall, Deadline Falls. What the falls lack in height, they gain in sheer strength. Deadline Falls is known as a block waterfall, meaning the water descends from a relatively wide river. Between May and October, visitors can witness steelhead and salmon go up against the powerful waters in their spawning trip from the ocean to the tributary waters of the Cascade Mountains.
Susan Creek Falls
Wedging itself between rock cliffs blanketed in green and laced with history is Susan Creek Falls. The fan waterfall spreads its wispy waters as it descends 50 feet to the ground below. A relatively easy .8-mile hike will get spectators to the falls where the trail is met with a more challenging hike to the historic Indian Mounds.
Fall Creek Falls
Spraying over stacks of rocks is Fall Creek Falls, a tier waterfall with heights of 35 and 50 feet. The white waters drop nearly 120 feet over a series of four tiers into a cool and calm pool — a great swimming hole in the summer. There is a one-mile moderate hike through old-growth forests of Douglas-fir, hemlock and sugar pine, with trees often over six feet in diameter to the falls.
Located at Steamboat Creek and visible from highway parking are the small, but thundering waters of Little Falls. The 10-foot segmented falls goes separate ways crashing over boulders into a series of deep pools.
The pristine waters of Steamboat Falls dance over a rock bench in Steamboat Creek. The 20-foot block falls boasts a fairly impressive runoff in the winter due to the large drainage basin of Steamboat Creek and in the warmer months from May to July visitors may see steelhead attempting to jump falls adjacent to the fish ladder. The falls are visible from the Steamboat Falls Campground.
“Toketee” in the Chinook language means “pretty” or “graceful” and is the perfect word to describe this gorgeous tiered waterfall. Toketee Falls is one of the most popular falls to visit in Oregon with 120 feet in height and a 40-foot upper tiered fall pouring itself into a pool and then descending a final 80 feet into the lower pool. Hike a .4-mile trail thick with old-growth trees and find this hidden gem cascading over a unique volcanic basalt formation.
As the highest waterfall in Southern Oregon, Watson Falls dives more than 272 feet over the steep cliff made of basalt lava flow and wears a skirt of vibrant mossy greens. The plunge waterfall is visible from the parking area, as well as from a .4-mile moderate hike featuring a bridge with excellent scenic views.
As a must-see feature of the majestic Clearwater River, Whitehorse Falls is a 15-foot plunging punchbowl waterfall located adjacent to Whitehorse Falls Campground.
Clearwater Falls is a segmented waterfall tumbling down large boulders, rocks and logs. The 30-foot vision is an easy walk up the Clearwater River and is adjacent to Clearwater Falls Campground.
This “wild” horsetail waterfall is a must-see if you can hike. With a name meaning “wild” or “untamed” in the Chinook language, it is also the pinnacle making up the nickname “Thundering Waters of the Umpqua.” Lemolo Falls plunges 102 feet into a pool and features two challenging hiking trails, one 1.7 miles and the other 1.5 miles.
Warm Spring Falls
Columns of volcanic basalt frame this block waterfall which pours 70 feet before reaching a pool below. The easy .3-mile trail ends above the falls making for a great view.
View the map and more information here: fs.usda.gov/detail/umpqua/maps-pubs/?cid=stelprdb5374247
Due to recent fire activity, some trails and recreation areas are not accessible. Please travel safely along North Umpqua Highway corridor. Large portions of North Umpqua and Diamond Lake Ranger Districts of the Umpqua National Forest are reopened to the public. Due to active fire and fire suppression activities, sections of the North Umpqua and Diamond Lake Districts will remain under a fire closure order.
For more information visit https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/umpqua and https://www.blm.gov/office/roseburg-district-office.