Hiking Mamas it is SUMMER! The sun is shining, school is out, and I’m home with my kids. Oh, I’m just the happiest Mama these days. All this time off also means more time outside, so let’s go hiking!
My nephews were visiting from Idaho so we checked a hike off our list of must-see Oregon hikes. How have I never done this hike before?! I have been missing out. This is definitely one of my new favorite hikes.
TAMOLITCH FALLS/BLUE POOL
Season: Year Round
Parking: Parking lot at the trail head
Parking Fee: FREE
Distance: 4-5 miles round trip
Bathrooms: None (THIS, I wish I had known prior)
Trail: Well-groomed dirt trail
Cell Service: No
Potential Dangers: None (IF you stay on the path)
Safe to Hike Alone: Yes
Animals: YES! Dogs on a leash
Carrier: Ergo or Hiking pack
Shoes: Trail runners
Kid Shoes: Tennis shoes/hikers
Backpack: Small day pack
In the pack: Water, Snacks, Baby Wipes, Small first aid kit
When we were trying to research directions to this hike, each website stated really specific locations like: From Springfield, go 65 miles east on Hwy 126, 14 miles past McKenzie Bridge and turn left on the unmarked road by the power plant. Okay, but WHAT? So we set out with odometer ready and watched for signs/landmarks to make this easier for all of you. Ready?
From Springfield, go 65 miles east on Hwy 126. When you pass the McKenzie River Fire Station, drive another 10+ miles. You will see a reservoir on your left and then a sign for TRAILBRIDGE ROAD.
Take this road to your left. Cross over the narrow bridge, turn right at the T, drive another .5 mile to the parking lot.
Walk up the gravel road about 50 paces to the McKenzie River Trail marker on your right.
The first mile of this hike follows the McKenzie river with minimal elevation change. It is peaceful and beautiful and easy going. The next mile brings slight elevation change as you begin to climb up above the river. At 2.1 miles, you will come to a clearing where down below you will see Tamolitch/Blue Pool. It is absolutely gorgeous. If you turn around now, it will have been worth your drive and time hiking.
When we got to this clearing, we noticed a few groups that had found their way to a small beach at the edge of the pool. We just had to get there. Our first attempt at figuring out where the trail was failed, and we ended up walking an extra ½ mile or so. We walked back to the clearing and tried a different non-path along the rim’s edge. We ran into another couple coming out who showed us how to cross over the top and down the other side. Although slightly taken aback at first glance, it is worth the try.
Do you see the tiny people in the bottom right corner? And the dirt that looks like the beginning of trail up above her head? Yep. That’s where you go. The scramble up and over is not for those afraid of heights or edges and it is not for the non-adventurer who likes wide, rolling, flat trails. But if you can dig deep and find it in yourself to challenge yourself, it is worth every single step.
SIDENOTE: I decided to leave my littlest home for this hike. With me were my 16 and 13 year old nephews and my 7 year old little, plus my dear friend and her 5-month old snuggled in the Ergo. This group managed this off-beaten path just fine. Had I had my 4 year old with me, we absolutely could have managed the top and absolutely could NOT have gotten down to the pool.
The water in the pool is FRIGID. You are allowed to swim at your own risk. We put our toes in and that was about as close as we got. Because hypothermia.
With this extra bit, the hike was just at 5 miles and worth every single extra step, climb, slide, and scramble. If you have kids over 6 or you are brave wearing your baby (AND have long legs), you should definitely walk down to the bottom. If you don’t, this is still 100% worth going to.
This was a beautiful hike. Easy, rolling, four mile out and back trail. I HIGHLY recommend this hike. The boys also recommend this hike. Anyone else done this and have tips or tricks? Post here! I want to hear them!
Jenna is mama to two awesome kids, a boy & a girl. They explore Lane County's hills & mountains on a regular basis. See all of Jenna's Hike Mom Hike posts here.