The Tamolitch Blue Pool hike is a must while you’re exploring things along the McKenzie River. The short hike takes you to an enchanting pool with shades of blue you didn’t know existed.
And just down the road there’s more—two beautiful waterfalls to visit—Sahalie and Koosah Falls. You can spend a couple of hours or half a day exploring the area depending on how much hiking you want to get into.
Here, we set you up with all the possible options for seeing these gorgeous spots in the Willamette Forest.
Tamolitch Blue Pool Hike
3.7 miles, easy, out and back
This is perhaps one of Oregon’s most popular places and it’s easy to see why. You’ll doubtfully see water this blue anywhere else!
The blue is hard to describe and photos hardly do it justice. If you’re here in season, there will be a beautiful small waterfall surging above the Blue Pool.
The trail itself is gorgeous, strolling through Douglas Firs, lava rocks, and mossy canopies, all alongside the rushing McKenzie River, makes for quite the hike! The air is crisp and if the weather is right, feel free to bring a swimsuit… if you dare dip into the frosty waters.
Many enjoy picnics at the tops of the rocks too so feel free to bring up some snacks.
Sahalie and Koosah Falls Hike
2.2 miles, easy, out and back
Sahalie is a raging 100-foot waterfall and Koosah is a beautiful 70-foot gushing waterfall. Both are incredibly beautiful and are rushing all year round.
Luckily, seeing these two falls is extremely easy. You can see either with just a short stroll from the parking lot or take the easy two-mile trek to stretch those legs a bit.
How to See The Blue Pool and Sahalie and Koosah Falls?
There are several ways! Depending on time and how long of a hike you’re after. Here are all the points on a map, plus the hiking trail to hike The Blue Pool plus the other waterfalls.
The Quick Plan
Blue Pool hike is 3.7 miles then drive to the others
Luckily, if you’re short on time, you can likely still squeeze everything in. Sahalie and Koosah Falls both have their own parking lots. Therefore, you can hop out admire their powerful beauty and then head on to the Blue Pool hike.
Both of the falls are walking distance from the parking lots but the only way to get to the Blue Pool is hike the 3.7 miles. You can drive from Sahalie to Koosah then to the Blue Pool if you’re coming from the north or you’ll do the Blue Pool first, then stop at Koosah and Sahalie.
Blue Pool Hike + Sahalie and Koosah Falls
A 10-mile hike out and back
If you want an easy hike but want to savor in nature for a while longer, you can extend your hike to the Blue Pool by continuing north up to Koosah and then to Sahalie Falls. You could do this hike the opposite way should you be coming from the north.
This hike uses the McKenzie River Trail.
Add on Clear Lake
A 14-mile hike out and back
One of the coolest lakes in Oregon, Clear Lake, is just down the road would be yet another stunning spot to add on to your hike.
If you enjoy the Blue Pool, you’ll fall in love with Clear Lake which can be just as clear blue! After all, the name kinda gives it away, doesn’t it?
Other Things Nearby Tamolitch Blue Pool
While you’re here, it would be a shame to miss out on some of these other spots we love!
Proxy Falls – Incredible cascading waterfall, an easy 1.6-mile hike.
Hot Springs – There are quite a few just down the road including Bigelow and Belknap. Here are some great Oregon hot springs to visit in the area.
Bend – All of these spots are day trippable (is that a word? I’m sticking with it…) from Bend and there’s plenty more to do around this adventurous town. Here’s everything you need to know about visiting Bend.
RELATED: Best Spots to Camp Near Bend, Oregon
Things to Know About the Tamolitch Blue Pool Hike
- The terrain warrants decent hiking shoes or at least runners. It’s a mix of dirt and lava rock. A few wooden bridges and walkways can be expected as well.
- The parking situation isn’t the best—It’s a long line of parallel parking on a gravel road. You may be walking a bit just to get to the trailhead. The other two parking lots for the falls are also small and in peak season it can get crowded.
- Unfortunately, portions of the hiking paths are close to the road which ruins the nature vibes a bit at certain points.
- Weekdays will be less crowded, but this is not a secret place so—expect people!
- Don’t feel weird bringing a swimsuit, plenty of people are
crazycourageous enough to hop in the Blue Pool’s freezing waters (37/3 degrees F/C on average)
- If you do get in, be careful! There have been rescues from people jumping from the cliffs and rocks. Don’t jump or do anything else risky when getting in.
- Bring enough water for whatever hike you decide to take on, there’s nowhere to fill up.
- There isn’t always going to be a waterfall at the Blue Pool! During the dry season, only the smaller falls at the bottom will be flowing (you can tell from our pictures we were here in the dry season).
- You will be sharing the Blue Pool hike with bikers.
Where to Camp Near Tamolitch Blue Pool
You can camp right alongside Clear Lake at the Coldwater Cove Campground. Vault toilets, fire pits, and tent sites available. The lake has a loop trail around it as well.
Just down the road is Ice Cap Creek Camp which could not be any closer, it’s right next to Koosah Falls. Here you’ll find toilets and primitive campsites.
Just south of the Blue Pool is Olallie On Mckenzie Highway. This is another campsite with 16 sites, vault toilets and is set along the rushing Mckenzie river.
And if you’re heading west, we have some great campsites near Eugene to check out too.
Oregon lover, hula hooper, travel blogger, beer and wine drinker, dog person, master of the messy bun, and geography nerd.