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An hour away from Crater Lake in Oregon, lies another beautiful feature hidden among the trees of the Umpqua National Forest: Toketee Falls. Our tour guide from our sand dunes tour the previous day had recommended we stopped here and with little information to go on beyond the name, we set off. Getting there was a bit of an adventure for us. Our guide had told us to look for the giant pipe and you’ll find the trail. The falls are well marked on the highway and we found the correct turn off. We just couldn’t find the falls. We ended up driving up this isolated road with barely a soul. We knew we were definitely in the wrong place, but how can you complain when you stumble upon a beautiful lake.
Turns out this is Diamond Lake and we had definitely overshot the falls. In our wanders we found the trail head for Umpqua Hot Springs which I later found out are really popular and also free (plus, if you want to go au naturel this is the place to go). Maybe we should have gone for a dip. We decided to turn around and just keep on going to Crater Lake and that was when we found where we were headed. You know you’ve arrived at the trail head when you spot the 12 foot tall Toketee Pipeline. How we managed to miss it, I have no idea.
The trail is easy and well marked and there are plenty of stairs and handrails. The whole trail is about 1/3 mile so very manageable. After scrambling up and down, you arrive at an overlook of the falls. The falls are broken up into two tiers: the upper stands at 28 feet and the lower at 85 feet before plunging into a large pool. Toketee is a Chinook word for “Graceful” and it’s not hard to imagine why.
I had just unboxed my new GoPro and I had a lot of fun taking photos and video of the whole experience.
Visiting Toketee Falls is the prefect stopping point to get out and stretch your legs on your drive into Crater Lake from Roseburg. We trusted the word of our tour guide and discovered something cool that we otherwise wouldn’t have seen. Despite not really knowing what we were looking for (maybe one of us should have Googled for more details beyond “look for the pipe”), it was one grand adventure.
Have you taken the advice of someone you met while traveling to discover something new?