Tumalo Falls

An 89-foot Plunge into
a Canyon Carved by Ice

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Overview

Tumalo Falls is the grandest waterfall on Tumalo Creek where it ushers forth into an igneous amphitheater just west of Bend. In summer, the falls are easily accessed by a gravel Forest Service road that leads very close to the base, with a trail heading up to an overlook at the brink before carrying on upstream to more forest and more waterfalls. In winter, when snow fills the canyon carved by a long-gone glacier, the road closes and access is only found by snowshoe or ski. When conditions are right, the falls will freeze, but it takes a very deep cold spell for this to occur.

Tumalo Falls
Tumalo Falls
Tumalo Falls

The name Tumalo is of uncertain origin, being variably traced to Klamath terms for "wild plumb" or "ground fog" or another term, Tumallowa, which may have meant "icy water." No matter what the definition, it’s the pronunciation that’s important to get right today. The first syllable, "Tum-," rhymes with "yum."

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