Sahalie Falls–A Fun Hike for the Adventurous

 On our way to a family reunion this weekend we traveled along the Santiam Pass, stopping to catch some splash at Sahalie Falls Viewpoint. The wayside is located on Highway 126, a stretch of road formerly called the Clear Lake Cutoff, and is part of the Willamette National Forest.

Sahalie is a Chinook word meaning high. The waterfall is believed to have emerged more than 3000 years ago when lava flows from the now extinct volcanoes formed the McKenzie River.              ( information provided by )

 Sahalie Falls is spectacular to view by itself, but the hiking trails that loop above and below the falls, along the river and through the surrounding old growth forests offer the adventurer some great scenery. You don’t have to be a hiking enthusiast to navigate these trails—a newbie beginner could handle most of them.

We’ve hiked the trail along the river and viewed the breathtaking white water that gurgles its way down the mountain from the 140-foot waterfall. The path that leads upward to the top of the falls is lined with massive trees and plentiful crops of ferns and other undergrowth. At certain times during the summer when the water level is lower, I’m told a hiker can venture along a path behind the waterfall, though I’ve never found my way there.  A kiosk that maps the available trails around the falls is available for viewing near the parking lot.

Whenever I visit, or as in this case, re-visit something as beautiful as this area is, I can’t help but stop and give thanks to a God who created the grandeur. What kind of mind could bring to life such marvelous fauna—the magnificent trees, the lush ferns, the exotic wildflowers—and arrange them around the glorious display of water?

In Psalm 19:1(NKJV) the psalmist writes, “The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament shows His handiwork.”

In Psalm 40:5 (NKJV) we are told, “Many, O Lord My God, are your wonderful works which You have done; And Your thoughts toward us cannot be recounted to You in order, If I would declare and speak of them, They are more than can be numbered.”

I took pictures of  Sahalie Falls, as well as the Three Sisters (Faith, Hope and Charity) from the roadside, and some of Tumalo State Park along the Deschutes River where our reunion picnic was held.

Enjoy the pictures and give the Creator your praise.  He is worthy.

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