Sure, we are Active NorCal, covering all the cool outdoor stuff in Northern California. But for us to ignore the massive amount of cool places to visit in Southern Oregon, we would be doing our audience a disservice. So come with us on this amazing waterfall/hot springs combination road trip that is the perfect adventure for people in NorCal.
Just north of Crater Lake National Park sits the gem of Toketee Falls and the Umpqua Hot Springs. Since these two destinations sit so close to each other, they are perfect for visiting on the same trip.
You’ve probably seen pictures of it. Toketee Falls has become a very popular sight for adventurers chasing waterfalls and can be seen on many people’s social media feeds throughout NorCal.
Sitting about 140 miles from the Oregon border is Toketee (Chinkook for “pretty” or “graceful”), a 120-foot waterfall sitting in between two giants cliffs as the North Umpqua River cascades to the giant pool below. This waterfall has two tiers – the upper tier falls about 30 feet to a midlevel pool, feeding the lower tier which falls another 90 feet. It is quite a sight to behold.
The waterfall is regulated by a dam built upstream, which regulates and reduces the water flow over the falls. The damming forms Toketee Lake. Previously the full volume of the North Umpqua River was allowed to flow over the falls, but the flow has been reduced by a penstock that utilizes the drop of the falls to generate hydroelectricity.
The hike to the falls is quite easy – a little under a mile trip each way that is well-kept and even has stairs and bridges for a relaxing trip. Here is a video to show you how easy it is:
Here is the location of the falls:
And yes, people do CRAZY things off Toketee Falls. Like cliff jumping:
And even Kayaking:
Umpqua Hot Springs
* Let’s just get this out of the way now – unlike Toketee Falls, this is probably not a place for kids. Many people are known to soak in the hot springs in the nude.
The Umpqua Hot Springs sits along a steep slope above the North Umpqua River. The pools are filled with water from 100-115 degrees from an active fault on the slope. The visuals are stunning, including Surprise Falls, and if you are lucky to gain access to the hot springs all by yourself, it makes for quite a relaxing experience.
There are 5 upper pools, 3 pools on the hillside, and a pool in the grotto on the river bank. The short hike is only about a half a mile each way with a little bit of an elevation gain. Here is the location of the hot springs:
And here is a nice little video that shows you what it’s like:
Good luck on your road trip!