Day Trips Near Foster For Waterfalls

Sunday morning we had coffee then headed off to Mass at 0900 in Sweet Home OR just next door to Foster Lake Resort. On the way home we stopped and filled Big Red up with diesel…when we leave here for Bend OR on Tuesday there is no fuel, gas, or services until almost into Bend. From there it’s another 320 miles to Boise ID where we’ll fuel again…prices in OR are cheaper than in the DPRC but still more than needed as self serve is illegal in OR…unless you’re pumping diesel or unless you have an aux tank…in those two situations (actually you’re required to in the second) you can pump your own.

We got back to the rig and Neil made us a nice bacon and eggs breakfast…then about 1200 or so we headed off for 2 waterfalls east of here in the Cascade Mountains…and we also got to scope out at least the first half or so of Tuesday’s drive to Bend. We had about an hour drive to the area of the waterfalls…there’s a hike between them but we decided to just drive to both parking areas and take the short walks over to the river.

First up…Sahalie Falls…a very nice 100 foot vertical drop on the McKenzie River. Fortunately…there are well marked viewing areas and mostly the idiots can’t get out onto the rocks near the top…although in both cases there were a couple of them.

Shots of the falls…again the ones with flowing water are Neil’s tripod mounted shots and the more frozen ones are Connie’s.

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Looking into the cauldron at the base of the falls…there was a slight rainbow that was intermittently faintly visible…but none of our photos captured it unfortunately.

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Neil grabbed a short video you can see here.

Next up…about a half mile down the road and maybe 3/4 of a mile as the McKenzie River winds…google tells us it’s only 64 feet high but it actually looks taller than Sahalie…the viewing areas were a little closer so maybe that caused the apparent higher height.

Again…Neil got a short video here.

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As we departed the area…we stopped briefly by Clear Lake…which wasn’t actually very clear…to see what we might see…it’s a relatively small canoe only lake down in a small valley.

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We headed home for dinner…corn and chicken…both done on the barbie.

Monday morning after breakfast we headed off for another couple of waterfalls…our destination was the McDowell Creek Falls…we elected not to do the whole 1.6 mile loop hike as it was pretty steep but did end up doing about 0.75 miles…we walked into the falls from both end parking lots. McDowell Creek is up on the ridges to the north of Lake Foster and there are at least 4 named falls on the creek in the county park there…although only Majestic Falls was really worth it. Several others would have been better with higher flow but Royal Terrace Falls in particular was of limited beauty with the low flow. 

As per usual…we got both flowing and frozen waterfall shots…this is primarily because Connie doesn’t carry her own tripod and thinks that setup and takedown of it is too much bother…so Neil always gets those while she concentrates more on general area including the falls style shots…both kinds usually make it to the blog.

Royal Terrace Falls…119 feet but as you can see it’s pretty low flow here in mid summer…the following shot I got from google was taken in the spring melt season.

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As you can see…much better when there is actually water flowing over it.


Close up of a side fall.

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Connie’s artsy-fartsy shot.

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Heading back to the parking lot after Royal Terrace…Neil hopped down on the bank and got this very nice 7 foot or so high one just under the bridge across the creek to the parking lot.

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Then turned 90 degrees to the right to get this nice side view of another short drop before the creek leveled out for awhile.

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We drove the mile or so to the upper parking lot and got very nice shots of Majestic Falls…only 39 feet according to the sign but much higher flow. Two different HDR treatments here…one was a 5 bracketed shot series and the second he took 7 bracketed shots. First one processed with his normal Aurora HDR 2019…the second one done in Lightroom just to be different.

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Downstream of Majestic Falls…a couple of small flows over some rocks caught his eye so he shot those as well.

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We hiked back up to the parking lot and headed home…we did spot a yearling whitetail deer on the way back…it was on the unpaved road adventure portion of the tour…but it got away before we could grab the camera…and would have been a photo of it standing on the road anyway.

With that…our work here in Sweet Home/Foster OR is almost done. We’ll wander back over to the Point Restaurant before dinner and get a couple of marionberry cobblers to go and put them in our freezer for later and Neil will pack up the outside this afternoon. In the morning…a 90ish mile drive over US-20 east to Bend where we’ll spend 2 nights at the Elks Lodge there. They don’t take reservations so Neil called over to see how full they might be…there’s only one big rig site left so Neil went ahead and paid the $20 to reserve it for tonight even though we’re not there yet…we’ll still only pay $60 for the 2 nights we’ll actually spend there which is less than the commercial park we would have had to use instead.

Interesting things found on the net.

You should always try to take the boredom out of your job…no matter what it is.



Rules for Wiley Coyote.


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About Gunther

The full time RV travels and experiences of Gunther the Bear and Kara the Dog…along with their human staff neil and Connie.
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