Sahalie and Koosah Falls
Sahalie Falls and Koosah Falls are located along the McKenzie Pass-Santiam Pass and West Cascades National Scenic Byways off Highway 126.
These falls mark the terminus of two thick flows of basaltic andesite lava that dammed Clear Lake and moved into the McKenzie River 3,000 years ago. The results are two breathtaking waterfalls with foaming white water cascades in between.
Sahalie (or "Heaven") and Koosah (or "Sky") are Chinook Jargon words - part of a rudimentary trade language that allowed people to exchange news and goods in the area. The Kalapuya, Molalla, Sahaptain and Chinook peoples traveled and traded here, perhaps on their way to obtain obsidian in the high Cascades or to gather huckleberries.
Both sites feature parking area, interpretive panels that tell the story of area geology, restrooms and observation points.
At a Glance
|Current Conditions:||Parking lot is not maintained for snow and ice in the winter. Be aware of slippery conditions. Please do not park on the side of the highway.|
|Closest Towns:||McKenzie Bridge, OR|
|Restroom:||Vault Toilet (Sahalie Falls only)|
|Information Center:||McKenzie River Ranger District|
FROM HWY 126 (MCKENZIE BRIDGE, OR): Travel east on Highway 126 to Carmen Reservoir. Just north of the turnoff to Carmen Reservoir, turn left at the Ice Cap Campground/Koosah Falls sign to access Koosah Falls.
To access Sahalie Falls, proceed another 1/2 mile north of the Koosah Falls turnoff on Highway 126. The parking area is located on the left.
- Parking: There is no official winter access point as Forest Service roads and parking areas are not maintained for snow and ice. There is typically a small pullout plowed at Sahalie Falls Viewpoint, but depending on the weather and road conditions, roadside parking can be very dangerous. If you park alongside the highway, please use caution and make sure your vehicle is pulled off as far as possible. If the roadside parking area has not been plowed out, do not park in the highway. This is very dangerous for you, your vehicle and other drivers.
- Hiking: The trail is not marked. Route-finding can be difficult when the trail is snow covered. Snowshoes or skis are recommended.
- Cold Water Cove Campground
- Ice Cap Creek Campground
- Upper McKenzie Trail Area
- Mt. Washington Wilderness
The Sahalie Falls viewpoint is fully accessible with easy access along a paved pathway.
Accessible Adventures: McKenzie Pass National Scenic Byway on the Willamette National Forest
Map showing recreational areas. Map Information