Watson & Toketee Falls

Watson & Toketee Falls

My 6-week work stint lasted a grand total of 7 days! The ever efficient government VA failed to submit paperwork to request funding for the month of May. Finally government bureaucracy working in my favor. I am re-retired! How do I let my recruiter know that he can no longer make money off my back (the poor man is still looking for positions for me). Now we have the rest of the month to explore Oregon.

Compared to SoCal, Oregon is green and lush. It’s a great change in scenery. We opted for two short waterfall hikes in the Umpqua National forest located 2 hours northeast of Ashland. To get to the trails, we needed to summit up 5,415 ft via car before descending back down to 3,000 ft.

The summit is still a wintry wonderland in May.

This area is next to the Crater Lake National Park, where the annual snow fall reaches up to 42ft. It sometimes takes the crew up to early July to completely clear the roads of snow, so the best time to visit the park is after July to ensure everything is open.

Joe standing next to snow pile recently cleared by the park.
Crater Lake is formed completely by snow melt into a volcanic crater, and is the deepest lake in the US going down 1,943 ft. It is also one of the deepest lakes in the entire world – the deepest being Lake Baikal in Russia.

By the time we got to the trailhead, there was no snow in sight.

Our first trail was the Watson Falls trail. Even though it is a short and sweet 1 mile loop, it is beautiful and lush.

With moss on rocks, the trail reminds me of a rainforest.
Had it not been 40°F, I would have thought we were in Hawaii.
With a 293-foot drop, Watson falls is the tallest waterfall in Southern Oregon.

The Toketee Falls trail is a stone’s throw away from Watson Falls. Also a short hike, but slightly less scenic.

Moss covered tree
“Toketee” in Chinook means pretty. The waterfall cuts through basalt lava rocks – the same type of rocks as the Iceland Basalt Columns and Ireland’s Giant’s Causeway.

The view from the viewing platform wasn’t as nice as if you were to head down to the river bank (as seen on social media). However, in order to get down to the river bank you’d have to go down a slippery and dangerous social trail on the other side of the fence. You’re technically not allowed past the fenced area, but people have destroyed and breached the fence just to get a photo for their Instagram.

For me, the highlight of this hike was the discovery of this felled tree trunk spanning across over the rushing water. No, I did not walk across. I’d like to think I have more sense than that. It did give me a rush of adrenaline and fear just standing there.
I can only imagine what’s on the other side.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s