These falls are one of the best kept secrets in Oregon and rank high among all waterfalls in Oregon. Their unique towering cascades down mossy rocks and set of slick logs lying in front make them a surreal sight.
About The Hike
Proxy Falls Trailhead is located in the Willamette National Forest however the falls themselves are located within the Three Sisters Wilderness.
The trail to the falls is a loop trail with one stop off the loop heading down to Lower Proxy Falls and another stop further along on the loop heading to Upper Proxy Falls.
Many people decide to not take the side trail to Upper Proxy Falls but I would definitely recommend. It would be it's own worthwhile stop if not attached to the Lower Proxy Falls Trail.
The trail from the parking lot heads into the forest and immediately through an old lava field. You probably saw plenty of these massive lava fields on the way in if coming from Bend, Oregon.
Proxy Falls Loop Trail:
Distance: 1.6 Miles
Ascent: 147 feet
Exploring Lower Proxy Falls
When the trail breaks off you'll see a path that descends for the lower falls. This trail is tougher than the main loop and will take some time to get footings before reaching the stream of the falls. A few rock hops will be required to get into a good viewing point of the falls.
One of the best features of Proxy Falls are the logs that layer the rocks in front of the falls. Learn from my mistake these are impossibly slippery! Like trying to stand on a greased watermelon slippery. I knew this getting on and didn't try to stand up, but my first leg up got me sliding five feet sideways on the log while clawing my way to a stop.
Once you're done getting all your shots, head back up the same trail that got you down to the falls and meet up with the loop trail again.
Exploring Upper Proxy Falls
Continue along the loop trail until you reach the next intersection which you'll head right on. This will ascend a small amount before dropping you off at a pool with another cascading waterfall flowing down.
Not as grand you see, but still an incredible bonus feature to the trail. I stayed here for a short time to get shots before doubling back to the loop trail and arriving back at the parking lot. The whole loop is under 2 miles making this a great one or two hour trip on your way around Oregon.
Getting There and Important Information
The trailhead is located directly on the side of the McKenzie Highway, there is no parking lot so cars will park on both sides of the road.
This area has a day use fee however read the signs at the trailhead, when I visited there was a sign stating no fee required at this time, don't mind if I do!
There are bathroom facilities at the trailhead.
No campsites are located on this trail and camping here may be restricted or permit only due to being partially in Three Sisters Wilderness, for more information you can visit the Willamette Forest website here.
Looking for some other great waterfalls in Oregon?
Checkout this post of the The Ultimate Guide to the Best Waterfalls in Oregon's Columbia River Gorge!
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