The same day that I left Silver Falls State Park and hiked Shellburg Falls I made my way south to visit Umpqua National Forest. The biggest drawcard for me was to get to Umpqua Hot Springs and Toketee Falls. Luckily the trailheads for both are very close together. These are both really popular on Instagram so I was glad to be a bit later in the afternoon on a rainy Monday.
Toketee Falls is a very short hike from a trailhead just of the highway. The falls are similar in appearance to Ambiqua Falls, having the falls surrounded by columnar basalt. The viewpoint for this falls, however, is placed above the pool and falls giving you almost a birds-eye view of it. People jump the fence to scramble down to the falls, this looks both sketchy and stupid as it’s very steep and slippery. I noticed when I was there that the parking lot is flanked by a huge water pipe. The pipe diverts water in this river to a nearby powerplant; meaning the flow over the falls is consistent all year. Round trip to the viewpoint of the falls it’s less than a mile.
Umpqua Hotsprings are just a little further down the road of the same highway turnoff. These hot springs in the summer are only a mile hike from the parking lot. This time of year when there is still snow on the road you have to hike about 4 miles round trip from where the road is closed for the winter season. I hoped that this would also reduce the crowds. The road hike wasn’t particularly interesting and I was pretty disgusted to see all the rubbish left at the closed trailhead. I’m really not sure how people think the rubbish gets removed when it’s closed.
I walked the short trail up to the hot springs and was surprised by how busy it was with the road closed. I did have a pick of a few pools to myself and enjoyed warming myself in the hot water while it rained lightly. The upper pool is definitely the warmest so when the people in it vacated I took the opportunity to nab it and warm up. Unfortunately, I couldn’t stay that long, it was already late in the day and I had a bit of a drive to get out to crater lake that evening. The hike back to the car on the road was pretty boring, definitely needed my headphones to pass the time. The snow also made some sections pretty slippery and slow going.