From Highway 126 — coming from either Santiam Junction or Eugene — simply turn onto Highway 242 and follow it … From up on the trail before dropping down, you see a very tall waterfall. From the junction of Hwy 126 and Hwy 242 (just west of Belknap Hot Springs), follow Hwy 242 for 6.5 miles to the Hello Bend! But it's also more rewarding, offering the chance to travel a highway that becomes a tunnel through snowy forest and experience Upper Proxy Falls (126 feet) and Lower Proxy Falls (226 feet) ornamented by icicles. Both falls are almost 200 feet tall at an elevation of 3, 120', Farns, vine maple, moss, It makes a fun scavenger hunt when combined with snowshoeing, skiing or snowmobiling, and for photographers, it creates unique scenes. CAPTURING PROXY FALLS OREGON // with winter gate closed // Oregon Landscape Photography - Duration: 10:14. The idea is to capture Oregon's natural wonders as they roar with swollen flows of the rainy season or are covered by snow and ice. © 2020 www.statesmanjournal.com. The lower snow gate usually closes in late November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. At Proxy Falls, you can see three different types of terrain in one hike. Proxy Falls. If you are coming from the west, Proxy Falls is much closer, but a drive to the observatory is still cool! Upon finding a great viewpoint for the falls you will find yourself awestruck when you see the entire length of the two cascading fall legs. * The top three placers will have their photos featured in the print and online version of the Statesman Journal. The trick once you arrive is deciding what equipment to bring. Fed by a spring, this waterfall doesn't thunder but rather slides down mossy tiers into a pool below. Voting will end at 8 p.m., May 30. My day started with plenty of snow, so I tossed on snowshoes right away and kept them on the entire time. I headed left, the quickest route to the waterfalls, and started breaking trail among forest and lava fields. The cool spray, drifting off icicles into a forest of white was so refreshing that it didn't take long for my brain to feel clean and cobweb-free. Go ahead – touch the waterfall. "Many times the snow line is not all the way down to the gate, which makes it more like a hike," said Tyson Cross, winter recreation programs manager with Willamette National Forest. All that's required is to take pictures of waterfalls anywhere in Oregon between Nov. 22, 2014 and April 30, 2015. Beautiful picture! Check with ODOT or the Forest Service for exact dates. * Email any questions to Zach Urness at zurness@statesmanjournal.com. Proxy Falls is a beautiful easy hike off of McKenzie scenic highway 242 which is only open for a few months out of the year (usually mid-June to early November, but it depends on snowfall). Best time for Proxy Falls in Oregon 2020 - Best Season - Rove.me When snowpack is minimal and there's a good path, all you really need are waterproof boots. McKenzie Bridge, Willamette Valley . The Forest Service encourages everyone to stay on the trails to avoid damaging any of the plants along the trail. Lower Proxy Falls. Call ahead This experience may be open for on-site visitation; however, offerings and/or operating procedures may have changed due to COVID-19. The snow gate's elevation is 2,100 feet, but the waterfalls are at 3,200 feet, which means you're likely to pick up a fair amount of snow during the trip. The trip to Proxy Falls during winter is simple enough. The trip to Proxy Falls during winter is simple enough. free Winter Waterfall Hunting photography contest, Winter Waterfall Hunting Photography contest, Your California Privacy Rights / Privacy Policy. The trail is a easy to moderate hike, but it is not appropriate for wheelchairs or strollers. * All photos entered in the contest will be featured on the StatesmanJournal.com. Back in late 2010 I had the idea to hike into Proxy Falls in Oregon’s Three Sisters Wilderness, to visit this amazing display of falling water in its winter glory. Crafted of our durable 100% nylon shell, this Proxy Falls Jacket is the perfect layering piece and first line of defense to combat the cold. The idea is pretty simple: Visit as many waterfalls as possible covered with ice and snow during the year's coldest months. Thanks for sharing!!! Thanks for sharing!!! It is easy to understand why it is frequently included on lists of the world’s most beautiful waterfalls. Proxy Falls — along with many of Oregon's great waterfalls — sits at 3,100- to 3,200-foot range, which these past few seasons has been too low for consistent snow. Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on Linked InShare by Email, Beautiful picture! Oregon Hwy 242 closed in winter. He is the author of the book "Hiking Southern Oregon" and can be reached at zurness@StatesmanJournal.com or (503) 399-6801. All rights reserved. The journey to Proxy Falls is longer, colder and sometimes requires a bit of route-finding during winter. It loops around while having 2 short paths off the main loop around, to go to the separate falls… Your privacy is important to us and we will never rent or sell your information. Oregon Department of Transportation closes the snow gate during winter which effectively cuts off car access to the trail head. The loop trail branches off to both the left and right. From Highway 126 — coming from either Santiam Junction or Eugene — simply turn onto Highway 242 and follow it until you hit the snow gate. See below for details). The lower gate normally opens late April or May for car access to the trail head. It’s 1.25 mile loop trail to see both the waterfalls. Happily pay the fee as it is one of the reasons there is a decent toilet there. * Photographers retain all the rights to their pictures. It is simply one of the most stunning waterfalls you will ever see and certainly one you will never forget. Follow to the gate and park on the right. 40 Miles Alone on the Timberline Trail - Duration: 1:30:05. 541.822.3381. Back to the junction, I headed right and reached a viewpoint of Lower Proxy Falls, a more dramatic 226 feet. It is an amazing experience. There is a trail to the bottom. The trail continues south over an old lava flow, then entering a mixed conifer forest. The downsides are no set date for gate opening as it depends on snow levels and the potential for spring showers. Stop to play in the creek, look for pretty rocks, or just keep hiking to the base of the falls. https://oregonwaterfalltour.wordpress.com/.../11/proxy-falls Based on our experience, we were living proof that t… The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from March until November. I guess it was a good thing that gate was closed because it turned out that the snow came down really hard just a few minutes later. From the gate, the route follows the highway for 2.6 miles before you arrive at Proxy Falls Trailhead, marked by signs and a restroom. The Orgonian has named Proxy Falls as one of Oregon’s top 7 winter snow hikes. Make sure to visit both waterfalls-upper and lower. Fall is the one of the best time to go, with a sunning display of fall colors, less weather variations in early fall and less people visiting. Your almost sure to be alone. Come along with me and learn some tips and tricks on my adventures! The trail isn't marked by blue diamonds, so if you're the first one out after a big snow dump, as I was, staying on the correct route is a challenge. * Each photographer can submit up to 10 high-resolution pictures of waterfalls large or small taken in Oregon between Nov. 22, 2014 to April 30, 2015 (pictures from past years or other times of the season will not be accepted). The advantages of a spring visit are larger water flows, spring flowers and less visitors. Next stop was Proxy Falls, which is actually Lower Proxy and Upper Proxy and they are a ways apart. Toilet facilities are available near the trail head along the highway. General location: East of McKenzie Bridge, southeast of Santiam Junction, Elevation: 2,100 (trailhead) to 3,200 (waterfalls), Information: McKenzie Bridge Ranger District, Oakridge, (541) 822-3381, Activity:Snowshoe, cross country ski or hike. The two waterfalls on this easy hike off McKenzie Pass Highway are among the most frequently photographed in Oregon and often draw a crowd on weekends. It’s steep and required a bit of scrambling both over and under logs, but it’s well worth the trouble. The lower snow gate usually closes in late November. It is definitely worth the trip! To see if the highway to the trailhead is open, click here. Proxy Falls Loop Trail is a 1.6 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Blue River, Oregon that features a waterfall and is good for all skill levels. The route from Eugene is about 10 minutes quicker). Proxy Falls is one of the most frequently photographed waterfalls in Oregon and is certainly among the most photogenic waterfalls in the entire country. A father and son enjoyed a shower at the base of Lower Proxy Falls. Proxy Falls is one of the most frequently photographed waterfalls in Oregon and is certainly among the most photogenic waterfalls in the entire country. Update: 9/27/2017: Due to wildfires, this area is CLOSED including a stretch of Aufderheide Scenic Byway (Forest Road 19), McKenzie Highway 242, and a portion of the Three Sisters Wilderness. * The public will vote on the 10 finalists from May 15 to 30 on the StatesmanJournal.com. The Statesman Journal would only have permission to use the picture, with credit, in print and digital editions as well as affiliated social media sites. * Prizes will be awarded to the top three vote recipients, including gift certificates valued at a minimum of $100 for first place and $50 for second place. Third place will receive a choice of an Oregon State Parks Pass or Northwest Forest Pass for third place. On the first go-around, we were turned back by the onset of a snow storm as well as a gate not far from the trailhead that prevented our rental car from proceeding further on Hwy 242. Be sure to pack out all your trash – including micro items like bottle tops or snack wrappers. It is really cool! Within the Willamette National Forest and accessed via the McKenzie Highway (closed in the Click on the following links for more images and details about winter hiking the trail. If you can hike up from the lower snow gate and are willing to snow she the trail – Proxy Falls offers a special treat. ... See MoreSee Less, .Top Ten Area Attractions, Area Waterfalls, Copyright 2019 VisitMcKenzieRiver.com by Watkins, James & Assoc LLC | All Rights Reserved. One of my favorite activities during winter is a sport known as "Winter Waterfall Hunting.". Proxy Falls. All 10 finalists will receive their printed, framed photo from the exhibition. * Ten finalists will be chosen by the Statesman Journal staff. This figure will not take into account the winter months when the waterfall may freeze, because in such cases the … This message is only visible to site adminsProblem displaying Facebook posts. Expect to get drenched from the waterfall; bring … And so, when a system of mid-elevation snow finally arrived at the end of December, I decided to spend New Year's Day fulfilling my resolution to see Proxy Falls encased by snow and ice on the first day of the year. It’s a must-see trip, and can be done with kids, dogs (on-leash), and is considered a great hike for all skill levels. Your almost sure to be alone. Proxy Falls as one of Oregon’s top 7 winter snow hikes, more information on that gorgeous winter snow shoe hike. On the right day – after a fresh dose of snow – a winter trip to Proxy Falls Trail is far better than anything you'd experience in summer. There's a small parking area on the side of the road. Proxy Falls may be open again by June of 2018. Proxy Falls - it is difficult for words to fully describe Proxy Falls. This figure will not take into account the winter months when the waterfall may freeze, because in such cases the … The spray of a winter waterfall is so refreshing it clears all the cobwebs from your brain. (The Statesman Journal is hosting a free Winter Waterfall Hunting photography contest, by the way. The photos will be judged on quality, composition, creativity and originality. This loop trail meets 2 trail junctions before … These are necessary for the website or application to function and cannot be switched off in our systems. 4 reviews of Proxy Falls "Very easy hike, shouldn't take more than an hour for the whole thing depending on how many pictures you take along the way. Proxy Falls Trail Map – Highway 242, McKenzie River, Oregon. Directions: From Eugene, follow Highway 126 east, past Mckenzie Bridge and Paradise Campground, and turn right onto Mckenzie Pass Highway 242. Backup cache in use. It fans out in summer, but was a thin string of silver covered in icicles on my trip. McKenzie Bridge, Oregon 97413 . This is one of those unique waterfalls that you can get right into. Proxy Falls in Winter, a year in the making…. Be prepared to pay a $5 per vehicle parking fee (rates are set by the Forest Service and subject to change). Proxy Falls is One of Oregon’s Most Gorgeous Hikes. For how busy this hike is in the summer months, the trailhead does not offer a lot of parking. It is a loop trail. PROXY FALLS WITHIN RADIUS OF BEND GENERAL DESCRIPTION: The name Proxy Falls refers Ito two Central Oregon watelfalls located just off the McKenzie,Pass Scenic Highway. Our August visit was actually our second try at seeing the Proxy Falls. They are usually only set in response to actions made by … * The finalists will all have their pictures printed, framed and showcased in a public exhibition during May 2015 (location to be determined). Beginning at Proxy Falls Trailhead, Proxy Falls Trail #3532 starts by heading west and immediately entering the Three Sisters Wilderness. Her’s more information on that gorgeous winter snow shoe hike. Proxy Falls (Sisters) - 2020 All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go … (As dry as it was, winter has brought a lot of snow and water and it’s still not enough.) The gate may be closed, but a bike ride can take you from the gate to the waterfall trail. Zach Urness has been an outdoors writer, photographer and videographer in Oregon for seven years. There is a $5 fee to park at the falls. The trail is blocked in a few places by fallen trees/logs that are circumnavigated by impromptu trails left by … I was also glad to have snowshoes, since there were many downed trees that would have been a major hassle in skis. This is generally the busiest – yet we rarely have rain in the summer and always good water flows keeps visitors coming back for more. The Proxy Falls trail head is on Oregon Scenic HWY 242 … The Trail begins at the marked trail head along Hwy #242. The trail meanders through old volcanic flow, chaparral and, at lower elevations, temperate rain forest. I planned winter trips to Proxy Falls multiple times last year, only to cancel them when the weather brought rain instead of snow. (You can also take Highway 22 east of Salem and head south on Highway 126 to the same place. From the observatory, Proxy Falls is still about 15 or so miles past that. At the first junction (0.4 miles from the Proxy Trailhead), stay left to visit Upper Proxy Falls, a 126-foot cascade. 10:14. Come back in winter, though, when the highway is closed to vehicles and the preferred mode of transportation is skis or snowshoes, and it's a far different experience. Weather and road conditions permitting, a winter visit to Proxy Falls is a treat. I made my way carefully down to the base of the falls — the creek had a mostly frozen top — and snapped some pictures, enjoying a winter waterfall that eluded me for over a year. The route, which includes stretches of highway and trail, is seven miles out and back with 1,100 feet of climb. © 2020 Bend Oregon Stock Photography — Search Local High Quality Images — Search Local High Quality Images Take a hike on Proxy Falls Trail during summer or autumn, and there's a good chance you'll have company. Check with ODOT or the Forest Service for exact dates. Check out the video at the bottom of this page to see the waterfalls along with some stunning Fall Colors. Proxy Falls Trail #3532 is located just east of McKenzie River off Hwy 242 in the Cascade Mountains.. One stream cascades into two separate shimmering veils dropping 226 feet (68.885 m). Oregon is overflowing with waterfalls, particularly west of the (well-named) Cascade Range. Proxy Falls is a gorgeous 226 foot veil waterfall that cascades down a wall of mossy columnar basalt.Accessed by a short half mile to mile hike directly off McKenzie Highway 242, Proxy Falls is easily one of the most photogenic waterfalls in Oregon. The easy trail takes you through a lava field and into dense forest, rewarding the visitor with two beautiful waterfalls. Trailhead coordinates: N44 10.062 W121 57.966, Winter Waterfall Hunting photography contest. Midweek mornings are the best time to visit with less people around. The problem last season and the beginning of this year has been crummy snow conditions. Winter. The Statesman Journal is hosting its second Winter Waterfall Hunting Photography contest. Take a hike on Proxy Falls Trail during summer or autumn, and there's a good chance you'll have company. Route: 2.6 miles up closed McKenzie Pass Highway 242, 1.8 miles on Proxy Falls Trail, 2.6 miles back down McKenzie Pass Highway. Double rewards for a wayside ramble that's only accessible in the summer season before snow closes the road. Columbia's lightweight, winter-ready jacket is the ultimate warmth provider and an everyday style piece. If you have babies, consider a baby backpack. The tranquility of this once hidden place along with the roar of this majestic 200ft. Proxy Falls . If you can hike up from the lower snow gate and are willing to snow she the trail – Proxy Falls offers a special treat. Ten finalists will all have their pictures printed, framed and showcased in a public exhibition in Salem along with competing for prizes that include $100 gift certificates and state park passes. The journey to Proxy Falls is longer, colder and sometimes requires a bit of route-finding during winter. Find him on Facebook at Zach's Oregon Outdoors or @ZachsORoutdoors on Twitter. In deeper snow — when there's significant coverage at the gate — snowshoes or skis are best. 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