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Explore Oregons Cascades Mountains: Waterfalls and Hotsprings along the McKenzie River Corridor

Stephen Hoshaw | 08/08/2017 | Eugene, Cascades & Coast, Outdoors, Summer, Trails

Ready to feel the exhilarating rush of fresh air and crystal clear water as you journey into the Cascade Mountains along the McKenzie River If you want to explore the McKenzie River, Hwy 126 is your way in and we can show you the way! 

Venture west on Hwy 126, where the Aufderheide Byway connects the McKenzie River area to Hwy 58, for popular cycling routes and fall-color viewing. This route is also home to Terwilliger Hot Springs and Delta Old Growth Grove Nature Trail. Make note, this route is not maintained during the winter and is generally open May -October. 

Follow along the river from the Willamette Valley to land at the breathtaking Sahalie and Koosah Falls, located between milepost 5 & 6 on Hwy 126. Sahalie Falls plunges 100 feet over a lava dam and then tumbles 40 feet in a series of cascade and Koosah Falls is an 80-120 ft plunge over an abrupt lava cap to the waiting pool below. 

From there, head back on Hwy 126 to reward yourself with a soak in a natural hot spring. Belknap Hot Springs is open to the public for an hourly or daily fee and also home to peaceful, beautifully tended gardens. 

Up for more adventure This route is also a gateway to two scenic byways, Hwy 242 and the Aufderheide (USFS Road 19). 

Hwy 242, known as Old McKenzie Highway, is home to some of Oregons most dramatic views that appear along a narrow and winding road. Following that road, you have access to Dee Wright Observatory and Proxy Falls. As a scenic byway, Hwy 242 is typically open to traffic from May-November depending on weather. 

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