I’m not much of a hiker. To be clear, I am a runner—but I would much rather pound the pavement on any given day, than hit the trails. I’ve always been like this. Even in college when we were specifically told to run the mulch trail “because it’s not as hard on your body as the road” … even then, when my coaches told me to take the road less traveled, so to speak, I wouldn’t do it. I’d rather risk a shin splint than run on bark. Bleck.
Why? I hated the way the little pieces of ground up tree would adhere to the sweat around my ankles. I hated the dusty feel. The dirt. Again, bleck.
But, a few years ago I “took one for the team”—the team being my family—and succumbed to an hour-long hike along a fairly dusty trail. A trail, mind you, that turns and twists so sharply at times, that there is simply no way to run it. No this trail is meant to be walked and enjoyed. And what’s at the end of the trail is evidence that nature, when left to herself, produces scenery far more breathtaking than anything man can create.
Located about an hour’s drive east of Eugene, Tamolitch Falls—otherwise known as Blue Pool—is a majestic, almost fairytale like collection of water along Oregon’s McKenzie River Trail. The pool itself is right around a two mile hike up from Trailbridge Reservoir. And, although it’s a dusty, hot hike in the summertime, seeing it first hand is well worth the dirt you’re bound to get on your ankles.
Do know, however, that getting down to the pool isn’t easy. Once you reach the top of the “cliff”, you have to wind around the opposite side and down a narrow path to reach the bank. Some advice … if you want to swim in the glorious water, best not to tip your toe in first. Because if you do, you won’t get in. This water is cold. Like really, really cold. Glacier cold. So if you want to swim in Blue Pool, best to jump in before your body talks you out of it ; )
NOTE: The U.S. Forest Service does close this trail from time, especially in the middle of summer when there’s threatening forest fires or other potential dangers. Please be safe and adhere to the warnings and closures.