It’s known as Tamolitch, commonly referred to as the Blue Pool in Oregon. Tamolitch, which means “tub” or “bucket” in Chinook. This magical spot is said to have formed several thousand years ago, as a result of lava erupting from nearby Belknap Crater – which stopped the McKenzie River in its tracks.
Today the river percolates through the filtering rock as a spring, filling the pool before flowing out to the south. When rains are heavy, the McKenzie may cascade down into the pool from above, creating Tamolitch Falls. Tamolitch is one of the most beautiful and pristine places you can hike in Oregon, and if you haven’t been there I’d suggest adding it to the list for places to visit as the weather is warming up.
Tamolitch is one of the most beautiful and pristine places you can hike in Oregon, and if you haven’t been there I’d suggest adding it to the list for places to visit as the weather is warming up.
The Blue Pool is known for being crystal clear, and to get there you will travel The McKenzie River Byway, leaving you spellbound as you explore this timeless transition into Oregon’s Cascade Mountains.
“It is scenic and it is beautiful,” noted Meg Trendler of Travel Lane County. “You are driving along the river and you get these glimpses of an absolutely crystal clear river all along the way and lots of greenery too.”
Check out this video of a guy jumping into the Blue Pool, a 70 foot drop.
Along the byway you will pass through two of Lane County’s 20 covered bridges. Goodpasture – at 165 feet, which is Oregon’s second longest. Then you have Belknap Bridge, a river cross-over since 1890. Before reaching Oregon’s one and only Blue Pool, expect to get wet when you reach the plunge pool world of Sahalie Falls and Koosah Falls, which are easily accessed through the trails to each along the highway. Reaching the Blue Pool will take a bit longer to get to.
For anyone who’s looking to take some great photos, you will not be disappointed as the beauty is everywhere – from reflections off the water to the magnificent alder trees and more surrounding the area. The deep turquoise and clarity of the water is really quite jaw dropping, I’ve never really seen anything quite like this magical place.
Directions: From McKenzie Bridge, take Highway 126 east 13 miles to Trailbridge Reservoir. Turn left (west) on Forest Road 732, crossing the McKenzie River. Go straight at the junction, northeast up Forest Road 655 to McKenzie River Trailhead – Tamolitch (Blue Pool). Fore more in depth directions, be sure not to miss this article at Bend Wild.
If you’re looking to camp up Mckenzie River, there are 14 US Forest Service Campgrounds to choose from. One popular place to camp, and a local favorite is Delta Campground (Open April 18-October 19). Camping here you can enjoy a hiking trail which winds through an ancient forest, where you will find gigantic Doug fir trees which have stood for more than 500 years.
Here’s another great video from Travel Oregon.