There is never a shortage of hikes to discover in Central Oregon, and Chush Falls (formerly known as Squaw Creek Falls) is one you absolutely must check out if you are looking to explore near Bend, Oregon. At one point, this hike was only a 2-mile round trip but the hike and landscape have since been drastically changed due to a fire. While it’s closer to 5 miles round trip now (around 6 if you’re head to the upper falls), it’s considered an easier hike.
While it’s closer to a 5-mile round trip hike now, it’s This picturesque waterfall is still considered an easy hike, and offers sweeping mountain views. The trail to Chush Falls while popular is generally not too crowded.
When beginning the hike, you will walk about 200 feet until you reach a trail on your right. You can take this trail which takes you along Wychus Creek, or you can continue straight down the road which will run into the trail near the original trailhead. The road is said to be a bit more difficult, as there are more fallen trees here.
The forest is definitely a bit eerie, but still beautiful and offers amazing views of several mountains. Three Sisters and Broken Top are both visible during this hike. While hiking the trail, you will come across the original trailhead, and at this point, you have about a mile left to the falls. There will definitely be a good amount of fallen trees across the trail, and it can be especially tricky if there is snow on the ground as you will want to stay to the right.
We highly recommend GPS to make sure you are going the right way. After crossing several creeks, you will eventually come to a windy section with some incline. Once reaching the top, there will be a clearing with a sign pointing toward the lookout for Chush Falls. The path is definitely worn down by other hikers here and will take you to the base of the gorgeous falls. Just a heads up, this is definitely a bit steep, and you will want to be very careful as you head down. Once reaching the base of the falls, you will be in a gorgeous lush meadow with a very nice view of the 67-foot falls.
The trail is accessible all year round but can be challenging during the winter. If you set out during the colder season, you will definitely want to bring some snowshoes.
How to get to Chush Falls
To access the start of the trail, follow these directions: From Highway 242, in downtown Sisters, turn south on Forest Service Road 16, signed for Three Creek Lake (do not follow FR 15, signed for Squaw Creek, west of town). After 7 miles, turn right onto FR 1514, and proceed just under 5 miles to FR 1514-600. Immediately before crossing Whychus Creek on a large concrete bridge, and turn left. This road is very rocky, so have a car with good clearance. In a mile, you will come to a pile of rocks blocking the road and this is where you will start the hike. Before the fire, you would continue another mile and a half to the real trailhead.