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. It is a loop trail. The Orgonian has named Proxy Falls as one of Oregon’s top 7 winter snow hikes. I headed left, the quickest route to the waterfalls, and started breaking trail among forest and lava fields. Check with ODOT or the Forest Service for exact dates. When snowpack is minimal and there's a good path, all you really need are waterproof boots. The problem last season and the beginning of this year has been crummy snow conditions. The easy trail takes you through a lava field and into dense forest, rewarding the visitor with two beautiful waterfalls. Beginning at Proxy Falls Trailhead, Proxy Falls Trail #3532 starts by heading west and immediately entering the Three Sisters Wilderness. The journey to Proxy Falls is longer, colder and sometimes requires a bit of route-finding during winter. The Forest Service encourages everyone to stay on the trails to avoid damaging any of the plants along the trail. Your almost sure to be alone. This message is only visible to site adminsProblem displaying Facebook posts. * All photos entered in the contest will be featured on the StatesmanJournal.com. CAPTURING PROXY FALLS OREGON // with winter gate closed // Oregon Landscape Photography - Duration: 10:14. Be sure to pack out all your trash – including micro items like bottle tops or snack wrappers. This figure will not take into account the winter months when the waterfall may freeze, because in such cases the … (The Statesman Journal is hosting a free Winter Waterfall Hunting photography contest, by the way. My day started with plenty of snow, so I tossed on snowshoes right away and kept them on the entire time. The idea is pretty simple: Visit as many waterfalls as possible covered with ice and snow during the year's coldest months. From Highway 126 — coming from either Santiam Junction or Eugene — simply turn onto Highway 242 and follow it … The gate may be closed, but a bike ride can take you from the gate to the waterfall trail. Proxy Falls. Thanks for sharing!!! It is an amazing experience. See below for details). Fed by a spring, this waterfall doesn't thunder but rather slides down mossy tiers into a pool below. Lower Proxy Falls. 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. The route, which includes stretches of highway and trail, is seven miles out and back with 1,100 feet of climb. * The top three placers will have their photos featured in the print and online version of the Statesman Journal. 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. The trip to Proxy Falls during winter is simple enough. It is definitely worth the trip! The route from Eugene is about 10 minutes quicker). The Proxy Falls trail head is on Oregon Scenic HWY 242 … Call ahead This experience may be open for on-site visitation; however, offerings and/or operating procedures may have changed due to COVID-19. 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. Oregon Department of Transportation closes the snow gate during winter which effectively cuts off car access to the trail head. ... See MoreSee Less, .Top Ten Area Attractions, Area Waterfalls, Copyright 2019 VisitMcKenzieRiver.com by Watkins, James & Assoc LLC | All Rights Reserved. Her’s more information on that gorgeous winter snow shoe hike. The spray of a winter waterfall is so refreshing it clears all the cobwebs from your brain. Proxy Falls is a stunning set of waterfalls located an hour and a half from Bend, over the Mackenzie Pass. 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). 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. The Statesman Journal is hosting its second Winter Waterfall Hunting Photography contest. Your almost sure to be alone. 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. 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. Proxy Falls - it is difficult for words to fully describe Proxy Falls. * Ten finalists will be chosen by the Statesman Journal staff. 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). 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. 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. Both falls are almost 200 feet tall at an elevation of 3, 120', Farns, vine maple, moss, Voting will end at 8 p.m., May 30. If you are coming from the west, Proxy Falls is much closer, but a drive to the observatory is still cool! There is a $5 fee to park at the falls. It fans out in summer, but was a thin string of silver covered in icicles on my trip. 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. 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 tranquility of this once hidden place along with the roar of this majestic 200ft. The lower snow gate usually closes in late November. The photos will be judged on quality, composition, creativity and originality. The trail continues south over an old lava flow, then entering a mixed conifer forest. Find him on Facebook at Zach's Oregon Outdoors or @ZachsORoutdoors on Twitter. All rights reserved. Check out the video at the bottom of this page to see the waterfalls along with some stunning Fall Colors. The trail meanders through old volcanic flow, chaparral and, at lower elevations, temperate rain forest. It is really cool! From Highway 126 — coming from either Santiam Junction or Eugene — simply turn onto Highway 242 and follow it until you hit the snow gate. This is one of those unique waterfalls that you can get right into. All 10 finalists will receive their printed, framed photo from the exhibition. 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. This is generally the busiest – yet we rarely have rain in the summer and always good water flows keeps visitors coming back for more. * Photographers retain all the rights to their pictures. It’s steep and required a bit of scrambling both over and under logs, but it’s well worth the trouble. There's a small parking area on the side of the road. 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 trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from March until November. A father and son enjoyed a shower at the base of Lower Proxy Falls. The trail is blocked in a few places by fallen trees/logs that are circumnavigated by impromptu trails left by … It loops around while having 2 short paths off the main loop around, to go to the separate falls… Take a hike on Proxy Falls Trail during summer or autumn, and there's a good chance you'll have company. 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. Next stop was Proxy Falls, which is actually Lower Proxy and Upper Proxy and they are a ways apart. Be prepared to pay a $5 per vehicle parking fee (rates are set by the Forest Service and subject to change). Proxy Falls Trail Map – Highway 242, McKenzie River, Oregon. 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. At Proxy Falls, you can see three different types of terrain in one hike. Follow to the gate and park on the right. There is a trail to the bottom. Best time for Proxy Falls in Oregon 2020 - Best Season - Rove.me If you can hike up from the lower snow gate and are willing to snow she the trail – Proxy Falls offers a special treat. Ryan Borden 5,740 views. https://oregonwaterfalltour.wordpress.com/.../11/proxy-falls I planned winter trips to Proxy Falls multiple times last year, only to cancel them when the weather brought rain instead of snow. He is the author of the book "Hiking Southern Oregon" and can be reached at zurness@StatesmanJournal.com or (503) 399-6801. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. The downsides are no set date for gate opening as it depends on snow levels and the potential for spring showers. The journey to Proxy Falls is longer, colder and sometimes requires a bit of route-finding during winter. * 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. Trailhead coordinates: N44 10.062 W121 57.966, Winter Waterfall Hunting photography contest. From up on the trail before dropping down, you see a very tall waterfall. 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. 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. Come along with me and learn some tips and tricks on my adventures! It is simply one of the most stunning waterfalls you will ever see and certainly one you will never forget. Weather and road conditions permitting, a winter visit to Proxy Falls is a treat. It’s 1.25 mile loop trail to see both the waterfalls. This loop trail meets 2 trail junctions before … Zach Urness has been an outdoors writer, photographer and videographer in Oregon for seven years. 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. free Winter Waterfall Hunting photography contest, Winter Waterfall Hunting Photography contest, Your California Privacy Rights / Privacy Policy. They are usually only set in response to actions made by … (As dry as it was, winter has brought a lot of snow and water and it’s still not enough.) Hwy #242 (from Sisters) seasonally closes for winter and can open as late as July. I was also glad to have snowshoes, since there were many downed trees that would have been a major hassle in skis. "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. Toilet facilities are available near the trail head along the highway. If you have babies, consider a baby backpack. 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. Proxy Falls is One of Oregon’s Most Gorgeous Hikes. Based on our experience, we were living proof that t… These are necessary for the website or application to function and cannot be switched off in our systems. It makes a fun scavenger hunt when combined with snowshoeing, skiing or snowmobiling, and for photographers, it creates unique scenes. At the first junction (0.4 miles from the Proxy Trailhead), stay left to visit Upper Proxy Falls, a 126-foot cascade. Happily pay the fee as it is one of the reasons there is a decent toilet there. 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 junction of Hwy 126 and Hwy 242 (just west of Belknap Hot Springs), follow Hwy 242 for 6.5 miles to the 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. © 2020 Bend Oregon Stock Photography — Search Local High Quality Images — Search Local High Quality Images Columbia's lightweight, winter-ready jacket is the ultimate warmth provider and an everyday style piece. * 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). From the observatory, Proxy Falls is still about 15 or so miles past that. Directions: From Eugene, follow Highway 126 east, past Mckenzie Bridge and Paradise Campground, and turn right onto Mckenzie Pass Highway 242. 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. The Trail begins at the marked trail head along Hwy #242. Back to the junction, I headed right and reached a viewpoint of Lower Proxy Falls, a more dramatic 226 feet. The lower snow gate usually closes in late November. Click on the following links for more images and details about winter hiking the trail. Oregon is overflowing with waterfalls, particularly west of the (well-named) Cascade Range. Check with ODOT or the Forest Service for exact dates. The trail is a easy to moderate hike, but it is not appropriate for wheelchairs or strollers. Proxy Falls is one of the most frequently photographed waterfalls in Oregon and is certainly among the most photogenic waterfalls in the entire country. Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on Linked InShare by Email, Beautiful picture! Take a hike on Proxy Falls Trail during summer or autumn, and there's a good chance you'll have company. Proxy Falls may be open again by June of 2018. 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. 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. Go ahead – touch the waterfall. For how busy this hike is in the summer months, the trailhead does not offer a lot of parking. It is easy to understand why it is frequently included on lists of the world’s most beautiful waterfalls. (You can also take Highway 22 east of Salem and head south on Highway 126 to the same place. The lower gate normally opens late April or May for car access to the trail head. The advantages of a spring visit are larger water flows, spring flowers and less visitors. Within the Willamette National Forest and accessed via the McKenzie Highway (closed in the * The finalists will all have their pictures printed, framed and showcased in a public exhibition during May 2015 (location to be determined). Proxy Falls in Winter, a year in the making…. This figure will not take into account the winter months when the waterfall may freeze, because in such cases the … Proxy Falls (Sisters) - 2020 All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go … Make sure to visit both waterfalls-upper and lower. 10:14. Winter. In deeper snow — when there's significant coverage at the gate — snowshoes or skis are best. Backup cache in use. 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. Beautiful picture! * Email any questions to Zach Urness at zurness@statesmanjournal.com. Proxy Falls . Double rewards for a wayside ramble that's only accessible in the summer season before snow closes the road. Thanks for sharing!!! One of my favorite activities during winter is a sport known as "Winter Waterfall Hunting.". All that's required is to take pictures of waterfalls anywhere in Oregon between Nov. 22, 2014 and April 30, 2015. If you can hike up from the lower snow gate and are willing to snow she the trail – Proxy Falls offers a special treat. Oregon Hwy 242 closed in winter. Third place will receive a choice of an Oregon State Parks Pass or Northwest Forest Pass for third place. The trick once you arrive is deciding what equipment to bring. Midweek mornings are the best time to visit with less people around. Proxy Falls. Hello Bend! * The public will vote on the 10 finalists from May 15 to 30 on the StatesmanJournal.com. Expect to get drenched from the waterfall; bring … Proxy Falls as one of Oregon’s top 7 winter snow hikes, more information on that gorgeous winter snow shoe hike. The loop trail branches off to both the left and right. 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. Your privacy is important to us and we will never rent or sell your information. McKenzie Bridge, Willamette Valley . Our August visit was actually our second try at seeing the Proxy Falls. 541.822.3381. McKenzie Bridge, Oregon 97413 . © 2020 www.statesmanjournal.com. Submit pictures at: StatesmanJournal.com/waterfalls. The trip to Proxy Falls during winter is simple enough. 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. Proxy Falls is one of the most frequently photographed waterfalls in Oregon and is certainly among the most photogenic waterfalls in the entire country. Stop to play in the creek, look for pretty rocks, or just keep hiking to the base of the falls. 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. 40 Miles Alone on the Timberline Trail - Duration: 1:30:05. To see if the highway to the trailhead is open, click here. The Forest Service and subject to change ) printed, framed photo from the gate the! Three placers will have their photos featured in the print and online version of the along! The Proxy Falls during winter is simple enough. 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