Sunday, March 9, 2014


        ~as told by Priscilla Macy

Tamolitch Falls, also known as Blue Pool is a unique waterfall on the McKenzie River.  This area is where the McKenzie River comes back up after being underground just after Carmen Reservoir. It's known as a dry falls, only coming into existence after long periods of rain when the river will flood over the lava bed.

Tamolitch from Below. You can see some of the water coming from under the lava beds on the right.

We could not confirm or deny if anyone had run the falls yet, due to the rarity that it comes in at a runnable flow.

Making the first run down

There was not a huge boil with the minimum flow, so there were a couple hard hits.  All around, good lines and an excellent time at a beautiful and unique spot.

 Brian, with the best line of the day

Dalton's Turn

Lucas' line

We used the McKenzie River@Trail Bridge Gauge on Pat Welch’s site.  When we left in the afternoon it was about 2600 cfs, this correlated to about 200 cfs at the falls.  We all agreed that at twice this flow, the falls would be ideal; definitely worth the trip if you are lucky enough to get it when it’s running.

If you have time after the falls, the McKenzie has some great play waves with eddy service when flows are high.
Brian playing in a fun set of waves on the McKenzie

Tamolitch from PMacy on Vimeo.



Use this gauge


April 11, 2018 @ 1,100 cfs 
Paddler: Scott Baker                                   Photo: Lucas Rietmann

April 12, 2018 @ 1,150 cfs
Paddler:  Ben Mckenzie                                                               Photo: Priscilla Macy

According to the USDA, the falls often starts spilling when the Clear Lake Outlet Gauge is flowing over 900 cfs for three days in a row.  That is for predictory use only, use the following gauge to determine if the falls is in.


 The day Priscilla and others from the CCC ran the falls, flows were just over 2500 cfs on the Mckenzie River @ Trail Bridge.  This gauge is below yet another reservoir so is not a good correlation.

A group returned a few days later at 3100 cfs on the Trail Bridge gauge (again, not a good reference gauge) and felt the falls cleaned up nicely with the additional flow.

Tamolitch Falls - A Church Story from on Vimeo.

Based off these two data points my interpretation is 3000 cfs on the  gauge is a good minimum to shoot for.

1 comment:

Columbia River Gorge Productions said...

Nice! I hiked up there with a boat in 2005 only to find the dry falls. Glad you guys got it.