- Trip Name: Tumalo Falls - North Fork Trail to Happy Valley
- Trip Length: 7.6 miles out-and-back
- Trip Time: 2-3 hours
- Best time to visit: Spring to fall
- Difficulty rating: 3
- Views: 6
- Wilderness experience: 4 (can be crowded)
- Recommended activities: Day hike, dogs (leash not required), mountain biking (uphill only), swimming
- Best for: Hikers, families, dogs, bikers
- Restroom: Yes, at trailhead
- Permit: Northwest Forest Pass ($30 annual pass, $5 day use fee payable on-site)
- Recommended map: Central Oregon Hiking Trail Map by AdventureMaps.net
- Click here to download our FREE topo trail map
- Click here to purchase the GPS file for this hike ($3)
- Click here to check out our photos from this hike
- Click here to download this Trail Guide as a PDF
Trip Technical Data
- Trailhead: Tumalo Falls
- Trailhead Elevation: 5,000 feet
- Elevation at Happy Valley: 6,050 feet
- Elevation Gain: 1,050 feet
Driving Directions to trailhead from Bend:
Travel Time: 30 minutes
Leaving downtown Bend, head west on NW Tumalo Avenue which becomes NW Galveston Avenue as you cross over the Deschutes River. Follow NW Galveston Avenue straight through a traffic circle and then continue straight as the road changes names again to NW Skyliners Road. Follow NW Skyliners Road straight through a second traffic circle. After this second traffic circle, in 8.8 miles, you will cross a small bridge over Tumalo Creek to a gravel road. Immediately after crossing this bridge turn left and follow Forest Road 4603 for 2.4 miles, crossing Tumalo Creek again, before arriving at the end of the road and the trailhead parking area for this hike.
The trail starts at the north end of the parking area just past the bathrooms on the left and heads uphill. Just to the right, before starting the trail, there is a great viewpoint of Tumalo Falls, the first of six waterfalls this hike has to offer. Once on the trail, in 0.2 mile, you will gain a little over 100 vertical feet and reach a point where you can see Tumalo Falls from the top and look out onto Tumalo Valley.
Continuing on the trail, you will shortly come a point in the creek, perfect for dogs, kids and adults to dip their feet for a quick cool down. In another 0.6 mile you will reach Double Falls and just above it an unnamed falls that some call Upper Double Falls. Both of these falls have great viewpoints.
The next waterfall on the trail is Middle Tumalo Falls, which is just under a mile from Double Falls. The view of Middle Tumalo Falls is a bit obstructed through the trees. After passing these falls, in a half mile, there is a log footbridge that crosses over Middle Fork Tumalo Creek (another good water spot for dogs).
Just after crossing the footbridge over Middle Fork Tumalo Creek the trail leads you to North Fork Tumalo Creek and North Fork Tumalo Falls. In another quarter of a mile you will come to a viewpoint at Lower Middle Fork Tumalo Falls where you can also see upstream to Middle Fork Tumalo Falls. You will reach Middle Fork Tumalo Falls in just under a half a mile on the trail.
After passing Middle Fork Tumalo Falls, in 0.4 mile, you will be at the trail intersection with the Swampy Lakes Trail. If you are hiking without dogs (who are not allowed on the Swampy Lakes Trail because it runs through the Bend watershed) you could head left here and follow the Swampy Lakes Trail for 2.8 miles to the Bridge Creek Trail for 1.1 miles to make a 6.7 mile loop back to the Tumalo Falls trailhead.
Having my dogs with me, I continued straight another 0.3 mile, passing a couple of swimming options for the dogs, to the trail intersection with the Metolius-Windigo Trail in Happy Valley. Once reaching this trail intersection, turn around and follow the same trail past the amazing waterfalls once again to the Tumalo Falls trailhead to finish this 7.6 mile hike.
Please let us know how your hike went and share some of your photos on our Facebook page!