About Toketee Falls

Toketee Falls is one of the most famous waterfalls in all of Oregon, renowned far and wide for the graceful columnar basalt formation framing the two-stepped falls. The North Umpqua River has carved a sinuous gorge out of the lava flow, resulting in a waterfall of 113 feet in height – a 28 foot upper tier which plunges into a pool flanked by a deep alcove, followed by an 85 foot plunge into a large pool. At the trailhead, the wooden 12 foot diameter Toketee Pipeline is passed, which diverts much of the volume of the North Umpqua River to a powerhouse downstream. This artificial taming of the river allows the waterfall to flow in an extremely consistent manor all year long. Toketee Falls is one of the most photographed waterfalls in southern Oregon due to its ease of access.

“Toketee” is a Chinook word meaning Graceful. The irony in this choice of names continues to baffle me – the falls were named long before the hydroelectric system was in place, and the full volume of water of the North Umpqua River was allowed to flow over the falls in a much less graceful and much more explosive manor. Source by South Oregon

 

Hydropower plant

The waterfall is regulated by a dam built just upstream by PacifiCorp, which now regulates and reduces the water flow over the falls. The damming forms a reservoir called Toketee Lake. Previously the full volume of the North Umpqua River was allowed to flow over the falls, but the flow has been reduced by a penstock that utilizes the drop of the falls to generate hydroelectricity. Source by Wikipedia

Best Times to Go

Toketee Falls is accessible year round if you’re not opposed all weather hiking. In the winter the trail will likely be hard to follow and require snow shoes. The flow the Falls is controlled by a dam less than a mile up steam that is part of the Umpqua hydroelectric project. A portion of the flow from the North Umpqua River is diverted by the 12 foot wood pipeline that runs along the parking lot toward Toketee Lake. This regulation keeps the flow relatively stable year round. Source by Eugene Outdoors