Tumalo Falls is probably the tallest, easily viewable waterfall near Bend, and the view of the spectacular falls from the lower viewpoint makes the drive up Skyliner Road and the effort trying to find somewhere to park worth it all by itself. However, there is so much more to see beyond this falls and few people take full advantage of it. Even if you don't have the time to hike way up Tumalo Creek to view the plethora the falls above Tumalo Falls, the short hike to the viewpoint above the falls and on to Double Falls allows you to take in a much more than just the parking lot sites.
The trailhead for Tumalo Falls is easy to find, but parking can be an adventure all in itself. The parking area at the actual trailhead is large enough to hold maybe a 12-15 vehicles and you have to drive over a one lane bridge to get there and there is barely room to turn around if the parking lot is full. But everybody has to check the actual parking lot to make sure there isn’t a spot magically opening up so there is nearly constant traffic into the parking lot, turning around, and then heading back over that one lane bridge, fighting people trying to come over to see if you or the five people behind you just happened to miss that elusive spot but they are going to nab it. You will probably end up parking along the south side of the road, leading to the trailhead, just as a fair warning.
Once you reach the trailhead, a short trail leads to an amazing viewpoint of the 89 foot Tumalo Falls right off the bat. There are also some nice kiosks explain how the Bridge Creek Fire of 1979 devastated the area and how subsequent salvage logging further degraded the landscape. Once you’re done staring at the falls and reading the stories, head out of the left side of the parking lot and begin hiking up towards the top of the falls. There is another nice viewing platform that lets you peer right over the edge of Tumalo Falls.
After leaving Tumalo Falls, the trail enters a forest of lodgepole pine, mountain hemlock, and Engelman Spruce as you head up Tumalo Creek. You will reach Double Falls only a mile from the trailhead. Double Falls drops a 23 and then 29 feet over a couple of falls and there is a very nice viewpoint right in front of the falls. Don’t head back quite yet though, as there is another falls, (I’ve dubbed it Upper Double Falls), only a tenth of a mile further down the trail. This falls is equally as impressive, falling in two to three plunges and bending around the cliff as it does. Now, if you’ve seen your fill, head on back to the trailhead. If you would like to see what adventure awaits further up the trail, check out the Tumalo Falls Loop.
From the westside of Bend, at the traffic circle on Galveston and 14th, head west on Skyliners Road. Follow Skyliners Road for 9.4 miles until you reach a gate and a bridge heading over Tumalo Creek. The road switches to gravel and bear left after going over the bridge and drive for 2.6 miles until you reach the trailhead.
Passes: Northwest Forest Pass is required at this trailhead.
Dogs: Allowed and must be on leash or under voice command at all times.
Open Season: The Forest Service will open the gate on the road to the trailhead when the road is free from snow, usually late April to May. Expect to find snow on the trail will into June.
Bugs: Mosquitos can be bad during the melt season, usually June-July, then will mostly clear up moving into August.