High in the central Oregon Cascades, the McKenzie River has its birth in ancient Clear Lake.  Soon it starts to tumble down the mountains toward the Willamette Valley to the west.  One of its first precipitous rushes is over Sahalie Falls, located just off Highway 126.

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Sahalie Falls

Shoot Date: 8-12-2006

As usual, Oregon does a first-rate job of creating a pleasant pathway which leads to a convenient observation point.  Even from the parking lot above, you can hear the loud roar of rushing water, and as you approach the falls, the air becomes thick with misty moisture.

Sahalie Falls, a 100 foot plunge onto rock.  A rainbow hovers at the bottom, where the water continues its breakneck rush down the mountainside.  Sighting on a particular segment of water and watching it plunge to the bottom gives an idea of how quickly the water drops.

A view of the water's flow below the falls as it stair-steps its way downhill.

A neatly maintained trail follows the edge of the river so you can follow along if you wish.  Not far downstream is a second waterfall.

Everywhere water swirls and foams, roaring as it goes.

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All photos bardsmaid 2006

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