Hike to the Stunning “Blue Pool” Year-Round

They call it Tamolitch or the “Blue Pool.” It’s one of Oregon’s hidden treasures – a waterfall pool of an iridescent topaz blue that can be found along the McKenzie River National Recreation Trail in the Cascade Mountains between Bend and Eugene.

The pool was formed by the McKenzie River hundreds of years ago, but the waters have since changed course, leaving a dry waterfall ledge and a deep pool. Now the pool is fed from beneath – it’s where the McKenzie leaps to the surface after a three-mile subterranean crawl down from the Carmen Reservoir.

About 30-feet deep, Tamolitch is an astonishing blue -almost blue anti-freeze – and the waters are pristine. In the summer months, these qualities make a great swimming hole after a short hike. Be warned though – the water is very cold! The clarity of the water can also be deceptive, so check the area for underwater boulders before taking a leap in.

The McKenzie River Valley is a year-round recreation destination, and the McKenzie River National Recreation Trail is the centerpiece. The Blue Pool can be found about 2 miles from the halfway point on the trail, which winds on. It's a popular stopping point for those braving the hike.

To find the Blue Pool, from McKenzie Bridge: take Highway 126 east 13 miles to Trailbridge Reservoir, then turn west on Forest Road 732. Here you’ll cross the McKenzie River. Go straight at the junction, northeast up Forest Road 655 to McKenzie River Trailhead – Tamolitch (Blue Pool).

Learn more: http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/willamette/recreation/recarea/?recid=4479&actid=24

Region(s):
Central Oregon
Eastern Oregon
Greater Portland
The Gorge + Mt. Hood
Oregon Coast
Southern Oregon
Willamette Valley

Add to the Discussion (2)

Rick

3 years ago

I just read that a wildlife has led to the closing of the pool, so check this page before you head out: http://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/willamette/alerts-notices/?aid=35604

Rick

3 years ago

Thanks so much to Franziska Weinheimer‎ who just posted on ShareOregon's Facebook page that the Blue Pool is still fully accessible, eventhough the area is covered in snow. She wrote: "The hike does become a little more slow going because you have to watch your step, and make sure you don't slip. But the path has been compacted so much that you do not need snowshoes or anything like that. So this is the perfect hike for you if you don't have all that snow gear, but you are still wanting to get out and experience the beauty of this short but incredible hike!" https://www.facebook.com/shareoregon/

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