Oregon has a slew of waterfalls, most of them elegant, narrow lines of water plunging off of tall ledges. But if you want to see a water feature with a little more power and size, be sure to visit Chush Falls, a thundering spill of water that stands 67 feet tall and over 80 feet wide. It’s located just inside the Three Sisters Wilderness Area, south of the town of Sisters.
The Chush Falls gets its power from the Whychus Creek drainage, with supplies nine waterfalls in the region. However, Chush Falls is the only one deemed accessible by the forest service (although the experienced and adventurous are free to explore the others.) The official trail ends at a canyon rim overlooking the falls, but a well-worn path leads to the base, where one can take in a better view.
You will likely enjoy solitude, because not many hike the 5-mile round-trip to the falls, but it’s a moderately easy trek. On the way, enjoy sweeping views of several mountains and pine forests, although a recent fire has left some areas charred. And at the edge of the trail, take in the thundering power of the Chush waterfall, which often has the power to generate enough spray to dampen sightseers.
Directions: From Highway 242, in downtown Sisters, turn south on Forest Service Road 16 and continue for 7 miles. Turn right at FR 1514, and proceed to FR 1514-600. Turn left just before the large concrete bridge at Whychus Creek and continue for a mile. Rocks signal the end of the road; from here you’ll find the trailhead.