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Proxy Falls

Williamette National Forest, Oregon

July 20th, 2016

1.7 miles
180 vertical feet
Total Time: 0:53

Starting elevation
3221 feet
Max elevation
3262 feet

Rating: 6/10

Directions: From Sisters, take Highway 242 west. Look for the trailhead between signpost 65 and 64. Park on either side of the road (bathrooms are on the right, but the trail starts by the sign on the left). Parking is currently $5, payable to the iron ranger at the trailhead.   View Driving Map

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GPX File

There were still plenty of cars on either side of the road as we parked at the Proxy Falls trailhead. After paying the iron ranger, we started off on the trail (Note, I forgot to start my GPS until about 20 seconds in, just in case you are a bit confused by the track.)

The trail is meant to be hiked as a loop, in a counter-clockwise direction. It actually says this at the trailhead. This is probably meant to make the trail seem less crowded than it is, which is a good thing considering how popular it probably is. Even though we saw a lot of cars, we didn't see many people on the trail. Though we did see a few people hiking in the wrong direction.

The trail starts out over some volcanic rocks before entering the forest. We soon came to an intersection. We went right to the overlook for Lower Proxy Falls. It looked like the falls were not nearly flowing at full strength. It's about 200 feet tall, but it's not all that impressive from the viewpoint. Many people continue down to get a close-up view of the falls, but since it was late and this was our third hike of the day, we decided to turn around here. It sounds like it is well worth it to go down to the falls if you have the time.

Volcanic rocks

Volcanic rocks

Lower Proxy Falls

We returned to the main trail, then continued on to the next intersection. Here we turned right to visit Upper Proxy Falls. The trail leads directly to the pool at the base of the falls. To get a better view, we had to scramble over a large downed tree. From here, we had a nice view across the pool and up to the falls. The falls were pretty nice; my pictures didn't really do it justice. It's better being able to actually hear the falls. One interesting thing to note is that the pool has no visible outlet. Apparently the water just flows into the volcanic rocks below.

Upper Proxy Falls

Upper Proxy Falls

Upper Proxy Falls

Upper Proxy Falls

We returned to the main trail, then continued along the trail, eventually exiting to the road near the trailhead.

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