Sahalie Falls was the uppermost of three notable waterfalls (the other two being Koosah Falls and Tamolitch Falls) on the McKenzie River in the Willamette National Forest. We saw a sign by the falls claiming it was 120ft tall though we thought that might be a bit generous as it looked to us to be more on the order of 80-100ft in our mind’s eye.
According to Plumb’s book, Sahalie was a Chinook word meaning “high”. We weren’t sure if that pertained to its height or its flow, but we saw during our August 2009 trip that it was still flowing quite powerfully even though it was well off its peak flow, which we suspect would occur some time in June.
Another sign here stated that this waterfall was more typical of a segmented waterfall as it was claimed to be typically flanked by other thinner-stranded waterfalls. However, during our visit, it was basically only one giant plume flanked by a real light flowing trickle to its right.
There were several well-developed trails here, but the walk from the car park to a view of this waterfall was barely a couple of minutes. There was a spur trail that led right up to the top of the falls, which we saw a pair of guys take and end up becoming photo subjects for us (thereby indicating how big this waterfall really was). Another trail continued beyond the main overlook for about a mile leading to the Koosah Falls, which we didn’t take since there was a separate car park for it.
We drove to this waterfall by taking the Hwy 126 east from Eugene. After about 54 miles, we reached the town of McKenzie Bridge, where we continued driving along Hwy 126. About 20 miles east and north of the town of McKenzie River (or roughly 70 miles east of Eugene), we saw the signposted falls turnoff on the left side of the highway just a minute drive north of the Koosah Falls turnoff (5 miles south of US20 and about 6 miles north of Belknap Springs).
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