Proxy Falls, or Lower Proxy Falls, is a picturesque waterfall located in the Central Oregon Cascade Range near the McKenzie Pass. It is a popular tourist destination known for its natural beauty.
The waterfall consists of two distinct tiers, plunging a total of 226 ft. It's worth noting that Proxy Falls is located within the Three Sisters Wilderness Area, and as such, visitors are encouraged to practice Leave No Trace principles and respect the surrounding environment.
Proxy Falls: At a Glance
Location: Three Sisters Wilderness Area
Coordinates: 44.16244695417506, -121.92773976931218
Nearest City: Belknap Springs, Oregon
Height: 226 ft
Hike Length: 1.7 miles
Family Friendly? Yes.
Elevation: 3,200 feet
When to Visit Proxy Falls?
Proxy Falls is particularly captivating during the spring and early summer months when the snowmelt and increased rainfall create a robust flow of water.
The lush greenery and vibrant wildflowers add to the enchanting atmosphere, making it a favorite spot for nature photographers and outdoor enthusiasts.
You should be aware that road closures in this area can make the falls more difficult to access. Check ahead and make sure that you're okay with any extra mileage this entails.
Proxy Falls Hike
To see Proxy Falls, you're going to need to hike into Three Sisters Wilderness via a 1.7-mile trail. It's pretty easy, so most hikers won't have anything to worry about.
The trail takes you through patches of rhododendron and among old-growth fir trees. You should be aware that there are a few rocky spots that, if wet, can be slightly trickier to walk over.
You can make the trail a loop, too, if you want. Starting and ending just off McKenzie Hwy (also known as Highway 242).
The trail takes you past the lower (and taller) falls and the upper falls.
Camping Near Proxy Falls
Here are a few of Traverse the PNW's recommendations of nearby campgrounds:
Alder Springs Campground
Alder Springs is the closest campground to Proxy Falls. It's just a couple of miles further along Highway 242. It's a rather rustic campground that is only $10 a night for a single site. No RVs are allowed at this campground!
Olallie Campground is a beautiful, river-side campground near Proxy Falls. The campground offers 16 campsites that cost between $23 and $36 to stay at. Depending on the site you choose, you may get to camp next to the McKenzie River.
The memorably named Limberlost Campground offers 12 sites as well as toilets and garbage service. If you need firewood, you can get it at the nearby Olallie Campground. It's $16 a night for a single site, and the campground is open from May to September.
If you're on a waterfall hunt, here are a few more waterfalls you might want to check out nearby:
Tamolitch Falls is a seasonal waterfall that's located on the McKenzie River, not far from Proxy Falls. It takes a 3.6-mile hike to make it out and back to the waterfall and its famous Blue Pool.
Koosah Falls, located near the also well-known Sahalie Falls, is located on McKenzie Pass-Santiam Pass and not far from Proxy Falls. It'll take you just over two hours, or 1.9 miles total, to get to the falls and back.
Obsidian Falls is a lesser-known waterfall that's most commonly seen from the Three Sisters Loop Hike. It's a medium-sized waterfall.
Waterfalls in Oregon
Oregon is renowned for its stunning and diverse collection of waterfalls, which are scattered throughout the state's diverse landscapes. From the lush forests of the Coast Range to the rugged canyons of the Cascade Mountains, Oregon offers a multitude of picturesque waterfalls that attract visitors from near and far.
Here are a few notable waterfalls in Oregon that you might have visited:
Multnomah Falls: Located in the Columbia River Gorge, Multnomah Falls is one of Oregon's most iconic waterfalls. It is a two-tiered waterfall with a total height of 620 feet (189 meters), making it the tallest waterfall in the state. The falls are easily accessible via a short walk from the historic Multnomah Falls Lodge. There is also a lot of great camping near Multnomah Falls.
Silver Falls State Park: Often referred to as the "crown jewel" of Oregon's state parks, Silver Falls State Park features a remarkable collection of waterfalls. The Trail of Ten Falls is a popular 7.2-mile loop trail that takes visitors past ten beautiful waterfalls, including the impressive South Falls, which allows hikers to walk behind the curtain of water.
Watson Falls: Situated in the Umpqua National Forest, Watson Falls is the third tallest waterfall in Oregon, with a drop of 272 feet (83 meters). The falls can be reached by following a moderate 0.8-mile (1.3-kilometer) trail, offering visitors a close-up view of the impressive cascade.
Toketee Falls: Situated in the Umpqua National Forest, Toketee Falls is a mesmerizing waterfall known for its unique basalt column formations. The North Umpqua River plunges about 113 feet (34 meters) over a cliff, creating a stunning two-tiered cascade. To reach the falls, visitors can follow a short 0.8-mile (1.3-kilometer) trail that weaves through a lush forest.
Abiqua Falls: Tucked away in the scenic Cascade foothills near Scotts Mills, Abiqua Falls offers a secluded and pristine setting. The waterfall drops about 92 feet (28 meters) into a picturesque pool, surrounded by moss-covered basalt cliffs. Getting to Abiqua Falls requires a moderate hike that involves navigating steep and rugged terrain, making it an adventure for more experienced hikers.
How long of a hike is Proxy Falls?
Round-trip, you're looking at a hike of 1.7 miles to get to (and get back to the car) Proxy Falls.
How hard is Proxy Falls to hike?
It's pretty easy! There are only a few slightly uphill sections, so most hikers won't have any problem getting to the falls and back to the trailhead.
How tall is Proxy Falls Oregon?
Proxy Falls is an impressive 226 feet tall! It is one of the tallest waterfalls in Oregon.