Proxy Falls

My first visit to Proxy Falls was over a year ago and I loved it so much, that I had to come back! Proxy Falls trail is located in Willamette National Forest and is a great detour to make when leaving Bend. From Bend to the trailhead, we took the scenic route of Highway 242 and passed several awesome sights including the classic Three Sisters and Dee Wright Observatory.

The view of the Three Sisters behind the vastness of lava rock
The view of the Three Sisters behind the vastness of lava rock

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Dee Wright Observatory
Dee Wright Observatory

While driving along Highway 242, you come across miles and miles of lava rock that have been there for thousands of years. It is mind boggling to imagine that at one point a volcano erupted and the surrounding land was coursing with searing hot lava. There are points along the drive where the road cuts through 15 ft. of piled lava rock – it’s insane! Another aspect of the lava rock that I truly admire, is how life still finds a way to prevail. Determined trees have found a way to sprout through the dense rock and continue to cultivate. I would love to see what this land looks like in a thousand years when these spots of trees become forests that take over the vastness of lava rock that is here today.

After passing by Dee Wright Observatory, you start to head into the forest on a windy path that will lead you to the Proxy Falls trailhead. Most people hike counter-clockwise, but I most definitely recommend hiking it clockwise. This way, you save the best falls for last.

Entering the trail - clockwise
Entering the trail – clockwise

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The first falls you come to are the lower Proxy Falls. Although not as grand as the upper Proxy Falls, they are nonetheless beautiful.

At the base of the lower falls
At the base of the lower falls
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Climbing up the falls

Continuing on the trail, you will start to hear the rushing waters of upper Proxy Falls.

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Approaching upper Proxy Falls

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Standing in awe under upper Proxy Falls
Standing in awe under upper Proxy Falls

The falls were just as beautiful as I remembered them. An easy hike with big rewards makes Proxy Falls one of my favorite adventures!


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