In the Summer of 2009 I ventured into the Cascade mountains again to take a hike! Sahalie and Koosah falls aren’t strangers to me, as I’ve been visiting them basically since I could walk. My family undertook an unusual amount of camping trips and I actually think of this country as my backyard today. I’ll feel good if I can even remember half of the places my dad and I explored there when I was a child.

This trip turned out to be a little different as we walked along the well maintained walking path between the falls. There’s just something about the water that lives high in the Cascade mountains. It has a purity that other water doesn’t seem to possess. Clear lake and Carmen reservoir are my favorite bodies of water to float around on. Given the chance everyone should visit Crater lake at least once! Most of the falls on the McKenzie river are worth a viewing, and Sahalie and Koosah great examples of this. As it turns out however, the showstopper is between them.

As we ventured down the trail from Sahalie to Koosah falls, the water started to gleam this mesmerizing shade of blue. Me and Wheat (my nickname for the most wonderful woman in the world) were both fascinated at the depths of color for such a shallow river. The pictures show a deep and tranquil shade of blue that I didn’t expect a camera to capture so accurately. Since then, I’ve hiked this hike several more times. Although it’s been amazing every time, it’s never been quite this level of awe inspiring. Pro tip: There is a trail on the other side that is just as fun!

If the names of these falls sound a bit like Indian names, you’re spot on. According to the forest service, Sahalie translates to heaven and Koosah means sky. Those pesky Chinooks!

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