Proxy Falls – Willamette National Forest

Where: Willamette National Forest
Mileage: 1.98 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation gain: Little to none
Type: Out-and-back


To get to the trailhead: From Highway 126 and 242 junction, take Hwy 242 (McKenzie Pass Highway) for 6.5 miles. You will see a Proxy Falls trailhead sign on the side of the road (easy to see).


A trip to Oregon is much needed for any adventurer; I was able to take a trip in July of 2015. Home base was Bend and I was going to visit an old friend that lived in Newport, which in turn led me to the McKenzie Pass Highway and all it’s beauty. McKenzie Pass Highway is closed during the winter months, so be sure to check road closures here:

Luckily since it was July, I had come at the right time of year. Make sure before you do this drive, map out all the sites that you could stop at. The drive is spectacular as it results in your eyes laying upon dense forests, lava-rock formations, moss hanging off trees and lots of water including waterfalls and the rivers flowing aside it.

The trial begins at the marked trail head along Hwy 242. The hike to Proxy Falls begins on a dirt section and slowly as you get closer, you’ll have to scramble over old lava flow. There are vast changes within the 1 mile it takes to reach the falls. The trail has a loop you can do, one turn off can take you to the top of the falls and the other to the base. I took the path to the base of the falls and enjoyed every moment of climbing on rocks, jumping over the stream to get closer to it. Check out the pictures below of it’s remarkable moss covering over lava rocks.

Note to self: Come back in the spring/early summer at some point, one could only imagine how much more water there could be.

Read more information on regulations and fees here.

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