Thundering Waterfalls

The Land of Umpqua is home to numerous spectacular waterfalls. The North Umpqua and High Cascades segments of the Rogue-Umpqua National Scenic Byway are discovered by traveling east from Roseburg on Highway 138. The road meanders alongside the legendary waters of the North Umpqua River, deep into forests of old growth Douglas Fir. Along the way are the sights and sounds of thundering waterfalls—24 in all including Clearwater, Deadline, Fall Creek, Susan Creek, Toketee and Watson Falls—many just a short walk from your car.


Watson Falls is the highest waterfall in southwest Oregon, plunging 272 feet over the edge of a basalt lava flow. A 0.4-mile trail rated “moderate” leads up to the base of the falls, with an excellent close-up view offered from a wooden bridge that crosses the creek 0.3 miles from the trailhead.


Toketee Falls (right) is a two-tiered falls. The upper falls drops 40 feet and the lower falls plunges 80 feet over a sheer wall of basalt. A 0.4-mile trail rated “moderate” winds through an old-growth forest and ends at a sturdy platform overlooking the falls. In the Chinook language, “Toketee” means “pretty” or “graceful,” and Toketee Falls definitely lives up to its name.


Whether you have an afternoon to spend or just need a break to stretch your legs while traveling the North Umpqua Highway, these must-see waterfalls are easy to access and worth the time.