Last week, Cary and I drove up towards the Old McKenzie Highway to the Proxy Falls parking lot. Neither one of us had ever hiked the trail before.
There was a hand drawn map on the board letting you know that the trail was a two mile loop between the upper and lower falls. Apparently, there are actually two separate falls on the loop.
For some reason, I didn't grab my phone or any water out of the truck before we left. Only my big camera, a sweatshirt and I was wearing my hiking boots. Half -set up for the occasion!
The trail was well made and maintained and as far as I went (to the mid-level viewpoint of the lower falls) it was a gently sloped with many short switchbacks.
The one exception to this was a small slide not far from the beginning of the hike. That is wear we saw this cute little frog. This being our first time, and Cary's leg was bothering him, he decided to not go any further. Not because of the frog, but because he was worried that the trail was going to be unstable and that he might not be able to easily maneuver it.
I could hear the falls in the distance and told him that I wanted to keep going, and that I would be right back. Kinda not smart, since there was only one other car in the parking lot and I had no phone for texting, but everything worked out okay. I walked quickly so that I could hopefully get there and back without worrying Cary too much.
The fall colors were beautiful.
There were very few signs, and a couple of options. There is an upper loop, which takes you up to the Upper Falls, but when there was a fork on the path, you weren't sure which way to go. Thankfully, somebody had done two things for direction. They buried some small rocks in the middle of the path, and laid some branches into an arrow pointing towards the other path. I trusted their instructions and headed to the left. I could hear the sounds of the falls in the background. Looking back on it, if I had kept to the right it would have probably taken me to Upper Proxy Falls.
Soon, I ran into a couple of young women and their dog. I asked them if they had brought their phones, but they hadn't. There was a sign that said, "Upper Falls" and "Lower Falls".
We headed towards the lower falls, and there was a place to stop and take pictures, so that is what we did. I took these:
The falls were very tall, wide and beautiful.
Then I said goodby to my new friends, and they kept going lower to complete the whole loop. I turned back and went the way that I had come.
I was gone about 45 minutes total. Cary, who is a bit of a worrier, was just starting to wonder when I would be back right when I showed up. I want to go again sometime and take the whole loop and see Upper Proxy Falls too.
If you ever get the chance to go here, do it. It was gorgeous.
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