‘Should’ve brought the snowshoes’ said every hiker ever…

Kelley and I hiked to Tumalo Falls from Skyline Sno-park on Saturday, an amazing bluebird Bend day, coming on the heels of a long period of snowfall.  We tested out the snow and decided with all the previous traffic on the trail, it was well-packed enough for micro-spikes only.  On the trip out, that was mostly true, wandering along beautiful vistas of Tumalo Creek and through pine forests.

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I hadn’t seen the falls in a very long time, and never in Winter. The ice build-up is truly impressive, where the water freezes and ice slowly climbs up the sides, and behind the falls. It’s quite a destination hike, and we climbed up to the top to look down on the falls.

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There’s a pretty great trail from the top, too, if you head up and South onto Swede’s Ridge, but the knee-high snow told us we’d need to save that for another day.  We met a guy headed up, who had biked out to the Falls, who was heading that way.  We saw him again and he spilled the beta, ‘too much snow’.  He’d gone up a bit further than us and had been post-holing, with snowshoes, up to his knees.

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On our return trip, the snow was softened quite a bit by the sun, and we both would have loved to have our snowshoes. Where were our “pinnacles of ultralight and aggressive all-terrain performance and traction”?  Our MSR Lightning Ascents were snuggled comfortably in the back of my Touareg, napping, all three pounds of them having been discarded as “not needed”.   We stumbled a bit, sank a bit, and still had a beautiful hike back to the TH.

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Some MTB trails near Tumalo are one-way, which is genius, and others two-way.  Having one-way traffic solves a lot of problems, like having riders come blasting down on you while grinding up a long climb.

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KAP rocking her Kathoolas 🙂 ❤

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Happy campers on a bluebird day in Bend, OR. ❤

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