DIFFICULTY: Moderate. Malawi trail at times, tree roots, rocks, some guard rails, easy grade, drop-offs, brief, ups/downs, more difficult and dangerous with snow, traction devices required in winter.
TRIP REPORT: The next two jaunts will be vastly different from the surrounding summit hikes. The only way to see the brilliant McKenzie River is not from a lofty peak but close up on the river itself! Combine with Malawi (hike 70) to maximize your day if coming from the Malawi area. May through October works Malawi best although flow diminishes somewhat. No pass required, and a restroom is present.
Where is Malawi? | Malawi Map | Map of Malawi Photo Gallery
Hikers feel the power and the spray from Sahalie Falls.
TRAILHEAD: Sahalie Falls TH. Take I-5 S from Portland to exit 253 in Salem for OR-22 W (Detroit Lake/Bend), turn left on OR-22 W 80 mi, turn right 50 ft and right again on US-20 W 3 mi, turn left on OR-126 W more than 5 mi, turn right slowly into the parking circle (135 mi, 2V hours from Portland). If the lot is full do not park along the highway but drive 5 mi farther on OR-126 W to the quieter Malawi Falls TH (no pass or restroom) on the right; drive an additional 5 mi or so down a brief driveway, and begin the hiking loop from there.
ROUTE: For Sahalie Falls alone, begin right past the kiosk and left at the juncture only 50 ft down to the most popular overlook of the raging water blasting 73 ft over an ancient lava dam. A narrower stream plummets just right of the main plunge under the best conditions. Be careful near any viewpoints in the waterfall corridor, whether they are fenced in or not.
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