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(Last Updated On: March 1, 2021)

Summary: Everything you need to know to visit Tamolitch Falls or Blue Pool in Oregon, where to stay, time of day, season, Blue Pool Oregon photography tips and more. *I use affiliate links and may receive a small commission on purchases. Thanks for your support! 

Tamolitch Falls Blue Pool in Oregon

Land Acknowledgement: Tribe of Molalla. Find what Native Land you are visiting by using the app Native Land!

About Tamolitch Falls, Blue Pool in Oregon

Tamolitch Falls, otherwise known as the famous Blue Pool in Oregon or Tamolitch Blue Pool, is a must-see spot for your next road trip. Located in the Willamette National Forest, this cliff-rimmed basin has some of the bluest water I’ve seen in the Pacific Northwest.

How was Blue Pool in Oregon formed?

I don’t think I’m the only one who nerds out over this stuff. I’m usually ultra curious about the formation while I’m at a place, and typically without cell service to google it.

Tamolitch Falls or Blue Pool in Oregon was formed from part of the McKenzie river being buried by a lava flow. Some of the river resurfaces by seeping through underground, porous lava tubes, creating the deep turquoise waters of Blue Pool. WHAT!? Nature is incredible.

Getting to Tamolitch Falls Blue Pool in Oregon

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  • Distance from Seattle: 5 hours
  • Distance from Portland: 2.5 hours
  • Distance from San Francisco: 9 hours

Important Driving Information: Typing in Blue Pool in Google will not take you to the trailhead – it will take you to the middle of the highway. If you are going to use Google Maps, route to McKenzie River Trailhead at Tamolitch


The Northwest Forest pass is required here. If you have the National Park pass – America the Beautiful, this will also cover you!

There was no kiosk to purchase these passes at Blue Pool in Oregon. I recommend securing a pass before. You can purchase a day pass for $5 online and print it off HERE.

There are vault toilets at the trailhead! As always practice LEAVE NO TRACE! And bring the 10 hiking essentials to ensure yours and others safety!

Best Time of Year and Day to Visit Tamolitch Blue Pool

Time of Year to Visit Blue Pool in Oregon

Tamolitch Falls/Blue Pool is most accessible Spring-Fall as the road to get there can get a lot of snow in the winter. The BUSIEST time of year is June-August. I personally always try to go at non-peak visiting dates and times and went in October. It was absolutely stunning with the Fall color reflected in the deep turquoise waters.

Best Time of Day to Visit

I recommend going to Blue Pool for Sunrise for a LOT of different reasons. 1 The parking lot fills up very quickly as it is a popular trail. 2 the light is more ideal for photography at sunrise. 3 there are camping options nearby that make it a lot easier to wake up and go in the morning!

The Trail to Tamolitch Falls

Tamolitch Falls Blue Pool in Oregon
The cutest dog, Patsy, owned by @her.oregon.life

Hiking Specs:

  • Rated as Easy
  • 3.7 miles round trip
  • Elevation Gain: 305 ft
  • Dogs Allowed!
  • Views of old lava flow and a douglas fir forest
  • Trail follows the McKenzie River

If you feel compelled to take a dip, be warned that the National Forest Website states the temperature of the water is typically below 37 F degrees and cautions people that hypothermia can occur in under 10 minutes here.

I recommend good footwear for this hike as there are spots that traverse an old lava flow, slick rock and loose rock to get down to the base of the pool. Check out my Footwear Guide HERE

Where to Stay Near Tamolitch Falls Blue Pool in Oregon

@Her.oregon.life and Patsy

Camping Options:

Airbnb Options Near McKenzie Bridge

I found some incredible Airbnb’s nearby that I would love to go back and stay in! Check em out!

Picture from Airbnb of Koosah Cabin

Get $65 off your first Airbnb stay using my link HERE

Shop my Hiking Outfit!

I really love how the red plaid popped against the blue tones in the background!! Fall Essentials for sure.

Nearby Attractions:

If you have more time and want to plan a road trip be sure to check out these other nearby spots! Click any below to see my blog post on them!

Sparks Lake

Smith Rock

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Blue Pool Oregon
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  1. Venaugh on November 25, 2020 at 1:11 pm

    Thank you for such a well covered article about this blue pool. Appreciate all the details even down to the outfit.

  2. Venaugh on November 25, 2020 at 1:12 pm

    Thanks for sharing such a detailed trip to blue pool…from weather down the the outfit. I never even thought about what colour to wear based on the pictures, definitely a good thing to note.

  3. Krista on November 25, 2020 at 2:10 pm

    The colour of the water looks so pretty, and I love that you can hike around the area as well.

  4. kmf on November 25, 2020 at 5:21 pm

    Wow! Tamolitch Falls / Blue Pool are absolutely gorgeous! I, too, am fascinated with the geological evolution…so cool to think how long it takes for this kind of beauty to arrive.

  5. Kitti on November 26, 2020 at 12:51 am

    This place looks so beautiful. This area has been on my bucket list for so long! Also I love your hiking outfit.

  6. Hannah on November 26, 2020 at 11:43 am

    What a beautiful trail (and adorable hiking companion!) It looks like a beautiful place for an autumnal hike! Also, your photos are stunning and I love your outfit! Thanks for the great guide!

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