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Hiking Watson Falls in the Winter

12:58 AM · Mar 7, 2023

This past weekend we made it up to Watson Falls which was covered by a thick blanket of snow. It was incredibly beautiful. One of the most striking things was the ice cone that had formed at the base of the falls. It was probably at least 15-20 feet tall by our estimation. The trail up to the falls was pretty narrow but the snow had been packed down nicely by other hikers the previous week. If you are going up right after a big snowfall, waiting a few days before hiking this spot allows more experienced hikers time to tamp and mark the trail before you arrive. The following video was shot and produced by Elijah Finlay Here are some basic facts about Watson Falls Height: Watson Falls is the tallest waterfall in Southwest Oregon, with a total height of 292.7 feet. Location: Watson Falls is located in the Umpqua National Forest in southern Oregon, about 70 miles east of Roseburg. Trail: There is a well-maintained hiking trail that leads from the parking lot to the base of the falls. The trail is approximately 0.8 miles round-trip and is rated as moderate in difficulty. Accessibility: Watson Falls is accessible year-round and is a popular destination for hikers, photographers, and nature enthusiasts. Surrounding Area: The Umpqua National Forest surrounding Watson Falls is home to a variety of wildlife, including black bears, cougars, and elk. The area is also known for its beautiful scenery, with old-growth forests, rugged mountain peaks, and crystal-clear streams. History: Watson Falls is named after Frank Watson, a pioneer who settled in the area in the late 1800s. Conservation: Watson Falls and the surrounding Umpqua National Forest are managed by the U.S. Forest Service and are protected as part of the National Wilderness Preservation System. The area is home to a diverse range of plant and animal species and is an important part of Oregon's natural heritage. Additional reading: My grandfather Gilbert Finlay hiked up to Crater Lake in 1912 and chronicled his journey. On his return trip, he stopped by Watson Falls and ended up at the top of the falls looking down nearly 300 feet at the water below. It's quite an incredible story! You can read it here:


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