Lemolo Falls (Diamond Lake area)

Rating (Out of 5): 4.0

Location: Near Diamond Lake, Ore.

Distance: 2 miles round-trip

Difficulty: Easy/moderate

Camping: No

Quick hit: This huge and stunningly beautiful waterfall is one of the highlights of the North Umpqua River’s immaculate collection of cascades.

The falls drops more than 100 feet and thunders into a misty pool in a deep, almost hidden canyon. Although the very popular North Umpqua Trail does pass Lemolo Falls, the official trail doesn’t provide very good views.

To enjoy the best of Lemolo Falls, take an easy and remote trail that runs all the way up to the waterfall’s misty base (though make sure it’s either very hot or you bring a rain jacket, because you’ll get drenched.)

The trail begins at the end of very rough road 840 below Lemolo Reservoir. The trail heads downhill somewhat steeply on an old road bed before becoming a trail that drops steeply into the river’s canyon. It only takes a mile before you reach reach the North Umpqua itself, and just a few hundred feet up is spectacle of Lemolo Falls.

The main drawback is the hike back up, which is fairly steep though not too bad. Overall, it’s an outstanding hike that you almost wish were a little longer.

Directions: Take Oregon Highway 138, the North Umpqua Highway, east from Roseburg (or west from Diamond Lake), past milepost 73 to the Lemolo Lake turnoff at Forest Road 2610. Follow this road about four miles gravel Forest Road 3401 (Torn Prairie Road), on the left, just before the turnoff to the Lemolo Lake resort. Go 0.5 mile west on Thorn Prairie Road and turn right onto unmarked road 800. Continue on road 800 for about 1.5 miles to a sign for Lemolo Falls Trail on road 840. Follow this bumpy road to its end and the trailhead.

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