Watson Falls And The North Umpqua Inspire Peace And Tranquility

Although, we are now in fall and water is low, Watson Falls and the North Umpqua continue to be places that inspire peace and tranquility.  Watson Falls is a ribbon-like cascade that plunges over 270 feet, making it one of the highest falls in Southern Oregon.  The trail takes you to the very top where it is in the upper 40s and you are the recipient of drops of cold spray.  The trail meanders among boulders, which are sometimes covered with moss, depending on the heat.  But the vision of Watson Falls is well worth the climb.  It is located about 21 miles NW of Diamond Lake on the Roseburg Hwy.

Just beyond Watson Falls is the better-known Toketee Falls that you can walk around without any difficulty.  A few miles ahead is a power station which subsumes the flow of the North Umpqua.  Just above is a fish hatchery and Soda Springs Dam. It is the only dam on the North Umpqua.  In the high water of spring, rafting companies sometimes put their boats in below the dam to give their passengers a few extra rapids before reaching Boulder Springs Campground, the usual starting point.

Between Boulder Springs and Gravel Bin, there are a number of Class 2 and 3 rapids with one Class 4-, Pinball.  But the North Umpqua offers more than turbulent water, it also offers deep, quiet pools where one can sit by the riverside and just relax and reflect.  Shades of green and blue intermingle in the river currents, looking like oil colors on a painter’s canvas.  I especially enjoy looking at the solemn boulders, surrounded by swirling colors.  Indeed, it is a special place that inspires peace and tranquility.

Location of Watson Falls

Location of Watson Falls

Watson Falls trail

Watson Falls trail

Watson Falls

Watson Falls

Another view of Watson Falls

Another view of Watson Falls

A boulder surrounded by the calm of the North Umpqua

A boulder surrounded by the calm of the North Umpqua

The beauty and tranquility of the North Umpqua

The beauty and tranquility of the North Umpqua

Scenes From The North Umpqua

NU 5*NU 4The North Umpqua, which arises near Diamond Lake, is one of the most beautiful rivers in America.  Its blue-green water splashing over boulders is a must see for river enthusiasts.  An agreement was made with the Power Commission that if the extensive power plant was built there would be no further dams on the river.  That agreement, and the abundance of forestry-owned land has protected the North Umpqua from further human obstructions.  To top it off, the North Umpqua is world-renowned for its wonderful steelhead fishing.  It is not an easy river to fish, since it offers many ledge rocks that a careless angler could slip off of into turbulent water.  However, that situation deters few.  In fact, during the summer, the Steamboat area is strictly regulated by fishermen to ensure the best fishing.  Should you wish to stay the night, the Steamboat Lodge offers a sumptuous feast known as the Fisherman’s Dinner served at dusk.  From Boulder Creek Campground to Steamboat, the gradient and sharp rocks keep inner tubers and casual tahiti rafters off the river.  Famous rapids include Pinball(Class 4), which swirls around a series of boulders, and Boulder Hole(Class 3), a long rapid that ends in an abrupt drop around a corner.  The river flows through magnificent forest and is highlighted by awe-inspiring spires and rock formations.  The photos  include:   Approaching Boulder Hole, The last drop of Boulder Hole, Happy Rock, Rapid below Headknocker’s 3 .  If you get the chance, do visit!NU 1   NU 3