Tamolitch Blue Pool via McKenzie River Trail is a 3.7 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near McKenzie Bridge, OR that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
This short portion of the McKenzie River Trail takes you to the beautiful turquoise Tamolitch Pool, also known as Blue Pool. The beginning of this easy hike is through old growth Douglas fir forest. As the McKenzie River falls away, you walk along the a cliff and descend into a dry river bed eventually coming to an old lava flow. At Blue Pool you can scamper down the steep embankment and go for a chilly swim. This pool is actually where the McKenzie River emerges after submerging into a lava tube after Carmen Reservoir. It's known as a dry falls, because during especially wet rainy winters the river will flood over the lava bed and waterfall into Tamolitch Pool. You can also access this trail from Carmen Reservoir and hike the trail to Trail Bridge Reservoir, rather than starting at the trail head just south of Trail Bridge Reservoir and hiking in and back out.
Crowded at the pool and a scramble to get up and down, but the actual trail was flat and beautiful.
I'm not sure if there is a different trail now because of the Blue Top Fire, but the ranger at the trailhead told me the hike is 4.2 miles roundtrip, not 3.7 like it says in the above description.
I absolutely loved this hike! The trail was easy to navigate, granted there aren't any markers or signs...but it's hard to get lost because it's so well-paved. I ran into a lot of mountain bikers on the way, probably around 20 total. Most of them were super friendly though. There's a reason why the rangers say to always keep your dog on a leash. Sometimes, the trail gets pretty narrow and it's easier to pull your dog to the side on a leash if there's an oncoming biker or if you're crossing paths with another dog.
The only problem I ran into was trying to find how to get to the other side of Tamolitch Blue Pool. Once you reach it, you get an overhead view, which is a great place to stop and picnic. But the way the sun was shining, I needed to get to the other side to see the actual blueness.
In order to get where you can cliff jump or down to where you can dip your feet into the water, you eventually have to go off the trail and onto some sketchy rocks. From there, if you keep going along the edge, you'll find the trail that takes you down next to the water. This was the only part of the hike that had some drastic incline and required extra caution.
I'd love to see how this place looks on a really sunny day! Granted, today was pretty sunny, but I went at noon and the trees casted a shadow on the entire pool, so you couldn't see the blueness as well. Still got great pictures though!
Great short hike with a gorgeous destination. This is a small section of the larger McKenzie River Trail, which is known nationwide as one of the best mountain biking trails in the country. Watch out for bikers approaching fast while going downhill.
If you are backpacking the McKenzie River trail, there are a few suitable campsites just north of Tamolitch pool off the trail.
Simply a great hike that is exploding in popularity due to social media and the recent media exposure with the closure of access with the fire. Can't see anyone rate this less than 5 stars unless you are factoring in the crowds.
Get there early, though, as someone else stated, and you'll be golden (if, like me, you prefer solitude and peace and quiet while hiking instead of a caravan). Took my 1 year old daughter and we were the 2nd car in the lot. Saw two guys heading out as we were hiking in so we had Blue Pool to ourselves for over an hour which was amazing. The hike down to the water was easy to find and although steep and a bit slippery in spots, not difficult if you take your time and are careful.
On the way out, saw 40+ people making their way in and cars parked down the road. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife ranger we talked to said there were 300 visitors Saturday and 200 Sunday which seems like a ton for the fall. Some of that is no doubt due to the fact access just opened again September 8th so people who had been wanting to do it in the summer are getting in this hike now but it also seems like this is just the way it's going to be from here on out.
This is a VERY easy hike and isn't at all strenuous. Tennis shoes work just fine so no need for hiking boots. With most other access points closed due to the smoldering fire, we went in from Trailbridge Campground which is the best way to go, anyway, as you get a scenic hike through old growth and along the river.
Blue Pool itself is spectacular. There are some great pictures of it out there (I took several myself) but I have yet to see one do it justice. Sometimes a camera lens just can't capture what you see with the naked eye.
Overall, an easy hike that is well worth the views.
I'm not sure how anyone could rate this less than 5 stars. So incredibly beautiful! Get there early to beat the rush.
Amazing. Starts like the enchanted forest and ends with the most beautiful pool
Absolutely gorgeous oasis in the middle of the woods!
super easy hike. about 2 miles in? the pool is amazing..dark blue. trail goes along the river and winds up and down a few small hills on the way. some lava rock so ware good shoes.
Awesome hike with 7 year old and a dog. First half is through old growth forest and 2nd half through rocky terrain. Definitely worth it when you come around the corner and see the water in front of you.
Beautiful hike, lots of people along the way. There were some crazy people jumping off the rocks into 37 degree water.
The hike is longer if you actually go down to the water. I recorded 5.14 miles round trip. Super crowded and a lot of people seemed unprepared for the actual hike. There are a lot of rocks and it is definitely a hike to get there, especially to the water. Not really a swimming hole because it is so cold. However, it is beautiful and you should definitely do it once. I thought it was very well marked and super easy to find.
Great hike with the girls ❤️
The trail was relatively easy, the water was freezing, and the blue pool was more vibrant than my turquoise shoes- An absolute Oregon must!