Tamolitch Blue Pool via McKenzie River Trail

MODERATE 462 reviews
#1 of 120 trails in

Tamolitch Blue Pool via McKenzie River Trail is a 3.7 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near McKenzie Bridge, Oregon 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.

3.7 miles
305 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly



mountain biking

nature trips

trail running





wild flowers



old growth


This short portion of the McKenzie River National RecreationTrail 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. The trail is not too strenuous but there is some elevation gain as can be seen on the tracks and footing can be tricky in a few places. Be advised the trail passes one ledge with a steep drop-off to the river a short distance before Blue Pool 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, creating tamolitch falls. 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. This is a very popular spot along the McKenzie River Trail and you are likely to see hikers, runners and some mountain bikers here.

1 day ago

Tamolitch Blue Pool 8/11/18

My group planned to arrive early to Blue Pool, but a fatality on Hwy 22 caused us to take a 2.5hr detour. We arrived way later than we wanted to. Parking was already out on the highway at 1:15pm. This hike is about 2 miles in and 2 miles out. It’s a fairly easy hike that is shaded most of the way. The scramble to get down to the Blue Pool is a bit trickier, but doable. Just take your time. We had a group of 10 and only 5 of us were brave enough to go into the 37 degree water. If you decide to go in or walk around barefoot, I highly recommend water shoes. The rocks were extremely painful on the souls of our feet. Lots of hornets by the water, so be careful. We only saw 2 people jump from the cliff. This is extremely dangerous as several people have died over the years. Since this was a warm August Saturday, it was crowded with hikers, mountain bikers, dogs and children. I definitely recommend going early, on a weekday or in the off-season. It was still a great hike with breathtaking views. The shades of blue are indescribable. There are restrooms at the trailhead of Blue Pool. Also, if this was too short of a hike for you, definitely piggyback Koosah Falls or Sahalie Falls with this one. We would have, but with our unexpected detour, we ran out of time and needed to make the long trek home. Happy Hiking!

2 days ago

Best friend and I did this in the cold of winter. Well worth it even during the cold. We went off the path and made our way around the pool. Absolutely beautiful.

2 days ago

This is an amazing site! Expect it to be really crowded but the pool is worth seeing! Also don’t expect to swim much, there’s a reason why all the pictures don’t have people in them! The water is almost ice. Pretty easy hike in! Follow all our adventures on Instagram @themicrotourists!

2 days ago

Great easy and comfortable hike on a very well maintained trail. Great trail for company who is not acclimated but wants a big payoff for the effort. The water was very cold but not unbearable and the hike down was not as bad as some post made it seem. Go around to the opposite side and the trail is very user friendly. The anticipation of the water is worse than the water itself. Very enjoyable, casual and non-taxing.

4 days ago

Well defined trail to the pool but more difficult to get down to the water. Totally worth the hike down.

11 days ago

Just stunning. Easy trail through beautiful trees and along the McKenzie River. I prefer the early hike. This one gets busy.

13 days ago

Unbelievable, great hike , beautiful river view most of the way

15 days ago

The hike was well worth seeing the beautiful blue pool at the end of the trail - especially for a couple of out of shape people like ourselves.

16 days ago

Beautiful hike. The beginning was fairly easy. It gets harder as you get in the lava beds. The scramble down to the pool (if you choose to do it) is steep, so be careful! The water is freezing cold, but feels nice on feet after the hike there. Also, be aware of yellow jacket nests. We found a few along the way. We discovered one as we stepped to the side to let others pass by. We only noticed it as several in our group were stung.

17 days ago

Great hike ! We went yesterday which was a 90 degree day, so this was not easy and to get down to the water was somewhat confusing! Many rocks so please wear great shoes !

20 days ago

Amazing hike, but I would say not for children under 5.

21 days ago

Beautiful hike however it is more like 5 miles if you go to the waters edge. Water is ridiculously clear and beautiful. The water is cold but the hike is amazing. The hike from the view point is about 4 miles.

21 days ago

Please don't swim here, I had a mother with a 3-year-old daughter ask me if they can get down to the water somehow to play. It is freezing cold and many people need to be rescued. Just enjoy the view!

22 days ago

It was quite a hike for me, however it was so worth it! The beauty of the river all the way up, and the gorgeous “blue pool” at the end was such a treat! I would so go again!

22 days ago

Beautiful hike through the trees and along the river. Lots of roots and rocky steps to maneuver at times. Saw lots of people on the trail, as well as mountain bikers trying to work their way through the crowd. *Saw a couple trying to push a stroller on the trail. Trail is best for walking and carrying baby in a pack. Pool was beautiful and water was ice cold.

29 days ago

Great place to hike!

30 days ago

Family and pet friendly hike along the river!

Be careful as the water was extremely cold! We saw someone yelling for help because her leg immediately cramped up when she got in water.

We also saw someone nearly die... he jumped from the cliff and tried to swim out but was getting pushed down from the current... then due to the coldness of the water he could no longer swim and had to yell for help. Thankfully an amazing individual named Brenda rushed out there and brought him back to shore.

His mouth was extremely bloody from the jump and could barely move once he was pulled out of the water.

1 month ago

The trail bridge is closed, but There is a sign with an arrow on the hwy. This is the shortest hike to the blue pool. Views were spectacular with the fast moving river, lava rocks, big trees and little creeks.
Amazing hike along the river and through trails of lava rocks. We hiked around and down to the blue pool (the trail was not part of the McKenzie Trail) and stuck our feet in the 40 degree water. The trail is not well marked, but you can see where people stepped. There were a few people who jumped all the way in. It was unbelievable to see the water moving through the lava tubes and bubbling from underneath.
Quite a few mountain bikers on a Monday mid-afternoon.

Good hike busy with people dogs and mountain bikers. Water is so beautiful both along the river and the pool.

1 month ago

I LOVE THIS TRAIL! It gets packed with people by 10am, so I say get there by 8am to beat the crowd. This last time I arrived at 9am, enjoyed the hike to the pool, and on the hike back to the car- we passed at least 30-40 people. The trail is narrow so you’re constantly having to move aside for groups coming your way. Lots of dogs off leash.

The pool is also great to visit in the winter months because no one is on the trail and the pool is literally pitch black! Nice 4 mile hike!

1 month ago

Loved the hike! Super easy to find and free parking! One suggestion I would make is wearing good mountain shoes! I noticed some parts were slippery! Absolutely worth it though, and amazing view

1 month ago

Beautiful little hike! Ground is mostly flat but is very uneven and rocky in some spots. Completely worth the effort. I wouldn't suggest leaving without taking a dip!!

1 month ago

One of my favorites! Fairly flat and easy. Recommend going on a sunny day, as it just doesn’t seem quite as blue when cloudy. It does get very crowded later in the day on weekends. Go early or on a weekday if possible. It’s beautiful and definitely worth it!

1 month ago

Stunning payoff for a beautiful hike! Only downside was the heavy traffic--we had to move out of the way for a lot of mountain bikers coming down the trail.

1 month ago

Beautiful &blue!!! Worth the hike!

1 month ago

Incredible trail!

1 month ago

Recommend by far! It was so beautiful and a really simple hike. There’s not a lot of people if you go earlier in the day, but if you go around 1ish then that’s when it gets busy. Getting to the bottom of the pool however is confusing since it is not marked. Since it isn’t marked we ended up following a trail behind the falls which doesn’t lead to anything and it took us and extra 2 miles before we turned around. So make sure you find that turnoff if you’re wanting to get down to the pool!

1 month ago

So beautiful!

1 month ago

Short hike to a gorgeous BLUE lake, access to the lake can be difficult but the view from the rocks above alone is enough. Stretch your legs & go visit this beauty preferably on a weekday to avoid the crowds!

1 month ago

where is the best place to park when hiking to blue pool?

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