One of North Umpqua’s most spectacular waterfalls – 80-foot Toketee Falls, whose name means “pretty” in the Northwest Indians’ Chinook jargon. Tumble from the eroded edges of basalt lava flows that coursed down this valley from the High Cascades thousands of years ago. Below the viewpoint, Toketee Falls pours out of columnar basalt cliffs to smash into a wave-tossed pool. It’s hard to imagine how huge this cascade must have been before the North Umpqua hydroelectric projects tapped the river.
A footbridge takes you across the North Umpqua River to a rustic shelter and a series of spa-sized pools as hot as 110 degrees Fahrenheit. All the springs in this area resulted when geologically recent High Cascade lava flows buried thousands of stream channels, leaving snowmelt to percolate underground to find an outlet. Here the water has seeped through a hot, active fault. Hot water dissolves minerals well. Umpqua Hot Springs doesn’t smell of sulfur, but it has carried enough alkali over the centuries to build a 100-foot-dome-shaped rock knoll above the river’s bank.