“Tamolitch Pool”, McKenzie River
The Blue Pool of Oregon’s McKenzie River
Tamolitch Pool, AKA, the Blue Pool. McKenzie River, Oregon. This Mystic, stunningly blue pool is named for the Northwest Indian word “Tamolitch”, which means “Bucket”. This magical body of water requires a rocky yet enlivening 2.1 mile hike along the McKenzie River Trail. The entire trail is enchanting and Tamolitch, often referred to as the Blue Pool is one of the highlights. Over two miles upstream from this pool, the McKenzie River mysteriously disappears underground through jumbled lava rock, only to re-appear, here at the Tamolitch Pool. In the lower left hand cornier of this fine art landscape photograph, you will notice that the surface of the water in roughened. This is due to the subterranean waters of the McKenzie River spring back to the earths surface in this amazingly iridescent blue pool. During heavy rains, some of the McKenzie River remains above ground through its entire course and forms a waterfall which drops nearly 60 feet into the Pool. It is an interesting phenomena to see a seasonal waterfall but the increased turbulence, disrupts the reflections in the surface of the pool, dispelling some of the magic.
Tamolitch Pool is a popular yet dangerous swimming hole. Water emerges into the pool at 37 degrees fahrenheit, year round. This is a dangerously low temperature for swimming and in fact, several people have met their demise in this beautiful yet dangerous body of water. Despite it inviting azure color and remarkable clarity, Tamolitch Pool is deep, lending to its danger. The center of the pool, seen in this image is said to be 60 feet deep!
Visitors from the Bend area may want to combine the hike to Tamolitch with another short but beautiful hike to Proxy Falls, located on the McKenzie Pass Highway. For more information about the hike to Proxy Falls, please visit the good folks at Bend Wild.