It’s an easy 0.5-mile walk to Upper Proxy, an A-plus trail. The trail goes through a lava field and lush forest that changes with the seasons. There are giant rhododendrons that bloom in late spring, tart huckleberries in late summer, and brilliant red foliage from the vine maples in the fall. Take a left at the first fork in the trail. This will take you to Upper Proxy Falls. A particularly good view of the waterfalls can be found near the giant Douglas fir at the base of the pool.
Now that you’ve seen Upper Proxy Falls from the bottom up, check out Lower Proxy Falls from the top down. Go back to the fork in the trail and take a left. In less than 0.5 miles you will suddenly be on a ridge looking across a valley at Lower Proxy Falls. A good time to photograph both of these waterfalls is around midday, when the sun’s angle best illuminates the water.
Getting to Proxy Falls
To get to Proxy Falls, follow the old McKenzie Pass road (Rte. 242) from the new McKenzie Pass highway (Rte. 126) for 10 miles. Look for a small hiker-symbol sign on the south side of the road. This is the only marker for the trail to a spectacular pair of waterfalls, Upper and Lower Proxy Falls.
by Judy Jewell and W. C. McRae from Moon Oregon, 8th Edition, © Elizabeth & Mark Morris and Avalon Travel