South Umpqua Falls is an absolutely scenic destination on the east side of the Cascade Mountains. Despite this place is hidden deeply in the Umpqua National Forest, it is extremely popular among fans who enjoy splashing with friends and adventurous slip-sliding and cliff-jumping in the most beautiful scenery of the Cascades.
Hike 0.25-mile down to the river at the base of the waterfall. From here you can walk upstream, literally, in the middle of the river to the top of the falls and fish ladder.
The river flows over gently sloping and mossy bedrock and then drops 15-foot to a deep plunge pool. The main feature of this spot is a natural water slide. Cliff jumping is another popular activity here.
The shallow river above the waterfall has small pools in the bedrock where you can dip on a hot summer day. There are plenty of places for swimming and wading downstream just below the waterfall. They vary from deep to shallow. A large bedrock and rock beach below the falls serve as a beach and sunbathing area.
There is a risk of falling on the slippery bedrock surface and rocks. Wear river footwear. Walk on the moss and clean rocks. Avoid a slippery dark coating on the rocks formed by green algae.
The South Umpqua Falls Campground on the left side of the road provides 19 camping sites for RV or tent camping. The campsite features fire pits, picnic tables, and vault toilets.
Cautions: Cliff jumping and slippery rocks are associated with risks, please use caution and make safe decisions.
South Umpqua Falls | General Description
Open: Open year-round
Managed: US Forest Service
Location: Umpqua National Forest
Services: Vault toilets, garbage disposal, no drinking water
Activities: Swimming, water sliding, picnicking
Accommodations: 19 campsites with picnic tables and fire pits, on a first-come and first-served basis
Distance from the trailhead: Short
Road access: Any passenger vehicle
Day-use fees: Yes or Interagency Senior/Access/Military Pass
Elevation (waterfall): 1,700 ft (518 m)
South Umpqua Falls is located:
- 42 miles east of Canyonville
- 70 miles southeast of Roseburg
- 70 miles north of Medford
- 140 miles southeast of Eugene.
Swimming holes associated with cliff jumping can be extremely dangerous. Variations in water levels, rocks that are not immediately visible, or even shifts in river bottoms due to strong currents can all lead to undesirable consequences including serious injury and death. It is, therefore, very important to check current conditions and all associated risks and concerns. Make safe decisions!
From I-5 in Canyonville,
- Take exit 98 and turn left onto 1st Street
- Turn right onto Main Street and then onto 3d Street
- Travel 22.6 miles east on Douglas County Highway 1/Tiller Trail Highway to South Umpqua Road
- Turn left onto South Umpqua Road
- Drive along the river 19.6 miles to the destination on the right.