: Toketee Falls

Kid-Friendly Waterfall Adventures in Southern Oregon

High on views and low on effort, these thundering wonders please little eyes, too.
February 9, 2018 (Updated March 4, 2024)

My family’s Southern Oregon waterfall tour was one of our best trips of all time. We enjoyed every moment of the serenity — the quiet meditation as we visited 13 waterfalls was so calming. We kept our eyes wide open so we didn’t miss a thing: a squirrel crossing our path, a lizard lounging on a rock or the first misty moment when we neared the thundering falls. Here are some of the highlights of the route. It can be done in a day, but if you have kids, you might want to break it down into a weekend adventure, camping along the way or even staying nearby in the Rogue Valley. Be sure to bring along the Ten Essentials for hiking with the whole family.

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Butte Falls

Butte Falls

Butte Falls is located at the former site of an early 20th-century, water-powered sawmill near the historic town of — you guessed it — Butte Falls, about 30 miles northeast of Medford off Highway 62. To get there, take a right at Falls Road before the town, and just as the road starts weaving to the left, look for a clearing straight ahead where cars can park. From there it’s a very short path to the waterfall. There’s a charming viewing deck — the perfect place to snap pictures of the 10-foot cascade — and you can grab a quick snack at one of the nearby picnic tables.

Mill Creek Falls

Just outside of the town of Prospect, Mill Creek Falls plunges 173 feet into the Rogue River gorge. The year-round waterfall is accessible from the Prospect State Scenic Viewpoint. An easy hike, the trail is gorgeous with lots of beautiful trees. It’s also wide enough for the kids to run and explore. From the viewpoint, you can see a bird’s-eye view of Mill Creek Falls.

Barr Creek Falls

The 240-foot Barr Creek Falls can be seen from the same trail as Mill Creek Falls. The rock viewpoint overlooks the waterfall and canyon. It’s a good idea to visit during spring when snowmelt and rain make the waterfalls incredible — at times, so powerful it becomes a double waterfall.

Pearsony Falls

Pearsony Falls

If you are going to go see Mill Creek Falls and Barr Creek Falls, you must go see Pearsony Falls. Instead of taking a left to head back to the highlight, turn right to the town of Prospect. Soon you’ll see a rest area on your right. There is no sign, but there is a 100-yard-long trail that will take you to Pearsony Falls, a lush green path that is perfect for kids to venture on their own. It’s a beautiful falls with lots of moss-covered rocks that can be slippery, so watch your footing when you are trying to get the perfect photo. If you continue down the path, you will see Mill Creek Falls from the top.

National Creek Falls

National Creek Falls

A 25-mile drive from Mill Creek Falls, National Creek Falls flows year-round. After a short trek that’s a perfect length for kids, you can feel the mist coming off the thundering water.

Lemolo Falls

Lemolo Falls

This waterfall is gorgeous, cascading 102 feet into a sparkling pool. To see it from the base of the falls requires a very steep hike down via the Lemolo Falls Trail. If you go there in the summer, make sure that you have mosquito spray and sunscreen as the hike has sunny spots.

Warm Spring Falls

Warm Spring Falls

It’s a pretty little walk with no elevation to reach the lookout point for Warm Springs Falls. It can only be viewed from above, but I really loved the carving in the canyon wall made from what I assume is thousands of years of water flowing over. 

Clearwater Falls

Clearwater Falls

The short trail to Clearwater Falls is beautiful, with moss-covered rocks and big trees along the creek. If you take the trail to the left of the falls up to the top, you catch a magnificent perspective of water flowing under tree roots and tumbling down. The kids were having such a good time exploring the falls that of course they didn’t want to leave, but we knew there were more adventures to be had at our next waterfall.

Whitehorse Falls

Whitehorse Falls

Reaching Whitehorse Falls is easy; just drive right up to the falls’ viewpoint; there is no trail at all. You can also walk down to the pool right in front of the falls. It looked like an amazing spot to go swimming — another adventure to add to the bucket list.

Watson Falls

Watson Falls

To reach Watson Falls, the state’s third-highest at nearly 300 feet, we traversed a nice, easy trail for everyone, with a couple of spots where we held the kids’ hands; otherwise, it is fairly easy to navigate. Take the 0.8-mile loop trail in a circle for a different view as you go back to the main road. I highly recommend this in the winter to avoid the crowds, and the view is stunning. 

Toketee Falls

Toketee Falls

Probably my favorite trail, there is so much to see on your way to iconic Toketee Falls. The 0.4-mile-long trail takes you along a beautiful gorge that makes you want to take a dip on a warm summer’s day. 

Fall Creek Falls

Fall Creek Falls

The trailhead for Fall Creek Falls is a little bit of a trek in, but it is a magnificent hike following Fall Creek through an enchanting trail of moss-covered walls called the “squeeze-play rocks” because of their configuration. Continue up the path by the waterfall if you want to see the top tier of the falls.

Susan Creek Falls

Susan Creek Falls

Susan Creek Falls was one of the longer trails (about a mile) that we have taken, but it’s a very family-friendly route with interpretive signs about flora and fauna along the way. The kids loved this one because we could get up close to the falls.

About The
Author

Lanessa Pierce
Lanessa Pierce is the owner and social media manager of "What to Do in Southern Oregon," a local events blog, website and social media outlet showcasing the region's best events and adventures. Lanessa enjoys all that Oregon has to offer with her husband and two children, getting outdoors as much as possible. She is also passionate about local homegrown music, food, beer and wine.

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Ask Oregon

What is the best time of year to visit the Rogue-Umpqua Byway to see the waterfalls?

Greetings from Southern Oregon, The most commonly recommended time to travel the Rogue-Umpqua Scenic Byway is June through October, mainly to ensure clear roads, fair weather and more daylight hours. Volumes of water running in the falls largely depend on wintertime precipitation. We’re off to a good start for this year, considering the flood warnings…

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