Regarding COVID-19: Please recreate responsibly and practice social distancing. Closures and travel restrictions are changing rapidly, always check and respect local regulations.

Umpqua National Forest: Waterfalls, Lakes and Hotsprings.

A beautiful place between the "must see" spots.

The Pacific Northwest is home to many places that are world famous for their natural beauty, and we, like everyone else, couldn't wait to visit these places. We planned a route that took us by many must see spots like Crater Lake and Smith Rock, but along the way we found some lesser known beauty in the Umpqua National Forest. 

We'd originally planned to stay elsewhere, but luckily those plans had to change on account of snow, so we looked at a map and decided to head to the Umpqua National Forest for a night. That night turned into a few days. 

We found the Toketee Lake Campground mostly empty, so we had our choice of sites and picked a spot along the small creek that flows into Toketee lake. We were pleased to find that the lower elevation combined with the sun made the weather here perfect for spending evenings lounging in hammocks. 

While this area is beautiful, one of our favorite aspects was the absence of crowds. We spent the days exploring the many waterfalls along the Umpqua river without the crowds we'd seen in the Columbia River gorge. 

On our last day in the Umpqua we rode our bikes from camp a short ways to the Umpqua Hot Springs trailhead. This short trail took us to the terraced pools that overlook the Umpqua river. The pools vary in temperature, the warmest at the top of the hillside and the cooler down below. Here we met other friendly travelers and relaxed until dusk set in and it was time to head back to camp and get ready to set off the next day. 

While we will be away traveling Central America for 2017, we will definitely visit the Umpqua National Forest next time we're back north.

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Brian & Alyssa Wood

We left our full time graphic design gigs in March 2016 to live and work on the road. Since then we've traveled across the lower 48, Canada and Alaska in our truck camper. Now, we're getting ready to head to Central A...