I finally went to the largest waterfall on the North Umpqua River and it did not disappoint.
I had went in once prior and had assumed that the trailhead to get to the falls was off the North Umpqua Trail. This is not the case. I did know there was another trail but had also assumed that if there was an official trail to the largest waterfall on the North Umpqua River, THERE WOULD BE A SIGN FOR IT. There is not. "Lemolo Falls Trailhead turn left in .25 miles" as you drive on Birds Point Road. Is that really asking too much?
Off the North Umqpua Trail, you don't have any quality views and you really can't strain for them much since it is basically 150' sheer cliff you're walking along through there. So on the first trip, I called it a day and headed back to do some research.
The road in to the trailhead is about as manicured as gravel gets...until you turn off for the last 1/10th.
This comes in handy. This spur road is silty and has wheel ruts. The only thing that would make it better is standing water in the ruts and enough room to brake after hitting 40mph.
The trail is mostly "bleh", but down at the bottom, it gets enjoyable. It is also a bit of a trudge coming out. We ran into a very nice Canadian couple who were originally from Scotland. We talked for maybe 10 minutes, but could have easily spent a couple hours with them. Nice people.
I found a nice pair of chrome mirror aviators on a stump along the way...
Not the most stylish things but they are at least good for a laugh. They look like something this guy would wear after he's finished washing his Trans-Am:
Some interesting crumbling rocks along the river at the bottom of the trail.
This is a big waterfall, height-wise. I imagine it would really be something to see if the dam didn't divert a lot of the water away. The large amount of spray and lots of sun means a whole bunch of moss and green vegetation. I do think the distant view of the falls is better than any angle I could find closer.
It is recommended to visit while it's warm, as you get absolutely pounded with spray from 200+ yards away. Anything closer and you're going to take a shower. Either bring and umbrella for lens protection or wipe, shoot quickly, and repeat to get pictures.
From the real trails, this is probably better than the other major waterfall on the North Umpqua River, Toketee Falls, as the best waterfall on the river, or even in the entire drainage. From river level, Toketee definitely wins out, though. Similar to Toketee Falls' odd choice of a trail end, it is too bad the North Umpqua Trail doesn't pass through here instead of on top of the cliff where you can't see much.