Cannon Beach & Portland 2013 070Signs pointed off the well-travelled highway.  Tourists and locals alike frequent Highway 101/1 for a scenic and unforgettable ride.  It gives amazing scenic views of the Pacific Ocean and the West Coast Range Mountains.  This route never fails to deliver a feast for the eyes, rejuvenation for the soul and relaxation for the spirit.

Just to add variety to the journey, there are turnouts for those who have a little extra time.  If you are in a hurry then there are not many options since the road is relatively slow.  Usually, you can also count on other slowdowns like road construction, shrubbery pruning or slow-moving recreational vehicles.  The latter tests the patience of Job.

If life has taught you to flex or if you are on a relaxed schedule, then watch for signs that point out vistas, special beaches or Cannon Beach & Portland 2013 071other landmarks along the way.  Half may not be the kind of site that holds your attention.  Nevertheless, collectively, you will experience some amazing side trips.

One of those signs points the way to Munson Falls.  It is just  south of the town of Tillamook, perhaps 6 miles.  Turn East off of Highway 101.  Follow the narrow paved road for a nearly two miles.  The pavement ends and the gravel road begins.  Do not waver, the road will lead you to a small parking lot.

Cannon Beach & Portland 2013 079Head on foot toward the trailhead.  The hike to the falls is only a quarter of a mile.  A small hill or two and some steep steps are the only challenges for you.

Along the way you will enjoy an amazing babbling brook for most of your journey.  It is part of the water that pours down the Falls.  The water is crystal clear.  It sparkles as it cascades over small rocks in the creek bed.

Up a final rise is a viewpoint to enjoy the Falls.  The pour  over a cliff and drop its load of waterCannon Beach & Portland 2013 091 down a rock face making it the tallest falls on the Oregon West Coast and on of the tallest in the whole state.  While some waterfalls allow visitors to get up close and personal, this one is a bit of a ways off.  The trail has a large barricade limiting hikers to just enjoy a view from a good distance away.

Thunder roars testify to the power of this small falls.  It keeps the area rich with dense foliage soaking in the regular moisture.  The creator made waterfalls a special vision for travelers seeking a special encounter with creation.

photo credit: brucefong photography

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