Proxy Falls and Linton Lake

Upper Proxy Falls

Upper Proxy Falls

  • Easy (to Proxy Falls)
  • 1.7-mile loop
  • 200 feet elevation gain
  • Open May through November

  • Easy (to Linton Lake)
  • 3.8 miles round trip
  • 300 feet elevation gain

The first of these two short walks loops across a lava flow to a pair of 100-foot waterfalls. The second trail winds through deep woods to a large lake in a steep, forest-rimmed valley.

Fire and ice have sculpted this corner of the Three Sisters Wilderness. During the Ice Age, glaciers from the Three Sisters poured down this canyon, scouring it to a deep U-shaped trough. When the ice melted some 6000 years ago, the canyon’s side valleys were left hanging. Upper and Lower Proxy Falls spill over these glacier-cut cliffs. Since then, blocky basalt lava flows from cinder cones near North Sister have flooded the canyon floor, damming Linton Lake. Water seeps through the porous lava, leaving Linton Lake with no visible outlet. Likewise, the splash pool beneath Upper Proxy Falls never overflows. Apparently the water resurfaces a few miles down the canyon at the massive springs which create Lost Creek and White Branch Creek.

To find the Proxy Falls Trailhead, drive . . .

This chapter is an excerpt from 100 Hikes/Travel Guide: Central Oregon Cascades.