Toketee Falls, Oregon
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Toketee Falls is one of the most famous waterfalls in all of Oregon, renowned far and wide for the graceful columnar basalt formation framing the two-stepped falls. The North Umpqua River has carved a sinuous gorge out of the lava flow, resulting in a waterfall of 113 feet in height - a 28 foot upper tier which plunges into a pool flanked by a deep alcove, followed by an 85 foot plunge into a large pool. At the trailhead, the wooden 12 foot diameter Toketee Pipeline is passed, which diverts much of the volume of the North Umpqua River to a powerhouse downstream. This artificial taming of the river allows the waterfall to flow in an extremely consistent manor all year long.
The waterfall is regulated by a dam built just upstream by PacifiCorp, which now regulates and reduces the water flow over the falls. The damming forms a reservoir called Toketee Lake. Previously the full volume of the North Umpqua River was allowed to flow over the falls, but the flow has been reduced by a penstock that utilizes the drop of the falls to generate hydroelectricity.
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