Looking at topographic maps of the area, it's obvious that the upper Whychus Creek drainage is well endowed with waterfalls. While most of them are relatively easy to reach, Chush Falls is the only one (of nine) officially deemed accessible by the forest service. The trail to the falls ends at the canyon rim overlooking the falls, but best views require following the obvious beaten path down to the base. Why there hasn't been an officially maintained trail to the bottom, we don't know, especially since the falls - standing 67 feet tall and stretching over 80 feet wide - are captivating enough to draw people down into the canyon. The volume of Whychus Creek at this point is immense, such that spray can be an issue all year long at this waterfall, but if nothing else, the sheer power exuded by this waterfall is well worth the short walk to reach. The fact that the area rivals parts of the backcountry of Yellowstone National Park is just an added bonus.
- Chush Falls is the Official name of this waterfall.
- Known Alternate Names: Lower Squaw Creek Falls, Lower Whychus Falls
Whychus Creek was formerly known as Squaw Creek, the name change coming in 2005 to bend to a certain level of political correctness (Squaw had been known to derogatorily refer to part of the female anatomy, among its several meanings). The Forest Service had maintained the former Squaw Creek Falls trail up to this waterfall, yet the actual waterfall of that name was still half a mile off. When the features were renamed in 2005, the Forest Service took the liberty of officially naming this waterfall Chush Falls. The name means "water" in the Sahaptin dialect (true, its unoriginal, but at least it doesn't sound sappy). For more information on the renaming issue, see the page for Kaluwas Falls (link below).
The waterfalls of Whychus Creek are located just inside the Three Sisters Wilderness Area, located south of the town of Sisters. From Highway 242 in downtown Sisters, turn south on Forest Service Road 16, signed for Three Creek Lake (do not follow FR 15, signed for Squaw Creek, west of town). After 7 miles, turn right onto FR 1514, and proceed just under 5 miles to FR 1514-600, immediately before crossing Whychus Creek on a large concrete bridge, and turn left. Road 1514-600 is very rough, but passable for passenger cars with decent clearance. Follow this rough road for another 2 miles to a T-junction and bear left, reaching the trailhead in another Â½ mile. From here, follow the Chush Falls trail for an easy mile to canyon-rim views down on the powerful cataract. A steep boot path drops down to the base of the falls for better views.