The famous Benham Falls are a gorgeous sight. This family friendly walk along the Deschutes River near Bend is a gem of a hike.
From Bend, head south along US-97 for just under 17.7km. Turn right onto Crawford Road with signs for the Lava Lands Visitor Center. Continue down this road for 6.4km until it ends and park in a small dirt parking area that fills up fast.
|When to do|
Out and back
Head down to the boat launch from the parking lot, then turn right to begin along the river. The flat trail will shortly reach a bridge, onto which you will turn left to the cross the river. Here the trail will widen and continue beside the gushing creek.
Soon you will reach the first large section of whitewater. This huge set is incredible and is only the beginning of the impressive water features along this hike. Your ears will be filled with the sound of crashing water.
You will pass by several other turnoffs that offer views of the river. We recommend taking all of them, as they each offer a unique view of the intense rapids. Finally, you will reach the Benham West Trailhead and the falls.
After enjoying the falls we recommend continuing a short ways further to enjoy a quick view of the (relatively) peaceful river just below the falls before turning around.
The boat launch at the beginning of the hike is a perfect place for a pre or post hike dip.
The trail is also open to bikes, so stay vigilant when hiking.
A Northwest Forest Pass, National Parks Annual Pass, or a $5 day-pass (available at trailhead) is required to park.
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