Photographing Benham Falls

Oregon Benham Falls Parking Area

Added by Richard Bacon

Distance: 0.5 mile hikeEasily accessible trail with beautiful views of the Deschutes RiverVarying falls and rapidsConnects to Dillon Falls and Central Bend if you desire a further hikeClose proximity to Bend, Oregon

There are 2 starting points to access Benham Falls. The first is off of the Cascades Lakes Highway west of Bend, Oregon where, after 6.5 miles, you'll turn down Forest Road 41. After 3.5 miles, you'll see signs for Benham Falls where you turn left, traveling 2.5 miles on a bumpy and rocky road. This route parks you right at the falls. The other destination is off of Highway 97 11 miles south of Bend, Oregon. After exiting at the Lava Lands Visitor Center, you'll drive 4 miles on a paved road to a parking lot. From here, it's a .5 mile hike to the falls. This is my preferred route of entrance for easier driving, and a short hike in.

Starting at the parking lot, the Deschutes River flows peacefully alongside the long-needled pine forest. After .5 miles, the river turns into a series of rapids and falls, dropping 25 feet over the main section. The trail breaks off to sections where you are able to walk directly up to the falls, or continue to expansive views 30 or 40 feet above the river. There are several viewpoints for great photo opportunities, and when the water flow is low, you can walk out onto rock areas that are normally covered during certain times of the year.

If you are still feeling like hiking since the main attraction of Benham Falls is easy to access, you can continue down the river several miles to access Dillon Falls, which is another beautiful section of the Deschutes River surrounded by lava formations and smaller falls. The trail continues all the way into Bend, which gives hikers the unique ability to choose the length in which they would like to travel.

This trail is a great spot for families of all ages and easy to see with minimal planning. It is shared with a mountain biking trail, so be cautious of incoming bikers and do your best to keep the trails in groomed conditions.

Pack List

  • Water
  • Camera
  • Snacks
  • Hiking shoes
  • Hiking clothes
Read More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Share

Activities:

Chillin, Hiking, Photography

Skill Level:

Beginner

Season:

Year Round

Rating:

Features:

Easy Parking
Family Friendly
River
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildlife

Are we missing something?

Suggest an edit

How to Get There

10 months ago

Great spot

Thanks for the post. I was in the area last week and checked out the falls. Incredible place.

10 months ago

over 1 year ago

I agree with the author. Take the 0.5 hike! It's a super easy hike for the entire family and builds you up for the main attraction. Also, there are times where the trail splits up for those biking and those hiking. You can choose to walk the bike trail but take the hiking trail. It takes you pretty close to the water at points and it's beautiful!

over 1 year ago

More Adventures Nearby

Climb to Mt. Hood's Illumination Rock

Oregon / Timberline Lodge

The Pacific Northwest has an abundance of beautiful, technical and fun Alpine ascents.

Connor Charles
15 Saves

Hike the Summit Trail Loop at Smith Rock

Oregon / Smith Rock Parking Area

Smith Rock State Park is an iconic PNW canyon that's become one of the rock climbing capitals of the country, and known worldwide for its sport climbing routes.

Rachel Davidson
33 Saves

Camp at Nehalem Bay State Park

Oregon / Nehalem Bay Campground

Nehalem Bay State Park is a great central location on the Oregon Coast to use as a base camp, whether you want to go south to explore Cape Kiwanda or go north to photograph the famous Cannon Beach.

Andrew Hoang
26 Saves