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Benham Falls: An Exquisite Waterfall in Central Oregon

Located near Bend, Oregon, is Benham Falls, a beautiful Oregon waterfall nestled in the Cascade Range. The waterfall is part of the Deschutes River and not a traditional falls. Instead, it's more of a series of rapids in the river.

The area is filled with beautiful old-growth pine trees and wildflowers and is easily accessible via the Deschutes River Trail, which is family and pet friendly. The area is just north of Sunriver and south of Deschutes River Woods.

Benham Falls

At a Glance: Benham Falls

  • Location: Deschutes National Forest

  • Coordinates: 43°56′15″N 121°24′44″W

  • Elevation: 4,153'

  • Nearest City: Bend, Oregon

  • Hike Length: 1.5 miles

  • Family Friendly? Yes

  • Pet Friendly? Yes, but dogs must be on a leash.

Benham Falls1

When to Visit Benham Falls?

The best time to visit Benham Falls is in the spring, summer, or fall. The river will be at its highest in the spring, so if you want the most dramatic experience, then that's probably the best time to go.

The easiest way to get there is via Highway 97 and then take Benham Falls Road.

Hiking to Benham Falls

To see Benham Falls, you'll need to hike along a 1.5-mile trail near Bend, Oregon. The trail is generally easy, with gentle inclines that pose little challenge for most hikers. As you traverse the trail, you will meander through patches of vibrant rhododendron and ancient pine trees.

Benham Falls River

Benham Falls is a beautiful area of the Deschutes River that flows quickly through a series of rapids. As viewed from the trail above the river, you can observe the gorgeous clear water of the river speed past you.

For those seeking a more diverse experience, the trail can be turned into a loop, allowing hikers to start and end their journey just off McKenzie Highway, also known as Highway 242. Along the way, the trail presents views of both the lower, taller falls and the upper falls, offering different perspectives of the majestic cascades.

Did You Know? Benham Falls was created by the eruption of the nearby Lava Butte.
Benham Falls Rapids
The Benham Falls rapids

Camping Near Benham Falls

If you wish to extend your adventure, there are several campgrounds in the vicinity of Benham Falls that provide convenient and picturesque accommodations:

LaPine State Park Campground

LaPine State Park Campground is a super fun campground that's along the Upper Deschutes River in the high desert. The campground is quite shady and only a few miles from popular trails. There are also nearby cabins if you really want to camp in style.

Big River Campground

The Big River Campground is a small scenic campground close to Bend and Sunriver, Oregon. The campground is also near the Deschutes River and offers single campgrounds as well as one very large group site, which is $113 a night.

Fall River Campground

Fall River Campground is another area near Benham Falls for camping. It's not the biggest site in the area, but it's a good option for only $17 a night.

Benham Falls

Nearby Waterfalls

For waterfall enthusiasts, there are additional nearby waterfalls that you might want to explore during your visit to Benham Falls:

  • Fall River Falls

  • Dillon Falls

  • Pingle Falls

  • Upper Falls Deschutes River

  • Lava Island Falls


How long is the hike to Benham Falls?

The round-trip hike to Benham Falls spans 1.5 miles, allowing visitors to experience the captivating beauty of the falls and return to the trailhead.

How difficult is the hike to Benham Falls?

The hike to Benham Falls is considered relatively easy, featuring only a few slightly uphill sections. Most hikers will find the trail accessible and enjoyable, catering to a wide range of skill levels.

How tall is Benham Falls in Oregon?

Benham Falls is only about 25 feet tall. It's more of a series of rapids than it is an actual waterfall.

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