Trail to Benham Falls, Sunriver

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Benham Falls are rapids of the Deschutes River located between Sunriver and Bend, Oregon, United States. With a pitch of 22.5°, they are rated Class 5 for watercraft, and are the largest falls on the upper Deschutes.The falls were created by the eruption of nearby Lava Butte approximately 6,000 years ago, as the lava flow dammed the Deschutes, forming a lake known as Lake Benham. The river eventually flowed over the dam, draining the lake and thus forming Benham Falls. Around 1885, J. R. Benham attempted and failed to file a land claim near the falls, though they were later named for him.Today, there are forest roads connecting Benham Falls to Lava Butte, Lava River Cave, and Sunriver Resort. A footbridge connects the forest road to an easy-to-navigate trail near the river and falls. The shady area has lots of wildlife and flowers. Because of this, the area also has mosquitoes. Additionally, the United States Forest Service has established a few lookouts over the gorge for viewers. Hikers and mountain bikers who continue on this trail pass Dillon Falls and Lava Island Falls, and eventually, the city of Bend. Benham Falls is relatively easier to see compared to the falls downstream, because it is not surrounded by lava flow from Lava Butte, but surrounded by forest. Because of its location, it is also much more popular.
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Trail to Benham Falls Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
196 reviews
Google
5.0
TripAdvisor
  • This is an easy hike with pretty views of the river and waterfall. Plenty of places to stop and capture some family photos. Trail is a bit wet & muddy. Boots are recommended.  more »
  • The river trail from Bend to Benham Falls is one of my favorite bike trails, it is lovely and not too difficult for intermediate riders but interesting enough for seasoned mountain bikers. From Sunriv...  more »
  • Bend is a special place, hiking, biking, relaxing and on the back tracking way back to California. Stopping and taking an occasional hike to break up the highway drive is a treat. The hike up to the f...  more »
Google
  • Don't expect huge falls or anything big...its more like rapids. But its a nice walk/hike for beginners or you could choose a different path which is strenuous hike. Cool breeze from water while you stare at whitewater keeps flowing down the Deschutes River.
  • Great trail to teach children the beginning rules of hiking! The Oregon hiking experience can be dangerous if you disrespect the rules!
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