Trail to Benham Falls, Sunriver

#1 of 13 in Things to do in Sunriver
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 4.5
220 reviews
  • If you only have one hike/walk to make in the Sunriver area this is the one to make. The Deschutes goes from calm water to a raging river - - - very spectacular to see! Roundtrip walk is no more than ...  more »
  • The hike (really more a walk) to the falls is very easy and truly a beautiful sight. You can also ride trail bikes as the trail is fairly flat and wide. The views of the river and falls are amazing.  more »
  • Excellent hike on nearly flat ground. Great scenery.
  • Great area for a day hike. Easy access to the viewpoint from the road. Somewhat steep next to the falls, but the majority of the trail between Dillon and Benham Falls is fairly level. Easy hike for kids with some sun exposure.

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