Fall is a spectacular time to be out and about on the Deschutes River in Central Oregon, with colors starting to dazzle in late September. Wondering where to go? Location highlights below with photos and links to maps.
Benham, Dillon and Lava Island Falls
Three spectacular falls tumble through 8 miles of canyon in Central Oregon, and a trail borders the length of it – and beyond. Benham Falls is easy to access from Sunriver – three miles on a mountain bike trail or a short stroll from a trailhead near Lava Lands Visitor Center. Two miles downstream of Benham you’ll encounter Lava Island Falls, where the Deschutes splits briefly into two channels, surrounded by lava beds created over 100,000 years by Newberry Volcano. Travel another 5.5 miles north and you’ll come to Dillon Falls, roiling through the canyon. This rugged and scenic forest trail will take you all the way into the city of Bend, Oregon if you stay on it long enough – about 30 miles from Benham Falls. Read more.
Good Dog! Unleashed on the Deschutes River
When the sun sets on Meadow Camp, the light is so soft you feel as though you could melt right into it. But don’t, because it’s about to get bloody cold out. Early autumn is gorgeous in the high desert, but when the sun goes down, the extra layers come on. In the meantime, however, you’ll find 600 acres of leash-free trails, including the Upper Deschutes River Trail from Meadow Camp downstream to the Entrada Lodge. Read more.
The Deschutes: Floating, Spinning & Urban Exploring
The Deschutes River is the heart, soul and life-blood of Central Oregon, drawing recreationalists of all interests from all over the world. It also draws development, lodging, dining, shopping, golf courses and more. This week we’re focused on the pursuits of floating, spinning and urban exploring. After running south from its headwaters at Little Lava Lake in the Cascades, the Deschutes River turns abruptly north, and heads through LaPine, Sunriver, Bend, and beyond. Read more.