Happy Waterfall Wednesday! Here's a list of our favorite waterfalls near Sunriver
Central Oregon is a veritable gateway to some of the most beautiful places in the country. From stunning lakes to ancient lava flows to cascading waterfalls, you’ll find endless natural wonders within a few short miles from the Sunriver area. Here are some of our most favorite waterfall locations to visit while checking things out.
- Benham Falls is one of the most easily accessible and readily visible waterfalls for our Sunriver visitors. Benham Falls beautifully stair steps over a series of small ledges as it flumes through a gorge. It’s unique because it is not surrounded by lava flows like most of the other local falls. The falls are instead flanked by long-needle pine forest. Benham Falls has been cited as being one of the largest waterfalls on the Deschutes River. The falls drop about 95 vertical feet in half of a linear mile if you combine both the 25 foot cascading freefalling and the beautifully descending stair step rapids. Benham Falls is located just three short miles from Sunriver Resort. Sign up for the Benham Falls Bike tour and see it for yourself! The tours take place every Monday at 9:30am and only cost $35 for Sunriver Resort guests and $40 for the general public.
GETTING THERE: This trail is accessed from many places including Meadow Day Use Area and several day use areas off of Forest Road 41. Access is also available from the Benham East Day Use Area and Sunriver.
- Paulina Creek Falls are located just west of Paulina Lake outside of the Newberry Crater. It features a double waterfall with two, side-by-side 80-foot falls. Paulina Creek above and below the falls is very calm, lending an air of the unexpected when looking at the falls from the top down. The whole streambed is exceptionally scenic. Just above the falls, the creek divides around a small island before plunging over a cliff composed largely of remnants of ash flows and volcanic rocks from past eruptions of Newberry Volcano.
GETTING THERE: Travel South on Hwy 97 from Sunriver. Turn left onto Forest Road 21. It is approximately 24.2 miles from Sunriver.
- Dillon Falls is located off of the Cascade Lakes Highway. A lesser known area for visitors, it provides a unique make up and setting as far as Central Oregon waterfalls goes. The easy to navigate trail up one side of the falls provides a good view for visitors to catch a glimpse of that section of the river. There is a substantial 15-foot drop at the top of the falls, followed by a long series of violent rapids. The falls are beautiful and wild, and the gorge is picturesque.
GETTING THERE: If traveling by car, exit Sunriver via Abbot Dr. Turn left onto Spring River Rd., and then turn left onto Forest Road 41. Go 0.5 miles east on Forest Road 4120, and one mile south on Forest Road 4120 100.
- Tumalo Falls is one of the few places in the area that qualifies as a pure cascading waterfall. With a sheer plunge of approximately 97 feet, it is both the tallest and most impressive waterfall along Tumalo Creek, as well as one of the most popular outdoor destinations for visitors. After a 1979 forest fire went through the area, the land surrounding the falls are now once again lush and green, covered with small fir trees and native vegetation. A nice set of viewpoints both at the top and near the base of the falls make viewing the falls possible for nearly everyone. There are areas for picnicking and access to hiking and mountain biking trails.
GETTING THERE: From Sunriver, travel on Hwy 97 North into Bend. Turn left onto Reed Market Road. Continue onto Mt. Washington Dr. Turn left onto Skyliners Road. It is approximately 46.8 miles from Sunriver.