Written by | Derek Carlson

The Complete Guide to Waterfalls Near Bend, Oregon

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There may be no other state in the country that has a better selection of waterfalls to visit than Oregon. Despite its high desert location, Bend and the surrounding areas are home to many beautiful waterfalls. Some you can drive right up to, while others require a bit of a trek. But at the end of the day, these waterfalls near Bend, Oregon, are worth the visit.

Map of Waterfalls Near Bend, Oregon

Here is a map of some of our favorite waterfalls near Bend, Oregon. The incredible part about this area is this is only a small sampling of all the waterfalls you can find around Bend.

Tumalo Falls (13 miles from Bend)

Tumalo Falls in Spring

Tumalo Falls is most likely the most visited and photographed waterfall in central Oregon. This 97-foot-high waterfall is a beautiful spot to visit year-round. In the summer and fall, you can drive right up to the viewing area to take in the sights. Tumalo Creek Trail winds up to the top of the waterfall to add a unique perspective as well.

During the winter the road to the waterfall is closed but this just provides for an incredible snowshoeing or cross country skiing opportunity. From the gate, it is a 4.5 mile round trip to the falls where you can watch as it tumbles over the rocks and encases the entire canyon walls in ice.

Note that parking at the falls requires a NW Forest pass or a $5 day use fee.

You can read our write-up on visiting Tumalo Falls here.

Upper Deschutes Waterfalls

The upper Deschutes River features a number of waterfalls along the Deschutes River Trail. Each has their own parking areas for easy access. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, you could hike or bike the entire trail as a 13-mile out and back to see all three highlighted below.

Note that all of the trailheads along the upper Deschutes River require a NW forest pass or $5 day use fee.

Lava Island Falls (8 miles from Bend)

Some may argue that the Lava Island Falls are more a rapid than a falls but who are we to argue. They are still a nice spot to visit along the Deschutes river trail and a great starting point for doing the waterfall out-and-back hike up to Benham Falls.

You can access Lava Island Falls from the Lava Island Trailhead.

Dillon Falls (10 miles from Bend)

A few miles further upriver you will find Dillon Falls. Dillon Falls is a 15-foot waterfall and the area is classified as class 5 rapids. You will occasionally see experienced kayakers navigating these falls as they make their way downstream to the takeout point at Lava Island Falls.

Access to the falls is best done from the Dillon Falls Trailhead. From there it is a short 1/4 mile hike to the falls.

Benham Falls (13 miles from Bend)

Benham Falls is a low cascading waterfall and the furthest south from Bend. This waterfall is a popular spot for hikers, bikers, and runners along the Deschutes river trail. You can access the trail and falls from multiple locations. The two closest being the Benham West Trailhead if you’re coming from the westside or the Benham Falls East Trailhead if you’re coming from the South or East.

Fall Creek Falls (26 miles from Bend)

Fall Creek Falls, not to be confused with Fall River Falls by Sunriver, is a waterfall along the popular Fall Creek Trail. Starting out at the Green Lakes Trailhead it is a 1.1 mile walk along Fall Creek to reach the waterfall. The final trail down to the lower waterfall viewing area is steep and rocky so be sure to bring good shoes.

Along the trail to the falls you’re likely to run into backpackers making their way up to Broken Top for an overnight trip, trail runners setting out on a 20 mile loop run or backcountry skiers looking to find some of those late season snow caches.

Note that the Green Lakes Trailhead is extremely popular in the summer so parking may be limited at times.

Chush Falls (26 miles from Bend)

Chush Falls is an immense 67 foot tall and 80 foot wide waterfall along the upper Wychush Creek. The main viewing area is from above the falls but there is an obvious and well trafficked side trail that will take you down into the canyon to get the full waterfall experience.

The drive to Chush Falls can be rough but is easily doable in a passenger car with decent clearance. You can find detailed directions here.

This area is home to a number of waterfalls if you feel like exploring further. A six-mile round trip hike will take you to the stunning 200-foot Upper Chush Falls.

Steelhead Falls (32 Miles from Bend)

Steelhead Falls is located along the Deschutes River north of Bend near Terrebonne. This waterfall may just be the perfect spot for swimming and rock jumping so if you visit on the weekend expect to see plenty of people enjoying the river.

It is also a very popular spot for fly fishing so, even if the parking lot looks busy, you may not have much of a crowd at the falls themselves.

The trail to the falls is only .5 miles but it does drop down into the canyon along a loose sand trail so wear some sturdy shoes and prepare for a warm climb out during the summer.

Paulina Falls (36 miles from Bend)

Paulina Creek Falls are located in the Newberry National Volcanic Monument southeast of Bend. The entire area makes for a great day trip and the falls are the perfect place to stop first.

Park at the Paulina Falls Day Use area and it is a quick stroll over to the waterfall viewpoint. The falls feature a number of individual streams flowing into the rock amphitheater.

From there you can explore the incredible Lake Paulina area. There are trails around Lake Paulina, through obsidian flows and up to Paulina peak to enjoy some of the best views in Central Oregon.

Proxy Falls (50 miles from Bend)

Upper Proxy Falls

Proxy Falls is actually two waterfalls, upper and lower Proxy falls. Located along the Mckenzie Pass Highway these falls are easily reachable along a 1.6 mile loop.

Lower Proxy Falls is the main attraction of the two waterfalls as it thunders over a cliff onto a boulder field below. Prepare to get wet if you choose to visit these falls during runoff season.

Upper Proxy Falls is a far mellower set of falls that gently cascades down the hillside through rocks and downed trees into a small pool that disappears underground. This makes for a serene setting that is perfect for relaxing and just enjoying being in the forest.

Here is our full post about visiting Proxy Falls.

Sahalie and Koosah Falls (51 miles from Bend)

Sahalie Falls with rainbows

Sahalie and Koosah falls are located along the Mckenzie River just over an hour from Bend. These stunning waterfalls can be connected together by hiking along the Mckenzie River trail.During the peak runoff season the amount of water flowing over these falls is truly impressive and the amphitheaters they flow into are alive with mosses and ferns.

You can read our full blog post on how to visit Sahalie and Koosah Falls here.

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