DESCHUTES RIVER TRAIL

Benham Falls to Slough Meadow

 

Deschutes River
             

We started our hike from the Benham Falls Day Use picnic area, hiking downriver. The Deschutes is glassy-like until it hits this first series of rapids.

 

 

 

After crossing the Deschutes from the picnic area, the trail is a wide dirt road, but watch for the first opportunity to veer right onto a forested path that keeps you between the river and the dirt road.

 

    
Deschutes River Trail

 

 

 

Benham Falls
     

 

Just above Benham Falls the river narrows between canyon walls where the water is in a constant churning motion.

 

 

Benham Falls
 

Benham Falls is really a stairstep of several rapids that fall close to 30 feet.

 

 

 

 

Below the falls looking north, the river "S" curves alongside a lava ridge with Broken Top, and Middle and South Sisters barely visible through the haze (caused by a fire that was burning in the Sisters area).

 

    
Deschutes River/Lava Bed

 

 

 

The final .7 mile of the trail takes you away from the river and around Slough Meadow.

 

    
Slough Meadow

 

 

Wild Flowers
     

 

In late August, there was still a variety of wildflowers blooming along the trail.

 

 

Slough Meadow
           

Our hike ended at Slough Meadow where the Deschutes is once again calm.

 

 

Elevation: Approximately 100 feet elevation change

Trail distance: 4.5 miles round trip

Rated: Easy

Latitude: 43.93083

Longitude: 121.41278

Directions: From Bend, travel 13 miles south on Hwy 97. Turn right at the sign to Lava Lands Visitor Center and then turn left immediately onto F.S. Road 9702. Drive 4 miles to the Benham Falls Day Use picnic area.

Fees: $5 fee or NW Forest Pass