Deschutes River Big River Campground to Benham Falls

Deschutes River, Oregon

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The first 7 miles to Harper Bridge wander very slowly, with houses lining the banks for most of the length. The next 6-mile section passes Sunriver with a noticeably stronger current and a large contingent of leisurely drifters. Below Sunriver, the Deschutes makes a rather dramatic geological transition as it passes around and over the many lava flows of this region. After miles of mirrorlike water, the river is suddenly and violently churned into a frenzy at Benham Falls, a spectacular series of class 5+ ledges, holes, and froth, cascading more than a hundred feet in 0.5 mile. The normal take-out is on river right at the Benham Falls boat ramp, just above a footbridge over an impassable logjam. Character: forested; residential; resort country.

Deschutes River: Big River Campground to Benham Falls Professional Review and Guide

"The first 7 miles to Harper Bridge wander very slowly, with houses lining the banks for most of the length. The next 6-mile section passes Sunriver with a noticeably stronger current and a large contingent of leisurely drifters. Below Sunriver, the Deschutes makes a rather dramatic geological transition as it passes around and over the many lava flows of this region.

After miles of mirrorlike water, the river is suddenly and violently churned into a frenzy at Benham Falls, a spectacular series of class 5+ ledges, holes, and froth, cascading more than a hundred feet in 0.5 mile. The normal take-out is on river right at the Benham Falls boat ramp, just above a footbridge over an impassable logjam. Character: forested; residential; resort country."

Activity Type: Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing
Nearby City: Deschutes River
Distance: 18
Class: Class I-V
Season: Dam-controlled; Flow: 1000–3000 cfs
Driving Directions: Directions to Deschutes River: Big River Campground to Benham Falls

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May 2018