Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Benham Falls to Dillion Falls

Location: Deschutes River, Bend, Oregon
Duration: 1 Day
Season: Spring - Fall
Distance: ~4 miles, one way
Difficulty: Easy

The Deschutes River trail is 8.7 miles total and just minutes from Bend, OR. The trail has many access points (with bathrooms and parking) and follows the Deschutes River as it winds it's way down ancient lava canyons and through grassy meadows.

This trail is suitable for young and old, very well kept with wide paths, easy grades and many unique features including water falls and lava flows. Navigation is simple with the river serving as a reliable landmark.

There are numerous trails that come in to the main trail, but if you keep to the river there should be know problems. This trip documents the section between Benham Falls and Dillon Falls (approx. 4 miles).

You will need to shuttle if you plan a one-way trip, so drop a vehicle at Dillon Falls on your way in or for an even shorter hike you can come out at Slough picnic area and boat launch.
From Benham Falls parking lot it's a downhill grade that over looks the Falls and gradually flattens out as the trail winds it's way along the banks of the Deschutes River through roaring rapids.

After you pass the Slough Picnic area and access point, the trail winds through open meadows and woods along calmer sections of the river (many places to take a dip).
Pets are aloud on leash and the trail is shared use with mountain bikes and horses. Also, depending on the time of day and season, mosquitoes can be a problem on the lower sections, so bring bug juice.

Directions: From Bend drive west on the Cascades Lakes Highway 46 past the Inn at Seventh Mountain Resort and Golf Course to Highway 41. Take a left onto 41 (there's a Deschutes River Recreation sign at the turn) and drive 3.4 miles to the Dillon Falls turn off sign, take a left and drive down to the parking lot and drop one car. From Dillon Falls get back on 41 and continue down 1 more mile to the turn off for Benham Falls, take a left, go past Slough and the road ends at Benham Falls parking lot.

For a map, pictures and more info click on Benham Falls to Dillion Falls

See you on the trail,

All Day Energy Runners

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