Of the three major waterfalls on the Deschutes River near Bend, Benham Falls is the only one easily and readily visible to visitors. Here, the Deschutes stairsteps over a series of small ledges as it flumes through a gorge. Unlike nearby Lava Island and Dillon Falls, Benham Falls isn't surrounded by lava flows, but rather long-needle pine forest, which give the scene a much different feel than it's downstream siblings. Benham has been cited as being the largest waterfall on the Deschutes River - a claim that may or may not stand up to testing. There are claims stating the falls drop 95 vertical feet in half of a linear mile, but the majority of this change in elevation is a long series of rapids. Approximately 25 feet of that drop constitute the legitimate cascading waterfall.
- Benham Falls is the Official name of this waterfall.
The falls were named for one J.R. Benham, who attempted and failed to file a claim on land near the falls around 1885. The falls were named by a promoter of irrigation enterprises in central Oregon by the name of Hutchinson.
Located west of Bend off of the Cascade Lakes Highway. From Highway 97 in Bend, follow the signs towards Cascade Lakes Highway and Mt Bachelor (through Bend, the road is called Century Drive). You'll pass several roundabouts before resuming a four-lane highway. About 6 Â¼ miles from Bend turn left on FR 41, signed for the Deschutes River Recreation area. Proceed for 3 Â¾ miles to FR 400 and turn left, signed for Benham Falls. Follow this road for another 2 Â½ miles to its end at the trailhead, where an easy path leads gently downhill to a fenced viewpoint above the falls. Though it isn't paved, this trail should be fine for those in wheelchairs.