Oregon is known for its beautiful landscapes and stunning waterfalls. If you’re looking for a waterfall adventure, the Bend area is a great place to start. Here are some must-see waterfalls near Bend, Oregon.
Oregon is a beautiful state in the Pacific Northwest. It is known for its natural wonders and among those wonders are its many waterfalls. These waterfalls are all different and each offer something unique to visitors.
Whether you’re looking for a challenging hike or a more leisurely stroll, these waterfalls are sure to please.
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My first experience of Central Oregon was a short three-day trip to Redmond with my mom for work. We flew into Redmond Municipal Airport, which is the closest one to Bend. The views were amazing from the moment we got off the plane.
Many people end up flying to Portland because there are so many things to do in Portland, and it’s a much bigger airport.
The airport is one of the smallest I have ever been to. This was not a bad thing, as it was extremely easy to navigate unlike bigger airports.
The great thing about flying into such a small regional airport is that it wasn’t very busy. We rented a car and the counter had no line. Getting the car was just as easy as the rental lot was just a few steps out the door!
Despite being in workshops in downtown Redmond a majority of the day, we managed to see a lot of the beauty that Central Oregon has to offer. We did have long lunch breaks and got out early enough to see a few spots before the sun went down.
When I’m home in Connecticut, I love doing waterfall hikes. So naturally, I wanted to see and photograph a few of the Central Oregon waterfalls near Bend. The waterfalls we saw did not disappoint!
Best waterfalls near Bend
There are several stunning waterfalls within an hour and a half’s drive from Bend. All the waterfalls have a unique feature that makes it different from the last. So if you are going to be in the area, be sure to take along your hiking shoes.
These are my top must-see waterfalls near Bend, Oregon that I recommend venturing out and exploring for yourself. With so much to see and do in this area, getting out and finding these falls is sure to be an adventure.
So if you’re up for some waterfall hikes, map your way out to visit a few of the best waterfalls in Central Oregon.
Tumalo Falls is the most photographed waterfall near Bend, Oregon. It’s also one of the closest as it’s only about 20 minutes west of Bend.
One of my favorite things about this waterfall is it’s a short hike from the parking lot to the falls. I tend to try and hit multiple sites in a day when I’m traveling, so it’s always nice when there’s not a long hike involved.
Driving to the falls is a quiet and scenic path through the Cascade Range with views of mountains and Tumalo Creek. Despite the Tumalo Falls road being an unpaved gravel road, we were able to make the drive in our rented Toyota Camry with no issues.
The Tumalo falls hike itself is easy and takes less than 30 minutes. There are two separate viewing platforms. There is one at the bottom and one at the top of the falls.
Because it’s so easy to get to and view this waterfall, it’s a great spot for a quick weekend getaway. This 97-foot waterfall is definitely worth a visit because it’s one of the most beautiful falls in Oregon.
Chush Falls is a beautiful waterfall located near Bend, Oregon. It is about an hour northwest of Bend in Three Sisters Wilderness. This might seem long, but it’s completely worth the drive!
The waterfall is easily accessible and makes for a great day hike. There are various falls along the way on Whychus Creek.
Be sure to pack plenty of food and water as it is a 5.8 mile hike total. Overall, Chush Falls is a very relaxing place with plenty of space to relax.
Marion Falls and Gatch Falls
If you’re looking for a moderate hike with a great payoff, Marion Falls is the perfect option. The raging waterfall is located about an hour northwest of Bend.
The hiking trail offers a good look at the top fall. However, if you’re looking for a more spectacular view, be prepared with proper hiking shoes because it’s a steep path down to the base of the falls. Walking a little further gives you a view of Gatch Falls which is a lower tier fall of Marion Falls.
The trail to the falls can be easy to miss, so be sure to have a trail map handy. You can download the trail map on AllTrails before you hike to ensure you find these beautiful falls!
Salt Creek Falls
The most popular waterfall outside of Bend is Salt Creek Falls, which is located about an hour and a half southwest of the city. The trail to the falls is an easy, short hike from the parking lot, making it a perfect destination for hikers of all levels.
There are various viewing platforms, so you can view this grand 286-foot waterfall from multiple angles. Because it’s an easy walk, it can get very busy in the summer months.
If you’re looking for an easy short walk to see waterfalls, Proxy Falls is the perfect option. This stunning waterfall is an hour and a half northwest of Bend.
This hike is open from July to October, so you’ll want to plan your trip accordingly. The falls are a perfect stop on your way to or from the mountains.
There are two falls that you’ll see when you walk the loop trail, the Upper Proxy Falls and the Lower Proxy Falls. The trail takes you through dense pine forest and lava fields.
The two falls run down mossy rocks on a cliff of lava rocks carved out by a glacier thousands of years ago.
A lesser known fall with a scenic hike is Linton Falls. This great waterfall is located about 30 miles northwest of Bend in Oregon’s Central Cascade Mountains. Although it’s not as popular as some of the other falls in the area, it makes for a scenic hike and is definitely worth a visit. The falls are about 60 feet high and can be accessed from a short trail that starts at Linton Lake.
The hike to the waterfall can be challenging due to the elevation gain. If you’re not someone who has built up endurance for this type of hike, you’ll most likely need to take breaks. Pack a lunch, some snacks, and plenty of water to help fuel your body during this hike. The beauty of this waterfall makes the hike worth it!
If you’re looking for a fairly easy hike to a tall waterfall, Cline Falls is a great option. The falls are located about 30 minutes outside of Bend and offer spectacular views along the way.
The park is a great spot for a picnic lunch. You can even fit it in on a drive to Smith Rock State Park in Terrebonne, OR.
This short 1.2 mile hike to the falls takes you along the beautiful Deschutes River. You can expect to see wildlife along the way. In fact, we saw a snake while we walked to the falls, so make sure you keep an eye out!
Additionally, this waterfall is great if you’re on a tight schedule. When my mom and I went, we had a limited amount of time. We were on lunch from the workshop we were attending. We managed to do see these falls as well as the Redmond Caves while on that lunch break.
Something that surprised me while we were there was how many people were swimming in the Deschutes River and tanning. As someone who’s from a tiny state on the east coast, this was odd to me. But, then I remembered just how far the shoreline is for them!
Steelhead Falls is another must-see waterfall along the Deschutes River. This waterfall is only about 45 minutes north of Bend. This is a great spot to hit if you’re already planning to visit Cline Falls. The two falls are only 20 minutes away from each other.
The hike itself to is a moderate 2 mile out and back. This might sound long, but it’s totally worth it for the views! The beginning of the trail is steep, but it gets easier after that.
Not only is this a great place to view the waterfalls, but it’s a great place to go for a quick swim. This will probably be very appealing after your hike to the falls and back!
Paulina Falls is another stop you should add to your list of must-see waterfall hikes. This waterfall is located about 40 minutes south of Bend. Be prepared to drive on some unpaved trails to get there.
The hike to Paulina Creek Falls is an easy half mile out and back making it a great for all skill levels. There are two different viewing points of the falls. You can go to the upper viewing point or the lower viewing point. Either way, you get great views of this 80-foot waterfall.
Planning a trip to see waterfalls near Bend, Oregon? Below are some frequently asked questions people want to know before their trip!
Because the falls are within the Deschutes National Forest, it does require a recreation pass. You can buy the pass from a machine along the road, a Forest Service office, or vendors.
The hike to the upper viewpoint is a fairly steep path. However, the lower view is a short distant from the parking lot where you can see the falls clearly from the bottom up.
More waterfalls near Bend, Oregon
The waterfalls near Bend, Oregon are worth the effort to find and explore. I know I am so glad I got the chance to experience these beautiful Central Oregon waterfalls!
There are several other waterfalls located near Bend that are worth checking out. I can’t wait to go back again so I can visit these other ones too.
- Koosah Falls
- Whychus Falls
- Tamolitch Falls
- Dillon Falls
- Benham Falls
- Lava Island Falls