Vacation Day 1 – Deschutes River Trail Loop Hike

Hike Distance: 7.2 miles      Yearly Hike Distance: 921.3 miles

Elevation Gain: 516 feet      Yearly Elevation Gain: 114777 feet

This was the first day of a five day vacation to the Central Oregon Cascade Mountains.  Our home base for this vacation was in La Pine, Oregon, at the Best Western Motel.

Being a driving day, our first hike was shorter due to a long commute to La Pine.  We’re trying to complete the entire length of the Deschutes River Trail, and today we did the section between Benham Falls and Sunriver Resort.

We parked at one of the Benham Falls parking areas, off of Benham Falls Road.  Walking across a long bridge, which spanned the Deschutes River, we headed for Benham Falls.  This falls feels more like a steep rapids, but the sheer volume of the water is impressive!  It was very crowded on this section of the trail, but we expected that.  We didn’t stay long as there were too many people, and we wanted some solitude.

Heading south back over the bridge, we took a right and headed through what seemed like an abandoned self-guided trail.  It was overgrown but still easy to follow.  We soon intersected the Deschutes River Trail and continued SW for a while.  The views of the Deschutes River, along this section, were breathtaking.  There were very few people on this section, which met our goal of some solitude.  There were, however, some people riding bicycles here.

After some distance the trail turns south towards the Sunriver Resort.  This section of the trail was abandoned forest roads and level terrain.  We saw some people on bikes, presumably from the Sunriver Resort?

We soon reached E. Cascade Road, and an asphalted trail begins there, that took us back to the Benham Falls parking area.  The asphalted road wasn’t particularly interesting, and the surface is hard on the body.  That said, it was a quick path to return to our starting point.  Also, we found another long trail, that spawned from this trail, that leads to the Lava Beds Visitor Center.  We’ll come back another time to do that trail.  🙂

A wonderful first day of our vacation, with plenty more days to head out into the wilderness areas.