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Northbound: White River Falls State Park 

Tucked away near the Tygh Valley, a moderate, gorgeous hike for sightseers

For those looking to explore north of Bend, this magical waterfall hike just east of Tygh Valley along Highway 216 is ideal. It's especially good for those who love to sightsee, but aren't down for a longer trek.

The park is just two hours north of Bend, making it close enough for a day trip. Although the trail is under 1 mile long, making it manageable for non-hikers, the first leg of the dirt path is rocky and a bit steep. People with limited mobility may find this trail a bit challenging. After a rather intense leg day at the gym, I definitely struggled. If you can't make it down to see the lower falls, there's still a lookout point at the trailhead with a great view of the upper falls, and easily accessible from a parking lot. 

click to enlarge White River Falls towers 90 feet above a historic power plant at White River Falls State Park. - KEELY DAMARA
  • Keely Damara
  • White River Falls towers 90 feet above a historic power plant at White River Falls State Park.
If you can make it down into the canyon, you'll spot an old, decrepit building from yesteryear. I learned from Oregon State Parks that it's a historic hydroelectric power plant which supplied electricity to Wasco and Sherman Counties from 1910, until the completion of The Dalles Dam in 1960. The 90-foot waterfall is truly a sight to behold, with plenty of spots on the short trail to stop for stellar photos. If you're looking for more activities once you've seen the park, the town of Maupin is close by and offers a variety of river rafting and fishing adventures.

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