Are you looking for the best waterfalls near Bend, Oregon?
You’ve come to the right place.
My husband and I are avid hikers and have spent the past three years exploring Bend extensively because he was commissioned to create a video for Visit Bend (you can see the video further below).
In that time, we’ve hiked to every waterfall in Bend and then some! Below is a list of our absolute favorite waterfall hikes in Bend that we recommend personally to our family and friends.
I’m not one for small talk, so let’s get to the good stuff!
Best Waterfalls Near Bend, Oregon
Jaw-dropping waterfalls in Bend, Oregon almost seem commonplace but not all of them are as easily accessible as Proxy Falls.
Offering a spectacular treat for very little effort, this scenic waterfall hike in Oregon is one of the best ways to stretch your legs before brunch.
The 1.5-mile loop trail meanders through a healthy forest that loops around two waterfalls. The first waterfall on the hike is Lower Proxy Falls.
When you reach the falls you may notice some folks getting really close to the base, the area is ripe for exploration just make sure you’re wearing proper shoes because it’s very easy to slip.
The massive log in front of the waterfall is a popular spot for folks to take photos but I was too nervous to get on it because it was so slick (ha!) but I saw plenty of other folks having a blast, the adventure is up to you.
The second stop along the trail is Upper Proxy Falls and you would be remiss to skip it!
Both of these waterfalls are incredible and serve as proof that Oregon has some of the best waterfalls in the country.
Do you like hiking, waterfalls and experience nature sans crowds? Well, have I got the best waterfall in Oregon for you.
Marion Falls is a great waterfall hike in Bend for anyone that feels an epic waterfall experience has to be earned through effort. Listen, more power to you!
This epic Bend waterfall hike follows a 4.5-mile trail that is rarely busy because most folks opt to see waterfalls that don’t require much hiking. Thankfully, Oregon can satisfy the needs of both.
The hike leading up to Marion Falls guides you through a healthy and dense coniferous forest that meanders past a scenic river.
You may need to scramble up boulders towards the end of the hike to reach the falls, but let’s get real — it’s this the waterfall adventure you had in mind?
You thrill seeker, you.
Image courtesy of Travel Oregon
Salt Creek Falls (The Second Highest Waterfall in Oregon)
Located within the vast and beautiful Willamette National Forest lies the second-tallest single drop waterfall in Oregon.
The powerful force of this 286-foot Oregon waterfall can be experienced from one of two viewpoints.
One viewpoint is accessible directly from the parking lot and the other view requires a short hike but leads directly into the canyon and eventually to the base of the falls.
Image courtesy of Wikipedia
Sahalie & Koosah Falls
Sahalie and Koosah Falls is another great Oregon waterfall hike for families because it’s good for all skill levels. In fact, both waterfalls are visible from parking lot viewing platforms but the best way to experience these Oregon falls is by hiking closer to them.
An easy 2.6-mile loop trail takes hikers past both Koosah and Sahalie Falls while offer breathtaking scenery of moss-laden towering trees and the scenic McKenzie River.
Of the two waterfalls, Sahalie is larger (dropping 100 feet over a lava dam) but 70-foot Koosah is the crowd pleaser. In any case, hike to both and see which you prefer for yourself.
Image courtesy of Rove
Tumalo Falls is arguably the prettiest waterfall in Bend because it looks picture-perfect. An impressive force of nature, this waterfall cascades nearly 100 feet before splashing into a log-jammed pool below.
Encapsulated by a healthy pine forest, this whole scene looks like a scene from a fairy tale. So you probably won’t be surprised to learn that Tumalo Falls gets very crowded.
Since this is one of the easiest waterfall hikes near Bend to access (you can see it from the parking lot), it’s a popular pop-off spot for folks en route to Bend.
Thankfully, there’s a great little viewpoint that requires no effort to get to. But if you’d like to avoid crowds, I suggest trekking to the upper viewpoint to get a unique vantage point from the top of Tumalo Falls.
The 0.5-mile trail is well maintained and easy to follow and offers an opportunity to spot a handful of smaller waterfalls along the way.
Tip: The parking lot fills up very quickly, so come early or carpool with friends. I noticed a lot of bikers during my visit, make sure to watch out for them on the trail — it’s a popular mountain bike trail.
Further Reading: 15 JAW-DROPPING Hikes Near Bend, Oregon
Tips for exploring the best waterfalls in Bend, Oregon
Leave no trace
- If you’re unfamiliar with Leave No Trace, it’s a measure to be a good steward of the land. You can read about the seven principals of Leave No Trace here.
You + Sunscreen = Best Friends (Forever)
- I swear by this sunscreen (and so do 5,000+ other people), I discovered it in France and now buy it in bulk. It works like a charm and doesn’t leave strange residue or smells, you’ll NEVER catch me without it!
Best time to see waterfalls
- Waterfalls vary by season, so based on the time of year you choose to hike to a waterfall in Oregon you will see drastically different results. Hiking conditions are ideal during the pleasant summer months but most waterfalls reduce to a trickle.
- Hiking in winter is dangerous but the weather conditions completely transform the landscape and the force of the waterfall is greatly intensified. There’s no bad time to do an Oregon waterfall hike, just be aware that the seasons affect the waterfall condition.
Wear hiking boots with good traction
- Even though (most) Oregon waterfall trails are well maintained, exposed roots are common. It’s easy to trip on the trail, so set yourself up for success by wearing proper shoes. These are my hiking boots and I’d sleep in them if I could.
Best Waterfalls Near Bend (Post Summary)
- Proxy Falls
- Marion Falls
- Salt Creek Falls
- Sahalie & Koosah Falls
- Tumalo Falls