Explore the most popular paddle sports trails in Deschutes National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

I started at the falls and hiked up. Stunning trails and the waterfalls do not disappoint! I gave four stars because of parking and that can be a stressful experience for some. A lot of bikers so you have to be aware of them and speed of some bikes on certain trails.

I gave the trail review 3 stars because the terrain and other information was as discriped. Seeing the falls was nice and there were a couple other nice views along the way. Otherall thought I would say it as a little boring and I opted to double back instead of continuing to loop back on the forest service load. on the other side, it may be a good walk for dogs?

This was a great day hike. Just park at the trailhead sign and begin walking. The trail was marked with blue diamond tags nailed to the trees, and was very easy to follow. There is a bathroom at the trail head and a the falls. Our 5 and 7 years olds made the 7 mile trip with ease. Picnic tables at the falls for a fun outdoor lunch. Have fun and enjoy the views!

This was a great hike, the gate was open and we were able to drive up to the trailhead. it was very, very heavily used. parking was a nightmare. the falls were beautiful and once you got past the initial falls there were fewer people. had to turn back after a few miles because of ankle deep snow on the trail but a very nice morning hike.

Completed this hike on our Vacation last week! Just came in on the gravel road side of the trail and it was easy to walk and great views! Worth doing if you are there!

Awesome trail - easy to follow, great beginner snowshoe, but spectacular views make it perfect for all levels of skill. Didn’t do the loop - just went out and back on the trail side, decided to nix the road section. Lots of fresh powder as of today, but it won’t last long!

2 months ago

This is a great winter get away!! Close to Bend and a good cross country ski!! On the weekend it is really crowded, but on the week day it is a good choice!! The views are spectacular and if you like waterfalls it is a must see!!

PUT SOME “SPARKS” IN YOUR LIFE!
Words and pics by Ian Smith
Eventually we choose the Pine Tavern at Bend (Oregon) for food and what a choice. Right in the middle of the restaurant are two mature pine trees growing out of the floor and straight through the roof. While I ponder how the roof might be sealed, Lorraine checks out the wine list until my gaze is taken by the lovely garden that tilts toward the Deschutes River.
The birds are loving it; a robin hops around the plants in a vigilant search for insects while a flock of waxwings are having a wonderful time at the bird bath as mallards paddle back and forth in the river. It feels like you’re part of nature without even leaving your table. The tasty food gets us thinking about what else to do and we decide to have a crack at Sparks Lake.
Sparks is renowned among photographers as being a place to get a good shot but, as is always the case, you have to get the weather right......that’s where Lorraine, the weather goddess, comes in.
It’s not that far from Bend up the Cascade Lakes National Scenic Highway and, as we pass Mount Bachelor, the local ski field, it’s so hard to imagine people skiing over a rugged lava flow; just doesn’t seem right.
We’ve a bit of time on board so we slip into Todd Lake first. It’s a 4 km stroll around a placid lake and, while it’s nice and there’s some interesting bird life, we’re hoping for better at Sparks.
To get into Sparks it’s a twisting road with, at times, corrugations and bumps, the like of which we’ve never seen in America where just about everything is sealed road it seems. In fact, you have a less than 1% chance of driving on one, according to statistics. Still, our hopes of a reward at the end aren’t dashed though the weather goddess has let me down a little because of a breeze coming across the lake.
Its potential is easy to discern however, South Sister and Broken Top stand stark in the background, ready to cast their images on a millpond should it transpire and, since it’s a while before the earth spins around and delivers darkness, we first amuse ourselves watching a chipmunk letting some birds know just who’s in charge of discarded apple. The frenetic energy they forever display never ceases to warm us to their ways; oh that we should be able to scurry as fast.
We then look in other directions and start to wander down past the lava fields. Where once the flow from Mount Bachelor cooled it formed a barrier to the heated rock still flowing beneath and, in places, it rose up to 70 feet like a giant loaf of leavened bread.
The level of the lake is low, the snow season wasn’t great and, it hasn’t rained much since, so you can walk some places where you’d normally get your feet wet and thus we follow a narrow band of sand beside the lava wall.
You can see how good this place could be but the ripple, however small, frustrates us so we have to be content with the leg exercise and the occasional snap. Still, it’s a pleasant afternoon beneath a virtually cloudless sky and we reach a point where the realization dawns that it’s pointless to walk any farther around this strange body of water with no known exit. Somehow, somewhere, it just drains slowly.
We’d returned nary 50 metres before we were rounded up by a young couple, she of boundless energy demonstrated by practising rock climbing techniques up and down the lava flow with mind blowing dexterity. In leaps and bounds reminiscent of a mountain goat did she ascend with a confidence borne of youth. As we waited expectantly for a slip she continued to confound us with her suppleness.
The entertainment over, as quickly as it eventuated, we idled back to the carpark and stepped back to our original viewpoint. The breeze was faltering and two other photographers were waiting in anticipation so we deigned to join them and everyone’s optimism turned out to be justified.
Though we didn’t get an atmospheric ruddy glow we got a crystal clear sky with classic mirror reflection. South Sister and Broken Top were haze free and it’s easy to see why there are so many shots on the internet of this spot. In the stillness we were mesmerized by the natural beauty of the setting. Oregon just keeps on delivering.
We drove home satisfied, we’d seen and digested much without travelling too far today.

Please park in usfs parking lot at trail head not in front of gate during winter months. Too many rigs block access to the home owners further down the road. Nice walk but respect those that live near by.

This was an easy hike. Majority of it is walking up a gravel road but the scenery isn't horrible. Tried to get back to double falls but encountered to much ice on the trail. There is also a trail to get behind the falls and to the bottom

Loved the view, this was an absolutely beautiful winter hike! I’d definitely recommend hiking past the top of the first falls, following the river for another mile or so to Double Falls. Level, flat and easy for a majority of the way, the last 1/4 mi to the top of the Falls provides a slight incline for children. The trail loop will begin on a service road, but the loop back was much more enjoyable, in the woods, and secluded. When you hit Silverlake Lodge at the end, the single road bridge next to it will bring you back to the start.

We hiked out and back along the road, in about 4-5 inches of snow. Very flat, easy hiking even with all the snow. Falls were gorgeous. Beautiful day. Our dog loved it too.

Well groomed scenic and easy hike.

Beautiful hike and easy for kids to complete. Expect a hike from your vehicle. Busy trail.

Beautiful trail. Very nice walk and views. Easy hike.

We hiked this in mid September 2017. There were quite a few cars in the parking lot but we had to wait only about 10 minutes before a spot opened up. This was an easy hike on well groomed, wide trails, with a slight but steady increase in elevation. We didn't finish the loop and turned around after only 4 miles because it started snowing heavily and we weren't dressed for snowy conditions.

Great hike for the kids

8 months ago

Great trail. Ran into a couple of mountain bikers on the trail otherwise we were by ourselves until the falls were it was a little crowded. Must pay attention to signage. We missed the return loop so completed it as an out and back.

beautiful hike with lots of features to enjoy...very easy aside from the initial 1/2 mile, which is easy but all uphill

My GPS watch measured 7 mi. there and back. The trail was well marked and the last mile or so as you run parallel the creek is fantastic. The falls are a must see!

too many mosquitoes.....

You can actually drive and park right near the falls and it's about a .5 mile to the top lookout and not very steep. If you continue on the trail it's about 4 miles along the river and is gorgeous. I would also recommend taking the side trail near the beginning to walk down near the base of the falls.

Relatively easy hike that leads to an amazing view of the waterfall. There is a smaller trail toward the end that you can take to go to the base of the waterfall. Pretty cool experience.

The view at the end makes the hike completely worth it! At the end of the hike there is a .25 mile trail to view the falls from the top, along which there is a small trail jutting off that you can take to go underneath the waterfall. Go check it out, but be careful! It's very slippery! Having to hike to the falls (instead of just driving to it) made the feeling of going under the falls that much more refreshing

Very beautiful & the wildflowers all smell so lovely! It is heavily trafficked though.

There's a parking lot at the falls. There's nothing to see on the trail itself so it's pretty pointless. Recommend just driving to the falls

Beautiful! With the fire closing down the drive in road, it's very secluded.
If you take the detour where the bridge is washed out (about a mile in), it will take you up and around adding another mile to the hike.

Tumalo Falls is always stunning, one of my favorite places in Oregon. I was only able to hike approximately one mile above the Falls due to the winter snows blocking the trails. I was able to make it to Double Falls and the next Falls but then turned around as I could not even visualize the trail due to the snow.

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