White River Falls State Park

Near The Dalles, Oregon, United States

Central Oregon's White River Falls plunges 90' over a basalt shelf, testament to the violent geological forces that carved the region millions of years ago. An overlook is a short walk from the parking area.

A steep, rough .7-mile trail takes hikers deep into the canyon to the historic hydroelectric power plant at the base of the falls, then on to Lower White River Falls. One of the first hydroelectric power plants in Oregon, it supplied electricity to Wasco and Sherman Counties from 1910 until the completion of The Dalles Dam in 1960. 

The park is open year-round, though the main parking lot and flush restroom close during winter. Spring is the best time to see the waterfall's thunderous flow; by fall it slows to a few trickles. 

Caution Swimming is not recommended due to deadly and unpredictable river currents.

Effective Jul 22, 2021
Open flame restrictions are in effect beginning July 22 until further notice. The ban includes charcoal fires, cooking fires, warming fires, pellet-fueled grills, candles, tiki torches and other devices that emit flames or embers. Portable cooking stoves and lanterns using liquefied or bottle fuels are allowed, though propane fire pits are not. The ban applies to all state parks and state-managed forests east of Interstate 5 and will remain in place until conditions improve.
mdi-white-balance-sunny Open for day use Year Round mdi-cellphone Call for info: 800-551-6949
Call park: 541-739-2322
Current Conditions Directions Feedback

Amenities & Features

Questions

mdi-help-circle-outline General

Is the park open year-round?

Yes, the park is open year-round with reduced services in the winter. The main parking area and flush restroom close Nov. 1 – March 14. Visitors may park just before the main gate to access the park, and a portable toilet is on site. 

mdi-help-circle-outline What's Allowed

Is camping allowed at White River Falls?

White River Falls State Park is day use only. The gates close at dusk and open at 7 am. Camping is not allowed.

Is Kayaking allowed at White River Falls?

The banks leading to the upstream portions river are closed to all use. Kayakers can access the nearby Deschutes River with a boater pass.

Is swimming allowed at White River Falls State Park?

Swimming is not recommended due to dangerous river currents.

Can I turn around my large vehicle in the parking lot?

The parking area is small and we do not recommend any vehicles over 24 feet enter the park.

mdi-help-circle-outline Day use/Special Events

Do I need a permit for a wedding, large picnic, commercial filming, or any event with more than 50 people.

Yes- a special use permit is required for events that have more than 50 people, use a public address system, requires structures of any kind, is commercial in nature, limits the use of the park to the general public, or requires park staff. The above list does not cover all activities that need a permit.

For more questions, review our statewide FAQ

History

Once known as Tygh Valley State Wayside, Pacific Power and Light Company gave the state 255.13 acres in 1969. In 1970, the state received a patent on 40 acres formerly held by the Bureau of Land Management. In 1978, a land exchanged with a private property owner completed the park. Pacific Power and Light Company acquired the White River Falls area for hydroelectric generation in 1910 and produced electricity here to 1963.

Photos & Video