COVID-19 Update: The park is open 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. Be prepared to turn around if crowded. Bring your own water, food and hand sanitizer. Do not travel far to visit. Facilities may close without notice.
One of Oregon's secret hideaways is located just east of Tygh Valley along Highway 216. The White River plunges 90' over a basalt shelf. The park offers excellent viewpoints of the White River falls. A rugged quarter-mile trail takes hikers down deep within the canyon to the historic hydroelectric power plant at the base of the raw, churning power of the falls. The power plant supplied electricity to Wasco and Sherman Counties from 1910 until the completion of The Dalles Dam in 1960.
The park is a popular picnicking, hiking and fishing retreat for visitors to the Deschutes River corridor. Opening early each spring when the desert flowers are in bloom and closing after the leaves turn in the fall, this park offers all of the intrigue of history since time began. The chasm of the falls tells a geological story of violence and power; the old grist pond tells the story of people learning to use that power. The hydroelectric plant at the bottom tells the story of human ingenuity and persistence as we turned the Pacific Northwest's abundant natural energy into electricity.
White River Falls State Park is day use only. The gates close at dusk and open at 7 am. Camping is not allowed.
The banks leading to the upstream portions river are closed to all use. Kayakers can access the nearby Deschutes River with a boater pass.
Swimming is not recommended due to dangerous river currents.
The parking area is small and we do not recommend any vehicles over 24 feet enter the park.
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.
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.