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. In summer, the tranquil pool and sandy beach below the hydroelectric plant is popular for picnicking and swimming (no lifeguard).
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.