The Deschutes & White River Falls


deschutes river

David and I went flyfishing on the Deschutes. It was so nice to drive out of the grey and see some sunshine and blue sky for a change. This is the third time I’ve been fishing and still no luck. I’m trying not to be disheartened about the whole thing, because I know that David really wants me to like it. I certainly don’t mind going, but I think taking pictures of the surrounding areas is more fun, at least at this point.

near maupin


desert flower seeds

blue desert flower

yellow desert flowers

sun flare deshutes

The Deschutes River is located in dry, rocky gorge surrounded by a high plains-like desert, filled with yellowed prairie grasses and sage growing all over. The landscape changes dramatically in the mere 2.5 hours east of Portland. I really like it. I think that some people find it boring and desolate, but I like its ruggedness, and the little surprises of natural beauty in small things. I also like how you can see for miles and how it feels so open and free.

We stayed on the Deschutes the whole afternoon trying different flies รขโ‚ฌโ€œ blue wing olive parachutes, a cripple wing, and several patterns of stoneflies. Although the fish were scarce, we did see lots of other wildlife. I spotted 3 mule deer when we first arrived, as well as a blue heron and several other large birds of prey. David was even lucky enough to be surprised by a river otter.

deschutes river

By the time we reached White River Falls State Park it was almost dark and closing time. I was disappointed not to have enough light for any really good photos, nor time to walk down the steep and winding path for a closer look. There were two main legs of the falls where the water thundered down over an approx. 90ft high basalt shelf. David said there was twice as much water flowing over than he’s ever seen. Incredible.

white river falls

Tired and hungry from our day’s adventure we returned to the tiny town of Maupin for dinner at the Oasis Cafe for a good burger and hard ice-cream chocolate malt. It was a long drive home in the dark, interspersed with more deer on the road than I have ever encountered. Luckily, there were hardly any cars for miles so I could slow-down as needed to avoid an accident. It was almost as if some were simply lying in wait. David says I’m amazing at spotting deer. Must be because my Dad was always pointing to hidden animals when we went for drives when I was little. Glad to know I picked up some of that.

See more photos from this trip here.

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6 thoughts on “The Deschutes & White River Falls

  1. So glad to have discovered your site. Beautiful photographs and fascinating reading! Thanks!!

  2. Thanks so much for that post! As a child, I made countless trips to and down the Deschutes with my father and I haven’t been in years. Such a lovely, lovely place.

  3. these pictures are FANTASTIC. i especially like the one 3rd from the bottom. you are so outdoorsy ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Thanks Rachel – That one is my favorite, too!

  5. Lovely. I am amazed how much the environment changes within just a couple of hours’ drive out there!

  6. White River Falls is one of our all-time favorite parks. Definitely go earlier next time you are out that way. The hike down is easy and there is a very cool abandoned power plant at the bottom. The river is deliciously cool in summer, too – perfect for soothing mosquito bites a certain someone may have gotten on that trip ๐Ÿ˜‰

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