Deschutes, Oregon, US
|Usual Difficulty||IV+ (for normal flows)|
|Deschutes At Benham Falls|
|dream-168||500 - 2200 cfs||IV+||21h34m||775 cfs (running)|
This run is really just one rapid. Dillon Falls consists of a 10- 12 foot ledge that leads immediately into a 1/4 mile long canyon. Dillon is runnable year round, but the lines on the falls itself vary widely depending on the water level.
At winter flows (500 to 1100 cfs) the normal line on the falls is far right. After a tricky entry you ride down a narrow shelf and off a 6 foot auto- boof. It's a tough line to nail. Lots of boaters fall off the left side of the flake into the horseshoe, but I have never seen or heard of anyone actually getting stuck. There is also a boof line on the far left. This line is easier to hit, but the consequence is higher, because of a rock shelf that you could ppotentially land on.
At summer flows( 1700 and up) the line is far left, boofing one of 3 fingers on the shelf. In between levels can be the most difficult levels for the falls. The right line closes out, due to a large hole in the lead in. The left line has a small margin for error, because there is not yet enough water to go out on the shelf.
Immediately after the falls is the river wide "Dill Hole". This one deserves your respect at all levels. It is biggest in the center of the river. At low water, you can avoid the hole far right, sub out through the far left, or boof it down the middle. If you choose to take the hole on, it is a boof or swim situation. Many boaters have taken major beatdowns in Dill Hole and it has definitely caused its fair share of swims. At high water, a seam develops on the far left. Not as many people get stuck at high water, but it still flips a high percentage of paddlers.
After the Dill Hole, the canyon continues for a few hundred yards. At low water, it is read and run class IV. At high water, it is a rowdy big water slalom, moving left, right, and back to the left to avoid 3 big holes.
Dillon Falls at summer flows: https://vimeo.com/70447219
Dillon and Lava at winter flows: https://vimeo.com/53766770