This is a mellow float through private land and houses lining the banks including the community of Sunriver. This section ends where the river enters the National Forest and Newberry National Volcanic Monument just above Benham Falls.
For additional information on recreational opportunities see the Deschutes National Forest website.
To reach the put-in, take exit 153 towards Sunriver off Highway 97. Continue 2.3 miles west towards the river on South Century Drive. At this junction you can continue straight on Spring River Road 0.5 miles to an access on upstream river right of the Harper Bridge. Alternatively, turn left at the junction to stay on South Century Drive. In another 3.1 miles turn right at the intersection to stay on South Century Drive and in 2.7 miles you will cross the river at Big River Campground. The boat ramp is on the downstream river right side of the bridge.
To access the take-out upstream of Benham Falls on river right at the Benham Falls East Trailhead, head to the Lava Lands Visitor Center on Highway 97. Coming from Bend turn into the visitor center at mile 149.5 (if coming from the south you will need to take Exit 151 to reach the visitor center). From the vistior center drive 4.0 miles down Forest Road 9702 to the Benham Falls East Trailhead upstream of a footbridge that crosses the river and is well above the falls.
The Bureau of Reclamation's Deschutes River at Beenham Falls (BENO) gage applies to the last part of this section. You'll need water from the Deschutes River below Wickiup Reservoir (WICO) to get you through the first section. Outside the irrigation season there may be limited release from the dam. Look for flows around of 1000 to 3000 cfs which are dependable through the summer.
Permits are not required for this reach.
We have no additional detail on this route.
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This week, Oregon House Bill 2835 re-passed the Oregon House on a 52-7 vote. Having earlier cleared the Senate, the bill now awaits a signature from the Governor to be signed into law. For decades, opportunities to protect and improve the ability of the public to access and legally use waterways for recreation have seen minimal progress, while efforts to severely limit access have been a consistent threat. Oregon House Bill 2835 is a pivotal piece of legislation in Oregon, and the first proactive waterway access bill in recent history to have made it through the state legislature.
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