Four miles down Forest Service Road 9702 from the Lava Lands Visitor Center  is Benham Falls. Give other cars a wide berth and plenty of following distance, as the road’s pumice and fine dust are hard on paint jobs and engines.
The road leads to a small picnic area in a grove of giant ponderosa pines on the bank of the Deschutes River. With tables, pit toilets, fire grills, and plenty of shade, this is a nice place for a picnic. Be sure to tote your own liquids, though, because there is no water.
The hike to the falls is an easy one-mile jaunt downstream. Take the footbridge across the river and enjoy your stroll past a spectacular section of untamed white water. While the water in the Deschutes is much too cold and dangerous for a swim, it’s ideal for soaking your feet a little after you’ve completed your hike.
Benham Falls was created when magma from Lava Butte  splashed over the side, flowing five miles to the Deschutes. When the molten rock collided with the icy water, the churning rapids and crashing waterfall were created.