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Deschutes River - oregon
20th of April
Streamflow 1240 cfs
Average 1500 cfs
Runnable Min 800 cfs
Runnable Max 3000 cfs
Gradient 43 FPM
Length 3 Miles
Class V- to V+
Current Weather 70° Chance Showers


Benham Falls to Dillon Falls is currently runnable with streamflow levels at 1240cfs, about -17% below the average runnable rate of 1500cfs. We recommend paddling this section of the Deschutes River between a bare minimum of 800cfs and a high of 3000cfs.

This class V- to V+ journey is accessible from 3 different boat launch points along the Deschutes River. Paddlers should prepare for the 5 class V- to V+ whitewater rapids along this run. Streamflow levels and subsequent run conditions for Benham Falls To Dillon Falls are sourced from the nearby USGS streamflow gauge at Deschutes River Near Culver, Oreg..

Up until this point, the upper Deschutes is mainly a fishing and scenic mellow float.  Things change drastically here as the river has significant elevation drop over the next couple of miles. Weather on the river today will be a 30 percent chance of showers after 11am. increasing clouds, with a high near 70. southwest wind 6 to 11 mph becoming northwest in the afternoon. winds could gust as high as 18 mph.

Season Begins: January & Ends: December

Seasonal Flow Status: -3% Below Average

With a 1240cfs streamflow rate, Benham Falls To Dillon Falls is currently below its 655cfs average seasonal streamflow for this time of year by -3%. Typically, this paddling destination has seen streamflow levels ranging between a low of 521cfs in 2015, and a high of 921cfs seen in 2012. Data for this report is sourced directly from USGS streamflow gauge 14076500

Hourly Forecast: 70° Today, Chance Showers

Over the course of the next 5 days, weather conditions on the river are expected to range between A 40 percent chance of showers, mainly before 11am. Cloudy, then gradually becoming mostly sunny, with a high near 57. North wind 8 to 13 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. to a 30 percent chance of showers after 11am. increasing clouds, with a high near 70. southwest wind 6 to 11 mph becoming northwest in the afternoon. winds could gust as high as 18 mph. It doesn't look like there's any substantial snow forecasted this week with air temperatures ranging between 57° - 70°

Forecast Discussion

930 FXUS66 KPDT 191158 AAA AFDPDT Area Forecast Discussion...Updated National Weather Service Pendleton OR 458 AM PDT Fri Apr 19 2019 Updated aviation discussion .SHORT TERM...Today through Sunday night. Upper level trough and cold front approaching the Pacific northwest early this morning. Satellite showing partly to mostly cloudy skies across the northern portion of the forecast area with clear skies south. As the front gets closer expect clouds to increase and spread south. Showers will develop and increase in coverage as well. Models showing a fair amount of instability over central and northeast Oregon this afternoon and early evening ahead of the front. Southwesterly jet is also moving into the region at this time. Have increased coverage and pops for thunderstorms. The front will be slow to move out of the area as it becomes nearly parallel to the upper flow. Expect showers to continue tonight over central and northeast Oregon. The upper level trough and cold front will move east Saturday. Precipitation and clouds will be decreasing especially in the afternoon. An upper level ridge then builds into the region Sat night and Sunday with fair weather. Temperatures remain fairly warm today with 60s to lower 70s. Cooler on Saturday. 94 .LONG TERM...Monday through Friday...Monday through Tuesday night a ridge will be over the area and fair and dry weather is expected aside from a slight chance of upslope showers along the Washington Cascade crest. There will be partly cloudy skies Monday night through Tuesday night as a disturbance approaches the coast but only makes slow progress. By Wednesday the ECMWF and Canadian models show a weak system and trough crossing the area and flattening the ridge to the south while the ECMWF has the disturbance fizzle out and maintains a ridge. Have leaned towards the GFS and have a chance of showers in the mountains Wednesday afternoon along with a slight chance of thunderstorms in the eastern Oregon mountains. The lower elevations will have a slight chance of showers with the Columbia Basin remaining dry. Showers will taper off overnight. Models continue to disagree Thursday and Thursday night ...

Whitewater Rapids and Obstacles

Obstacle Summary Class Elevation
Banham Falls Entrance Rapid

The action starts with a couple of river wide waves and holes.

Scout or portage from the trail on river left.
III to IV 4141.83 Feet
Benham Falls

After some rough water getting to this point the river makes a small right hand bend and you encounter the falls.  This has some really squirly water with several unclean landing areas.  Make sure to scout and hit your line if you decide to run this.  Expert kayakers only should go after this.

Scout and portage river left.  For thos not wanting to run the falls, putting in below the falls will give you a nice class III-IV runout without the consequence of having to run the falls and missing your line.
V to V+ 4102.13 Feet
Below Benham Falls 1 Rapid

Right below the falls the river is split into 2 channels by a small island.  The right channel is typically blocked with wood so the recommended line is the left channel.  This is pretty straightforward here (especially if you just ran the falls)

Scout/portage river left
III to III+ 4090.25 Feet
Below Benham Falls 2 Rapid

Run this left to right avoiding rocks in the center of the rapid towards the bottom of the rapid.  Follow the wave train around the bend.

Scout/portage on river left.
III to III+ 4073.54 Feet
Below Benham Falls 3 Rapid

One last little rapid leads to calmer water.  Hug the right bank and follow the wave train here.

Read and run.
III- to III 4050.7 Feet

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