Located about 30 minutes outside the heart of downtown Bend, this 97-foot waterfall is a must-see within the Deschutes National Forest. The 3-mile access road to reach the falls is unpaved and over uneven gravel so the last stretch to reach the falls is a slow drive. Once you arrive at the parking lot, however, the falls are just steps away. There is a picnic area with tables among the trees and restrooms before you reach a waterfall viewpoint that provides an ideal location for photo opportunities.
Families are welcome to enjoy Tumalo Falls from the downstream viewport or continue the fun along a quarter of a mile dirt hiking trail to more viewpoints at the top of the falls. Stop to take more photos or look over the railing at the powerful waterfalls. The hiking trail does continue beyond the falls for about another mile upstream to a second waterfall, Middle Tumalo Falls, if you choose to continue chasing waterfalls.
More hiking trails surround the area, too. Remember to wear sneakers or closed-toe shoes; flip-flops may be difficult along the dirt trail that is uphill. The trail is not difficult, however, and inexperienced hikers will enjoy it.
A $5-day pass is required May through September.
Free parking lot at the base of the falls.