Flickr album link: White River Falls State Park
There is nothing more invigorating than fresh green growth, flowers and the sound of waterfalls when the weather warms up. This is especially true in a dramatic environment that features towering volcanic peaks and ancient lava flows in a high desert rolling hills landscape that was carved during the ice age. The Cascades region of Oregon is where this dream comes true and this one of a kind landscape is where the picturesque White River runs through. White River Falls State Park is the spot on the map to look for and this destination is located a short drive south of The Dalles on Highway 197. The ominous looking Mt Hood is due west and views of this famous peak certainly adds to the attraction. Oregon Trail history abounds in this region too, so planning a lengthy excursion in these parts is guaranteed to be well worthwhile and this is where central location of White River Falls State Park fits into the picture.
White River Falls State Park is a top choice for a day trip when enjoying adventures in The Dalles and Mount Hood regions. This Oregon State Park definitely is also a prime time destination of its own and there are fewer places better for spreading a picnic blanket. This place is where the White River meanders through canyons in the rolling hills to a flat thick basalt flow area where a series of white water cascades can be viewed. At the edge of the basalt cap is where the White River Waterfall drops 90 feet into a natural pool and this truly is a majestic sight to see. Several small tributaries also pour whitewater over the edge during the snow melt season, which adds an even more dramatic effect. The sights and sounds of the cascading river water are mesmerizing, so be prepared to stand and stare in awe when first laying eyes on this picturesque waterfall!
This beautiful state park is a day use area and no camping is allowed, but there are other options for overnighters nearby. The park is equipped with basic facilities, picnic tables and chargrills, while there is plenty of open space for fun in the sun. There is a steep hiking trail that goes downhill to the river basin in the waterfall chasm and this trail continues on to the ruins of an old west power plant on the White River. The roar of the waterfall echoes throughout the basin, while the view from up top along the cliffs are as peaceful as can be. The White River Falls are a natural attraction that draws the attention of landscape artists worldwide, so be sure to pack a camera or easel for the ride. White River Falls is also a very popular spot for weddings and special events, which can be booked via the state park website. On the downside, kayaking on this section of the river is taboo and swimming is highly discouraged because of the dangerous currents, but safe aquatic activity areas can be found on the nearby Deschutes River. Fishing is allowed, so grilling up some trout for a picnic lunch is possible to do. All in all, the White River Falls State Park is one of the very best day use picnic areas in the entire west, so be sure to chalk this destination high on the list!
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