Featured an iconic waterfall and beautiful recreation site, Cline Falls State Park and Scenic Viewpoint on the Deschutes River is located 4 miles west of Redmond at the Mackenzie Highway Bridge.
A prime example of the natural and scenic beauty, Cline Falls is a 20-foot segmented cascade falls that drop through a few channels over the basalt cliff. The truly unique area with beautiful rock formations and the picturesque waterfall surrounded by juniper woodland is popular among photographers, hikers, and those who wish to enjoy the impressive scenery.
The waterfall was named after a local dentist Cass Cline who owned this land in the early 1900s. In the 1950s, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department purchased the land above the falls to develop a park and fishing area.
Built in 1912, the power plant was decreed a historic site in 1992. The Cline Falls dam was removed in 2017, restoring the area to a more natural state.
The history of the park also contains a story of the crime which was never solved. It involved two Yale University undergraduate students, Terri Jentz and Shayna Weiss, who were cross-country biking to the East Coast from Astoria, Oregon. On the night of June 22, 1977, their tent got ran over by a truck and a driver got out and attacked two students with an axe. After the series of strikes, the attacker got in his car and drove away. Both students survived, but the individual who attacked them was never found.
The day-use park is located just south of the bridge along Highway 126 while Cline Falls is downstream north of the bridge. So, technically, falls are not a part of the park, but in reality, you can easily reach the scenic area of Cline Falls hiking downstream.
There is a rock climbing site on the east side of the river just below the falls. To get there, start at Cline Falls State Park and hike along the river to the waterfall. The climbing wall is located 100 yards downstream.
Cline Falls State Park is the closest riverfront park to Redmond and thus it is very popular among local residents. The number of activities available to visitors includes, but is not limited to fishing, swimming, a variety of water sports, and picnicking.
A large green lawn, surrounded by ponderosa pine, western juniper, poplar, alder, willows and locust, allows visitors to picnic in the beautiful and peaceful river setting. The park provides picnic tables, barbecue grills, and flush restrooms.
Deschutes River is a great spot for kayaking, rafting, and canoeing. One of the longest runs on the river is 14.5 miles and it starts at Tumalo State Park and ends at Cline Falls State Park. Another run is 11.5 miles and starts at Cline Falls State Park and runs down the river to Lower Bridge Recreation Site. Whitewater paddling upstream and downstream on the Deschutes River is allowed during the winter months only.
Swimming and tubing are available within the Cline Falls State Park boundary. The park maintains a few swimming areas with a few grassy areas. Those vary from deep pools with calm water to shallow coves. Do not float downstream below the bridge, it can be deadly. Whitewater upstream and downstream stretches require special equipment and skills.
The park is a popular place among anglers. Fly fishing and artificial lure are permitted here. Bait fishing is not allowed. Rainbow trout, bull trout, and brown trout can all be found in the Cline Falls area. The fish cleaning station is also available on-site. Always check the current ODFW regulations before fishing.
A 0.6-mile hiking trail from Cline Falls State Park leads under the bridge and down along the Deschutes River to Cline Falls. The trail is easy for all skill levels.
Cline Falls State Scenic Viewpoint | General Description
Open: Year-round for day-use
Managed: Oregon State Park
Location: Deschutes River Canyon
Services: Flush restrooms, picnic sites
Activities: Swimming, tubing, fishing, hiking, biking, and picnicking
Accommodations: Lodging in Redmond
Distance from the parking: Short
Road access: Any passenger vehicle
Day-use fees: Free
Dogs: Must be on a leash
Popularity: Moderate to high
Elevation: 2,800 ft (853 m)
Cline Falls State Park is located:
- 3.7 miles west of Redmond
- 122 miles east of Eugene
- 125 miles east of Salem
- 151 miles southeast of Portland.
Directions to Cline Falls
- Take Highway 126 and travel 3.7 miles west
- Turn left just before the bridge across the Deschutes River and continue to the parking area.