White River Falls, Oregon

November 29, 2017



Photographer: Stu Witmer
Summary Author: Stu Witmer

Oregon's White River, a major tributary of the Deschutes River, earned its name from the sediment it carries from its glacial origin on nearby Mount Hood. The river flows about 40 mi (65 km) southeast through the rain shadow of Mount Hood before it tumbles in three stages 90 ft (27 m) over the basalt cliff seen in the top picture. During the first years of the twentieth century, one of the earliest hydroelectric projects in Oregon was built here by the Wasco Warehouse Milling Company to power its mills in The Dalles. Unlike later hydroelectric projects no dam was built, instead, some of the river water was diverted into a collection pond to remove glacial till and other debris. The pool was then sent through a system of pipes down the cliffs and into the turbines in the powerhouse below (bottom). Years later, much more extensive hydroelectric projects on the Columbia River made this operation obsolete in the 1960s. The area around the falls is now a state park and in 1988, the river was designated as a Wild and Scenic River. Photos taken October 26, 2017.

Photo Details: Both images - Camera Model: Canon PowerShot SX280 HS; Focal Length: 4.5mm; Aperture: ƒ/4.0; Exposure Time: 0.0020 s (1/500); ISO equiv: 80.