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Hiking, Biking and Paddling Excursions

Opportunities for outdoor pursuits are practically endless in Central Oregon. You'll find hiking trails for all four seasons, with options ranging from slow riverside strolls and waterfall hikes to challenging routes through some of Oregon’s most spectacular wilderness areas. If you'd like to explore on two wheels, see charming communities along the road cycling routes of Three Sisters Scenic Bikeway or delight in over 480 kilometers of singletrack trails and downhill thrills at Mt. Bachelor’s Bike Park. Scenic paved bike trails also beckon in Sunriver, Black Butte Ranch and Redmond. When the weather warms, grab your paddle and head to a clear Cascade lake or whitewater raft down the Deschutes River.


Striking Volcanic Sights

Clues of Central Oregon’s volcanic legacy are sprinkled across the region. Ski down the face of a volcano at Mt. Bachelor, Oregon’s largest ski resort; hike above ancient craters now primed for paddling, rowing and summertime swims; stroll through fields of shiny obsidian and explore subterranean lava caves left from seismic eruptions more than 50 million years ago. 


Art, Culture & Indigenous History 

From colorful, photo op-worthy murals in eight Central Oregon towns to high-energy concerts at the Hayden Homes Amphitheater, connect with local culture at galleries, art walks and festivals and even farm tours. Immerse yourself in the stories of the Warm Springs, Wasco and Northern Paiute tribes at the Museum at Warm Springs, which features one of the USA's largest collections of Native American artifacts. To encounter native wildlife and explore more cultural history, head to Bend to visit the High Desert Museum.

Fun Fact

Lava Lands in the Deschutes National Forest, Oregon
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In the 1960s, NASA astronauts used Central Oregon’s volcanic terrain to train for the first moon landing. Astronaut James Irwin left a rock from Devils Hill on the moon.

Stunning landscape at Smith Rock
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When Alan Watts scaled the sheer rock face of The Dihedrals in 1985, Smith Rock in Terrebonne became the birthplace of U.S. sport climbing.

View of snow-covered Mt. Bachelor in Central Oregon
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Mt. Bachelor is the largest ski resort in the Northwest USA, the fifth-largest in the country and the sixth-largest in North America.

Must see places

A view of Mount Bachelor in Oregon with its reflection in a lake

Mt. Bachelor

Of course there’s skiing on Mt. Bachelor, Central Oregon’s hugely popular mountain resort. But there’s also snowboarding, tubing, guided snowshoe tours and real sled dog rides. In the summer, enjoy high-altitude hiking, mountain biking, disc golf, zip lining and scenic chairlift rides. Want to really get away from it all? Book a helicopter ride for bird’s-eye views of Mt. Bachelor and the towering Cascade Mountains.

Aerial view Paulina Peak and the surrounding Newberry National Volcanic Monument

Newberry National Volcanic Monument

Who knew you could get up close to an active volcano in Oregon? Visit Newberry National Volcanic Monument, where NASA astronauts trained in the 1960s for the lunar landing. Powerful eruptions created calderas that now hold two lakes, popular for boating and fishing. Climb to the top of Paulina Peak for sweeping mountain views, walk the otherworldly Lava Lands or Big Obsidian Flow, explore hiking trails around the caldera, enjoy winter sports, go horseback riding and camp overnight if you want a complete adventure.

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Gorgeous views along the Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway in Oregon

Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway

Over its 106 kilometers, the Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway features unusual geological formations, rocky lava fields, sparkling Alpine lakes and the imposing Cascade Mountains along the way. You can take in the views on a leisurely half-day drive, but there’s so much to do that you might reserve a few days to explore. Some noteworthy activities include year-round outdoor sports at Elk Lake Resort, skiing at Mt. Bachelor, rafting on the Deschutes River, mountain biking at Wanoga, snowmobiling at Dutchman Flat Sno-Park and fishing for massive trout at Crane Prairie Reservoir.

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Sunriver Resort at dusk in Central Oregon

Sunriver Resort

Sunriver Resort is an all-in-one destination set in the Central Oregon countryside near Bend. Want outdoor activities? There’s biking, horseback riding, kayaking, skiing, sleigh rides and four golf courses. Need a break from it all? Book a luxury spa treatment. There’s kid-friendly fun too: Visit the nature center, enjoy star gazing at the observatory and splash around at the zero-entry pool. Plus, there are nine eateries and bars on site, from Starbucks to patio dining to an upscale grille.

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Visiting a ranch in Sisters, Oregon


Central Oregon is home to many unique small towns, all worth exploring. Make sure to schedule a stop in Sisters, a Western-themed town boasting shops, restaurants and rodeos to make your cowboy – and cowgirl – dreams come true. Minutes from the edge of the Deschutes National Forest, Sisters also makes an incredible homebase for nature lovers looking to explore the Metolius River and hike nearby wilderness areas.
Scenic view of a golf course at Crosswater Club in Sunriver, Oregon

Central Oregon Golf Trail

Tee off at one of the 30 golf courses you'll find along the Central Oregon Golf Trail. Don't miss the chance to hit the links with a view at these scenic courses, including three that have consistently ranked in Golf Digest’s top 100 public courses in the USA: Tetherow and Pronghorn, both in Bend, and Crosswater Club in Sunriver.

Dark skies over Central Oregon

Prineville Reservoir State Park

Marvel at the wonders of the cosmos at Prineville Reservoir State Park, Oregon's first International Dark Sky Park. Camp out under the stars and take part in ranger-led education programs to learn more about our universe. A unique mix of high elevation, unclouded skies and minimal light pollution makes Central Oregon an incredible locale for stargazing, so you'll find plenty of spots around the region to look up and take in wondrous night sky views.

Dining along the High Desert Food Trail in Central Oregon

High Desert Food Trail

Meet the artisans and tour the farms that make Central Oregon’s dining landscape so special along the High Desert Food Trail, a self-guided tour that takes visitors on a tasty journey through dozens of agritourism and craft food experiences. Sip at famed wine tasting rooms, sample gourmet food truck fare, toast with seasonal libations from craft distilleries and more on your delicious excursion.

Attending a concert at Hayden Homes Amphitheater in Bend, Oregon

Hayden Homes Amphitheater

Central Oregon rocks from spring through fall with outdoor concerts in the town of Bend’s trendy Old Mill District. Jam out to internationally acclaimed acts in this unique venue, where the views of the Cascade Mountains and the Deschutes River are just as exciting as the diverse concert lineup. Beyond the amphitheater, check out local theater and exciting entertainment throughout the region.

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Explore Central Oregon destinations

The Ace Hotel Rooftop in downtown Los Angeles, California
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Explore Central Oregon destinations

Canoe trip on Sparks Lake in Central Oregon
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Experience Central Oregon