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Adventure Calls
Adventure Calls
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Extreme Thrills

Undeterred by heights, speed or difficulty? Perfect. Heart-thumping thrills are abundant here. Conquer the Class III rapids at Big Eddy or Boxcar on the Deschutes River. Go ahead and jump off a bridge – tethered to a bungee cord, of course – at Peter Skene Ogden State Scenic Viewpoint. Hover above dormant volcanoes and glacial lakes on a helicopter tour of the Cascade Mountains. Tear through lava flows and backcountry desert on an ATV. Mt. Bachelor’s bike park is all about downhill riding, while Smith Rock is all about uphill climbing.

 

Golfing and Fishing

If swinging a golf club or flicking a fishing pole is more your speed, there’s plenty of that too. Central Oregon is home to 30 golf courses, three of which are in Golf Digest’s top 100 public courses in the USA: Tetherow in Bend, Pronghorn in Bend and Crosswater Club in Sunriver. The plethora of rivers and lakes guarantees a good catch, especially trout and steelhead. Book a guided fishing trip to get straight to the best spots.

 

Frontier History

The influence of Native American tribes and pioneer settlers are part of the cultural fabric of Central Oregon. Immerse yourself in the stories of the Warm Springs, Wasco and Northern Paiute tribes at the Museum at Warm Springs. Learn about early pioneers at Deschutes Historical Museum and the High Desert Museum, both in Bend. Bring it all to life with a real cattle drive at Long Hollow Ranch or Wilson Ranches Retreat. Both offer overnight, dude ranch-style accommodations for an authentic outback experience.

Adventure Calls
Adventure Calls
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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 nation and eighth-largest in North America.

Must see places

Smith Rock State Park

The spectacular rock formations at Smith Rock State Park were created by ancient volcanic eruptions and lava flows. Today, the park is known as the birthplace of U.S. sport rock climbing and a requisite stop on any Central Oregon visit. Seasoned pros will be giddy with nearly 2,000 climbing routes to choose from, but you can book a guided excursion if you’re just starting out. Hiking, biking, running trails and slacklines offer exciting challenges for all fitness levels.

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Tumalo Falls

Just a short drive from Bend is the 30-meter cascade of Tumalo Falls, a picture-perfect waterfall that also offers two scenic hikes. After snapping a photo of the falls from the picnic area, choose between the short North Fork Trail or the 11.4-kilometer Tumalo Falls Loop, which features gorgeous views of the Tumalo Creek and even more waterfalls further out.

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Mt. Bachelor

Of course there’s skiing on Mt. Bachelor, Central Oregon’s hugely popular mountain resort. But there’s also snowboarding, tubing, guided snow shoe tours and real sled dog rides. In the summer, enjoy high-altitude hiking, mountain biking, disc golf 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.

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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 want a complete adventure.

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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 or Dutchman Flat Sno-Park and fishing for massive trout at Crane Prairie Reservoir.

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Downtown Bend

With plenty of amenities and easy access to the region’s outdoor activities, Bend is Central Oregon’s basecamp. Bend is known as Dog Town, Beer Town and Bike Town USA, so if you’re into any of those, you’ll feel right at home. When you’re ready for a break from rafting the Deschutes River and skiing Mt. Bachelor, hang out in downtown Bend and enjoy microbreweries, funky art galleries, live music, international dining and locally owned boutiques.

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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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Deschutes Brewery

Located in vibrant downtown Bend, Deschutes Brewery overlooks its namesake river and is a popular tasting room for locals and visitors alike. Reserve a spot on their daily brewery tours or just stop in for a pint and a bite to eat. Their flagship Black Butte Porter is highly decorated with beer awards.

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Dee Wright Observatory

The eerie volcanic landscape at Dee Wright Observatory was one of the training sites for the first NASA lunar landing in the 1960s. The observatory is built from rocks at 1,581 meters altitude, which makes for unparalleled, long-range views of Oregon’s varied landscape. Long stretches of lava fields give way to craggy mountain peaks and views of glaciers if the snow has melted. A “peak finder” compass on the observatory roof helps you identify mountains in the distance including Mt. Hood, Oregon’s highest peak.

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View of Fort Rock State Natural Area

Fort Rock State Natural Area

Well off the beaten path, the extinct volcano that created Fort Rock juts out of the desert in a horseshoe of jagged rocks. If you plan ahead, you can book a guided tour of a cave where primitive sandals dating back about 10,000 years were found. Imagine what life in the high desert was like for early pioneers at the Fort Rock Homestead Village, a collection of early 20th century frontier cabins and artifacts.

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Official Central Oregon Travel Site