Central Oregon’s sunshine calls for playing in the water all summer long. Paddle a glassy Cascade mountain lake or float the docile Deschutes River through Bend’s Old Mill District. Rent a kayak, pedal boat or a standup paddle board at Elk Lake, the Marina at Sunriver Resort or Paulina Lake Lodge.
If you prefer to pedal your way through summer, consider exploring Central Oregon’s immense number of mountain bike trails or the Three Sisters Scenic Bikeways road biking routes. Singletrack lovers will want to visit the Peterson Ridge Trail outside of Sisters or Phil’s Trail in Bend. Cruise by lava rock landscapes along the Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway and the McKenzie Pass Scenic Bikeway. Stop for a side trip along the turquoise waters of Devil’s Lake on the Cascade Lakes Highway or pop into the Dee Wright Observatory along the McKenzie Pass for a bird’s eye view of 19 mountain peaks and fields of lava rock.
For those who want a more mellow way to spend their day, plan to “aww” at a gushing waterfall or hike through ancient volcanic wonders to see some of Central Oregon’s most spectacular sights. Tumalo Falls, near Bend, is easy to access by car, but it’s more fun on foot. Chush Falls, near Sisters, makes you feel like you have been transported to the tropics at this hidden High Desert oasis. Paulina Creek Falls is a quick stop while exploring the Obsidian Trail where mounds of shiny, black obsidian surround you at the Newberry National Volcanic Monument area.
If you are seeking some serious R&R, consider casting a fly into the crystal waters of the Fall River or trying to hook a hard-to-catch Kokanee at Lake Billy Chinook. Hit up nearly 30 golf courses along the Central Oregon Golf Trail and be sure to reserve a tee time at three of Golf Digest’s top-rated golf courses: Crosswater Club, Tetherow and Pronghorn. If being pampered at a luxe spa sounds spot-on, book a signature massage at Sunriver Resort’s Sage Springs Spa or the Spa at Black Butte Ranch.
Seek out more top spots tucked around some of Oregon’s most spectacular sights … make a plan at VisitCentralOregon.com.