Outdoor Recreation

Ask Central Oregonians what they are doing this weekend and the answer will likely end in “ing.” Biking, boating, hiking, golfing, skiing, boarding, fishing, hunting, spelunking, stargazing, rock hounding… Below you’ll find just a few of the endless possibilities for recreation in Central Oregon.

Alpine and Nordic Skiing

Mt. Bachelor Ski Resort - (800) 829-2442
Oregon’s premier ski resort and consistently ranked among the Top 10 in the country, offers it all to the winter recreationalist. Amenities abound: variety (triple black diamond to green), groomed runs (71), lodges (6), skiable acreage (3,683), lifts (10 including 7 express quads) and a nice vertical drop of 3,365. The Nordic Center has 56 kilometers of cross-country trails. Snow conditions are also a huge factor in the resort’s popularity with average annual snowfall of 350 inches. Mt. Bachelor’s high-speed, detachable lift system was ranked “Best in North America” for the second consecutive year by Ski magazine.

Hoodoo Ski Bowl - (541) 822-3799
Located just 30 minutes west of Sisters, this family-oriented ski resort offers both day and night skiing on 5 lifts. New ownership in 1999 signaled a host of improvements to Nordic, downhill ski and snowboard recreation experiences. Included in these investments area is the new Hodag lift (which open a number of new blue and black diamond runs) as well as construction of a new lodge that is four times larger than the previous one. Snowboarding at Hoodoo is exceptional due to the slopes consistent pitch and north facing runs. The resort led all other in the state last year for skier visit growth, adding more that 30% to prior year’s attendance.

Central Oregon Sno-Parks - (541) 388-2715
Head to the well-marked trails in Deschutes National Forest at Dutchman Flat, Swampy Lakes, Edison and Meissner Sno-Parks. All four areas offer a variety of easy rolling loops and curvy, point-to-point trails. Most offer shelters where you can rest beside a warm fire. Don’t forget to explore the Newberry National Volcanic Monument in winter. Miles of trails and exquisite views await you inside the caldera.

Three Sisters Wilderness - (541) 595-6117
The popular Metolius Recreation Area also offers a long list of Nordic skiing opportunities along the river and around Suttle Lake.

Bandit Springs Nordic Ski Area - (541) 416-6500
This area offers challenges to both expert and novice cross-country enthusiasts, and is located east of Prineville in the beautiful Ochoco National Forest.


Awbrey Glen Golf Club (18 holes)
Both challenging and fun, the 18-hole championship course stretches out over 7,000 yards. Surrounding scenery includes groves of age-old trees, rolling hills, rugged outcroppings of lava and red-hued basalt, spectacular views of the Cascades, and shimmering lakes.

Aspen Lakes Golf Course (18 holes)
Aspen Lakes is one of the top ranked golf courses in Oregon.  Located just 5 minutes from the old-west town of Sisters in beautiful Central Oregon, Aspen Lakes boasts bentgrass fairways and greens, breathtaking mountain views, and signature red sand traps.

Bend Golf & Country Club (18 holes)
Private Course since 1927. Member golfing (and guests) only on this great course set among the tall pines on Bend’s southeast side.

Big Meadow Golf Course at Black Butte Ranch (18 holes)
One of the region’s most established., it offers spectacular views of Black Butte and the Cascades.

Broken Top (18 holes)
Find a friend or member of the club, this exquisite course is private! Won Golf Digest’s 1995 Top 5 New Private Courses

Challenge Course at Eagle Crest (18 holes)
Built to promote iron play, course includes safe landing areas ranging from 210 - 15 ft., with tortuous sections of traps and mounds.

Crooked River Ranch Golf Course (18 holes)
Nestled in the region’s deepest canyon, CCR’s course offers unique high desert scenery and golf challenges

Crosswater at Sunriver Resort (18 holes)
Won Golf Digest’s 1995 Best New Course, among Golf Magazine’s best 100 courses every year since

Glaze Meadow Golf Course at Black Butte Ranch (18 holes)
Ranked in the world’s Top 100 Courses by Links Magazine, Golf Digest awarded it the Silver Medal for the nation’s top 50 courses

Juniper Golf Club (18 holes)
One of the region’s best-bests for value-oriented duffers, this municipal course offers Mt. Bachelor to Mt. Hood views.

Kah-Nee-Ta Resort Golf Course (18 holes)
This beautifully maintained course lies at the bottom of a canyon amidst rugged desert scenery and meandering Warm Springs River.

Lost Tracks Golf Club (18 holes)
Next to the national forest, this popular Bend course is a classic-style par 72 with mature trees, lakes, mtn. views, and lava rocks.

Meadow Lakes Golf Course (18 holes)
Prineville’s municipal Course boasts 10 lakes, excellent values, and Golf Digest’s 1993 National Environmental Leaders Award.

Meadows at Sunriver Resort (18 holes)
Crosswater designer John Fought recently reworked this Sunriver original into a true gem of a course and tribute to those of the 1920’s

Nine Peaks Golf Course (18 holes)
The name says it all – views from all holes are incredible, but No. 16, puts them all in view at once. This Madras course is Central Oregon’s most affordable golf!

The Old Back Nine Golf Course (9 holes)
Former location of Mountain High Golf Course. Popular for locals and tournaments, this course of ponds and pines in northeast Bend features an island green for its signature hole.

Quail Run Golf Course (9 holes)
This family-owned development is really the first half of a first-class championship course. The course has two pros on staff!

Resort Course at Eagle Crest (18 holes)
Panoramic views of the Three Sisters and other volcanoes dominate this challenging course, the first of Eagle Crest’s three.

Ridge Course at Eagle Crest (18 holes)
This PGA tourney stop (NW Open) is popular with visitors and residents. Great views and wildflowers among the native junipers.

River’s Edge Golf Course (18 holes)
Featured in Golf Digest’s 1997 Best Places to Play, it is also said to be the most difficult in Oregon. Variety, views & challenges abound.

The Greens at Redmond (9 holes)
An executive course with a home-town feel, “The Greens” offers high desert scenery, immaculate grounds, and great values.

Widgi Creek Golf Club (18 holes)
Yet another great, championship course near Bend, Widgi is growing into full-blown destination status. Elevation warning! +4000 ft.

Woodlands at Sunriver Resort (18 holes)
In the same tradition of other Sunriver courses (a highly ranked championship), Woodlands will test and tempt a golfer at any level.


Central Oregon has several world-class fly-fishing streams including the pristine Metolius River, Fall River, Crooked River Ochoco Creek, Mill Creek, Squaw Creek, Trout Creek, Odell Creek and of course several sections of the Deschutes River. We also have many fishing lakes including Lake Billy Chinook, Crane Prairie Resevoir, Haystack Resevoir, Prineville Resevoir, Ochoco Resevoir and Wickiup Resevoir. For more information on fishing in Central Oregon contact Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife at 1-541-388-6363 for Bend or 1-541-447-5111 for Prineville.

Rock Climbing

Opportunities exist for sport and free climbing throughout the vast recreation areas in and around the region, but a few are standouts. The most famous and popular is Smith Rock, with over 1300 climbing routes in and around the park.

Hiking & Camping

There are a wide range of places to camp and hike in Central Oregon. Check out the State Parks, Visitors Association, or US Forest Service links for more information about hiking destinations, trailheads and camping.


Whether it is on a guided expedition, mountain biking or road biking, Central Oregon is a riders haven. Bike magazine (June 2001) honored Bend among the “5 Best Places to Live and Ride”—so grab your helmet and pedal away! There are too many choices to list, so ask any of the numerous bike shops in the area about places to explore.

Scenic Drives

Cove Palisades / Lake Billy Chinook
An easy drive leads visitors through farm land, grass lands and across the High Desert. Incredible views of the Cascades, Lake Billy Chinook and Cove Palisades. From Madras, turn west on “D” Street. This road turns into the Culver Highway; follow signs at Belmont Lane intersection.

Ochoco National Forest
These forest routes lead through towering ponderosa pines, peaceful valleys and to stunning geologic formations. Take highway 26 east from Prineville.

Lower Crooked River Scenic Byway
The only highway in the country that is still a dirt road. The trip leads across the stunning High Desert and into the breathtaking Crooked River Canyon. From Bend, take Highway 20 east toward Millican. Ten miles east of Millican look for a junction on the north (left) side of the road. This is your junction for Highway 27.

McKenzie Pass
This narrow, twisting summer-only route offers amazing scenery including lava flows and vast forests. Take highway 242 west from Sisters.

Santiam Pass
This busy road connecting Central and Western Oregon offers breathtaking views of the forests, mountains and rivers. In summer, route makes a loop when joined with the McKenzie Pass. From Sisters, take the Santiam Pass junction of highways 20/126.

Cascade Lakes Highway
Starting in Bend, this summer-only drive offers stunning views of South Sister, Broken Top and Mount Bachelor. Alpine lakes, lodges and trailheads line the way. From Bend, take Century Drive past Mount Bachelor Ski Resort.

Paulina Lake
Visitors enjoy a peacefull dirve through the forest on their way to the caldera lakes of Newberry Crater. View waterfalls, a giant obsidian flow and spectacular views. Drive about 22 miles south of Bend on Highway 97 and make a left onto Forest Road 21.