Places to See in Central Oregon

Found 17 blog entries about Places to See in Central Oregon.

Steins Pillar Trail Little Traveled Early April 2020

Steins Pillar TrailWe have focused most of our hikes in the Cascades during our time living in Central Oregon.  However, the Ochocos, east of Prinveille, offer wonderful, less traveled hikes with beautiful vistas and interesting geology.

We traveled an hour out of Bend to find the Steins Pillar trailhead, traveling at the end first on a gravel road for several miles and then a single lane dirt road the last two miles.  When we arrived at 10:00 am, there was no one else there and we enjoyed our two mile hike into the Steins Pillar without seeing any other people. The hike had a few icy sections and patches of snow were still evident on more shaded areas, but the end of the hike being able to see Steins Pillar was

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Peter Skene Ogden Trail Provides Waterfalls and Privacy

Paulina Creek WaterfallThree weeks into the coronavirus pandemic in the United States and one week into the shut down of Oregon's State Parks, we have been searching for options where we can enjoy a hike with plenty of space to keep six feet away from others which is now the norm. Yesterday we traveled 23 miles south of Bend and took the road toward Paulina National Monument, turning off on the dirt road to McKay Crossing.  The campground at the crossing was closed, but the Peter Skene Ogden Trail was open and we hiked roughly 3.5 miles up the trail until snow accumulation kept us from going further.

We have hiked this trail before, going all 7 miles up to Paulina Falls at Paulina Lake in the Newberry Crater. 

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Bessie Butte is a Little Known Bend Hike

Bessie ButteJust a short drive east on China Hat Road in SE Bend you can find Bessie Butte. A quick 1.5 mile round trip, the hike has 500 feet elevation gain and easy access. Although not as well known or used as Pilot Butte, Bessie Butte is a great hiking option and provides for wonderful views from the top.

On Sunday, March 22, 2020, after being at home during the Covid-19 pandemic, we drove the short distance to the Bessie Butte trail head and hiked to the top. During the walk, we did pass several parties coming down, but there were plenty of places to step aside and keep the distance needed to maintain safe separation. It was a beautiful day and although we wished the hike could have been longer, the views were

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Jefferson ParkWhitewater Creek Trail Open

Jefferson Park, located on the north side of Mt. Jefferson, Oregon's second tallest Cascade mountain, is a hidden gem with stunning views, pristine alpine lakes, and beautiful meadows full of wildflowers during the mid summer months. Two years after the lighting caused Whitewater fire closed the most popular access trail to Jefferson Park, the Whitewater Creek trail opened this month. Last Saturday we hiked the trail to this popular destination.  

The Whitewater Creek trail head is at the end of a 7.4 mile gravel road off Hwy 22 ten miles east of Detroit. The area was burned during the fire and while loggers have removed much of the dead trees around the parking lot, there are still slash piles which impact the number of

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Pronghorn Resort Offers New Lodging Options

Hunting Lodge in Pronghorn

Huntington Lodge, Pronghorn's long anticipated newest overnight lodging option, is opening soon. We were fortunate to experience the 104 room lodge prior to its grand opening in an invitation only soft opening as they work out the bugs.

The windy road to Pronghorn off Powell Butte Hwy ends at the Pronghorn gate house were we were greeted by the gate house attendant who asked where we were going. Obviously he notified Huntington Lodge as the two check in attendants  greeted by name as we walked in the door.  The main entry at the lodge is spacious with check in immediately to the right and concierge services to the left (the concierge was not staffed but we are sure they will be active during peak

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Take the Path Off the Green Lakes Trail to Find this Hidden Gem

Moraine Lake Three Sisters Wilderness

We have hiked the Green Lakes trail into the Three Sisters Wilderness many times over the years we have lived in Central Oregon. Located off the Cascade Lakes Highway, the hike to Green Lakes is among the most popular in the Cascades and is well worth the experience; we have blogged about this hike in the past -  see our Green Lakes Blog. Today, however, we took the path to the left at roughly 2 miles into the Green Lakes hike and walked another 1.5 miles to find Moraine Lake.

The path from the Green Lakes trail took us through old growth forest with beautiful trees and absolute silence. It is the end of October and the normal summer crowds have disappeared so the quiet was well

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Bend Residents Float the Deschutes River

Bend Oregon Float the Deschutes RiverWhen the summer temperatures soar, Bend residents relax in the water. Whether it is driving up to the Cascade Lakes and enjoying windsurfing at Elk Lake, paddling in a kayak on Todd Lake or water skiing and house boating on Lake Billy Chinook, Central Oregonians enjoy the water during the summer months. One of the recent additions to the water recreational opportunities in Bend is floating the Deschutes River. Unheard of 10 years ago, during warm summer days thousands of people enjoy floating through Bend's Old Mill District from Farewell Bend Park, past the surfers at the Whitewater Park and ending up at Drake Park at Mirror Pond. 

Almost as fun as floating the river is sitting on the deck of one of the

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Central Oregon Pumpkin PatchThe DD Ranch Pumpkin Patch is an October Must See

For years, the DD Ranch has produced a fun, family-friendly place to visit each fall. Located close to Smith Rock State Park in Terrebonne, the pumpkin patch is open every day in October from 10 to 5. The DD Ranch pumpkin patch offers a farmers' market, hand-made crafts, live music, a petting zoo, kids' corral, pony rides, a "train" ride, clubhouse and playground, a fabulous corn maze, and of course the pumpkin patch.

Attendees can sample great food from beef or pork raised on the ranch and potato chips grown there. And the beef, pork and potatoes, along with gourds, squash, corn, and other produce are available for purchase (many can also be harvested by the buyer). Red wagons are available for use

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Sparks Lake Central OregonSparks Lake is a Central Oregon Treasure

After a summer  of forest fires which blanketed the sky and impacted Central Oregon with weeks of choking smoke, this last week we have been blessed with rain, early snow and, at last, smoke free skies.

Today we traveled a short distance from Bend up Cascade Lakes Highway to Sparks Lake, one of the most beautiful of the High Cascade Lakes and favored of renowned photographer Ray Atkeson.  The day was stunningly beautiful and the photo opportunities endless. This is one of many reasons why we love Bend, Oregon!

 

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Tumalo Mountain Hike - Mt. BachelorAfter the 2016/2017 winter we  experienced in Central Oregon, we have anxiously been waiting to have access to the higher elevations of the Cascades. The record-breaking winter snowfall has kept the higher trails, lakes, and passes closed much longer than normal. However, today we were able to hike one of the first trails into the Central Oregon Cascades and made it up Tumalo Mountain.

Located just northeast of Mt. Bachelor, the Tumalo Mountain trail is a moderate up and back trek of 4 miles round trip with 1420 feet of elevation change during the hike. As you gain altitude, views of Mt. Bachelor and its ski runs and lifts become visible. Today it is obvious that it will take more time and warm weather before the hike up Mt. Bachelor will be able to

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