Planning Your Time
Plan to spend a few days exploring this part of the state…a long weekend will do for a taste or if you’re very focused on skiing or a particular hiking trip or fishing destination.
Bend is a natural base in the area, but it’s also worth considering Sunriver, especially if you have a family or group of friends. Both of these places allow easy access to the Deschutes River, the High Desert Museum, and the Lava Lands sights.
In the summer, camping is another good option. There are few campgrounds prettier than the ones along the Cascades Lake Highway, and most have good places to fish and hike nearby. However, if fishing is going to be your main activity, don’t overlook Prineville; the Crooked River offers outstanding fly-fishing and a string of campgrounds below the Prineville Reservoir.
A great way to explore central Oregon in depth is through Wanderlust Tours (143 SW Cleveland Ave., Bend, 541/389-8359 or 800/962-2862, www.wanderlusttours.com), where the focus is on the area’s geology, history, flora, fauna, and local issues. Wanderlust has been in this business for years and really does it right; it’s generally thought to be the best tour company east of the Cascades. Day trips to Crater Lake, the Lava Lands, the Deschutes River, and the Cascades Lakes Highway are featured.
Canoe lakes in the high Cascades ($47), or take a hike that’s selected for your group’s interests and abilities. Snowshoe tours ($47 half-day) and snow camping are available in winter, and special moonlight trips can be arranged too. All-day trips include lunch; vegetarian meals available on request.
by Judy Jewell and W. C. McRae from Moon Oregon, 8th Edition, © Elizabeth & Mark Morris and Avalon Travel