A good place to bring the family is Kah-Nee-Ta Resort (541/553-1112 or 800/554-4786, www.kah-nee-ta.com). Located at the bottom of a canyon about a dozen miles off U.S. 26 from the town of Warm Springs, Kah-Nee-Ta basks in 300 days of sunshine per year.
The 1,000-foot elevation and 12-inch annual rainfall enable golfers to play its championship course year-round; Kah-Nee-Ta is even snow-free in February. Owned by the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, this arrow-shaped hotel is the centerpiece of the 600,000-acre Warm Springs Indian Reservation, which includes a working ranch and wild horses.
Lodging possibilities include authentic tepees ($75, bring your own sleeping bags and pads) as well as hotel rooms, suites, and cottages ($149–250). The hot mineral baths and spring-fed Olympic-sized swimming pool are among the highlights. There are also bike rentals, tennis, horseback riding, and hiking. There is a gaming resort on-site as well.
Day visitors can take advantage of Kah-Nee-Ta’s big Village hot spring pool (92°F in the cool weather, and cooled in the summer) and hot tubs (included in overnight room rates) for $10. The kids are sure to enjoy the 184-foot water slide ($4). A separate (generally quieter) pool in the lodge area is for lodge guests only.
The resort has two restaurants, the Chinook Room (7 a.m.–9 p.m. Sun.–Thurs., 7 a.m.–10 p.m. Fri.–Sat. year-round, $8–24) and the Juniper Room (541/553-1112 or 800/554-4786, ext. 3444, 5–9 p.m. Tues.–Sat. Memorial Day–Labor Day, $13–30, reservations recommended), the more elegant of the two and worth the splurge for such Native American–inspired dishes as bird-in-clay (a game hen stewing in its own juices inside a clay mold).
The summertime Saturday-night salmon bake ($26, $12 ages 12 and under), featuring traditional dancing and salmon cooked outside on cedar sticks over an alder fire, is also a good bet.
by Judy Jewell and W. C. McRae from Moon Oregon, 8th Edition, © Elizabeth & Mark Morris and Avalon Travel