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Spotlight Central Oregon

Explore the rugged spine of the Beaver State

If you love the outdoors, Central Oregon is a dream destination. Skiing in winter, golfing and biking in summer and even more adventure in the seasons between are just a few of the reasons to spend time in the heart of the Beaver State.

The high desert of Central Oregon offers breathtaking views. Take a bicycling tour along the winding roads of the Sisters to Smith Rock Scenic Bikeway. From the Old West town of Sisters to Smith Rock State Park, riders see the curving Deschutes River, the rugged Cascade Mountains and the iconic Smith Rock. The craggy face of this formation entices climbers from all over the world to test their skills.

Closer to the water, the Deschutes River Trail is an 18-mile trek through pine forests and ancient lava flows that dishes out views of the river as it wanders from calm waters to churning froth. The Madras Mountain Views Scenic Bikeway is a 30-mile loop that shows off the best of Oregon’s volcanic peaks: Mount Jefferson, the Three Sisters Mountains (Faith, Hope and Chastity), Broken Top and Three-Fingered Jack.

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Hit the Water

While there’s no ocean in sight, Central Oregon knows how to keep summer visitors cool. Grab a kayak and a paddle for a trip along the Deschutes Paddle Trail, which includes 26 miles of the Little Deschutes River and 95 miles of the Deschutes River.

Gear up for more thrills on a white-water rafting tour, with launches available from Bend and Sunriver. Choose a heat-pounding, three-mile journey on the Deschutes, or settle in for a daylong ride on the Lower Deschutes. Central Oregon’s rivers teem with opportunities for fly fishing, too—rainbow trout and steelhead are frequent catches in the Deschutes River.

Oregon by Foot

Lace up your hiking boots and conquer the Pacific Crest Trail—or, at least the part that runs through Central Oregon. This portion takes hikers through the Cascade Range and perhaps is the most scenic in the state. The trail runs 40 miles through Three Sisters Wilderness, a collection of glacial lakes and lava fields, stands of fir trees and pine and Collier Glacier—one of Oregon’s largest glaciers.

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Sights and Springs

Watch the sky open up and share its secrets at the Oregon Observatory in Sunriver. Gaze at the stars on a night viewing trip, or see the sun in its blazing glory on a daytime visit.

Shaniko, perhaps the state’s most recognizable ghost town, brings the past to life through year-round events.

For More Information

Central Oregon
800-800-8334
www.visitcentraloregon.com
Travel Oregon
800-547-7842
www.traveloregon.com