Many people think fun in Sunriver is all about the swimming, and the golfing and the hiking. And it is. But there is a whole other side to Sunriver — the side that turns into a snowy winter wonderland come November or December. But what is there to do in Sunriver when the temperatures drop?
For the skiing crowd there is, of course, Mt. Bachelor, which has more than 71 trails and 3500 acres to accommodate them. If you’re not a skier, though, are you left to twiddle your thumbs in your vacation home? Below are some activities that just might be to your liking during your winter stay.
If hitting the mall is more your style than hitting the slopes the boutique stores at The Village at Sunriver are just the ticket. You’ll find plenty of Sunriver branded souvenirs and apparel, as well as high performance sporting gear and equipment. You’ll also find fine art, great restaurants, and family entertainment and events, as well as ice skating.
Sledding is great fun for the whole family, and Wanoga Sno-Park off Century Drive on the way to Mt. Bachelor is the place to do it. You can sled, toboggan or inner tube, and there’s even a snack trailer in the parking lot to grab a warm beverage. Just up the road at Mt. Bachelor’s Snowblast Tubing Park, you can get a day-pass for an afternoon of inner tubing. And if you’d rather just stay in Sunriver, there’s a snow-tubing hill at SHARC.
Mt. Bachelor offers free 90 minute snowshoeing interpretive tours conducted by US Forest Service naturalists from December 19, 2016 through March 31, 2017. You’ll learn about winter ecology at Mt Bachelor and the geology, plants and animals of Central Oregon. The tours are at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on weekends, holidays (except Christmas and New Year’s Day) and school vacations. No reservations are necessary, but you should check-in 10-15 minutes prior to the tour at the USFS snowshoe hut just outside the Guest Services building in West Village.
You can also experience winter off the beaten track with a snowshoe tour from Wanderlust Tours. The tours are led by professional naturalist guides who deliver exciting interpretation and there’s snow play for all ages. Snowshoes are included, but you should wear winter boots and powder/ski pants to keep your feet and legs dry. Boot and pant rentals are available through Wanderlust. Daily tours as well as Moonlight and Starlight tours provide truly memorable experiences.
Only 20 minutes from Sunriver are the Wanoga and Dutchman Flat sno parks. These two parks feature some of the best snowmobiling in Central Oregon and are favorite destinations for locals.
If you want a view of the stars without having to wear snowshoes, head to the Oregon Observatory at Sunriver. Plan on spending a fun, educational evening viewing the starry night skies. Sunriver’s elevation, pitch-dark backdrop and clear air make it ideal for stargazing. It just so happens to be the the largest public access viewing facility in the country, too, and a spectacle you won’t want to miss.
You won’t want to miss the Sunriver Nature Center during your stay. This non-profit educational center offers a variety of activities to choose from, including programs and exhibits about the natural surrounding area. The center is close to the Sunriver marina and airport and has a nature trail that staff use to educate visitors.
So there you have it. Turns out there’s plenty to do in Sunriver in the winter months, even if you don’t ski. Of course, if you truly are more of an observer than a participant when the snow arrives, there’s nothing quite so perfect as spending a cozy afternoon in your vacation home, gazing out at the wintery landscape with a cup of hot cocoa in hand.
Contact Village Properties at Sunriver today and we’ll help you find the ideal vacation home to do that cocoa sipping.