Day Trips from Sunriver

Vacationing in Sunriver provides endless amounts of activity for your family. With the SHARC, the Village at Sunriver, the Deschutes River and the bike paths, day trips from Sunriver and other things to do are almost limitless. Some days, you may feel a bit more adventurous, wanting a new excursion that is further out than the backdoor of your rental home.

Here are a few fun day trips from Sunriver for you to consider. All are family friendly and might just be the adventure you need. Be sure to have your recreation pass for parking and there is no lunch needed, a restaurant is included as part of your adventure!

The East side of Highway 97: East Lake, Paulina Lake and more

Just a few miles south of Sunriver, across Highway 97, and up Paulina Lake road, you will find more than one day’s worth of exploring. As you drive along Paulina Lake Road, you will notice a creek weaving next to the road. About 12 miles up the road, stop at Paulina Creek Falls Day Use Area. From there, you can hike down a path to view the stunning falls. Don’t forget your camera!

After this short, yet worthwhile hike, hop back in your car for about 3 – 4 more miles, following signs to the Big Obsidian Flow. The trailhead here has plenty of parking. You will find a one-mile-long loop that does gain some elevation, but the views you gain at the height of the trail are worth the climb. Benches and informational plaques are placed throughout the hike, so you can take a break and learn more about the area. The hike feels unreal, as you walk through the jagged obsidian, looking down over the crater that holds the lakes that you will soon visit. Remember that it is prohibited to collect any obsidian from the area. Enjoy the views and leave the beautiful rocks as you find them.

Paulina and East Lakes will end this adventure as the last stops on the Paulina Lake Road. The lakes are crystal clear, non-identical twin crater lakes in the Newberry Crater (or Caldera), which lies atop Newberry Volcano. The lakes may have once been one large lake, but eruptions of the volcano have divided the lakes with pumice, ash and lava flows. Both lakes have sandy shores and are known for some amazing fishing. Grab some lunch at either Paulina Lake Lodge or the East Lake Resort.

Just up the road: North & South Twin Lakes

Drive away from Sunriver, and follow South Century Drive west, towards the mountains and follow signs to the Twin Lakes Resort (address: 11200 South Century Drive, La Pine, OR 97739). You will take a left turn off the main road to enter this recreation area. Before driving too far down, take a left pretty quickly, heading to North Twin Lake. This unique lake is worth the stop. It’s worth it to bring a kayak or paddleboard to explore the small, non-motorized lake. As you paddle around the lake, you can see through the crystal clear water as long as the bottom stays close enough. The lake is small and shallow enough that the water stays warm and cozy for a swim. Paddle yourself out towards the middle and take a dive in, you won’t be sorry! There is also a beach shallow enough for wading and relaxing near the parking area.

After splashing around in North Twin Lake, head down the road to South Twin Lake and visit the Twin Lakes Resort. If you didn’t haul your own kayak or paddleboard up, you can find one to rent at this resort. After a paddle around the lake, hop into the resort’s restaurant for some lakeside dining.

Sunday Driving: Cascade Lakes National Scenic Byway

Fill up the gas tank, grab some road snacks and brace yourself to soak up a day of Oregon’s beauty. Visit Bend has put together a great map with some points of interest for you to follow here. From Sunriver, drive West, towards Mt. Bachelor up the 45 road. Follow signs to Mt. Bachelor, circling around the mountain on the 46 road (The Cascade Lakes National Scenic Byway) and your adventure has begun. The highway is chock-full of spectacular views of lakes, wildlife viewing opportunities and you can even stop and grab some lunch in a few spots. I recommend downloading the Visit Bend map and taking some of their advice on stops.

Here are a few of our favorite day trips from Sunriver:

  • Mt. Bachelor – It’s worth stopping and viewing the mountain in the summertime. If you’ve got the time, hop on the chairlift and soak up the views from 7,775 feet! Once you reach the top, you can grab some food, hike the trails, or just take advantage of some photo opps and get back on the road. (idea: Take this roadtrip backwards and end your day at Mt. Bachelor for a sunset dinner!)
  • Todd Lake – This little lake in the mountains is a great find. If you do want to pack a picnic lunch, this is a great spot. Grab a blanket, your picnic basket and take the short ¼ mile walk to this quaint lake. There are no motors permitted on the lake, making for a quiet and true wilderness experience.
  • Elk Lake – This is a beautiful and large lake on the journey. It’s bright blue and green and so worth the views. You will find some stunning photo opps and if you’re hungry at this point, you can grab a burger and soda at the resort here. Or, stop by a day use area and cool off with some wading in the shallow waters of the beach areas.
  • Cultus Lake – Another large and breathtaking mountain lake that you won’t want to miss. If you haven’t grabbed lunch yet, here’s another opportunity for some lakeside dining. If you’ve found yourself with some extra time, grab a paddle boat, a paddleboard, a canoe or even a jet ski and explore the depths of the lake.

These are just a few stops of so many that are worthwhile day trips from Sunriver.

As the day winds down, make your way to the 42 road and head back down towards Surniver to complete your loop. If you still have some time, swing by the Fall River Hatchery to learn about hatchery operations and wonder the beautiful grounds before returning to your home base here in Sunriver.

Sunriver Art Fair

Do you enjoy shopping? Do you love unique art created by local artists and those that have traveled from afar? We would like to invite you to visit the 8th annual Sunriver Art Fair from August 11th through the 13th.  Visit the Village at Sunriver from 9:30am – 6pm on Friday and Saturday or 9:30am – 4pm on Sunday. You won’t want to miss the Sunriver Art Fair.

Ranked as one of America’s Top 50 Best Art Fairs, the Sunriver Art Fair is not to be missed.

Start your Christmas shopping early, or treat yourself to a beautiful new piece. With over 70 fine artists displaying their work, you’ll find something for everyone in your family.

During this annual event, you can browse booths stocked with handmade jewelry, beautiful glass and ceramic work, original photography and more! Find wall art, functional pieces, such as chairs and tables at some woodworking booths, or even bags, scarves and more apparel. Support artists from all over the country and walk away with unique and one-of-a-kind art that you will treasure for years to come.

Once you’ve shopped until you’ve dropped, grab a bite to eat from a nearby restaurant, find a spot in the shade and enjoy some live entertainment on the Performance Stage (sponsored by the Village at Sunriver). Check out this schedule of entertainment you won’t want to miss!

If you stay around through Saturday evening (August 12th), be sure to wear your dancing shoes for the Sunriver Art Fair Street Dance, starting at 6:30pm with the Klassixs Ayre Band! Be ready to boogie down.

Eclipse of 2017 – Tips to Embrace the Event

Have you heard about the total Solar Eclipse happening this month? On the morning of Monday, August 21st, the Moon will cast a shadow on Earth, blocking the light of the sun. Just 60 miles North of Sunriver, the sun will be 100% blocked by the shadow. It’s going to be pretty amazing.

First thing first; whether you reside in Central Oregon or just happen to be visiting during that week, it will be in your best interest to be prepared for the time before and after the event. And then perhaps plan something to really soak up the experience.

In Sunriver you won’t get the “total view”, but the view will still be quite amazing. In fact, according to the Oregon Observatory at Sunriver, we are still expected to see nearly 99% of the Sun blocked by the Moon. You’ll want to be sure to wear your eclipse glasses. The Sunriver Nature Center and Observatory will have safe and affordable glasses for sale. You may order these online or stop by and pick them up.

Educate Yourself With the Stellar Solar Seminar:

The Sunriver Music Festival is hosting the Stellar Solar Seminar for the bit of time before the eclipse travels over our part of the world, and during. Join Dr. Harry Hamilton, Professor of Atmospheric Physics, for a special hour of education and solar stargazing on this monumental eclipse day. Gather in the Sunriver Resort Great Hall, hear about the solar eclipse while enjoying coffee and pastries, then take a field trip on foot out to the meadow with complimentary eclipse glasses to experience it all together!

For tickets and information:

Experience the eclipse at the Oregon Observatory at Sunriver:

The Oregon Observatory at Sunriver has the largest collection of telescopes for public viewing in the United States. The observatory will open well before the eclipse begins just after 9:00 AM on Monday, August 21, with a variety of telescopes set up for visual observing and projected observing.

Make this a vacation and a day to remember with a time capsule:

Create a time capsule to be opened on April 8, 2024 when the next total solar eclipse occurs over the continental United States.

  • Write a letter to yourself and describe what you think you might be doing in 2024
  • Include some of your favorite items
  • Place a copy of your daily newspaper
  • Take photos of the day to commemorate where you were on this solar eclipse
  • Put your eclipse glasses in your capsule after the event.
  • Find more ideas here!

Smart and comfortable travel:

We want to let our guests know that traffic will be concentrated to Highways 97, 26 and 20. We took some time to plan out an alternate route for you and your family. We have just the drive for you to enjoy and take in the beauty of Oregon. Grab some road snacks and start planning that time capsule.

Village Properties alternate eclipse drive to Sunriver - Crescent Lake Junction
Crescent Lake Junction (step 2)
Village Properties alternate eclipse drive to Sunriver - Crescent Cutoff Road
Turn left on Crescent Cutoff Road (step 3)
Village Properties alternate eclipse drive to Sunriver - Turn left onto Cascade Lakes Highway
Turn left on Cascade Lakes Highway (step 5)
Village Properties alternate eclipse drive to Sunriver - Cascade Lakes Highway Drive
Beautiful Drive on the Cascade Lakes Highway (step 6)
Village Properties alternate eclipse drive to Sunriver - NFD 40 turn
Turn right on NFD 40 (step 7)
Village Properties alternate eclipse drive to Sunriver - NFD 41 turn
Turn right on NFD 41 (step 8)

1.)   From the I-5 corridor, drive to exit 188-A, OR 58 East (Willamette Highway)
2.)   After about 80 miles and you will hit the Crescent Lake Junction. From here it is 3.2 miles to the Crescent Cutoff Road (NFD Road 61)
3.)   Turn left on the Crescent Cutoff Road
4.)   Drive for 3.1 miles
5.)   Turn left onto the Cascade Lakes Highway (NFD Road 46)
6.)   Drive 25.3 miles
7.)   Turn right onto NFD Road 40
8.)   Drive 14.8 miles and turn right onto (Spring River Rd) NFD Road 41 to Sunriver
9.)   Drive 4.2 miles until you come to a stop light
10.)   Make your way to your Village Properties at Sunriver home
11.)   ENJOY!

These are just a few of the many things you’ll be able to find to do close to Sunriver. Whatever you choose to do, be sure to smile, be safe, stock up and have FUN!