Adventure just begins on horseback, snowboards and whitewater rafts.
Crater Lake National Park
Nowhere else in America matches the dramatic beauty of Crater Lake: deep, pure and astoundingly blue. Surrounded by sheer cliffs nearly 610 metres high, the lake is the seventh deepest in the world and the deepest in the United States. The violent volcanic explosion that created Crater Lake, when Mount Mazama collapsed some 7,700 years ago, is so recent that the story is still told in Native American legends. Be sure to watch the film, Mirror of Heaven at the Visitor Center. Artists, photographers, and sightseers gaze in wonder at its blue water and stunning setting atop the Cascade Mountain Range; no wonder it attracts visitors from all over the world.
Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area
The Oregon Dunes is a special place. It constitutes one of the largest expanses of temperate coastal sand dunes in the world. The large oblique dunes found here occur nowhere else in the world. Stark, mist-shrouded views of dunes, forests and ocean in such close proximity to one another are rare – and somehow hauntingly beautiful. Many plants and animals, including some found in only a few other places in the world, call the area home. Congress recognised the uniqueness of this place when it designated this 31,500-acre portion of the Siuslaw National Forest as the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area in March, 1972. Ride a dune buggy across the amazing Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, which stretches 40 miles along the Oregon Coast, from Florence to Coos Bay. The ever-shifting sand creates mountains more than 150 metres high, encircles coastal lakes, melts into flat ocean beaches and harbours extensive wildlife. Dune-buggy tours are one of the best ways to see this otherworldly natural terrain. Guided off-road tours via dune buggies, sand rails or all-terrain vehicles (ATV) add ecological education and awareness; ATV rentals are also a fun way to explore the sand dunes independently. Visit Sand Master Park in Florence, the world’s first sandboard park, to rent boards, check out its 40 private acres of sculpted sand dunes and try the 12-metre ramp. Get expert advice from a champion boarder, or just try your luck soaring down the soft, sandy slopes. Adventuresome board-heads will find endless thrills. Sandboarding is a great family sport, too.
White-water rafting the Deschutes River
Whether you’re a thrill-seeker or a couch-potato, whitewater rafting on the Deschutes River is one adventure that belongs on your bucket list for any Central Oregon summer holiday. There’s nothing better on a hot day than a wild ride down the river. From fun-packed rafting adventures designed for the entire family to multi-day overnight excursions, you can find guided tours to suit your pace on the Deschutes River in Central Oregon.
Year-Round and Night Skiing on Mt. Hood
Set high on the shoulder of one of the most iconic peaks in the Pacific Northwest, Timberline Lodge and Ski Area on Mt. Hood offers one of the most exciting high-alpine mountain experiences in North America. Timberline is the only ski area in North America open year-round; it boasts 1,124 vertical metres (more than anywhere else in the U.S. Pacific Northwest) and is located near the top of a 3427-metre volcano – the tallest mountain in Oregon. After dark, Mt. Hood Skibowl offers the best night skiing in Oregon, and the largest night-skiing terrain in the country. All the lifts are lit, including the Lower Bowl, Upper Bowl, Multorpor and Cascade lifts, providing 34 lit runs for skiers to enjoy. Enjoy one of the longest possible ski days here: after watching the sunset on beautiful Mount Hood, fit in a few more runs, long after neighbouring mountain resorts have closed. Don’t just take our word for it, though: Liftopia included Mt. Hood Skibowl in its ‘Top 5 Night Skiing Spots’ in America
Horseback adventures in the Eagle Cap Wilderness
Come and experience the wilderness from a higher perspective. Let the horse focus on the trail while you take in the incredible beauty of the Eagle Cap. Leave the hustle and bustle of everyday life behind and settle into a rugged outdoor adventure; you’ll take home memories of a lifetime. Whether you’re looking for a short one-hour ride into the mountains or a week-long stay deep in the back-country, you can find expert guided tours of the Eagle Cap Wilderness by horseback at a level suited to you.