Sensational Central Oregon Adventures and Tours This Year

From helicopter flights over the snow-capped Cascades to jumping off waterfalls, to taking in a live concert by the Deschutes River, here are a few of the best Central Oregon summer activities to make the most of the season. Enjoy!

Enjoy a Scenic Helicopter Tour of The Cascades

Helicopter tours are an exciting way to see all of Central Oregon in one go. From the rushing waterfalls at the Deschutes to the snow-capped peaks of Mt Bachelor and the Three Sisters a 60 minute helicopter tour with Big Mountain Helicopters is the way to go. Take advantage of sunset helicopter flights this summer and prepare to be amazed and thrilled by the scenic vistas in front of you!

Cool Off in The Deschutes River This Summer

When an urban inner tube float isn’t enough adventure, book a raft trip on the Deschutes River. These guided day trips are unforgettable, and take you to parts of the river you can only see by raft. Seventh Mountain ResortSun Country Tours and Ouzel Outfitters are based in Bend. In Maupin, a hub for whitewater rafting two hours north of Bend, you can book trips with All Star RaftingHigh Desert River OutfittersImperial River CompanySage Canyon River CompanyDeschutes River Adventures and River Drifters.

Take in a River Concert in Bend Along The Deschutes

On select Sunday afternoons in July, Bend Memorial Clinic hosts Free Summer Sunday Concerts on the lawn at the Les Schwab Amphitheater in the Old Mill District. Pack a lawn chair and enjoy live music from local acts. You can also find free shows at Munch & Music on Thursday nights in July and August. National acts come to Bend all summer for outdoor shows at the Les Schwab AmphitheaterAthletic Club of Bend and the Century Center. Check online to get tickets for Bend favorites such as Michael Franti & Spearhead, the Avett Brothers and more.

Rent a $99 Tent Camper and Go Explore Oregon

Big Mountain Adventures in Bend rents rugged and lightweight adventure tent campers for outdoor adventures of every kind. Visit the Alvord desert hot springs, or spend a weekend at a high Cascades lake, or wake up next to the pounding surf of the Oregon coast, your next adventure is waiting!

Hike a Trail With the Doggo

Get out of your hiking rut (and find some trail solitude) with these trails that you won’t find on any “Top 10” list. The Canyon Creek Meadows hike in the wilderness area below Three Fingered Jack is an easy 4.5-mile loop for families with kids, and is known for its colorful array of wildflowers. In the Three Sisters Wilderness Area, Tam McArthur Rim is only five miles round-trip, but has plenty of elevation to make it a climb. At the rocky peak, you’ll find expansive views. A portion of the hike is bare of trees, so bring lots of water. Back at the bottom, a small shack sells ice cream. Enjoy a refreshing treat while you soak your feet in Three Creek Lake.

Discover a New/Old Waterfall and Picnic

Central Oregon has no shortage of waterfalls. Most are accessible and have close-in parking and paved pathways to viewpoints. Close to Bend, Tumalo Falls is one the most popular and photographed viewpoints in the region. After you take in the ninety-seven-foot falls from a couple viewpoints, you can extend the adventure into a hike. Dillon Falls and Benham Falls are a little farther from town. The hiking trail that leads to both falls is easy for families. Local’s hack: Don’t go around sunset or you’ll be eaten alive by mosquitos. Paulina Falls is probably the least trafficked of the bunch. The falls is about eighty feet tall and is inside the Newberry National Volcanic Monument.

Play at A Wild and Scenic Hot Spring

Spend a day soaking in the mineral-rich, soul-revitalizing pools of a hot springs. Within Central Oregon, you can find the Paulina Lake Hot Springs off the Paulina Lake Loop Trail in the Newberry National Volcanic Monument. It takes a moderate hike, but the reward is entirely worth the trek. The temperature of the water is usually around 95 degrees. You can also dig your own soaking pool at North Beach, just a short walk away. If you want to venture farther, Breitenbush Hot Springs to the west and Summer Lake Hot Springs to the east are both within a two-hour drive from Bend and Redmond and offer resort amenities.