Summer is here, which means you may be searching for easy hikes in Central Oregon for the whole family. Whether your family includes just you, a partner and a dog or the whole extended clan of aunts, uncles and cousins, there are a variety of easy hikes in Central Oregon for your group. From Benham Falls, which is the closest hike to your Sunriver vacation home to the popular Green Lakes Trail, you’ll love exploring Central Oregon by foot.
Central Oregon Hikes for the Whole Family
Benham Falls Trail — The Benham Falls Trail is a great introductory hike if you have small children or persons who can only hike limited distances. The Benham Falls trail is a short, 1-mile round trip hike just outside of Sunriver proper. It can also be accessed from Bend by driving south and turning off at Lava Butte and following the signs to the falls. Walk or bike from the parking lot just off of Circle 7.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you may want to consider an additional 3.5 miles (from the parking lot) to Dillon Falls. The trail is well-maintained and very level for the most part, with a modest elevation gain. Don’t go in expecting cascading waterfalls, this is more of a mellow falls along the Deschutes River.
Paulina Falls and Paulina Creek Trail — Located just South of Sunriver, the Paulina Falls and Paulina Creek Trail inside of the Newberry National Volcanic Monument (NNVM) is one of our favorite local hikes. When you’re looking for easy hikes in Central Oregon for the whole family, the Paulina Falls hike is a short half-mile round trip and includes options for longer, more difficult adventures. Also consider heading down to the bottom of Paulina Falls for a different perspective. Extend your hike by following the Paulina Creek Trail and ending at Paulina Falls. You’ll also need a Northwest Forest Pass or to pay the $5 day use fee upon entering NNVM.
Tumalo Falls — This popular hike is so for good reason — the stunning beauty of Tumalo Falls, a waterfall cascading from 90-feet in the air. Don’t forget your camera, you won’t want to miss out on sharing this view with your friends and family. There are a variety of trails surrounding the falls, which makes it easy to customize your trip depending on the length of hike your group prefers. Choose an easy 1-mile hike or a 7-mile, more challenging adventure. From Sunriver, you’ll head North to Bend and then follow Skyliners Road out to the Tumalo Falls Day Use Area.
Lucky Lake Trail — We love following the trail around Lucky Lake and spending the day relaxing and swimming in the sunshine. This trail is approximately 3 miles roundtrip with a slight elevation gain of 423 feet. The trail is open in the spring, summer and fall, but summer is definitely the best time for swimming in this mountain lake. Drive about 45 minutes from Sunriver on the Cascade Lakes Highway and you’ll follow the trail on this short hike. Remember your Northwest Forest Pass, or you can pay $5 for a day use permit.
Green Lakes Trail — This popular hike is definitely worth it, but is a longer, more difficult hike than the four previously mentioned trails. The Green Lakes Trail is a 9-mile, out-and-back hike of moderate difficulty. This hike typically takes more than four hours to complete, which makes it great for a day hike near Sunriver, only 30 minutes away by car. To hike this trail, you’ll need a Central Cascades Wilderness Permit, which is required from June 15 through October 15. On other dates, you’ll need a Northwest Forest Pass for parking.
Your Home Base for Exploring Central Oregon
Here at Sunset Lodging, we like to think of ourselves as your home base for easy hikes in Central Oregon for the whole family. Staying in a Sunriver vacation rental through Sunset Lodging places you near the great outdoors, as well as the amenities you desire upon returning to civilization. Choose a vacation home with a hot tub to soak your tired muscles after the Green Lakes hike. Treat the kids to days in the pool by choosing a home with SHARC passes included. Many of our homes have added air conditioning for your comfort during the hot summer months.
Browse our selection of Sunriver vacation homes and either book online or call one of our reservationists to help book your dream vacation.