little crater trail during a day trip near Sunriver

Central Oregon grants visitors and locals access to many stunning natural wonders from majestic mountain peaks to desert landscapes. This summer, gather your group to explore a few of these natural treasures, all a short drive your vacation rental in Sunriver. Many of these day trips are tried and true, which means there may be some crowding at the more popular spots, but you can easily find distance and spread out with your family.

Hikes and Day Trips Near Sunriver

At Sunset Lodging, we gathered together a list of some of our favorite day trip destinations near Sunriver. Rather than pointing our some of the most popular locales like Tumalo Falls and Smith Rock State Park, we’ll offer up alternatives to help you maintain social distancing at less crowded places.

Proxy Falls Instead of Tumalo Falls

We love Tumalo Falls! It’s beautiful and the hike is easy to all levels. Located just outside of Bend, it’s also very close to Sunriver. It usually draws a large crowd, though, which may have visitors seeking another gushing waterfall to admire. Proxy Falls is located 66 miles from Sunriver near Belknap Springs off of the McKenzie Highway. The hike features a cascading waterfall and is good for all skill levels.

Fort Rock Instead of Smith Rock State Park

Don’t get us wrong, Smith Rock is awesome and the view from the top is gorgeous. But on a busy summer day, it may be difficult to find a parking spot and to maintain social distancing. Instead, consider heading 55 miles southeast of Sunriver to Fort Rock. Fort Rock State Natural Area features an enormous near-circle of towering rock walls made to look like a fort. The ring was once home to a shallow sea in prehistoric times.

Tamolich Pool (Blue Pool)

This destination is popular for good reason! The turquoise blues of the Tamolich Pool bring visitors from all over to see the vibrancy and shimmer. The trail isn’t too strenuous and there is light elevation gain. Hikers, runners and mountain bikers love to visit this very popular spot about 75 miles from Sunriver. If you decided to take this day trip, wear a mask in highly trafficked areas and try to maintain social distancing.

Little Crater Trail Instead of Paulina Peak Trail

The popular Paulina Peak Trail is very popular and highly trafficked, but there are many great trails to explore in the Newberry Caldera area. Check out Little Crater Trail for a short, family-friendly hike in the Newberry National Volcanic Monument. The hike includes great views of the lakes and surrounding peaks. Look at the rock formations along the way and then enjoy views of Paulina Peak over Paulina Lake with Mt. Bachelor looming in the trees. Top off your hike with a dip in the lake.

Keep Oregon Open

Central Oregon offers a wide array of beautiful outdoor destinations to hike and bike with your family and friends. Remember while out enjoying the great outdoors to maintain social distancing and wear a mask at heavily trafficked areas in order to keep Oregon open. We all can’t wait to continue enjoying the summer weather and natural wonders of Oregon while preventing the spread of Covid-19. Together we can keep Oregon open for all to enjoy!

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