One of our favorite summer activities near Sunriver is conquering the famous Paulina Plunge. The name “Paulina Plunge” is a trademark of one of our partners, an official tour company. Named for the Paulite chief, the Paulina Plunge features six waterfalls and two natural waterslides that visitors can swim and slide down in the hot summer months. When people talk about doing the “Paulina Plunge,” this most often refers to the tour.
Paulina Plunge Official Tour
The Paulina Plunge official mountain bike tour guides visitors on an exciting ride through Oregon backcountry where you’ll discover the beautiful Paulina mountains and Chief Paulina’s water slide. The trip includes tales of the legends of the indigenous people and the saga of Chief Paulina. Descend more than 2,000 vertical feet on a fat bike with stops at each of the six waterfalls and the two natural waterslides along the trail. Two hikes, each half a mile, lead you to the bubbling falls and waterslides. The Paulina Plunge team recommends this tour for all active ages 4 to 70. Tours run daily from 9am-3pm or 10am-4pm from May 1 through September 15.Paulina Plunge Website
Visiting the Paulina Waterfalls on Your Own
Want to skip the mountain bike aspect and hike to the Paulina waterfalls on your own? Travel a short distance south from Sunriver to McKay Crossing Campground where you’ll pick up the Peter Skene Ogden Trail. Be sure to cross the bridge within the campground to access the correct trail. Follow the trail north along Paulina Creek and within 30 minutes the rapids start to pick up and the waterfalls start to appear. After hiking four miles along the trail you’ll come to a waterfall with a wooden bridge behind it. At this point, you can continue on to Paulina Lake and Paulina Falls, which are both beautiful.
To get to McKay Crossing Campground from Sunriver, head south on U.S. Highway 97. Turn left on Road 21, then left again at Forest Road 2120. Follow the road for 2.7 miles east and look for the signs to McKay Crossing. Day-use parking is across a short bridge over the creek. Recreation pass required.
Summer Activities in Sunriver, Oregon
Hiking the Paulina Creek Trail is one of our favorite summer activities near Sunriver. This easy hike is accessible for all ages and offers a one-of-a-kind adventure that your friends will be begging to know how you found these wonderful waterfalls.