Warm weather is on the horizon, and we’re trying to make the absolute best of it by getting outside as much as possible. Sound familiar? Here’s a tougher question – when was the last time you learned new skills outside, and let someone else do all the planning for you around a fun adventure? (Deep breaths, type A’s! We got you.) Luckily, here in Central Oregon, we are no strangers to an outdoor playground. Whether kicking up dust with our trusty mountain bikes, paddling into the sunset, traversing up volcanic rock, or saluting our beers to the campfire, we know adventure here in the high desert.
Throughout the region, there are a number of multi-day retreats and day-long clinics geared toward that nostalgic having-a-blast-outdoors-vibe, whether you’re a local or just visiting. But hey, we’ll be the first to admit: it’s intimidating to try a new activity, let alone find the calendar space (if it’s not in the calendar, it doesn’t exist, right?) It’s your lucky day, outdoor lovers. Kick the seasonal experience into high gear by mapping out your upcoming adventures ahead of time.
We’ve rounded up a few of our favorite summer clinics and camps for adults in the following collection so you can start planning your fun in our Central Oregon mountain oasis, like, yesterday.
For the Lady Shredders, Backpackers, and Dirt Lovers
Smith Rock Climbing & Yoga Retreat
Climbing, sunshine, and a supportive community of women? We’re in. From retreats and skills clinics to weekend getaways and international excursions, She Moves Mountains has it all. With a mission to create an educational space for women (cis, trans) and gender minorities to realize their strength and a five-year track record of retreat hosting, they welcome all levels, from enthusiast to advanced.
From May to September, choose a 3-day adventure to learn what it takes to be a climber with hands-on experience navigating routes by experts trained through the American Mountain Guide Association. Check out all the details here.
Available dates include April 7 through 10, 21 through 24, May 5 through 8, and late September to October.
In case you’re itching to get out of town, try these unique experiences at Olympic National Park, like Intro to Backpacking two-day learning adventure, or up your skills while maintaining your zen at the Mindfulness Backpacking Retreat.
Just want to grab your buddies for a guided climbing experience? Check out the full lineup of instructors and hire a guide instead!
Mountain Bike Clinics
Did you know Bend has over 300 miles of mountain bike trails? Get ready to cruise them in confidence. Ladies All Ride is hosting their signature two-day camps and half-day mini camps at Seventh Mountain Resort in Bend just for women mountain bikers, from casual beginner to super shredder and everything in-between. From mid-May to late June, expect breathtaking views, a few lava rock gardens to challenge you, and a group of wonderful ladies to ride with. They fill up fast! (Psst: May 15th currently does not have a waitlist, so hop to it).
Available dates are May 14 and 15, June 4-5, 21-22, 25-26.
$180 to $495/person
Multi-Sport Retreat Weekend
AdventurUS Women lives up to its name. These are adventures for the ladies who like to create their own. A custom schedule is tailored to you with the structure of a flexible retreat. In this “Escape to Bend” multi-sport excursion, you’ll spend the weekend of May 12th-15th learning how to navigate the great outdoors, while gaining access to a wide range of activities, including biking, climbing, hiking, yoga, kayaking, and… yes, even caving. Warm days and cool nights will provide the perfect opportunity to explore! Bonus: it’s the ideal amount of flexibility – choose from 5+ activities in half-day (4 hours) or shorter classes. Sign up here.
Available dates include May 12th – 15th.
For Every Adventurer & Wilderness Enthusiast
Wilderness First Aid Course
Master first aid in the wild, and elevate those social points big time. In this course presented by NOLS Wilderness Medicine through Bend Parks and Recreation, become well-versed in first aid, no matter how you like to enjoy the out-of-doors. Best part? There’s no previous experience or knowledge required. Sign up for summer safety here.
Available dates from June 5th to 6th.
Mountain Bike Excursions
Ride with style and take your skills up a notch. As the sister company of Ladies All Ride, Grit Clinics provides private lessons & group clinics for men, women & children led by top coaches around the country in Bend. They create customized coaching packages and get down to the nitty-gritty of what you want to work on to elevate your personal riding experience. Don’t worry about your skill level, either. From total beginner to seasoned pro, you’ll ride away with tons of new tricks.
Cruise the Backcountry Trails
With a cool name and an even cooler mission, Cog Wild Bicycle Tours is all about bringing people together. As a family business that provides daily guided mountain bike rides, mountain bike skills instruction, and shuttles to the popular trailheads around Bend and Oakridge, Oregon, they are no stranger to fun in the sun (and dirt).
Cog offers daily guided mountain bike rides and skills instruction for all levels of riders, and even offers multiple daily shuttles along the Cascade Lakes Highway for you to choose your own adventure. Go get yours!
Yes, you read that right. Did you even visit Central Oregon without a volcano tour? Head to the cones with Wanderlust Central Oregon for a day exploring the belly of a volcano. Expect an engaging series of walks through the geologic past with a professional guide and award-winning naturalist interpretations. For other summer tours in the Bend, Oregon area, check out the experiences here.
Feeling Hot, Hot, Hot… in an Air Balloon
Sunrise at Smith Rock Ranch in Terrebonne from the sky? We already feel lighter. Get a view of Central Oregon’s dramatic scenery from above with Big Sky Balloon Company. Offering both hot air balloon rides and aerial advertising, Big Sky flies in their distinctive, custom hand-painted balloon. Spend three hours in total bliss, and toast with sparkling cider while you cross off your bucket list. Learn more and sign up here.
Who says grown-ups can’t have fun?
Certainly not us.
Sign up for an adult camp, clinic, or dedicated retreat this summer and get ready to boost your skills and self-confidence, spend time on something fun, and meet awesome people in the process. (That couples retreat or kid-friendly vacay will just have to wait).
More inspiring stories, adventures, and tips & tricks for planning and experiencing the best Central Oregon has to offer.
Favorite Year-Round Mountain Bike Spots
When winter comes and the snow falls, some of Central Oregon’s popular mountain biking trails become a little too muddy to ride – which means some of the unheralded spots in the region get a little more love. Places like Smith Rock can get scorching hot (and quite crowded) in the summer making it a great spot to head come winter. Want some good locals tips on where to ride? Ask the folks at Hutch’s Bicycles, Pine Mountain Sports or The Hub Cyclery for the 4-1-1, or set up a tour with Cog Wild Mountain Bike Tours and Shuttles.
Central Oregon Mountain Biking Trails
Two-wheeled fun for everyone. From magazine spreads to filtered Instagram images, Central Oregon is making a name for itself in mountain biking. Consider this: More than 300 miles of linked singletrack (mountain biker talk for biking trails that are only wide enough for a single rider) is so close to town that many of the riders actually ride to the trails from town (or from Pine Mountain Sports, where a full fleet of Trek and Santa Cruz rentals are available.)
Great Getaway: Sisters, Oregon
When pulling into Sisters from the West you’re greeted by a main-street cowboy town filled with local shops, western storefronts and lots of charm. But as you reach the far end of that main street (it’s actually U.S. Hwy. 20,) something different emerges. There’s some upscale lodging, a brewpub, movie theater, and spa that gives Sisters a whole new attitude.
Newberry Crater: Ancient Attraction is an Activity Hub
It’s hard to believe, but 25 years ago, the volcanic features that make up Newberry National Volcanic Monument weren’t protected. If it wasn’t for a group of concerned Central Oregonians, the monument wouldn’t exist. “In the late 80s, at the time, the collaborative process we see today for land-use planning just wasn’t as common.
Central Oregon Mountain Bike Trail Guide
The Central Oregon mountain bike scene is 300 miles of diverse singletrack through high alpine forests and sagebrush dotted deserts from Madras to La Pine, Sisters to Prineville. Bulletin newspaper reporter Mark Morical has ridden just about every one of the trails you’ll find on any mountain bike trail map – and he’s written about his experience.
Casual Family Weekend in Sunriver
Imagine this: you’re riding your bike through a rolling meadow, the Cascade mountain range in the background, and the only sound is from the whir of a prop plane taking off against a crisp blue sky. Up ahead, your children pull carrots from their pockets and present them to a gathering of friendly horses in an adjacent pasture.
Sherar's Falls Scenic Bikeway
Oregon’s newest scenic bikeway traverses the strikingly scenic high desert canyon of north Central Oregon, known as River Canyon Country.
Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway: Pull Off For a Central Oregon Adventure
The Cascade Lakes Scenic byway is one of the prettiest drives in the U.S. But it might be the most recreationally rich road you’ll ever drive too. From Bend southwest to the Highway 58 junction, the Oregon Route 372 cuts through 66 miles unique volcanic formations and geological beauty that offers everything that makes Central Oregon an outdoor lover’s paradise.
Scenic Bikeways Showcase Central Oregon’s Backroad Beauty
Oregon’s official scenic bikeways are the first of their kind in the U.S – and Central Oregon is home to 6 of the state’s 11 most beautiful bike routes. An absolute summer must for road cyclists are riding the best of the best – our scenic bikeways. Every rider can find a ride to suit their style and mood, from family-friendly to adventurous.
The Central Oregon Adventure 6-Pack
6 ADVENTURES…1 DAY….A LIFETIME OF MEMORIES. “You should do it,” they said. “Think about how cool it’d be,” they told me. “You get to do it during the work day, ya know,” they reminded me. So I said yes.