For many, exploring new trails and breathing in the fresh mountain air is best done on horseback. And what better place to get in the saddle than in beautiful Sunriver, Oregon. Here, trail rides meander along the Deschutes River, offering mountain views and showcasing the natural beauty of the region. Enjoy corral rides, pony rides, lessons and guided trail rides on horses selected specifically for the comfort and ability of the rider.
For guided rides, head to Sunriver Stables, the horse-riding destination for visitors of Sunriver Resort, run by Sunriver Trail Rides. The stables are located 1/3-mile past the Sunriver Marina. Corral rides take place in a controlled environment, making them great for beginner horse riders not quite comfortable with a trail ride yet. Corral rides are offered on a first-come, first-served basis with no reservations needed. For children 2 and older and weighing less than 60 pounds, pony rides are available. These five to seven minute rides are also first-come, first served. For riders who are more comfortable on horseback, the Sunriver Stables are also the starting point for trail rides taking off from Sunriver Resort.
Trail Rides and Lessons in Sunriver
Sunriver Stables at Sunriver Resort offers two trail riding options of either 45 minutes or 75 minutes, happening seasonally from mid-April through September each year. “The Pines” is a 45-minute trail ride that includes 15 minutes of instruction and 30 minutes on the trail, open to riders 7 years and older and weighing less than 220 pounds. This is a beginner-friendly walking trail ride and reservations are recommended. For a longer ride, “The Great Meadows” is a 75-minute trail ride that includes 15 minutes of instruction and 60 minutes on the trail. It’s also open to riders 7 and older and weighing under 220 pounds, and is also a ride where reservations are recommended.
For riding lessons and private trail rides, Three Rivers Equestrian Center is another option for those looking for horseback riding. The center is located about 6 miles south of Sunriver and just south of Three Rivers at 55250 Foster Road. Private two-hour rides can be spent within the arena or on the trail alongside the Deschutes River. The facility also offers beginner, English, Western, dressage and driving lessons on horses they provide or on horses brought by riders. Four instructors are available, with specialities in different disciplines.
Sunriver Resort Horseback Riding
This Wrangler Immersion Camp adventure is open to riders who are 14 years and older and is an all-day activity, beginning at 8:30 a.m. and ending between 4:30 and 6 p.m. depending on the day’s ride schedule. The Wrangler Immersion Camp is a unique experience open to just one person per day and are offered Memorial Day through Labor Day.
Sunriver Sleigh Rides
For a horse-drawn adventure in the snow, Sunriver Resort offers weekend sleigh rides around the holidays each December, another offering at Sunriver Resort from Sunriver Trail Rides. Enjoy the holiday tradition of an open-carriage sleigh ride, being towed behind a team of chestnut-colored haflinger horses. Riders are taken over the Meadows Golf Course at Sunriver Resort, which is typically covered in snow at this time of year, making for a magical horse-drawn experience. The Victorian-style sleighs can comfortably accommodate four adults and two children weighing less than 55 pounds at once.
While there are plenty of opportunities to build upon horse riding skills while in Sunriver, don’t let the fun stop there. Central Oregon offers more horseback riding opportunities throughout the region.
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Winter Tours You Have to Try in Bend and Central Oregon
Twinkling lights, fresh snow and fire pits bringing people together; it’s winter in Central Oregon! Bend and the surrounding towns within Central Oregon are great places to cozy up when the snow falls, and even better places to take part in winter recreation. Locals love to explore the nearby Cascade Mountains, with Mount Bachelor and plenty of sno parks located just a 30 minute drive away. Back in town, there are several breweries, cideries, wineries and distilleries waiting to be sampled. With so much to do, it can be tough to know where to start. Luckily, tours in Central Oregon that showcase the best outdoor and indoor recreation are available to help visitors make the most of their winter vacations.
Top 5 Tours to Take in Sunriver, Oregon
Sunriver is an aptly named town; the idyllic community soaks up tons of Central Oregon sun and has the mighty Deschutes River meandering through. It’s tough to not feel the magic of Sunriver when rays of light first break over the not-so-distant Cascade Mountain peaks and dance on the tips of ponderosa pines in the surrounding Deschutes National Forest. Central Oregon tours are popular for visitors and locals alike, and for good reason. With four distinct seasons, Sunriver is primed and ready for exploration any time of the year. From snowmobiling to horseback riding, here are the best ways to discover Sunriver.
Pumpkin Patches + Petting Zoos = Fall Family Fun
As soon as the first hint of autumn rolls around, my three kids ask on a regular basis when we can go to the pumpkin patch. This is not simply because they’re eager to gather Halloween décor. To my kids (all under the age of 12), fall means visiting the farm and getting all the animal petting, ropes course playing and barbecue eating they can squeeze into one afternoon.
Adventures Abound Starting at Sunriver Resort
Sunriver is the type of place that takes your breath away no matter what season it is. During the summer you can hop on a horse for your very own wild wild west experience. The team at Sunriver Stables will make you feel comfortable on your ride, even if you’ve never saddled up before. Whether you’re in a tube or a kayak, floating down the Deschutes River is a relaxing activity that’s fun for the whole family.
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.
Lava Lands Visitor Center a Central Oregon Geologic Gem
In the late 1960s NASA looked for a place to send astronauts who were training for a mission that would change the world. But before the mission could happen, NASA needed a place to mimic what they believed those astronauts would find on the surface of the moon. Because, after all, nobody had been there before so nobody really knew what the surface of the moon was like.
Sammies and Sandos: Central Oregon’s Best Sandwiches
Sometimes after a day full of adventure, all that you crave is a simple, yet delicious, stick-to-your-ribs sandwich. (And a beer, obviously.)
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.
Camp Abbot’s Important Role During World War II
Sunriver is one of the region’s oldest and most beloved destination resorts. Since the late 1960s, Oregon families have made memories here, riding bikes to the general store, learning to golf on the courses and swimming in the river and the resort’s pools.