Things to Do in Sisters, Oregon
Sisters is a small town with an adventurous spirit. The downtown area has the look and feel of a Western boomtown, paying homage to the community’s Western roots. The City of Sisters is what you get when you mix cowboy and ranching country with outdoor adventure, farm-to-table dining and luxury accommodations. At the base of the Cascade Range where the mountains meet the forest, Sisters stands as a destination for adventure of all kinds. Read on to discover our ten favorite things to do while in Sisters.
1) Visit Black Butte Ranch
Black Butte Ranch is a luxury resort located just 15 minutes north of downtown Sisters. The resort offers year-round activity options for those seeking relaxation or adventure, from cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in the winter to fishing, biking and hiking in the summer, and a spa and fitness center open year-round. The ranch features two award-winning championship golf courses and a new, fun and casual putting course. The ranch offers guests luxury accommodations in rustic yet modern cabins, along with fine dining, local beer and wine, and some of the best horseback riding in Sisters.
2) Discover Camp Sherman on the Metolius River
Located just 20 minutes north of Sisters, Camp Sherman sits on the wild Metolius River with commanding views of nearby Cascade peaks, like the towering Mount Jefferson. Visit the nearby Wizard Falls Fish Hatchery, free and open daily, to see three million fish on display; or search for the unique Oregon HooDoos known as “ghost rocks.” For all outdoor enthusiasts, we recommend a stop in Camp Sherman; from mountain biking and hiking to fishing, birdwatching and more, this is truly an outdoor paradise.
3) Enjoy a Festival or the Sisters Rodeo
Sisters has some great annual events, including the Sister’s rodeo in June, the Sisters Quilt Show in July which is also the largest outdoor quilt festival on the plant and the Sisters Folk Festival at the end of September.
One big event here year after year is the Sisters Rodeo. Known as “the biggest little show in the world,” the Sisters Rodeo commences on the second weekend of June and brings five days of Western fun, from barrel racing and bull-riding to communal breakfasts, parades and more for all ages.
4) Shop in Downtown Sisters
The downtown strip in Sisters is one you will not soon forget. Aside from stepping walking onto the set of your favorite Western film, it’ll be tough to find another downtown that feels as cowboy Western as Sisters. Stop by Baldwin’s for custom made leather goods, from hats to boots. Blazing Saddles and Dixies also offer Western wear, while Common Threads and Faveur offer boutique finds. For more shopping ideas in Sisters, check out this list of our favorite shops.
5) Go Hiking in Sisters Wilderness
Sisters, being surrounded by high desert expanses, the Deschutes and Willamette National Forests and the Cascade Mountains, is an amazing place to take a hike. A popular hike, although a difficult one, is the South Sister Trail. South Sister is the tallest peak of the Three Sisters Mountains, and the third tallest in the state of Oregon. For an easier hike, try out the Whychus Creek Falls Trail, the Tam McArthur Rim Trail or the Moraine Lake Trail. In the summer, permits are required for many popular trails in Central Oregon wilderness areas. For more ideas, check out this list of our favorite hiking near Sisters.
6) Experience Sisters Food & Drink Scene
When we say Sisters loves farm-to-table, we really mean it. The culinary scene here is full of restaurants that proudly serve locally raised beef, locally brewed beer and plenty of local ingredients in every dish. Stop by a local staple, the Sisters Saloon and Grill for a classic Western dining experience. Stop by Open Door for a chic yet casual dining experience featuring some of the best wine found in Sisters. Explore some of the local Mexican culture with Rancho Viejo, a restaurant and cantina founded by two Mexican immigrants who focus on authentic recipes.
7) Golf at the Foot of the Cascade Mountains
Black Butte Ranch, described above, offers two award-winning, championship golf courses and a putting course. Another option is Aspen Lakes Golf Course, a privately owned, publicly enjoyed alternative course just east of Sisters. The Aspen Lakes course is an 18 hole, par 72 course, just like the ones on Black Butte Ranch. Aspen Lakes features a course design based around the natural landscape, where natural features were promoted during the construction, not destroyed.
8) Go Horseback Riding
To explore the landscape around Sisters on horseback, check out guided tours from both Black Butte Ranch and Long Hollow Ranch. Both offer guided tours and lessons for experienced riders along with beginners. For more horseback riding options, consider reaching out to the Sisters Park & Recreation District for information on lessons at local stables, or check out the Sisters Oregon Guide on horseback riding for more info.
9) Enjoy a Drive on the McKenzie Pass Scenic Byway
The McKenzie Pass Scenic Byway helps connect Central Oregon to the Willamette Valley. The scenic drive takes travelers through old growth forests and a rolling mountainous landscape that is a photographer’s dream. Everything from a rushing river and sunny rock outcroppings to mist-covered forests, towering mountains and a Northwest rainforest landscape are just waiting to be explored. From this highway, consider stopping along the Belknap Viewpoint and the Dee Wright Observatory for some truly out of this world views.
10) Hit the Slopes at Hoodoo Ski Area
Just about 25 minutes in the car is all it takes to get to a popular Oregon ski resort, Hoodoo Ski Area. Hoodoo offers more than 800 skiable acres to carve and explore, along with an average annual snowfall of 450 inches. With four main trails down the mountain and dozens of runs that connect throughout, Hoodoo is a great local option for winter recreation. Newbies to the mountain should take advantage of the Hoodoo Ski & Ride School, which offers lessons from professionals for skiers and snowboarders of all ages.
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