Plan Your Visit To
Madras—the county seat of Jefferson County, Oregon—started in the early 1900s to serve the region’s ranchers. Over the years, it grew into a trading post and community for nearby farmers, many of whom grew (and continue to grow) garlic, carrots, onions, and other crops. Even today, you’ll still see ranches on the rolling hillsides outside of town and farms lining US-97—but change is afoot.
As Madras grows, it’s beginning to serve new audiences alongside the longtime standbys. Today, visitors can sample beer and spirits crafted in town, peruse a new wave of growing dispensaries, and find plenty of outdoor recreation—from a skate park and skydiving to camping, boating, hiking, and more. With so much to see—and so much change in recent years—it can be tough to know where to start. So here’s a look at how to plan your next epic trip to Madras.
Map of Madras, Oregon
US-97 runs north-south through town and offers easy access to most of the city’s best-loved attractions.
But getting off the highway and exploring the area beyond city limits is a rewarding experience.
Here’s a map to help you get started, whether staying in town or traveling further afield.
Plan your adventure to Central Oregon.
Deschutes River Photo Tour
Running through the middle of Bend, the Deschutes River offers plenty of amazing photo ops. Whether we decide to go through downtown Bend, Dillon Falls, or Shevlin Park, the Deschutes River never disappoints.This tour can include some moderate walking. We'll show you our favorite shots based on how active you want to be.Private Tour capped at 2 people to ensure personalized instruction and individualized attention.Tour Price: $299 up to 2 people
Local Pour Craft Beverage Tour
Bend brewery tours are popular, but did you know Bend is also home to artisan distilleries, cideries, and kombucha breweries? Join us on a Local Pour adventure to try delectable samples and see behind-the-scenes at a local cidery, spirits tasting room, distillery, and brewery get the best of all world in this immersive craft beverage tour!Your professional guide will provide insights into the processes of distillation, fermentation, and the craft of making beer. Each Local Pour Tour is unique, attending facilities dependent on their availability. DETAILS$85 per personTour departs daily, year-round1:30-5:30 PMReservations RequiredThis tour is a great gluten-free thing to do in Bend, Oregon!Please let us know in advance if you have an allergy.
TRAMPOLINE PARKJump, Twist, and TrickWith more than 50 trampoline beds, TZAP is Bend’s premier family fun destination. Fight your way across the Gladiator Beam, challenge your friends to a Slam Dunk contest, join a sky-high game of Dodgeball, or learn freestyle acrobatics at the Trick Pit.NINJA COURSEDo you even Ninja?You’ve seen it on TV. You may have thought about building a few obstacles in your backyard. And we all have said “I could have done that…” Well here is your chance. We have 15 obstacles to hone your strength, endurance, and mental grit. Do you have what it takes to be a ninja?WALLTOPIARace to the topSix interactive climbing walls take the standard rock-climbing wall to a whole new level. Pit your wits against spinning holds, a racing clock, and flashing lights. Do you have what it takes to reach the top? Harness in and hold on tight.
$1 - $20
Bend Rock Gym
1 LOCATION – 3 GYMS – INFINITE POSSIBILITIES!Come and see all that BRG has to offer. With a single membership (or punch pass), you will have access to 3 gyms.Autobelays, top rope, lead, bouldering, training, and multiple fitness centers.
$15 - $20
Snowcat / Snowmobile / Meal Excursion
Enjoy a Snowcat and Snowmobile Excursion just up the road at Elk Lake Resort. We will meet your group at Dutchman Flat Sno-Park. We kick-off your experience with a 45 minute snowcat ride along the snow-covered Cascade Lakes Highway. When you get to the resort our staff will get you geared up for the adventure portion of the day. Spend 3 hours on your own snowmobile exploring the winter oasis that is Elk Lake Resort. After your 3 hours are up, kick back and relax in the lodge. Grab some grub and a beer and share your recently acquired snowmobile adventures with your group. To finish off the Daycation we will hop back in the snowcat and return your group to Dutchman Flat Sno-Park. For more details or to book the adventure, please see below.INCLUDESSnowcat transportation to/from Dutchman Flats SnoPark3-hour Snowmobile Rental$25/pp Food & Beverage creditPRICE$250/pp for Single Snowmobile | $350/2 guests for Tandem Snowmobile SCHEDULEGuests arrive at Dutchman Flats Sno-Park at 9am9am – 10am guests take SnowCat to ELR10am – 1pm guests go snowmobiling1pm – 2:30pm guests enjoy F&B & ELR grounds2:30pm – 3:30pm guests take SnowCat back to Dutchman Sno-Park*Winter Sno Park permits required to park at Dutchman Flat (1-day, 3-day, Annual options)*Guests must dress appropriately for the winter conditions and snowmobiling activities.*Guests are not required to snowmobile and can certainly relax and enjoy the surroundings at ELR.*Please arrive 30 – 40 minutes prior to your snowcat pickup time. This allows time to find parking and to get your gear out and ready to load when the Snowcat arrives. Disclaimer:Reservation is based on Snowcat transport availability.This experience is intended for those coming in on day trips and cannot be combined with cabin rentals.This experience is available for a minimum of 4 people and a maximum of 7 people per day. Please call the Lodge at 541-480-7378 for more information.
$250 - $350
Full Day Walk-In Upper Deschutes River
This is an adventure for the angler looking to “stalk” fish on foot at one of our local rivers. Never is a strenuous hike required, often the fishing “hole” is located within a few minutes of walking from the guide’s vehicle. This is the perfect trip for families and new anglers looking for an unforgettable day of fly fishing near Bend. Both the Fall River and the Crooked River are perfect for Walk-In trips. For our walk-in trips, you will meet your guide at a predetermined location and then either carpool or caravan to the chosen water.
$475 - $733.32
High Desert Museum Admission
This unique museum reveals the West’s High Desert region through artful exhibits, alluring animals, engaging programs and meaningful history. Whether you’re a local or planning to visit Bend, Oregon, discover why we’re a top-rated Thing to Do in Bend by TripAdvisor!The Museum is just 5 minutes south of Bend or 10 minutes north of Sunriver on Highway 97, but it feels like stepping into a different time and place. Get close-up views of native wildlife such as river otters, porcupines and birds of prey. See art through a different lens. Chat with historic characters who’ll share tales of life at the turn of the 20th century. Visit an authentic homestead and sawmill from 1904. Learn about Native American cultures, and delight your children with one of many fun, hands-on programs. You’ll be glad you came!During the summer months, the Museum offers airline-style crates for small- to medium-sized dogs, where your dog can relax and cool off in the parking and picnic area. Water is available – be sure to bring a bowl. Contact Admissions for a crate key and lock to secure your pet. Please note that Museum personnel do not monitor the crates – your dog is your responsibility.
Ice Skating - Open Skate Reservation
Ice Skating at Seventh Mountain Resort has been a winter tradition for families on Central Oregon’s oldest outdoor rink.The ice rink is open for the season! Reserve your open skate time! We are pleased to have you at the Seventh Mountain Ice Skating rink. We are following all state and local guidance concerning masks and social distancing. See you on the ice!
$10 - $15
Shoes, Brews & Views Snowshoe Tours
Snowshoe like a local!Adventure: Wanderlust Tours is the premier destination for snowshoe tours in Bend, Oregon! Join us to go splashing through the powdery snow in the Cascade Mountains west of Bend, Oregon. Bend? You mean where incredible beer is brewed for sipping splendor? YES!Naturalist Guided Experience: Shoes, Brews and Views says it all- snowshoe to a serene spot, sip suds in true Bend fashion and wonder at inspiring views while at it! This is the Bend lifestyle in which our tour will fill your spirit and mind. Following animal tracks, eating some lichens and running downhill in playful powder demands tasty libations as a reward- whether a locally crafted hopped beverage or root beer for the kids it all goes down well in the forest surrounded by visually splendid peaks. And get this connection, the no-impact-nature of our snowshoe tour produces no adverse affect on what becomes the water for the beer you drink on this experience. Baby, that’s goodness! Location: Snowshoeing tours take place in the areas around Mt. Bachelor and the surrounding Deschutes National Forest of the Cascade Mountain Range of Oregon. New to off-trail snowshoeing? Let Wanderlust Tours do the driving and teach you fun snowshoeing techniques and tricks. All tours include instruction. Wear winter boots and powder/ski pants to keep your feet and legs dry while snowshoeing.Unfortunately, we cannot allow dogs on our tours. Please reach out to Ponderosa Paws for your dog-sitting needs.
$70 - $100
Things to Do in Madras, Oregon
Whether you’re spending the day or staying the night, you’ll find no shortage of things to do in Madras, Oregon—from outdoor recreation to craft food and beer to one of Central Oregon’s most colorful lavender farms. Here are a few ideas for enjoying your time in Madras.
Photo credit to @valvecovergasket
Sample the city’s best international cuisine: Madras is home to dozens of eateries, from national chains to a growing number of restaurants and food carts serving fare from around the world. The city, in particular, hosts a robust number of Mexican food offerings. Mi Casa Restaurant, for instance, is known for its hefty burritos and filling street tacos crafted with homemade tortillas; nearby, Rio Distinctive Mexican Cuisine serves a menu of inventive dishes that draw on both modern and traditional influences. Still hungry? Check out more Madras, Oregon restaurants to find your next favorite meal.
Visit the Erickson Aircraft Collection: Just north of Madras, the Erickson Aircraft Collection showcases a private collection of more than 20 rare, vintage aircraft—some of which date back to World War II and many of which are still in flying condition today. If the aircraft collection grabs your attention, make time for other museums across Central Oregon that showcase natural history, the region’s earliest residents, and more.
Catch some air at Madras Bike & Skate Park: Beginners and experts alike find plenty to love about Madras Bike & Skate Park, which hosts several fun features—such as deep bowls, rails, and ramps—that cater to athletes of all skill levels. A set of bleachers even encourages parents to stick around and watch their little boarders and BMX riders test their mettle. Want to know where else you can shred around the region? Learn more about Central Oregon skateparks.
Visit The Cove Palisades State Park: Just a half-hour southwest of town is The Cove Palisades State Park, one of the most popular hiking, boating, and angling destinations anywhere in Central Oregon. The park sits where the Crooked, Deschutes, and Metolius rivers come together to form Lake Billy Chinook, the backbone of the park’s outdoor recreation opportunities. Watercraft and water toy rentals are available between April and October, a few hiking trails crisscross the park, and wildlife viewing (especially of raptors soaring overhead) is a popular pastime in the park’s high-desert expanse. And while Lake Billy Chinook might be massive, with 72 miles of shoreline, it’s far from the region’s only body of water—so learn more about the lakes in Central Oregon.
Visit the city’s dispensaries: Since Oregon voters approved a measure to legalize marijuana in 2014, dispensaries have grown (sorry) like weeds around the state—and Madras is no exception, with a handful of dispensaries around town. Plantae, for instance, sources its flower from a farm in Central Oregon—and sells concentrates, edibles, topicals, and more.
Explore the area’s nightlife: Whether you want to kick back or keep the party going, Madras has plenty of nightlife to suit your needs. Madras Brewing Co. brews its own beers and pours a variety of wines and cocktails to pair with a food menu that leans heavily on wood-fired pizza. And just south of town, in the community of Metolius, the Desert Inn Sports Bar and Grill boasts a lively atmosphere with pool tables, shuffleboard, a classic pub food menu, a full bar, TVs for catching the big game, and an outdoor beer garden with a horseshoe pit, fire pit, and a stage for live music. Want to know where else to grab a drink, play pool, or hear some live music around town? Get details on the bars in Madras, Oregon.
Taste the spirit of Madras: When you sip a spirit from New Basin Distilling Company, you’re truly enjoying a taste of Madras. The distillery sources its grains from a Madras farm and prides itself on crafting small-batch spirits—including vodka and a variety of whiskeys. Want to learn more about the city’s craft beverage producers? Kick back with more on distilleries in Madras, Oregon.
Try your hand at skydiving: The Madras-based Skydive Awesome! showcases some of the best views in Oregon while offering one of the most thrilling experiences anywhere in the region; certified instructors have completed thousands of dives and specialize in tandem skydiving—making the activity accessible to divers of all skill levels. Views range from the Cascade Range to Lake Billy Chinook to Central Oregon’s high-desert landscape.
Enjoy a summertime visit to Cascade Lavender Farm: Every summer, the normally tan landscape of Central Oregon’s high desert is awash in vibrant hues of pink, blue, white, and (of course) deep purple at Cascade Lavender Farm. Between late June and early August, visitors can pick their own lavender from more than 4,000 plants—and other family-friendly attractions include a plant nursery, lavender shop, farm animals, and more.
Madras, Oregon Accommodations
If you’re coming from points north, Madras acts as a kind of gateway to Central Oregon—making the city a popular overnight stop. Plenty of international chains line US-97 through town, but if you’re looking for something a little more local, consider the Inn at Cross Keys Station; the three-story, 72-room hotel offers a wealth of amenities—including an indoor pool and hot tub, outdoor patio, free Wi-Fi, and an exercise room.
If you’re looking to rough it a bit, several RV parks and campgrounds can be found nearby. In particular, The Cove Palisades State Park hosts some of the best camping in Central Oregon, with more than 250 sites and three cabins spread across two campgrounds; amenities include flush toilets, showers, ranger-led interpretive programs, and easy access to nearby Lake Billy Chinook.
More stories from Madras
More inspiring stories, adventures, and tips & tricks for planning and experiencing the best Central Oregon has to offer.
Hopless in Central Oregon: Experience Scenic Cideries and Vino with a View
In an area dominated by craft beer, you might be wondering is there anything else on tap? The answer is, ‘Yes’. Central Oregon is home to award winning cideries and wineries and with postcard-worthy views from their tasting rooms – you won’t be disappointed. Named after the Three Sisters, Faith Hope and Charity Vineyards is just over 30 miles from Bend. It’s hard to complain about the drive though when furry faces from the Alpaca farm nearby greet you right before you turn onto the property.
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.
Airshow of the Cascades – Sky High Thrills for the Family
For 20 years, Madras has been home to one of the more unsung family events in the region, the Airshow of the Cascades. It’s Oregon’s second-largest air show, giving people a chance to get up close and personal to aviation history both on the ground and in the air. You’ll see vintage and high-tech aircraft doing stunts and flying through a wall of fire.
Winter Isn’t Only About Snow in Central Oregon
It’s true that when winter rolls around in Central Oregon, most people’s minds veer toward things to do in the snow. With Mt. Bachelor, Hoodoo, sno-parks and more, there’s plenty of options for folks to get out and play.
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.