Plan Your Visit To
Nestled at the eastern edge of Central Oregon, and in the heart of the Crooked River Caldera, Prineville has a lot in common with the rest of the region—but has consistently blazed its own trail since being founded in 1870.
Today, the oldest city in Central Oregon has plenty of what you love about the area: high-quality food crafted with care, cutting-edge craft beers, and plenty of outdoor recreation. But the city of 10,000 also makes its mark as the gateway to the Painted Hills, as a hotbed
of year-round angling opportunities, as a fun outpost with robust nightlife, and as a premier golf destination.
So as you plan your next getaway, here’s how to discover the charms of historic Prineville, Oregon.
Map of Prineville, Oregon
There’s a lot to enjoy in and around Prineville. Here’s a map for finding your way around, discovering your
next favorite attraction, and making the most of your time in the Prineville area.
Plan your adventure to Central Oregon.
Shoes, Brews & Views Snowshoe Tours
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
Visit Erickson Aircraft Collection
Recommended by TRIP ADVISOR, The Erickson Aircraft Collection proudly displays a vintage aircraft collection started by Jack Erickson in 1983. This collection features over twenty rare aircraft, most of which are still in flying condition. P-38 Lightning, P-51 Mustang, Ki43 Hayabusa, F4U Corsair, SBD Dauntless, Grumman Duck, and B-17 Flying Fortress are some of the ones included in this one-of-a-kind collection.
Pinot Noir Tasting
Cork Cellars is a wine bar and bistro, whose main focus is giving customers a warm and friendly environment to eat, drink, and socialize.
Deschutes River Photo Tour
Running through the middle of Bend, the Deschutes River offers plenty of amazing photo ops. Starting in town we will either head Dowtown Bend, to Dillon Falls or start at Shevlin Park and explore. 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.You'll have around 1 hr at each location.Tour Price: $299 up to 2 people
Bend Brew Bus
Let us take you behind the scenes to witness Bend’s brewing and artisan distilling cultures. Adventure: Wanderlust Tours is the premier provider of craft beverage tours in the Bend, Oregon area! Tasting, enjoying friends, comfort and safety are what you can expect on this trail of sipping adventure. Naturalist Guided Experience: With 20+ local craft breweries, Bend is a Beer Mecca! Join Wanderlust Tours on an epicurean expedition that offers tasty samples and insight into the process of beer making. Your expert beer guides will provide personally tailored information about fermentation science.Breweries: Tour three breweries, with a behind-the-scenes look at the brewing process with light appetizers at one stop. Each Bend Brew Bus tour is unique, visiting different locally partnered breweries in the area.If you like what you're seeing but want a little more variety, we recommend The Local Pour, where you can sample an array of Bend’s best craft beverages: spirits, ciders, specialty cocktails, and more!Our Common Goal of Environmental Care: We live, visit and play in Bend because of its physical beauty. Wanderlust Tours donates for every person who participates on this tour to Pledge for the Wild. These funds help support the interconnected habitat for all who rely on it.
High Desert Museum Admission
This unique museum reveals the natural world and cultural history of the Wests 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 a close-up view of native wildlife from river otters, porcupines to birds of prey. See art through a different lens. Chat with historic characters who share tales of early Oregon explorers and settlers. Visit an authentic homestead and sawmill from 1904. Learn about Native American culture and history, and delight your children with one of many fun, hands-on programs. You'll be glad you came!
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
Lava Tube Cave Tours
Did you know there is a vast network of caves near Bend, Oregon? Strap on a helmet and headlamp and join our naturalist guides for a fun, educational, underground adventure! These tours are a great Bend, Oregon family activity. Please Note: We do not visit Lava River Cave (operated by the Deschutes National Forest)Adventure: Wanderlust Tours is the premier destination for cave tours in Bend, Oregon! Join us on this epic subterranean tour on Bend’s ponderosa pine-studded high desert. Our renowned naturalist guides will highlight sweet bits of these cool caverns that might not initially meet the eye. Naturalist Guided Experience: During our 2 hours underground, in the darkest, quietest spot earth can provide, we may impart an understanding of the region’s geology- how massive volcanoes created these wonders. Or we might share how the cave habitat provides for creatures important to human life. Your crew will be energized with revelations about natural and cultural history that’ll keep your mind humming with delight long after you return home with fond memories of the tour. Caves: Bend’s lava caves have a delicate ecosystem that few have experienced to the fullest! Wanderlust Tours is the only guide company permitted in these special lava caves. These caves are also wild, meaning they do not have a paved path or lighting. Closed toe shoes are recommended for navigating the uneven rocky surfaces. Cave Difficulty: Mother Nature has created a wonderfully diverse array of caves that offer a variety of experiences. All of the caves we visit are wild, meaning other than the staircase to enter them there are no man made improvements put into the caves (walkways or lights). The walking surface is uneven and can be varying degrees of rugged and rocky.In our estimation, this cave presents a moderate degree of difficulty as it involves many fun opportunities for scrambling up/down/around rocky areas and crawling through short passages.On all our cave tours, our guides are attentive to keeping the pace suitable to all members of the group so that everyone can move at a comfortable speed.
$70 - $95
Singletrack Sampler Half Day Guided Ride
Please see the COVID 19 guidelines that we are following to stay in compliance with the Oregon Health Authority.Bend Oregon is home to some of the best mountain biking in the nation. We have hundreds of miles of trail to share with you, and this ride combines the best of what Central Oregon has to offer. From the world-famous Phil’s Trail to lesser-known singletracks loved by locals—shhh, don’t tell—we will handpick a sampling of trails based on your desires. Looking for a fast-flowing descent? We’ve got it. Want to improve your skills on technical rocky sections? We have that too. Searching for that perfect ride? Let us help.These rides are custom designed as we put riders of similar skill levels together for a half-day shred. This is a great ride for the solo rider, the mountain biking family, or for a group of buddies that regularly ride together. We’ll make sure your time with us is optimized for maximum fun and trail time!
$64 - $150
What is Prineville, Oregon Known For?
With such a storied past and exciting present—not to mention some of Central Oregon’s most breathtaking outdoor beauty—it’s hard to narrow down what specifically Prineville is known for. But we’ll give it our best shot.
History: Prineville was founded in 1870 and, more than 150 years later, is the oldest city in Central Oregon. Visitors feel that connection to the past in the brick buildings that line Main Street through the heart of town, the neon lights buzzing over businesses that date back decades, and in stone architecture that recalls Prineville’s past (and present) as a trading post for the local ranching community. The city is even home to Oregon’s oldest public structure: the Crook County Courthouse, built in 1909. Best of all: You can learn about that history at the A.R. Bowman Museum, which traces the region’s history through exhibits, artifacts, displays, and more.
Growth: Even with such remarkable history, Prineville’s present and future are no less exciting. Apple and Facebook have a presence in the city, and a new class of entrepreneurs are opening restaurants, breweries, food cart pods, and other exciting businesses to serve locals and visitors alike.
Natural beauty: The Ochoco National Forest and Ochoco Mountains sit at Prineville’s eastern doorstep, offering access to dozens of miles of hiking and mountain biking trails through forests of ponderosa pine, wide-open meadows covered in colorful springtime wildflowers, towering rock formations, epic angling opportunities, dusty OHV paths, and more. Further east are the Painted Hills, boasting some of the state’s most-photographed attractions. Even the Ochoco Wayside State Scenic Viewpoint, perched above the Crooked River at the western edge of Prineville, affords dramatic views of the region’s disparate landscapes.
Things to Do in Prineville, Oregon
Whether making a day trip or spending the weekend, you’ll find plenty of things to do in Prineville, Oregon. Here’s a rundown of where to eat, where to go, and where to stay around the region.
Enjoy a satisfying meal: Prineville has long been surrounded by farms and cattle ranches, a tradition that continues today. So when you head out to eat, chances are good you’re enjoying locally sourced meats, fresh herbs and produce, and other elements of farm-to-table fare. Club Pioneer, for instance, opened in 1942 and remains a Prineville institution; the restaurant serves a meat-heavy menu that includes steak and prime rib (sourced from regional farms), seafood, pasta, and more. For a more casual dining experience, Dillon’s Grill prides itself on serving burgers crafted with fresh ingredients, authentic barbecue, steak, and seafood—along with 13 rotating taps of quality craft beer from regional breweries. In addition to these filling eateries, the city is home to a variety of cuisines—including tacos, sandwiches, sushi, ice cream, and more—so find your next favorite meal by exploring restaurants in Prineville, Oregon.
Visit the Painted Hills and the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument: The Painted Hills, one of three units comprising the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, sit just an hour east of Prineville and showcase some of the oddest landscapes anywhere in Oregon. Check out the Painted Hills for mounds and rolling hillsides covered in soils of red, yellow, and other vibrant hues; short hiking trails lead through the otherworldly landscape and ascend to sweeping overlooks that showcase the breadth of the region.
Ride the Crooked River Canyon Scenic Bikeway: Dedicated cyclists love traveling the 37-mile Crooked River Canyon Scenic Bikeway, which departs from the southern edge of town before heading south along paved roads and into the heart of the Crooked River Canyon. Along the way, cyclists pass llama farms and cattle ranches in the shadow of basalt cliffs, follow the bubbling Crooked River, and ascend to viewpoints that showcase the sweeping expanse of the Central Oregon high desert. Ride in spring or fall for cooler temperatures and seasonal color in the trees and wildflowers lining the roadway. And if you’d rather see the region’s natural beauty from the comfort of your car, check out our round-up of scenic drives in Central Oregon.
Catch your dinner: Prineville sits surrounded by some of the region’s best angling opportunities. Try your fly on the Crooked River, which runs through town and is known for its year-round trout populations, or on the Prineville and Ochoco reservoirs. The Prineville Reservoir sits at the base of the Ochoco Mountains, boasts a surface area of roughly 3,000 acres, and is home to large populations of largemouth and smallmouth bass, as well as brown bullhead catfish; the Ochoco Reservoir, meanwhile, boasts approximately 1,000 surface acres and is home to large populations of rainbow trout, bass, and crappie. If you’re excited to fish other waterways throughout the region, learn more about the rivers in Central Oregon.
Sip some quality craft beer: After a day exploring the Painted Hills or cycling the Crooked River Canyon Scenic Bikeway, does anything sound better than a cold craft beer? We think not—and Prineville has plenty of suds to keep thirsty visitors sated. Crooked Roots Brewing, for instance, pours its own beers and ciders alongside ales, lagers, meads, seltzers, and wines from regional producers. And at the western edge of town, the Corral Taproom & Food Carts hosts a handful of up-and-coming food trucks dishing international cuisine, along with an indoor beer garden and plenty of outdoor seating; beer, cider, wine, kombucha, and hard seltzer is all available. Still thirsty? Get to know our breweries in Prineville, Oregon.
Unwind with a night away: Prineville is known for its laid-back, down-home charm—and that vibe extends to nearby lodgings. Discover Brasada Ranch Resort, just a half-hour southwest of town, for an unforgettable overnight experience that offers comfort, class, and style in equal measure. Attractions at the ranch include indoor and outdoor pools, spas, ranch-to-table dining, a weekly farmers market, nightly s’mores around the resort’s fire pits, an open-air Peloton Studio, more than 900 acres of horseback riding, an 18-hole golf course, and summertime activities for kids of all ages.
Enjoy the nightlife: Prineville works hard during the day—and knows how to cut loose when the sun goes down. The city boasts a fun nightlife scene, with a few downtown bars and pubs catering to locals and visitors looking to enjoy a night on the town. Sons of Beer has become a community gathering spot, thanks to a hearty food menu, friendly service, and 15 craft beers from Central Oregon and the broader Pacific Northwest on tap at any given time. Elsewhere around town, The Horseshoe Tavern bills itself as Prineville’s oldest bar and offers all kinds of fun—including open mic nights, a pool table, live music, weekly food specials, and more. If you want to keep the night going, explore the many bars in Prineville, Oregon.
Hit the links: Sunny days, warm temperatures, and stunning landscapes make Central Oregon a hotbed for bustling golf courses—and Prineville is no exception. Sitting right in town, the (public) Meadow Lakes Golf Course crosses the Crooked River four times and challenges golfers with rolling mounds, nine ponds, and 62 bunkers over the course of 18 gorgeous holes. Golfers love generous fairways, large greens, and five sets of tees. Want to know where else to play, including at nearby Brasada Ranch? Learn more about golf across Central Oregon.
If you’re looking for other fun activities around the region, learn more about things to do in Central Oregon.
More stories from Prineville
More inspiring stories, adventures, and tips & tricks for planning and experiencing the best Central Oregon has to offer.
Central Oregon Golf: Best Par 3s
Play a good golf course and chances are that when you’re back at the 19th hole, you’re talking about the Par 3s. The short one you made double on. The bear where you snaked in a 20-footer for your only birdie all month. They’re the “short” holes that can make or break a round. Some of the signature holes on the Central Oregon Golf Trail are Par 3s. Here’s a look at some of the best.
Central Oregon Winter Adventures
When the snow flies, Central Oregon shines. All you have to do is choose your adventure.
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.