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.
Moonlight & Starlight Canoe Tours
Adventure: Wanderlust Tours is the premier destination for canoe tours in Bend, Oregon! Join us on this astounding paddle on the high elevation mountain lakes in the mighty Cascade Range. Naturalist Guided Experience: Our renowned naturalist guides will highlight the sweet spots on these stunning lakes that might not initially meet the eye. During our 2 hours on the water, along with the fun and intrigue, we may impart an understanding of the heaven’s starlight illuminating the darkness. Age-old stories and myths mixed with astronomy will enlighten just as the stars do. The silence of the evening hours provides a chance to hear companions of the forest going about their evening activities. 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.Location: On this tour, you’ll take in the sights and sounds nighttime has to offer while paddling one of the beautiful, high-elevation Cascade Lakes. There is nothing more peaceful, or spectacular than being out on these pristine waters at night.
Scenic Hot Air Balloon Flight
We operate flights from Smith Rock Ranch in Terrebonne OR, about a 30 minute drive north of Bend. When preparing for your flight with us remember to dress warmly and in layers. Early mornings are always cool in the high dessert, but it warms up quickly and you'll want to adjust accordingly. Temperatures in flight are actually much warmer than on the ground. A hat and comfortable shoes or boots are recommended, no open toed shoes or sport sandals.We conduct one flight a day early in the morning when wind conditions are calm and the air is stable. Safety is our top priority, flights are conducted only when the weather and wind conditions are favorable. Departure times vary from 6AM-8AM depending on the time of year. We will check-in with you the night before your scheduled flight to confirm the meeting time and location. we typically like to be in the air within 1 hour of sunrise.Flight time is approximately one hour with the entire experience taking about three hours. We can carry up to six passengers per flight, cost is $275/person for 2 and $250/person when booking 4 or more. Please inquire for private charters. All passengers must sign the Flight Waiver prior to your scheduled flight.
$250 - $275
Bachelor to Bend Full Day Guided Ride
Mt Bachelor to Bend is one of the most epic mountain bikes rides our area has to offer. Imagine this: crisp mountain air mixed with warm sunshine beaming on you as your guide unloads your bikes at the base of Mt. Bachelor, at the crest of the Cascade Mountains. You grab your hydration pack, strap on your helmet, and prepare to spend the rest of the day on up to 35 miles of sweet singletrack bliss as you make your way back to Bend.This is the most distinctive Central Oregon ride, but know that there are many options. However we get back to Bend, you will sure to experience miles of fast-flowing sections, rocky or rooty sections (if desired), scenic alpine views, forest cruising, and some of the most fun you can have in the area. As we descend in elevation, you’ll experience a change in ecosystems from wide-open Hemlocks to mixed conifer to classic Ponderosa stands. Plus, we’ll eat a tasty lunch on the trail at one of many scenic viewpoints.Can’t get enough of this ride? We highly recommend doing this tour more than once. We will give you a unique route each day with new trails and new scenery.
$129 - $240
Cascade Lakes Photo Tour
With more than 14 alpine lakes along the Cascade Lakes Scenic Hwy, there is no shortage of beauty to go around. We can tailor our lake expeditions to the tour you want to have. Some of the team favorites are Diamond, Sparks, Todd, Elk lakes....just to name a few.This tour can include some moderate hiking, or we can shoot right from the parking lots. 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: $399 up to 2 people
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
Smith Rock Sunset Photo Tour
If you enjoy scenic views of deep river canyons, Smith Rock State Park is the place for you. There are several thousand climbs, hikes and mountain bike trails in the park, so we can often see several climbers as well as some wildlife including golden eagles, prairie falcons, mule deer, river otters and beavers.This tour can include some moderate hiking, or we can shoot right from the parking lot. 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 2 hrs on location. We'll keep shooting up to 30 mins after sunset. A night photography extension can be added.Tour Price: $299 up to 2 people
Bend Mountain Bike Shuttle
Meet at Cog Wild to catch the shuttle to Bend's trailheads along Century Drive. Each shuttle will drop at all 3 trailheads. Wanoga is the lowest, Sawmpy in the Middle and Dutchmans is the highest drop point. Please choose your desired trailhead when booking. Wanoga and Swampy drops are $15 per person. Dutchman is $20 per personThis is a one way shuttle, plan your route to end back at Cog Wild. All shuttles are non-guided. Shuttle riders need to be self sufficient: bring a map and have a route in mind, carry a first aid kit since there is no bike patrol out there. Carry enough food, water and clothing to support a day in the woods.If you have a large group and are interested in a Private shuttle please call us at 541-385-7002Rental bikes are not included in the cost of the tour. Please contact us directly with questions about the activity.Please sign the waiver, which is good for the entire year. Bend Trails and Trail Forks are great sites for researching which trail to ride for your group’s skill level and goals for the day. Maps are available to purchase at Cog Wild.
$17 - $22
Bend Badlands | 2 Hrs.
Bend Badlands Tour. Take the wheel and conquer the ever-changing terrain or sit back and enjoy the exhilarating ride. Outriders' will show you the way through the true back country of Central Oregon. Drive through winding roads and spectacular lava flows. Head up and experience advanced trails to spot the wildlife and landscape of the lava flows with spectacular geologic features. The fresh air and beauty of Central Oregon will surround you. Come check out the fascinating terrain of The Deschutes National Forest! #goexplore!
Full Day Trip: Cascade Lakes
Nestled in the Cascade Mountain Range just west of Bend are over 10 quality stillwater fisheries. Couple these unique fly fishing lakes with the nearby streams, creeks, and rivers, and you get a fly fishers dream. Located a short drive from downtown Bend, these lakes range from modest to grand in size. One aspect they all share is beauty. When you visit one of these fly fishing treasures, youll agree.A fly fishing trip to one of the Cascade Lakes is best suited for anglers looking for relatively low impact and highly productive outings. If you are interested in a positive first fishing experience with your son, daughter, or non-angling spouse, consider a trip to East Lake or Lava Lake. During the peak of the season on either lake, we can practically guarantee they catch some fish. Your guide will meet you at the designated location at a predetermined time. Packed with everything you'll need for a successful day of fishing, you will travel with your guide to the lake of choice. A full day trip will span 8 hours for fishing, and includes a lake-side BBQ lunch.
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.
More stories from Prineville
More inspiring stories, adventures, and tips & tricks for planning and experiencing the best Central Oregon has to offer.
Top State Parks to Visit in Central Oregon
A trip to Central Oregon is usually one with ample time spent in the great outdoors. From the expansive high desert landscape to the Deschutes National Forest and all the rivers, lakes and sometimes volcanos in between, Central Oregon is an outdoor adventurer’s paradise. What better way to explore the region than to take a tour of the local state parks? To get started, check out these six state parks to get an idea of what Central Oregon is all about.
A Summer Weekend in Prineville
Here in the high desert, small-town charm is easy to come by. But what happens when you combine a rich legacy of the old West, affordable vacationing, and a tight-knit community? You get Prineville – a town of just around 10,000 people in Central Oregon.
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. Mt. Bachelor - The model of a complete snowsports resort, Mt. Bachelor offers 360-degree lift-served groomed skiing and riding from its volcanic summit.
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.