A WEEKEND OF HIKING & STARGAZING IN PRINEVILLE & THE CROOKED RIVER CALDERA

Treat yourself to a weekend getaway in Prineville! Wanderlust will be hosting various hikes throughout the weekend that feature amazing views, incredible stargazing opportunities, and of course, incredible natural & cultural history interpretation.

Friday, May 10th - Sunday, May 12th

ABOUT THE TOUR

Located east of Bend, on the western flank of the Ochoco National Forest, Prineville sits in the heart of the Crooked River Caldera, an ancient supervolcano that last erupted around 30 million years ago. Lying on the edge of the Oregon outback, it is one of the best places in the country for stargazing and night sky adventures. Join us for a weekend filled with stargazing, stunning hikes, a multi-course dinner, and naturalist interpretation about the vital importance of our dark skies.

Naturalist Guided Experience: During the adventures, your Naturalist Guide will highlight the stunning geography of the area while also imparting an understanding of the stars, galaxies, and cosmos above! Age-old stories and myths mixed with astronomy will enlighten just as the stars do! With the beginning of a new moon phase, our lunar neighbor will not impede on the stars above!

Adventure: Friday: Our adventure will begin with a welcome beverage at the Best Western before fueling up with dinner at the Corral Tap Room & Food Carts. Over a bite to eat, your Naturalist Guide will share with you the region’s volcanic past as well as its more modern day history. After dinner, we will set out for a sunset hike that will garner us panoramic views of Prineville as well as the Cascade Mountains backlit by the setting sun. Hiking on this ancient volcanic dome will put this region’s geology front and center, illustrating the massive earth upheaval that occurred here. As the stars begin to appear, your guide will share how dark skies are some of our greatest natural treasures and what we can do to protect them.

Saturday: Our day will start with an inspiring morning hike along a trail laden with Ponderosa and Juniper. Our destination is the stunning Stein’s Pillar. This 350ft tall volcanic skyscraper is a relic to eons past when our planet was rife with volcanic volatility. You guide will touch on the rich geologic history as well as the local flora and fauna as we traverse the rim of an ancient volcano. To conclude our hike, we will enjoy a picnic-style lunch before heading back to town. The afternoon is yours for the taking! Feel free to rest, explore downtown, or join your guide for an optional tour of the Bowman Museum. We will reconvene in the evening and head out to a scenic location for an off-grid dinner crafted by our expert backcountry chef and paired with local beer & wine. After dinner, your guide will lead an interactive and engaging walk as we discuss the stars and galaxies above, gazing up in wonder at the universe within which we are just a humble speck! Delectable hot cocoa will keep us warm while we seek out shooting stars and planets.

Sunday: To cap off our weekend in the Crooked River Caldera, we will take a guided walk through the Crooked River Wetlands, gaining insight into the creation of these wetlands that serve as vital habitat to many bird and other animals that call the high desert home. From the Crooked River Wetlands we will head back to Bend, carrying with us unforgettable memories from an inspiring weekend!

DETAILS

$410 per person

Itinerary: Friday, May 10th:

  • 4:00pm - Depart from our Bend office for Prineville (if you desire to use Wanderlust Tours transportation)

  • 5:30pm - Arrive/Meet at the Best Western Prineville Inn. After checking in to your rooms, we will meet in the hotel lobby to have a quick beverage and mingle with the rest of the group before we head over to the Corral Tap Room & Food Carts for dinner.

  • 7:30pm - After dinner, we will head to the Northeastern edge of Prineville for a moderate, 3 mile hike up a butte that will garner us stunning panoramic views as the sun sets beyond the Cascades.

  • 10:00pm - Return to the Prineville Best Western

Saturday, May 11th:

  • 9:00am - Meet in the Best Western lobby for an inspiring morning hike in the Ochoco National Forest

  • 11:30am - Cap off our hike with a picnic-style lunch

  • 1:00pm - Return to the hotel.

  • 1:30pm - Option for a guided tour of the Bowman Museum or feel free to rest your legs or explore downtown Prineville

  • 7:00pm - Meet in the hotel lobby and again head into the Ochoco National Forest for our Dark Sky Dinner & Stargazing

  • 9:00pm - After dinner, take a guided stroll learning about the stars and planets above!

  • 11:30pm - Return to the hotel

Sunday, May 12th:

  • 9:00am - Check out of and meet in hotel lobby

  • 9:30am - Venture to the Crooked River Wetlands for a morning walk and discussion on birding. Your guide will provide fascinating insight into the importance of dark skies for our migratory birds.

  • 11:00am - Depart the Crooked River Wetlands

  • 12:00pm - Return to our office

  • TOUR INCLUDES

    • Naturalist Guide & award-winning interpretation

    • Gear: headlamps

    • Food & Drink:

      • Welcome beverage

      • Picnic-style lunch

      • Dinner prepared by backcountry chef

      • Hot Cocoa

      • Local treat from Sparrow Bakery

    • Transportation: To and from all activities

      • Please note: Transportation to/from Bend is available, please inquire at booking

    Not Included

    • Hotel lodging

    • Breakfast (Saturday & Sunday)

    • Dinner at the Corral Tap Room & Food Carts

    • Gratuity for your Naturalist Guide

PLEASE BRING

  • Sun Protection: Hat, sunglasses, sunscreen (if needed)

  • Layers: Warm clothing including a shell jacket for variable weather. The temps will drop at night!

  • Miscellaneous Gear: Water bottle, snacks, camera, blanket or camp chair, daypack (optional)

Weather & Visibility: We are fortunate to be on the dry side of the Cascades, getting over 300 days of clear skies and sunshine per year. With that said this tour will run regardless of rain or cloudy skies. You can learn more about our weather policy here.

Hike Difficulty: Easy - Moderate: We rate both Friday’s and Saturday’s hikes as easy to moderate, covering from 2-4 miles round trip per hike with some elevation gain.

Tour Minimums: The minimum total guest requirement for this tour is 8 people. We will reach out 2 weeks prior to the event if the minimum has not been met.

Cancellation Policy: Cancellations prior to two weeks are subject to a 10% cancellation fee. Cancellations within two weeks are subject to full tour cost. You can find more details regarding our cancellation policy here.

Date

May 12, 2024

Time

09:00 AM - 12:00 PM

location

Wanderlust Tours Prineville, Oregon United States

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Tickets

$410 per person

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