When developers first considered converting the site of a one-time sheep ranch into a community of residences and summer homes in the late 1960s, they tempted would-be residents and guests with an enticing offer: come out to the resort, then a new-fangled concept for Oregon travelers, and “listen to the quiet.”
The promotional pitch worked, and the groundwork for what would become Black Butte Ranch was laid. Today, the ranch is one of the most popular resorts in Central Oregon. It sits at the base of Black Butte, an extinct stratovolcano, and is home to several vacation’s worth of family activities. In all, the 1,800-acre ranch hosts three restaurants, two golf courses, spa services, nature trails, yoga classes, fly-fishing clinics, bike rentals, and a wide range of other fun offerings. (That said, we’d still suggest you discover Sisters, Oregon for boutiques, art galleries, eateries, brewpubs, and more—all just 15 minutes away.)And, yes, 50 years after Black Butte Ranch opened to the world, it’s still possible to kick back and “listen to the quiet.”
So if you’re considering Black Butte Ranch for your next Central Oregon vacation, we’ve put together this guide that breaks down the resort community’s golf courses, dining options, and at least a few fun attractions. Here’s how to make the most of your next outing to Black Butte Ranch.
Vacation Rental Community at
Black Butte Ranch
Black Butte Ranch is home to 120 privately owned vacation homes that span four distinct offerings—each showcasing condos, custom homes, and lodge rooms for travelers of all types, from couples enjoying a romantic getaway to large family gatherings.
The Summit homes are among the most popular at Black Butte Ranch, thanks in part to central locations and luxury accommodations; homes generally range from one-bedroom condos to six-bedroom homes—each with new appliances and furnishings, Pacific Northwest art, fireplaces, and other high-end amenities.
The Highpoint homes appeal to families with easy access to nearby activities, spacious decks, scenic views, a high number of bedrooms per home, open floor plans, free Wi-Fi, and more.
Meanwhile, the Ridgeline offerings don’t make families choose between comfort and value. Offering the best of both worlds, visitors can enjoy homes with up to six bedrooms along with a suite of other amenities: easy access to both golf courses, massive windows for plenty of natural light (and some of the resort’s best mountain views), spacious patios, pet-friendly homes, large televisions, and more.
Travelers wanting a ranch experience without breaking the bank tend to appreciate the Trailhead lodgings, which include a mix of cozy family homes and quaint cabins. The homes are noted for angular architecture, pet-friendly abodes, close proximity to walking and biking trails, spacious kitchens, large decks, free Wi-Fi, on-site grills, and a wide range of sizes; travelers can find homes with up to six bedrooms to accommodate families and groups of all sizes.
Curious about other vacation homes around the region? We’ve put together a page on Central Oregon vacation rentals with additional details, recommendations, and plenty of inspiration for a magical trip.
Black Butte Ranch Dining and Golf
With three popular restaurants and two award-winning golf courses, it’s no surprise that dining and golf are two of the most popular activities at Black Butte Ranch. Here’s how to plan your next meal—or what you need to know about hitting the links.
Dining at Black Butte Ranch: The ranch hosts a trio of restaurants, along with a curated market, to feed guests and residents. The Lodge Restaurant & Aspen Lounge, the ranch’s most iconic dining destination, has earned acclaim for its Pacific Northwest-inspired cuisine (typically crafted with locally sourced ingredients) and postcard-worthy views of nearby Cascade peaks. Robert’s Pub, meanwhile, sits inside the Big Meadow Clubhouse and boasts a family-friendly menu of classic pub fare—including burgers, sandwiches, salads, and Oregon craft beers. Elsewhere, the relaxed Lakeside Bistro offers light breakfast items, fresh salads, sandwiches, pizza, and more—all in an open setting that lets in plenty of natural light and shows off epic views of the surrounding mountains. And if you want something quick, casual, and to-go, Black Butte Ranch’s General Store sells locally grown produce, light sandwiches, Oregon beer and wine, and other nice-to-have items.
Golfing at Black Butte Ranch: Choose among two scenic championship courses at Black Butte Ranch—or hit the links on both courses, if your schedule allows. Glaze Meadow Golf Course is among the most iconic in Central Oregon, noted for its elevated greens, deep bunkers, five sets of tees on each hole, gentle hills, and sweeping views of the Cascade mountains; in fall, stands of quaking aspen bathe the course in vibrant hues of yellow. Big Meadow Golf Course is another local favorite, stretching for more than 7,000 yards and featuring sweeping fairways, elevated greens, and a photo-worthy view of Three Fingered Jack from the 14th hole. If you’re pressed for time or want to improve your short game, the Little Meadow Putting Course offers 12 holes, with lengths of up to 105 feet to challenge golfers of all skill and experience levels. (Still need to scratch that golfing itch? Learn more about golf in Central Oregon.)
Other Attractions at Black Butte Ranch
Whether your ideal ranch vacation involves kicking back or packing 25 hours’ worth of fun into a given day, you’ll find plenty to love about the many attractions at Black Butte Ranch. Options range from the peaceful and placid to the exciting and adventurous—so we’ve come up with a few ideas for making the most of your time around Black Butte Ranch.
Horseback riding: One of the most popular activities at Black Butte Ranch is the chance to hop in the saddle and explore Central Oregon’s scenic beauty via horseback rides. Professional wranglers lead riders of all levels, all year long, on trails at the ranch and in the surrounding forests—including through the Deschutes National Forest—with outings tailored to the skill and experience levels of each rider. Summertime rides are even offered exclusively to little buckaroos between three and six years old. For information on other rides around the region, check out our page about horseback riding in Central Oregon.
Phalarope Lake: Whether taking the nature trail to Phalarope Lake, paddling its quiet waters, or casting a fly, a trip to the serene setting at Phalarope Lake is time well spent. A handful of picturesque Cascade peaks rise above the western shore; osprey, bald eagles, otters, and other wildlife frolic in (and around) the lake; and anglers enjoy catch-and-release fishing for rainbow trout. (Fishing gear rentals are available, and free fly-fishing clinics are offered in the summer.)
Family activities: Kids of all ages find plenty to love about the activities offered at Black Butte Ranch. Families can craft ceramic pieces together, rent bikes (and enjoy a ride on the resort’s 18 miles of paved paths), cross country skis or snowshoes, test their mettle at an on-site disc golf course, swim in one of the many pools and more. Kids, specifically, can sign up for summertime camp programs that include stand-up paddleboarding and kayaking classes, climbing clinics, and arts-and-crafts workshops. Parents, meanwhile, can unwind by enjoying several spa services, taking a dip in one of the ranch’s many pools, playing tennis or pickleball on the resort’s 17 courts, or joining yoga and barre classes.
If you’re looking for fun away from the ranch, visit nearby Bend, Oregon, for year-round fun—including year-round outdoor recreation, summertime floats on the Deschutes River, a world-renowned craft beer scene, cutting-edge culinary offerings, and more.
Explore Nature’s Beauty
From the sagebrush-covered plains of the high desert to the towering pines and majestic mountain peaks, discover the diverse landscape Central Oregon has to offer.