Tours in Central Oregon

So much to see and do, never enough time. With the endless recreation and sightseeing possibilities around Bend and Central Oregon, it would be nice just to have someone help you decide where to start! So, once you’ve finally made that decision about what to do while you’re visiting the Bend area, finding someone who knows the ropes can take your chosen adventure to the next level. Taking a tour with a professional guide in Bend and Central Oregon sends you straight to the front of the line, with local guides who take you to the best spots, have thought of every detail and want to help you have the most fun possible.

By no means an exhaustive list, these guided tours below are some of the most popular picks that you can enjoy in Central Oregon. From locally-crafted spirits to high-flying helicopter rides, this is ‘choose your own adventure’ at its best. Enjoy the ride!

Group of three mountain bikers riding on a dusty trail in Sisters, Oregon

Year-Round Tours

Brewery, Wine and Distillery Tours

People on a beer tour with Wanderlust.

Bend, Oregon, affectionately referred to as Beertown USA,  has branched out quite a bit since the early brewery days. From Madras down to La Pine and out east to Prineville, Central Oregon’s cities encompass countless tasting rooms, wineries, and crafters of fine spirits. Clearly, one can’t cover it all in a single trip, but many guided craft beer and beverage tours are available to help you sample some of the best libations on the east side of the Cascades. Whether biking your way around Bend, or being along for the ride on a bus, there’s a professional guide to get you there.

From pedaling pubs around town to adventurous electric bike tours, drink tour companies will take you and your friends to check out everything from cider and wine to kombucha and whiskey. Wanderlust Tours is a top-notch tour company that goes beyond brewery tours to offer intimate distillery tours and tasting excursions all over Central Oregon.

Bend Scavenger Hunt Self-Guided Tour

Who doesn’t love a good scavenger hunt? Learn about Central Oregon history, nature and culture with a Bend Scavenger Hunt. Taking approximately two hours, this fun experience indulges the kid in you as you take an adventure along the Deschutes River, through historic Bend and downtown in search of local art. Clues lead you along pathways by the Old Mill District and the side streets around Bend.

Helicopter Tours Flying the Cascades

For a breathtaking vantage point over the Cascade volcanoes, Central Oregon is home to Leading Edge Tours, a premiere helicopter tour company that takes to the skies all four seasons of the year. Founded in 2005, they offer 30 and 45-minute tours, in addition to custom charters.

Winter Tours

Snowmobile Tours

When the snow starts to fall, adventurous imaginations start to drift toward hitting the powder-dusty trails on snowmobiles. With an incomparable network of hundreds of miles of trails around the Mt. Bachelor area, Sisters and La Pine, snowmobile tours are readily available to be your guides to ride. 

For something more down-to-Earth (literally), join Central Oregon Adventures for a fast-paced snowmobile tour into the Cascade Lakes backcountry and around Mount Bachelor (with trips heading out as far as Elk Lake Resort); outings are offered all winter long.

A group of snowmobilers.

Backcountry Tours

A skier’s playground, the Cascade Mountains also beckon for those wanting to explore the backcountry. Those looking for fresh powder turns in pristine locations can enlist a professional from Oregon Ski Guides for private ski tours, where they can climb and descend South Sister, take a mountaineering course or explore smaller stashes around Mt. Bachelor.

A not-to-miss experience for any passionate cross-country skier is the 22-mile, self-guided hut-to-hut tour operated by Three Sisters Backcountry. For those looking for steeper adventures, this ski guiding company also operates backcountry tours out of Three Creeks Sno-Park area, where they transport guests via snowmobiles to well-stocked backcountry yurts that lie at the base of Tam MacArthur Rim’s premiere backcountry skiing.

Spring/Summer Tours

Badlands ATV Tour

Off-roaders who share a love of going off-the-grid check off the Badlands east of Bend, Oregon as a bucket list 4WD adventure. Whether you’re transporting your own or need to rent an ATV, several tour companies get you geared up with professional guides and a guaranteed good time.

Two-hour ATV tours take you to the high desert’s many unique features, with trails through ponderosa forests, lunar-like lava formations and expansive exploring through sagebrush and sandy roads east of Bend.

Led by certified professional guides, ATV tours by Outriders Northwest, ATV tours by Octane Rental Company and Outriders NW will outfit you and keep you safe while you venture out to take in volcanic vistas with friends and family.

An ATV cruises through the high desert.

Hot Air Balloon Rides Over Central Oregon

A view of volcanoes from a birds-eye view is a rare experience, especially when powered by hot air. On many crisp mornings, colored orbs begin their ascent near Terrebonne, Oregon, hot air balloon tours that take guests to another level, literally. You can take to the skies in near-silence on a peaceful tour with Big Sky Balloon Co. gliding on air over stunning sights like Smith Rock State Park, the Cascade mountains and the Crooked River.

Bike Tours Near Bend

Bend and the surrounding areas boast some of the best biking in Oregon: Never-ending mountain bike trail networks are the spinning grounds for kids just starting out and some of the top mountain bike racers in the country, and Bend’s dining and drink scene warrants full days of exploring on wheels, from e-bikes to cruisers. Throw in miles of scenic road cycling routes in all directions, and it’s easy to understand why Central Oregon is a mecca for biking.

When you’re down for hitting the dirt but need some direction, several bike tour companies like Cog Wild based out of Bend are ready to ride with you. Professional guides and bike rentals are often just part of their packages, offering shuttle service, instruction and access to some of the most spectacular natural gems in Central Oregon. Take a mountain bike tour of waterfalls near La Pine, or head to the Ochocos near Prineville for some steeper climbs.

There are also road cycling bike tours to explore off the beaten path on pavement. Cruise the Cascade Lakes Highway to see and swim the high lakes. Start at Mt. Bachelor and finish in Sunriver. Or if in-town exploring to shops and restaurants is more your speed, try an eBike tour led by a knowledgeable guide.

Check out all of the bike tours available in Central Oregon here.

A mountain bike guide shows a biker how to go over a rock.

Rafting Tours on the Deschutes River

A group of people whitewater rafting down a rapid on the Deschutes River.

Pick up a paddle and feel the flow of the river with Central Oregon’s many guided river rafting tours. From the Deschutes River’s thrilling Big Eddy rapids and mesmerizing floats through Maupin, to the McKenzie River’s old growth passages, experienced rafting guide companies are geared to let the good times roll.

Guided rafting tours abound to take you from Bend-based Sun Country Tours to multi-day trips by Ouzel Outfitters, you and your group will enjoy experienced guides and endless choices on where to hit the water.

Deschutes River Horse Ride Tour

There’s nothing like a horseback riding tour in Central Oregon to feel like you’re traveling back in time to the frontier days. With ponderosa pines, sagebrush and the occasional iconic tumbleweed, the high desert is host to multiple guided tours on horseback. Some horse tour outfitters are just a lasso-throw from downtown Bend, so you don’t have to go far to find these equine adventures.

For a real ranch feel, head to Flyspur Ranch near Tumalo, Oregon, where you can ride right from the barn out to sweeping views of the Cascade mountains. Heading out to Sisters, you’ll find Black Butte Ranch’s iconic horseback riding tours, and Long Hollow Ranch, a rustic working ranch that offers rides as well as instruction along the way. Sunriver Resort  also has stables where you can find a steed to explore along the Deschutes River.

Near the eastern edge of Bend, where the region’s ranchland meets the high desert, sits Wilderness Horse Adventures. With access to hundreds of miles of trails, their licensed guides customize every rider’s experience based on their skills, choosing a horse and route for a perfect outing.

Two people ride at Black Butte Ranch

Cave Tours in Central Oregon

Two people explore a cave.

With volcanic geology comes lava, and lava flows equate to unique wonders to explore, like lava tubes. If you want to go caving and spelunking beyond the public Lava Caves 10 minutes south of Bend, hiring a caving guide is a good idea. Many of these geologic gems lie deep in the Deschutes National Forest and are not open to the public. Wanderlust Tours has a special permit to take you on caving and spelunking tours – their experienced guides will share the unique history and an explanation of the sensitive ecosystems within these special spots.  All equipment and transportation is included.


Tour Companies in Central Oregon

Every adventure in Central Oregon likely has a guided tour to go with it. There are tons of other tour companies to take you on classic or customized tours that cater to your group and desires. If you haven’t seen what you’re looking for, chances are Wanderlust Tours is a great place to start.  This top-notch tour company goes above and beyond to offer customizable and quintessential Central Oregon outdoor and in-town adventures, led by knowledgeable naturalists to savvy sippers.

Head to the Tours and Trails page to find your next adventure!

A tour group in canoes on a lake.

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.