All in a Day’s Drive

Family Day Trips out of Sunriver, Oregon

It’s finally happening. 

Phase two of the Oregon reopening plan has greenlit Sunriver for visitors, and most of you adventure-starved weekend warriors are already flocking to our busy little town. The Cascara Vacations team is so excited to welcome you all with open arms (from a distance!) and pass you the keys to your vacation rental. 

Are things a little different? Sure. Are we taking precautions seriously? Absolutely. However, our balloon of perpetual optimism will not be so easily deflated, and we’re already kicking down the doors to enjoy our favorite outdoor activities under Sunriver’s quintessential summer sun. 

If Cascara has the cure for your cabin fever, then you’ll want to squeeze in as many experiences as possible!

Here are two worthy adventures to bring your family together: 

Blue Pool Hike on the McKenzie River

Otherwise known as Tamolitch Falls, Blue Pool is a hiking trail about 90 minutes from Sunriver and is known for its strikingly blue pools against a backdrop of waterfalls in a tropical rainforest setting. Not to mention, only a 90 minute one-way drive from Sunriver! This one is a bucket-list necessity, and don’t just take our word for it. 

Plan on spending about three hours on this 4-mile round-trip hike. It’s rated as moderately difficult for most able-bodied adults or children.

Tried-and-true tips: 

Try less crowded days. Blue Pool is by no means Oregon’s best-kept secrets. Reduce your encounters by venturing out on a weekday or any early morning. 

Wear waterproof shoes. Rainforest sometimes means rain, which means mud. Pack an extra pair of shoes! 

Stop by Sisters for some shopping. If you have the time, Sisters is an adorable town tucked away in the mountains, though it’s not quiet by any means. Its Main Street is lined with eclectic shops and small boutiques that will keep your family busy for hours. 

Check out the Obsidian Grill. Just a few extra minutes past the Blue Pool Trailhead is the Obsidian Grill & McKenzie General Store. This unique one-stop shop is, in their words, a “community watering hole, adventure rest stop and organic hub.” They’ll make your family fall in love with the beer on tap, fresh organic American eats, and live music Thursdays and Saturdays. Don’t come home until you’ve had lunch or dinner on their deck (hopefully in the sunshine). 

Crater Lake National Park

Just like it sounds, Crater Lake is a crater lake about 1 hour and 45 minutes from Sunriver, with picturesque scenery that can attract quite a crowd of admirers. Once you see it for yourself, you won’t be wondering why. After you arrive at Crater Lake, there are quite a few activities you can participate in. It’s said that you would need three days to see it all, but we’ve highlighted a few things you can do in just one. If you can do them all, we’d be impressed! But for your sanity’s sake, you may just want to pick a few.

A caveat: As of when we’re writing this blog, not everything will be open. For the most up-to-date information, check out the site. The visitor’s center is currently closed, but the bathrooms are open.

Drive the rim. Make your way around the entire lake, stopping at every viewpoint. This alone could take an entire half day, so pack a lunch and some refreshments. Pro tip: Bring a phone charger — you’re going to be taking plenty of pics!

Go for a hike. Discovery Point Trail is a 4-mile out-and-back trail that is accessible year-round and is good for all ability levels. The views from this hike have been said to leave an impression for a lifetime. Insider tip: if you’re bringing children, be wary of sudden drop-offs or other hazardous terrain.

Check out some falls. Plaikni Falls is technically a hike, but visitors describe it as more or less a leisurely nature walk, and they can even be seen from the road. Combine this pitstop with one of the other two suggestions for a perfectly timed day trip to Crater Lake! 

We know navigating quality family time outside of the home is tricky right now, but we’re hoping that your family can enjoy a few of the attractions near Sunriver more seamlessly with these tips. Remember to enjoy your vacation, and let the stress of traveling roll off your back!