Cascara is an outdoor recreational area in central Oregon on the east side of the Willamette National Forest. Incomparable natural beauty and a plethora of exciting activities await visitors. In summer, go hiking, fishing, rock climbing, wildlife observing, and sightseeing, and in the winter you can enjoy skiing, snowboarding, sledding, and snowshoeing. Here are some of the best locations for vacation rentals in the Cascara region.

1. Sunriver, Oregon

Source: Flickr / Bill Reynolds

Situated about 15 miles southwest of Bend on the eastern shore of the Deschutes River, Sunriver lies in the midst of beautiful forest and mountain scenery. Work up a sweat by hiking, cycling, or horseback riding on the many miles of trails. For a more relaxing evening, head for the Crosswater Club for a round of world-class golf, or stop by the Sage Spring Spa for a relaxing soak. Give the children a look at owls, raptors, and raccoons at the Sunriver Nature Center. Featuring 11 high-powered telescopes, the Oregon Observatory gives you an up-close look at the stars.

2. Three Rivers, Oregon

Source: Flickr / Jeremy McWilliams

Vacation rentals in Three Rivers are near the scenic confluence of the Deschutes, Little Deschutes, and Spring Rivers, which are great locations for you and the family to enjoy canoeing and kayaking. The area is also renowned for its excellent fly fishing. For outdoor trail enthusiasts, the Middle Fork Willamette Trail, Mackenzie River Trail, and North Umpqua Trail all pass through the area, offering multiple opportunities for hiking and cycling.

3. La Pine, Oregon

Source: Flickr / Tjflex2

Located about 30 miles southwest of Bend in the Little Deschutes River Valley, La Pine offers exciting year-round activities. Winter recreational opportunities include snowmobiling, snowshoeing, downhill skiing, and cross-country skiing. If you prefer warmer weather, visit in the summer and enjoy hiking, fishing, mountain biking, golfing, and water sports. Visit nearby Newberry National Volcanic Monument for a fascinating look at a cinder cone volcano, a shiny black obsidian lava flow, and the intriguing Lava Cast Forest. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, explore the Lava River Cave by lantern light.

4. Gilchrist, Oregon

Source: Flickr / Howard Ignatius

Surrounded by a forest of magnificent ponderosa pines, Gilchrist offers many summer and winter recreational activities, such as hiking, cycling, fishing, snowmobiling, and cross-country skiing. Numerous lakes and rivers are close to vacation rentals in Gilchrist. The town is also a convenient jumping-off point from which to explore Crater Lake National Park. This awe-inspiring park features a long-extinct volcano holding the deepest lake in the United States. The park is full of trails you can use to access the mountainous wilderness. Fauna that you may glimpse on your hikes include deer, elk, wolves, bears, and beavers. Overhead, watch for bald eagles, peregrine falcons, spotted owls, and Canadian geese.

5. Oakridge, Oregon

Source: Flickr / Koocheekoo

In the midst of the Willamette National Forest, vacation rentals in the town of Oakridge lie in a small valley in the Cascade Mountain foothills. Five local streams provide ample opportunities for family-friendly water activities. Diamond Peak Wilderness to the southeast is perfect for rugged hiking and mountain climbing. Watch for mule deer, black-tailed deer, and elk. Nearby is McCredie Hot Springs, where you can soak your cares away at several freely accessible natural hot spring-fed pools.

6. Silver Lake, Oregon

Source: Flickr / Jon Nelson

Vacation rentals in the town of Silver Lake have the advantage of a warm Mediterranean climate without much rainfall. Outdoor activities, such as hiking, fishing, bird watching, and skiing, are popular. Watch for wildlife like elk, mule deer, and pronghorn antelope in the area. Nearby is Fort Rock, a volcanic anomaly known as a tuff ring, which rises up out of the flat countryside like the walls of a fort. The Fort Rock Valley Historical Homestead Museum recreates an entire pioneer village, including cabins, a school, and a church. Use lantern light to explore Derrick Cave, a large lava tube cavern that’s about 1,200 feet long.

7. Christmas Valley, Oregon

Source: Flickr / Bureau of Land Management Oregon and Washington

Situated east of Silver Lake, vacation rentals in the town of Christmas Valley lie near a number of natural attractions. The shifting sand dunes east of town are the largest in the Pacific Northwest, and they are a top destination for off-road vehicle enthusiasts. If you like outdoor activities, stop by The Four Craters Lava Field, which is a popular site for hiking and climbing. For a unique hiking experience, descend into Crack in the Ground, a two-mile volcanic fissure with a walking trail at the bottom.

8. Deschutes River Woods, Oregon

Source: Flickr / Bruce Fingerhood

Located at the southwest edge of the city of Bend, vacation rentals in Deschutes River Woods are alongside the Deschutes River and offer easy access to nearby recreational locations. Elk Lake has numerous picnic and boat launching sites, and you can spend a full day swimming, fishing, kayaking, sailing, and windsurfing. Mount Bachelor is a popular area for skiing and other winter sports, such as dog sledding and snow-tubing. During the summer, mountain bike enthusiasts ply hundreds of miles of trails through the beautiful ponderosa pine forest.

9. Sisters, Oregon

Source: Flickr / Kirt Edblom

Enjoy quick access to the rivers, lakes, and forests of the Deschutes National Forest by bringing your family to a vacation rental in the city of Sisters. Hike, cycle, or horseback ride into the Three Sisters Wilderness via trails that initiate in the city. Unwind on a sunny day by playing a round of golf, surrounded by mountain scenery. Bring your family to one of the many local art galleries, so you can show them stunning paintings, sculptures, and custom-made jewelry.

10. Bend, Oregon

Source: Flickr / Gordon

Positioned in the midst of the incomparable natural beauty of central Oregon, Bend is surrounded by opportunities for sightseeing and recreational activities. For a unique view of the adjacent wilderness areas, take a helicopter or small airplane tour, and don’t forget your camera to capture some amazing photos. Walk the trail around Pilot Butte State Park, featuring a unique volcanic cinder butte within the city limits. Drake Park in the Old Bend neighborhood has a half-mile riverfront with picnic tables along the Deschutes River and Mirror Pond. Learn some fascinating local history at the Deschutes Historical Museum, and check out exhibits on local wildlife and ecology at the High Desert Museum.