Description - Located on the east side of the Cascade Mountain Range, several rivers, forests and mountain slopes create a recreational playground in Central Oregon. Although Oregon is often associated with rain, the Cascades act as a buffer from Pacific storms and Central Oregon enjoys blue skies and sunshine nearly 300 days a year. Its high desert landscape offers almost constant views of snowcapped Cascade peaks.
- Geologic attractions include Smith Rock State Park and Newberry National Volcanic Monument. If you enjoy scenic views of deep river canyons or rock climbing, Smith Rock State Park is the place for you. There are several thousand climbs in the park. More than a thousand are bolted routes. Visitors come from all over the world to view Newberry Volcano's remarkable and easily accessible volcanic features, shaped by eruptions spanning the past half-million years.
Eleven other State Parks are found in Central Oregon. The Deschutes River State Recreation Area is a tree-shaded overnight oasis for campers. Heritage Landing is a popular jetboaters launch. It provides access to the Deschutes and Columbia Rivers. La Pine State Park offers a high-Cascade environment and a pine forest.
The Deschutes and Ochoco National Forests are located in this region. The Deschutes stretches from high peaks, through forests, to the high-desert. People are drawn to the Ochoco for it's majestic ponderosa pine stands, picturesque rimrock vantage points, deep canyons, unique geologic formations, abundant wildlife, and plentiful sunshine.
Recreation - Snowsports dominate the winter months on Mt. Bachelor, while fly-fishing, hiking, backpacking, mountain biking, horseback riding, rafting, kayaking, rock climbing viewing scenery and golf are popular activities for the rest of the year.
Climate - Climate in central and eastern Oregon varies greatly depending on elevation. The high elevations receive much more precipitation and colder temperatures. These regions are much more arid and see greater temperature extremes than western Oregon. Much of the precipitation comes from October to April, mostly in the form of snow in the higher elevations. Winter temperatures can drop well below zero degrees Fahrenheit. Snow remains in the high mountains into early summer. Late spring, summer and early autumn tend to bring clear, sunny days, with warm to hot temperatures at the low elevations and moderate temperatures at the higher elevations. Summer afternoon thunderstorms are not uncommon.
This region occupies the north-central portion of the state, just east of the Cascades. The region includes the town of Bend. US Highways 90 and 20 are primary access routes through the region.