10 Things to do in Prineville Oregon – 2024 Ultimate Guide

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Table of Contents

Welcome

Welcome to Prineville, Oregon, a hidden gem in the Pacific Northwest that offers a perfect blend of outdoor adventures, cultural experiences, and small-town charm. If you’re seeking a destination that combines breathtaking natural beauty with a rich history, Prineville is the place to be. From hiking in the stunning Ochoco National Forest to exploring the vibrant local art scene, there are endless things to do in Prineville Oregon that will captivate every traveler. So pack your bags and get ready to discover the magic of this picturesque town nestled in the heart of Central Oregon.

Popular Experiences and Attractions

Ochoco National Forest:

Essential Information

– Address: Prineville, Oregon
– Opening Hours: Daily, 24 hours
– Fee: Free
– Visit Duration: Half-day to full day
– Ideal for: Nature lovers, hikers, outdoor enthusiasts

Overview

Surrounded by the stunning landscapes of Prineville, Oregon, Ochoco National Forest is a must-see destination for nature enthusiasts seeking a peaceful retreat. With its vast expanse of pine forests, meandering trails, and diverse wildlife, this forest offers a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Whether you’re an avid hiker looking to conquer challenging peaks or simply seeking a tranquil spot for a leisurely stroll, Ochoco National Forest has something for everyone. The crisp mountain air and breathtaking views make it an ideal setting for outdoor adventures year-round. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore this hidden gem in the heart of Oregon’s natural beauty.

Prineville Reservoir State Park:

Essential Information

– Address: Prineville Reservoir State Park, 19020 SE Parkland Dr, Prineville, OR 97754
– Opening Hours: 6:00 am – 10:00 pm daily
– Fee: $5 day-use parking fee
– Visit Duration: Half-day to full-day
– Ideal for: Outdoor enthusiasts, families, and nature lovers

Overview

Prineville Reservoir State Park in Prineville, Oregon, is a must-see destination for those seeking a serene escape into nature. The park offers a picturesque setting with its crystal-clear waters and stunning mountain views, making it an ideal spot for outdoor enthusiasts and families alike. Whether you’re looking to enjoy a day of fishing, boating, or simply relaxing by the water’s edge, Prineville Reservoir State Park has something for everyone.

With its convenient location and affordable day-use fee, this state park provides a budget-friendly option for a day of outdoor recreation. Visitors can explore the park’s hiking trails, have a picnic in one of the designated areas, or try their hand at catching some of the local fish species that inhabit the reservoir. The park’s peaceful atmosphere and natural beauty make it a perfect retreat from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Overall, Prineville Reservoir State Park offers a tranquil escape where visitors can unwind and connect with nature. Whether you’re seeking adventure or simply looking to relax in a beautiful setting, this hidden gem in Prineville, Oregon, is sure to leave a lasting impression on all who visit.

Bowman Museum:

Essential Information

– Address: 246 N Main St, Prineville, OR 97754
– Opening Hours: Monday-Saturday 10am-5pm, Sunday 1pm-5pm
– Fee: $7 for adults, $5 for seniors, $4 for students, free for children under 12
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: History enthusiasts, families, and solo travelers

Overview

The Bowman Museum in Prineville, Oregon, offers a fascinating glimpse into the rich history of Central Oregon. With its diverse exhibits showcasing the region’s pioneer heritage, Native American culture, and local industries, this museum is a must-see for anyone interested in the area’s past. From interactive displays detailing the early settlers’ challenges to artifacts highlighting the evolution of ranching and logging in the region, the Bowman Museum provides a comprehensive overview of Central Oregon’s development.

Visitors can explore exhibits featuring authentic tools, clothing, and photographs that offer a tangible connection to the past. The museum’s knowledgeable staff are on hand to provide insights and answer questions, enhancing the educational experience for all guests. Whether you’re a history buff eager to delve into the region’s past or a family looking for an engaging and informative outing, the Bowman Museum promises a rewarding visit that sheds light on the unique heritage of Prineville and its surroundings.

Crooked River Canyon:

Essential Information

– Address: Prineville, Oregon
– Opening Hours: Daily, 8:00 am – 6:00 pm
– Fee: Free
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: Nature lovers, hikers, photographers

Overview

In the heart of Prineville, Oregon, lies the captivating Crooked River Canyon, a natural wonder that beckons visitors to explore its rugged beauty. This must-see attraction offers a unique blend of stunning landscapes and outdoor adventures, making it a favorite among nature enthusiasts. The canyon’s towering cliffs and meandering river create a picturesque setting that is perfect for hiking, photography, and simply soaking in the tranquility of the great outdoors.

As you traverse the trails that wind through the canyon, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of the rugged terrain and the crystal-clear waters of the Crooked River below. Whether you’re an avid hiker looking for a challenging trek or a casual nature lover seeking a peaceful escape, Crooked River Canyon has something for everyone. Don’t forget your camera, as the canyon’s dramatic vistas and diverse wildlife provide ample opportunities for capturing unforgettable moments in nature. Plan your visit to Crooked River Canyon today and discover the raw beauty of Oregon’s wilderness.

Steins Pillar:

Essential Information

– Address: Steins Pillar, Prineville, Oregon
– Opening Hours: Daily, sunrise to sunset
– Fee: Free
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: Nature lovers, hikers, outdoor enthusiasts

Overview

Steins Pillar in Prineville, Oregon, stands as a remarkable natural formation that captivates visitors with its sheer size and rugged beauty. Rising majestically from the surrounding landscape, this iconic rock formation offers a glimpse into the geological wonders of Central Oregon. Hikers and nature enthusiasts are drawn to Steins Pillar for its challenging yet rewarding trails that lead to breathtaking panoramic views of the region. Whether you’re seeking a peaceful escape into the wilderness or a thrilling outdoor adventure, a visit to Steins Pillar promises an unforgettable experience in the heart of Oregon’s natural splendor.

Smith Rock State Park:

Essential Information

– Address: 9241 NE Crooked River Dr, Terrebonne, OR 97760
– Opening Hours: 7:00 am – 9:00 pm
– Fee: $5 day-use parking fee
– Visit Duration: Half-day to full day
– Ideal for: Hikers, rock climbers, nature enthusiasts

Overview

Smith Rock State Park in Prineville, Oregon, is a must-see destination for outdoor enthusiasts seeking breathtaking landscapes and thrilling adventures. With its iconic rock formations and stunning views of the Crooked River, this park offers a unique experience for hikers, rock climbers, and nature lovers alike. The park’s rugged terrain provides a challenging yet rewarding environment for those looking to explore the great outdoors.

Visitors can embark on scenic hikes along the park’s well-maintained trails, taking in panoramic vistas of the surrounding high desert landscape. Rock climbers from around the world flock to Smith Rock to test their skills on the park’s world-class climbing routes, making it a mecca for climbing enthusiasts. Whether you’re seeking a leisurely stroll or an adrenaline-pumping ascent, Smith Rock State Park has something to offer for everyone.

In addition to its outdoor activities, the park also boasts a rich diversity of wildlife and plant species, making it a prime spot for nature observation and photography. From golden eagles soaring overhead to vibrant wildflowers blooming along the trails, Smith Rock is a sanctuary for nature lovers seeking to connect with the natural world. Whether you’re a seasoned outdoor adventurer or a casual nature enthusiast, a visit to Smith Rock State Park promises an unforgettable experience in the heart of Oregon’s rugged beauty.

Ochoco Creek Park:

Essential Information

– Address: Prineville, Oregon
– Opening Hours: Daily from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm
– Fee: Free admission
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: Nature lovers, families, outdoor enthusiasts

Overview

Ochoco Creek Park in Prineville, Oregon, offers a serene escape for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts alike. With its lush greenery, tranquil creek, and scenic walking paths, this park provides a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Whether you’re looking to enjoy a leisurely stroll, have a picnic with your family, or simply unwind in nature, Ochoco Creek Park is the perfect spot to relax and recharge.

The park’s well-maintained trails are ideal for a leisurely walk or a refreshing jog, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the beauty of the surrounding landscape. Birdwatchers will delight in the diverse avian species that call the park home, while families can enjoy a fun-filled day of outdoor activities in the designated picnic areas. With its convenient location and free admission, Ochoco Creek Park is a must-see destination for anyone seeking a peaceful and rejuvenating outdoor experience in Prineville, Oregon.

Barnes Butte Recreation Area:

Essential Information

– Address: Barnes Butte Road, Prineville, Oregon
– Opening Hours: Daily from sunrise to sunset
– Fee: Free admission
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: Nature lovers, hikers, families

Overview

Barnes Butte Recreation Area in Prineville, Oregon, offers a refreshing escape into the great outdoors. With its scenic trails and stunning views, this recreational area is a must-see for nature enthusiasts and hikers alike. The well-maintained paths wind through diverse landscapes, from lush forests to open meadows, providing a perfect setting for a leisurely stroll or a more challenging hike.

Visitors can expect to encounter a variety of wildlife along the way, adding to the allure of this natural oasis. Whether you’re looking to unwind amidst the tranquility of nature or seeking an active adventure, Barnes Butte Recreation Area has something for everyone. So, lace up your hiking boots, pack a picnic, and head out to explore this hidden gem in the heart of Oregon.

Big Summit Prairie:

Essential Information

– Address: Prineville, Oregon
– Opening Hours: Varies by event
– Fee: Varies by event
– Visit Duration: Half-day to full day
– Ideal for: Nature lovers, outdoor enthusiasts

Overview

Big Summit Prairie in Prineville, Oregon, is a must-see destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts alike. This expansive prairie offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the stunning natural beauty of Central Oregon. With its wide-open spaces, rolling hills, and diverse flora and fauna, Big Summit Prairie provides a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Whether you’re looking to hike through fields of wildflowers, spot wildlife in their natural habitat, or simply relax and take in the breathtaking views, Big Summit Prairie has something for everyone. From sunrise to sunset, this hidden gem in Oregon’s high desert is sure to leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. Plan your visit today and discover the beauty of Big Summit Prairie for yourself.

Ochoco Mountains:

Essential Information

– Address: Prineville, Oregon
– Opening Hours: Daily, sunrise to sunset
– Fee: Free
– Visit Duration: Half-day to full-day
– Ideal for: Nature lovers, hikers, outdoor enthusiasts

Overview

The Ochoco Mountains in Prineville, Oregon, offer a rugged and picturesque landscape that is a must-see for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. With its vast forests, meandering trails, and stunning vistas, the Ochoco Mountains provide the perfect setting for a day of exploration and adventure. Visitors can hike through the lush forests, spot wildlife in their natural habitat, and breathe in the fresh mountain air. Whether you’re looking for a challenging trek or a leisurely stroll, the Ochoco Mountains offer something for everyone. Don’t miss the opportunity to experience the beauty and tranquility of this hidden gem in Central Oregon.

Food and Cuisine

Prineville Ribeye Steak

Why is it so special:

The Prineville Ribeye Steak is a local favorite known for its exceptional quality and flavor. This dish features a thick, juicy ribeye steak seasoned with a special blend of local herbs and spices, then grilled to perfection. The meat is tender and succulent, offering a rich and savory taste that will leave you craving for more. The dish pays homage to the region’s cattle ranching heritage and commitment to high-quality beef production.

Where to Try It:

For an authentic Prineville Ribeye Steak experience, head to the local steakhouse, The Pine Tavern. This iconic restaurant has been serving up delicious steaks for decades and is renowned for its perfectly cooked ribeye steaks. If you’re looking for a more upscale dining experience, make a reservation at Club Pioneer, where you can enjoy a gourmet version of this classic dish.

Prineville Trout Almondine

Why is it so special:

Prineville Trout Almondine is a delightful dish that showcases the region’s fresh and flavorful trout. The trout fillets are lightly breaded and pan-fried until crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. The dish is then topped with a generous serving of toasted almonds and a squeeze of lemon juice, adding a nutty and citrusy flavor profile to the delicate fish. This dish is a perfect representation of Prineville’s commitment to using locally sourced ingredients and highlighting the natural flavors of the region.

Where to Try It:

To savor the best Prineville Trout Almondine, visit Crossroads BBQ Pit & Pub, a cozy eatery known for its delicious seafood dishes. The chefs at Crossroads prepare this dish with precision and care, ensuring that each bite is a delightful experience. For a more upscale setting, dine at The IronHorse Restaurant, where you can enjoy a refined version of this classic Prineville dish.

Events and Festivals

Prineville Roundup

The Prineville Roundup is a famous rodeo event held annually in Prineville, Oregon. Visitors can experience thrilling rodeo competitions, including bull riding, barrel racing, and team roping. The event also features a parade, live music, food vendors, and a carnival, making it a fun-filled experience for the whole family.

Crooked River Roundup

The Crooked River Roundup is another popular rodeo event in Prineville, Oregon, known for its exciting rodeo performances and western-themed entertainment. Visitors can enjoy watching professional cowboys and cowgirls compete in various rodeo events, such as bronc riding and steer wrestling. The event also includes a parade, live music, and a carnival, providing entertainment for all ages.

Prineville Hot Air Balloon Festival

The Prineville Hot Air Balloon Festival is a colorful and enchanting event that takes place in Prineville, Oregon. Visitors can witness a spectacular display of hot air balloons filling the sky, creating a picturesque backdrop against the scenic landscape. The festival offers hot air balloon rides, live music, food vendors, and family-friendly activities, making it a must-visit event for those seeking a unique and memorable experience.

Interesting Facts

– Prineville, Oregon is home to the Facebook data center, one of the largest in the world, covering over 1 million square feet.
– The Ochoco National Forest near Prineville is known for its stunning rock formations and offers excellent opportunities for hiking, rock climbing, and camping.
– The city hosts an annual “Crooked River Roundup” rodeo, a beloved tradition that attracts visitors from all over the region.

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