24 Best & Fun Things To Do In Prineville, OR

Are you planning a trip to Prineville, Oregon, and looking for fun activities to make your trip memorable? Look no further! You’re at the right place, as we’ll explore the 24 best and fun things to do in Prineville, OR, making your trip unforgettable.

Located in the heart of Central Oregon’s high desert in Crook County, Prineville, Oregon, is a beautiful destination with numerous attractions. From outdoor adventures to cultural experiences, Prineville offers visitors an array of activities and attractions to explore.

From beautiful museums and historic sites to outdoor adventures and cultural events, there is something for everyone in this desert town. Visitors can explore Prineville Reservoir State Park and learn history at the Bowman Memorial Museum.


24 Best & Fun Things To Do In Prineville, OR (2024)


1. Smith Rock State Park

Things To Do In Prineville, OR

Begin your Prineville journey with a visit to Snith Rock State Park, famous for its breathtaking rock formations and world-class rock climbing opportunities.

Sprawling 651 acres on the Oregon high desert plateau, which hovers around 3000 feet in elevation, the major rock formations are made up of welded turf, reaching a height of up to 550 feet.

The park offers over 1800 climbing routes, and the picnic and campground areas sit on top of the rimrock.

On your visit, hike the scenic trails, admire the stunning views of the Crooked River, and watch climbers tackle the iconic cliffs.  Don’t forget your camera; the sunset views are spectacular!

Address: Oregon, 97760, United States.

2. Crooked River Scenic Drive

Things To Do In Prineville, OR

One of the free things to do in Prineville, OR, is to take a fun drive along the Crooked River Scenic Drive and admire the rugged beauty of the Crooked River Canyon.

As you drive along this scenic byway, stop at overlooks for panoramic views of the canyon walls and winding river below. You will also pass about 8 campgrounds, including a picnic area, with each bend bringing you to another.

Keep an eye out for wildlife, including golden eagles, mule deer, and the occasional river otter.

Address: Prineville, OR, United States.

3. Ochoco National Forest

Things To Do In Prineville, OR

Located in the Ochoco Mountains, north and east of Prineville, exploring the Ochoco National Forest is one of the best things to do in Prineville, OR, for nature enthusiasts.

Spanning over 850,000 acres, the Ochoco National Forest comprises rimrock, canyons, geologic oddities, dense pine forests, and high desert terrain, as well as, the headwaters of the North Fork Crookes River.

The forest also provides opportunities for recreational activities such as hiking, fishing, camping, hunting, horseback riding, birding, rock hounding, kayaking, stargazing, and rock climbing.

Address: Oregon, United States.

4. Prineville Reservoir State Park

Things To Do In Prineville, OR

One of the fun things to do in Prineville, OR, in the summer is to escape the summer heat at Prineville Reservoir State Park.

Spanning over 3,000 acres, Prineville Reservoir State Park is a popular spot for numerous recreational activities such as boating, fishing, camping, and water sports.

On your visit, rent a kayak or paddleboard, cast a line for trout or bass, or simply relax on the sandy beaches and soak up the sunshine.

Address: Prineville Reservoir State Park, Prineville, OR 97754, United States.

5. Bowman Museum

Things To Do In Prineville, OR

The Bowman Museum is one of the best places to learn about the history and culture of Prineville, Oregon. Opened in 1971, the museum is housed in a historic building in downtown Prineville.

The museum houses numerous collections, including original pioneer artifacts, a large railroad exhibit, ranching, and timber industry displays, furniture, garments, and historic photographs.

Visitors can take a guided tour of the museum, learn about the history of the town, and attend the annual celebration.

Address: 246 N Main Street, Prineville, OR 97754, United States.

6. Painted Hills

Things To Do In Prineville, OR

Famous as one of the Seven Wonders of Oregon, the Painted Hills are one of the must-see attractions in Prineville, Oregon.

Located in the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, the Painted Hills are composed of layers of yellows, reds, gold, and black earth, which denote the different geological eras of this floodplain of the past.

READ ALSO  21 Best & Fun Things To Do In Silverton, OR

On your visit, admire the vibrant hues of colors that adorn the hillside, creating a surreal landscape that looks like it’s been painted by an artist’s brush.

Address: Prineville, OR 97754, United States.

7. Petersen Rock Garden

Things To Do In Prineville, OR

Located in Redmond, Oregon, about 40 minutes from Prineville, stepping into a whimsical world at Petersen Rock Garden is one of the best things to do near Prineville, OR.

Constructed in 1935, this 4-acre attraction is comprised of a rock garden and a museum. The Petersen Rock Garden features intricate rock sculptures, bridges, waterfalls, natural landscaping, and a miniature village.

The garden also features roaming peafowl and a museum with a gift shop that sells rocks.

On your visit, admire the craftsmanship of Danish immigrant Rasmus Petersen, who spent over 50 years creating this unique garden using thousands of colorful rocks and minerals.

Address: 7930 SW 77th Street, Redmond, OR 97756, United States.

8. Crook County Fairgrounds

Things To Do In Prineville, OR

Established in 1903, the Cross County Fairgrounds is one of the best places to visit in Prineville. Here you can attend events like the Crooked River Roundup Rodeo, county fairs, and agricultural exhibitions.

Watch and enjoy rodeo performances, live music, carnival rides, and delicious fair food with family and friends.

Address: 1280 Main Street, Prineville, OR 97754, United States.

9. Crooked River Ranch Golf Course

Things To Do In Prineville, OR

One of the fun things to do in Prineville, OR, this weekend is to book a tee time at the Crooked River Ranch Golf Course, one of the most spectacular golf holes in Oregon.

Established in 1972, the Crooked River Ranch Golf Course offers both experienced and inexperienced golfers a good challenge. Sitting on 10,000 acres, the meticulously manicured 18-hole golf course spans 5,818 yards from the back tees and plays to a par-71.

Beyond golf, the ranch also offers other attractions like a swimming pool, a pavilion for picnics, a baseball field, a basketball court, a tennis and pickleball court, and the Loins’ Memorial Park.

Address: 5195 SW Club House Road, Terrebonne, OR 97760, United States.


Are you exploring other attractions near Prineville? Why not check out some fun things to do in Silverton, OR, fun things to do in Corvallis, OR, and fun things to do in Albany, OR?


10. Ochoco Wayside State Park

Things To Do In Prineville, OR

Exploring the beauty of Ochoco Wayside State Park is one of the family-friendly things to do in Prineville, Oregon. This picturesque natural haven offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.

The Ochoco Wayside State Park features an elevated vantage point atop the Ochoco Divide and provides visitors with panoramic views of verdant forests stretching towards distant mountains.

The park is famous for its picnic area, which is situated among towering pine trees where travelers can rest during their journey along Highway 26.

What’s more, the park also offers a gateway to other outdoor activities, such as hiking or exploring nearby attractions.

Address: Prineville, OR 97754, United States.

11. Bowman Dam

Things To Do In Prineville, OR

One of the best outdoor activities to do in Prineville, OR, is to explore the Bowman Dam. Located on the Crooked River, the earth-type irrigation dam creates the popular water recreation destination of Prineville Reservoir.

Completed in 1961, the Bowman Dam, which is 245 feet tall, was built without any fish passage facilities. However, the area around the dam features several great fishing, camping, and water recreation spots.

Address: OR-27, Prineville, OR 97754, United States.

12. Steins Pillar Trailhead

Things To Do In Prineville, OR

Steins Pillar is one of the top attractions in Crook County. The 4-mile-long trail can be accessed at the Steins Pillar Trailhead.

From the trailhead, it is a moderate hike or short bike ride to the base of Steins Pillar, a 350-foot monolith of welded tuff, deposited during the collapse of the Wildcat Caldera, around 40 million years ago.

READ ALSO  27 Best & Fun Things To Do In Fort Collins, CO

Originally underground, the pillar was exposed when softer strata were eroded over the eons and can be seen from a viewing area along Mill Creek Road.

Address: Prineville, OR 97754, United States.

13. Walton Lake

Things To Do In Prineville, OR

Among the many free things to do in Prineville, OR, for outdoor enthusiasts is to explore Walton Lake. This blue sparkling jewel is hidden within mostly old-growth Ponderosa pine forest and offers recreational opportunities to visitors and locals alike.

Walton Lake is an ideal destination for outdoor recreation such as fishing, swimming, boating, hiking, sightseeing, bird watching, and hunting.

What’s more, there is also a dirt trail around the lake that offers a variety of scenic views.

Address: NF-2220, Prineville, OR 97754, United States.

14. Puzzle Effect Escape Rooms

Things To Do In Prineville, OR

Located in Bend, Oregon, less than a 50-minute drive from Prineville, participating in an immersive and obstacle-driven adventure at Puzzle Effect Escape Rooms is one of the fun things to do with friends and family near Prineville.

Puzzle Effect Escape Rooms challenges players to search for hidden clues, solve puzzles, find secret passages, dodge the lasers, crack the safe, and work together to escape within the time limit.

The rooms are all set in different themes, with five choices, making it a fantastic experience. Some escape rooms on offer include Curse on the Emerald Seas, Pipe Works, Rescue, Sideshow, and Grim Sacks.

Address: 61470 S Hwy 97 #4, Bend, OR 97702, United States.

15. Meadow Lakes Golf Course

Things To Do In Prineville, OR

The Meadow Lakes Golf Course is one of the best places to play golf in Prineville, Oregon. Opened in 1993 and designed by Canada’s premier golf course architect, Mr. Bill Robinson, Meadow Lakes Golf Course crosses the beautiful Crooked River 4 times.

With fairly flat terrain, the course offers both experienced and inexperienced golfers a good challenge. Sitting on an expansive area, the meticulously manicured 18-hole golf course spans 6,783 yards from the back tees and plays to a par-72.

The club also offers an onsite restaurant where you can dine with your family and friends.

Address: 300 SW Meadow Lakes Drive, Prineville, OR 97754, United States.

16. Rimrock Springs Wildlife Refuge

Things To Do In Prineville, OR

One of the unique outdoor activities to do in Prineville is to spot wildlife at Rimrock Springs Wildlife Refuge, a sanctuary for elk, deer, eagles, and other native species.

This area features a short 0.5-mile paved trail that leads to an uncovered observation deck, where you can have a broad viewpoint of the surrounding area.

On your visit, take a scenic drive through the refuge, hike the nature trails, watch out for deer, pronghorn, and migratory birds, or enjoy a picnic amidst the tranquil landscapes of Central Oregon.

Address: US-26, Madras, OR 97741, United States.

17. Rimrock Lanes

Things To Do In Prineville, OR

Another fun thing to do with family and friends in Prineville, OR, at night is to experience a thrilling adventure at Rimrock Lanes.

Rimrock Lanes offers 18 bowling lanes catering to casual bowlers and serious league players. The entertainment centre also offers a variety of bowling formats, including open bowling and junior and adult league bowling. There is also an arcade with pool tables and air hockey.

The entertainment centre also has an in-house restaurant and bar serving delicious meals and refreshing drinks, making it a complete family entertainment package.

Address: 2653 SW High Desert Drive, Prineville, OR 97754, United States.

18. Pioneer Park

Things To Do In Prineville, OR

Exploring Pioneer Park is one of the fun things to do in Prineville, OR, with kids. This 1.75-acre park is a beehive of family-friendly recreational activities.

The park features a pavilion with power, 9 picnic tables, a playground for kids, restrooms, and a historic cabin with Bowman Museum exhibits. The park also hosts several events annually, including Western Daze, Picnic in the Park, and Pioneer Queen Picnic.

Address: 450 NE 3rd Street, Prineville, OR 97754, United States.

19. Norm’s Xtreme Fitness Center

Things To Do In Prineville, OR

One of the fun things to do in Prineville, OR, for fitness enthusiasts is to sign up for a round of fitness training at Norm’s Xtreme Fitness Center.

READ ALSO  19 Best & Fun Things To Do In John Day, OR

This center offers a wide range of fitness opportunities, such as free weights, elliptical trainers, resistance circuits, a sauna, stationary bicycles, treadmills, and a rowing machine.

You can also get a personal trainer to help you stay fit throughout your stay in town.

Address: 120 NW 3rd St suite a, Prineville, OR 97754, United States.

20. Barnes Butte Recreation Area

Things To Do In Prineville, OR

 

Famous as one of the top attractions in Prineville, Oregon, the Barnes Butte Recreation Area is composed of welded tuff and is part of the Crooked River caldera.

The area was the site of a 1940s mercury mine. Today, visitors can hike or mountain bike the trails in the area while having a panoramic view of the Cascade Mountains, Ochoco Mountains, and Crooked River Valley.

On your visit, explore rock formations, wildflower meadows, and diverse ecosystems as you immerse yourself in nature.

Address: Prineville, OR 97754, United States.

21. Prineville Adventure Park

Things To Do In Prineville, OR

Experience adrenaline-pumping thrills at Prineville Adventure Park. This park offers numerous outdoor recreation opportunities for everyone.

The Prineville Adventure Park features archery, an MX track for motorbike racing, ATV racing facilities, mountain biking, hiking, and running.

On your visit, race through obstacles, and enjoy panoramic views of the Cascade Mountains and surrounding forests.

Address: 4275 SW Aviation Blvd, Prineville, OR 97754, United States.

22. Crook County Library

Things To Do In Prineville, OR

The Crook County Library is not just a hub of knowledge and community resources; it’s a community resource with a variety of programs catering to people of all ages.

Established in 1999, the Crook County Library spans 17,500 feet and houses an extensive collection of about 100,000 volumes of books, e-books, audiobooks, newspapers, magazines, and Spanish language collections for children and adults.

The Crook County Library also hosts family-friendly activities, storytimes, engaging English language learning programs, and book clubs that cater to various age groups, making it an enriching destination for all.

Address: 175 NW Meadow Lakes Drive, Prineville, OR 97754, United States.

23. Hot Air Balloon Ride

Things To Do In Prineville, OR

Another unique thing to do in Prineville, OR, today is to soar high above Prineville and enjoy beautiful views of Central Oregon with a hot air balloon ride.

Big Sky Balloon Company, a hot air balloon ride operator, offers some of the most remarkable flights in Central Oregon. The flights offer a unique view of Smith Rock State Park, Wild and Scenic Crooked River Canyon, and the surrounding buttes and mountain ranges of the Cascades.

Their flights are conducted in the morning when wind conditions are calm and the air is stable. As such, ensure to dress in layers, as it can be cool in the high desert.

Address: 611 NE Jackpine Ct Unit 3, Redmond, OR 97756, United States.

24. Chimney Rock

Things To Do In Prineville, OR

Located within the Deschutes-Ochoco National Forest, Chimney Rock is one of the top attractions in Prineville, Oregon.

This rock overlooks a bunchgrass landscape that has been etched by the beautiful cliff-rimmed canyon of the Crooked River. This short hike climbs out of the canyon and traverses through a dry waterfall to an overlook with great views.

Just beyond is Chimney Rock, where you can see cliff swallow nests, multi-colored lichens, and a view that extends to the Three Sisters.

Address: Chimney Rock Trail, Prineville, OR 97754, United States.

Plan Your Trip To Prineville, OR

Prineville, Oregon, is an exciting destination with a wide range of activities to do. From outdoor adventures and scenic drives to cultural experiences and entertainment options, Prineville has something special for every visitor.

Whether you’re seeking relaxation, exploration, or adventure, Prineville invites you to discover the beauty and charm of Central Oregon. Plan your next trip and make unforgettable memories in this vibrant and diverse destination.

 

 

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *