Run Oregon loves running – that’s no surprise. But we also love the Pacific Northwest and all that it has to offer. Running is a part of us, but it does not fully define us. In our “Make a Day of It” feature, we aim to showcase some great local non-running events and highlight where to run and how to make the most of your experience!
The next installment of this series is the Crooked River Ranch Cabins (CRRC)! Located in Central Oregon just North of Redmond (and near Smith Rock!), it’s a wonderful little spot to be a home base for a running getaway!
First the Running:
I am not sure any trip to Central Oregon is complete without going to Smith Rock State Park – a 12 mile drive from the cabins. If you have never been – what are you waiting for?! This is one of my favorite spots in Oregon and, though it can be busy in summer months, going earlier in the mornings or in off seasons can achieve more ideal results. There are also a few races that take place here most years:
If you have been to Smith Rock before and want to try out some different trails, there are a handful within 10 minutes. Otterbench Trailhead is 6-8 miles and provides amazing views of the Crooked River canyon. You can even go all the way down to water (and then back up again!). The Crooked River Canyon Trailhead is a little shorter (3-4 miles), and is accessible just beyond the on-site golf course. Depending on your desire, there are shorter, but steeper, trails to get you down to the water quicker, or longer paths that are a little more gradual. If you are looking for something even shorter, and potentially ends with a daring jump into the river afterwards (be safe!), maybe consider Steelhead Falls. It is only a 10-15 minute drive, and is only a half mile in length to get there (though you can extend it if you desire), but the views are worth it.
If you are looking for some more paved options as opposed to trails, the Crooked River Canyon Scenic Bikeway has you covered. This is a little bit longer of a drive to get to Prineville, but once you get there you can enjoy up to 37 miles RT. It’s also bound to be less crowded than many of the paved running spots in Bend. We were actually only in Central Oregon to stay at CRRC and participate in the LIVE(!) Prineville Paddy Pint, but we will definitely be back to check this out!
CRRC is a little under the radar – tucked off Highway 97 between Redmond and Madras. I would venture that most runner’s experiences with this stretch of highway only includes getting to Bend from Portland, and vice versa. And even then, it’s a little bit of trek to get there. However, it’s really a hidden little gem that is away from the hustle and bustle of most cities and provides a super quiet and relaxing space that is rooted in outdoor adventuring and disconnecting.
CRRC has a variety of amenities on site outside of the actual cabins. There is an 18 hole golf course, basketball & pickleball court, baseball/softball fields, bocce ball, disc golf, swimming pool (in the summer), and even a playground for the kids. There is plenty of space available to roam, with or without kids and pets (they are dog-friendly!) which is much appreciated in 2020/2021.
There are three different lodging options at CRRC:
Each differ a little in size and amenities, but all have the rustic feel to them – without completely feeling like you are roughing it.
We were allotted one of CRRC’s Superior Lodge Suites – a larger option (between 650-720 sq. ft.) that came with 2 beds and a pull out, kitchenette, a separate sitting space, and a great deck.
Even though this is a more rustic setting in the high desert country, the room still had modern amenities like a TV and wireless internet. We were able to get into our room via a provided key code, allowing us to forego any type of check-in process. The kitchenette provided us everything we needed to bring and/or keep our own food. There was a full-size fridge, range, and microwave, as well as dishes to utilize.
There was also a coffeepot with beans at the ready, a perfect combo for a cool Central Oregon morning. The room also had AC and heat and kept our room at the optimum temperature – something that can be a little worrisome sometimes when booking a “cabin”.
There are limited nearby food options in Crooked River Ranch, so either come prepared with food in tow. The closest location for food (and drinks) is the Over the Edge Taphouse – which is just down the road (potentially walking distance) and features multiple food carts (Hoggy Style BBQ & CR Tacos) and 21 taps. Additionally, there is a sizeable outdoor area with solid views. This was a great spot, as there was some covered space to stay out of the bad weather and also firepits to spread out around as well.
As the State starts to open up and summer nears, there are a lot of individuals and families who could use some safe “socially distanced” time out of their houses. We really enjoyed our stay and it felt great to getaway for a few days. CRRC was a perfect spot to unwind and relax. There is more than enough space on property, and beyond, to safely distance and still have a great experience.
We wanted to highlight this from the owner of CRRC, Meghan Peyton, as we love supporting local entities:
I couldn’t be more excited to share my love of Central Oregon with fellow travelers and adventurers. There’s nothing I love more than standing in a forest of juniper pines and taking a deep breath and inhaling that fresh pine scent. It makes my nose tingle and gives me goosebumps.
I guess I’ve been traveling (by foot) since I was a little girl and found that running took me a lot of places (literally and figuratively). That’s where my love of travel and adventure was born and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon!
My hope is that the cabins can be your home away from home while you are out on your adventures. My goal is to provide you with a relaxing place to rest your head before heading out and making memories that become stories that get told over and over again.
If there is ever anything I, or my staff, can do to make your stay or day just a little bit better let us know. If you see us, stop by and say hello or share your favorite memory from the trip. Nothing makes us happier than shared stories and smiles. Welcome to the Ranch Cabins!
Crooked River Ranch Cabins details:
Phone: (541) 220-0277
Many thanks to the Crooked River Ranch Cabins for allowing us to check out their property! Please read our transparency page for info on how we do our reviews.