Sunriver Stables Review: Horseback Riding Vacation in Oregon

sunriver stables, sunriver resort, deschutes river, horseback riding, trial ride, central oregon

As I left Sunriver Stables and trotted along beside the Deschutes River, my memory bank worked hard to roll back the years in my mind. How many years ago did I trot along this very trail as a horse-crazy youngster? I had come to love Sunriver Resort horseback riding as an activity when I was a child.

I loved this place so much that I decided to bring my own family here. While raising our kids, our family vacationed in Sunriver, Oregon for at least fourteen years. Families looking for an adventure or horseback riding vacation in Bend, Oregon’s high desert should look no further than Sunriver Resort. Plenty of lodging options are available from vacation rentals at Mountain Resort Properties to Bennington Properties or the lodge itself.

 About Sunriver Stables

Back in the day, Sunriver Stables hosted breakfast horseback riding vacations and cowboy cookouts. Our two children, teenagers now, remember the time when the cowboys arrived on horseback at our chuck wagon dinner. The horses wild-eyed, nostrils flaring, carried gun blazing cowboys into our campsite. Our children were delighted when the bandits shared their “loot” of gold nuggets with the young buckaroos at the dinner table.

While Sunriver Stables no longer offers breakfast or dinner horseback rides,  I remain a faithful fan of Sunriver Stables. Owners Jon and Jackie Russell maintain a herd of 85 well cared for horses at Sunriver Resort and offer welcoming hospitality.

What to do in Sunriver, Oregon 

"sunriver stables" horse
Central Oregon horseback riding

There are many options for your Central Oregon horseback riding vacation. Beginning and not-too-frequent riders will enjoy the 1/2 hour Bald Eagle Loop along the Deschutes River and through the Sunriver Meadows.  The one hour Frontier Ride starts along the Deschutes River and continues into Sunriver’s wooded area.

Sunriver Resort also has miles of flat bike riding trails along the Deschutes River in addition to horseback riding vacations, pony rides, swimming, golfing and white water rafting. In the winter, Sunriver transforms into a winter wonderland with downhill and cross-country skiing, snowboarding at Mt. Bachelor, one of the top ten snowboarding mountains and horse drawn sleigh rides in the snow.

Advanced Horseback Riding in Oregon

Nancy D. Brown riding George and Sunriver Stables Guide Diana on a horseback riding vacation in Central Oregon.
Nancy D. Brown riding George and Sunriver Stables Guide Diana on a horseback riding vacation in Central Oregon.

Often, I have equestrians ask me if I have horse ranch suggestions for advanced riders. While most dude ranches and stables are limited to “walk only” trail rides due to insurance policy restrictions, there are a few places that cater to the advanced rider. Arizona’s Kay El Bar Ranch, California’s Ricochet Ridge Ranch and Sunriver Stables have all offered wonderful horseback riding vacation options for advanced riders once the equestrian has demonstrated their horseback riding ability.

On this July visit to Sunriver Stables, I took a two hour private trail ride to Ramsey Ridge. Guide Diana and I crossed Cardinal Landing Bridge and entered the Deschutes National Forest, offering sweeping views of the Sunriver Meadows, Sunriver Resort and Newberry Volcanic National Monument. Central Oregon horseback riding doesn’t get much better than this.

Camp Abbott – Central Oregon History Lesson

For the history buffs amongst us, in 1943 the US Army claimed what is now known as Sunriver Meadows and used the area as training grounds, calling it Camp Abbott. It appeared that Central Oregon, with the Deschutes River running through the meadow, was a brilliant location for demolition experts to train, build and blow up bridges in this remote, high desert area. Keep Sunriver Resort in mind for Central Oregon horseback riding vacation opportunities and high desert history.

Central Oregon Horseback Riding If You Go:

Sunriver Stables  (541) 593-6995

17600 Center Dr. Sunriver, Oregon 97707

Sunriver Stables cowgirls look forward to helping you enjoy a first-class horseback riding vacation in Central Oregon.
Sunriver Stables cowgirls look forward to helping you enjoy a first-class Central Oregon horseback riding vacation.

*Photos, YouTube video and article by Nancy D. Brown of What a Trip. I was a guest of Sunriver Stables.

10 thoughts on “Sunriver Stables Review: Horseback Riding Vacation in Oregon”

  1. I love this place. We vacationed here a couple of summers ago and I was able to sign my daughter up for a one-off private lesson that ended with a private trail ride. It was the highlight of the week for her!!

    If we return (and I hope we do), I’ll sign both kids up for the day camp. And then sleep all day ;)

  2. @Jamie Isn’t Sunriver a wonderful place? Very family friendly. You can sign your kids up at Fort Funnigan in Sunriver for a WEEK of activities, including a visit to the Sunriver Stables.

  3. Horseback riding at Sunriver sounds like a great summer activity. My experience at Sunriver has been in the winter on snowmobiles. Does Sunriver Stables offer winter horseback rides? That would be a beautiful way to see central Oregon.

  4. when summer comes, our summer activity ranges from kayaking to mountain climbing and also hiking too ,.’

  5. HI,
    Was wondering if you can board private horses? We have rented a home at SunRiver and would like to bring up my own horses to ride the area?

  6. @Beverly
    Sunriver Stables does board private horses. I suggest you contact the stables directly to inquire. I have listed their contact information under “If You Go.”

Comments are closed.