There are few spots in the world where an outdoor enthusiast can ski down a snowy glen, bike through forested singletrack, and play nine holes on a prime golf course, all in one day. Sunriver, Oregon is one of those spots.
With the high desert stretching off to the east and the Cascade mountain peaks rising to the west, the Oregon landscape offers a plethora of adventure opportunities throughout the year. During the early spring months Mother Nature tends to go a little bi-polar - sixty and sunny one day, twenty and blowing snow the next - but those crazy weather swings allow winter sports to overlap with summer sports, setting the perfect stage for a Sunriver Spring Triathlon. Here’s how to plan your day, manage your gear, and make the most of your experience:
Stage 1: Ski
You’ll need an early start to accomplish the Sunriver Spring Triathlon. Pack up your ski gear and head out from your Sunriver vacation rental up to Mt. Bachelor Ski Resort, just twenty minutes up the Cascade Lakes Highway. The mountain features glacial fields that keep the chairlifts spinning until late May. Catch the first chair as it opens at nine o’clock and ride spring corn snow all morning. By the time the sunshine softens the snow into afternoon slush, no worries, because you are off to your next event!
Stage 2: Bike
It’s back to your cabin to grab a sandwich and swap skis and boots for bikes and sneakers. Over thirty miles of trails start right out of Sunriver, ranging from easy cruiser trails along the Deschutes River, to down-n-dirty technical singletrack mountain biking that winds through rolling Ponderosa forests and lava fields. It’s a very good idea to check in at the local bike shop to find rentals, and pick up a trail map. Don’t forget to ask the staff for recommendations on trails that fit your group’s skill level. Bring water, a warm extra layer, and of course a few snacks!
Stage 3: Golf
Got energy left after conquering the trails? Cruise back to your home base for a quick shower and change of clothing, and then wrap up the triathlon day with nine holes of golf. Central Oregon’s golf courses are just shaping up for the season right now and many offer early-season deals, especially in the late afternoon and twilight hours. For great golf value right down the road, check out Quail Run in Sunriver; serious golfers may want to make the twenty-minute drive to Tetherow, a semi-private golf destination designed by David McKay Kidd.
Putt out at the ninth hole, and mission accomplished! Your Sunriver Spring Triathlon is complete. Time to relax back at your home in Sunriver , swap stories from the day, and enjoy a good night’s sleep. You’ve earned it!
Suzanne Johnson lives, writes and plays in the Cascade mountains of Oregon with her family of adventure-prone boys. More of her writing can be found a SuzanneMyhreJohnson.com.