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Things to do in Sisters Oregon

Sisters, Oregon, is an outdoor adventure dream destination – a recreation paradise. It offers visitors to the area several outstanding activities to explore. You can choose from hiking trails, casual walks, cycling, mountain biking, and Hoodoo Ski Area. All are surrounded by the beautiful scenery of The Three Sisters, as well as other majestic mountain ranges, breathtaking waterfalls & dense forests. Sisters offers annual festivals, county fairs with handicrafts and local fresh food, live music, specialty shops, and historical sites to enjoy. We love the charm of this city. We have been there several times, discovering more magical places around Sisters. It is a perfect place for a weekend gateway or holidays. So, we share our list of The Best Places & Things to do in Sisters, Oregon, for an unforgettable trip.

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Sparks Lake during sunrise near Sisters, Oregon: mountain reflections in the water, the sky is pink.

Directions To Sisters Oregon

Sisters is located at the foot of the Cascade Mountains in Central Oregon. It is part of the Bend, Oregon, Metropolitan Statistical Area in Deschutes County.

Sisters, Oregon, had a population of 2,725 in 2022. It’s a charming town worth adding to your Oregon road trip itinerary. We spent a few days there exploring the area and town and sharing our experiences with you. My partner Chris and I took all the pictures presented in this article. Based on our experiences, we also share our list of top activities in Sisters; we share what we liked the most.

How to get to Sisters from Bend?

Sisters is located about 25 miles north of Bend. The fastest route is via US-20 W, which takes about 30 minutes.

From Eugene

From Eugene, take OR-126 E and US-20 E. The road leads through the huge and beautiful Willamette National Forest with the famous Three Sisters Wilderness. It’s about 105 miles, and it takes approximately 2 hours to get from Eugene to Sisters.

Directions from Salem

From Salem, take OR-22 E/Santiam Hwy SE. It’s 110 miles and takes about 2 hours and 10 minutes to drive.

Driving to Sisters from Portland

The fastest route from Portland is via Salem. So, take I-5 S and OR-22 E/Santiam Hwy SE. It’s about 2 hours, 40 minutes driving, and 152 miles. But if you have time, take a longer scenic route, which offers breathtaking views and leads through Mt.Hood National Forest.

It’s about 170 miles via US-26 E and 3 hours and 15 minutes of driving. Moreover, on the way, you can stop at Timberline Lodge, where scenes from the Shining movie with Jack Nicolson were shot. The place is truly unique.

The closest airport is Redmond Municipal Airport, 22 miles from Sisters. The international airport is in Portland. If you plan to visit Portland, check out our full tips 3 days in Portland itinerary.

PROTIP: If you plan a road trip around Oregon, we recommend Oregon Road & Recreation Atlas. It is very informative and detailed. Thanks to this atlas, our trip was more interesting, as we could quickly learn what was nearby and plan ahead. It’s also a useful alternative to GPS maps when traveling.
If you are looking for a travel guide, one of the best is Moon Oregon. All information has been updated, which is so important in planning a trip. It provides all info you need, and must-sees, including helpful background, tips, maps, itineraries, etc.

historic building of Sisters Market in Oregon.

When is the best time to visit Sisters?

Sisters is worth visiting all year round, depending on your interests. There are plenty of attractions and things to do in Sisters, Oregon, at any time of the year.

Spring (March-May)

Spring is a beautiful season in the Sisters area. It is the second busiest season for tourism, which makes it a good time for those looking for things to do in Sisters. Humidity and temperatures combine to make this season feel moderately cold.

Highs range from 78.6°F (25.9°C) and 51.6°F (10.9°C), with warmer temperatures in the later months. Rain is rare, with 1 to 2 days of significant precipitation per month.

Summer (June – August)

June – August is the busiest season for tourism in Sisters, so lodging and other accommodations may cost more than usual, and you should book it well in advance. Summer has very comfortable weather.

This region experiences warm, but not hot, and dry summers. The average monthly temperatures above 71.6 °F (22.0 °C). These months see the least precipitation with 0 to 2 days of rainfall per month.

Fall (September – November)

Fall daily highs range from 85.3°F (29.6°C) to 47.5°F (8.6°C), which will feel chilly given the humidity and wind. It rains or snows an amount 1 to 2 days per month. Due to the weather, tourism is the slowest during these months, so hotels are cheaper.

For us, it is the best season to visit Sisters. If you like fall colors and fall leaves, Oregon also has the most beautiful colors in fall.

Winter (December through February)

Winters are mild, so if you like skiing and winter activities, you should choose Hoodoo Ski Area. Moreover, it is the sunniest city in the winter in the area. The average high during this season is between 52.1°F (11.2°C) and 38.9°F (3.8°C).

sunset over Sisters Oregon, the sky is orange and pink.

Sisters Oregon Lodging

We have been to Sisters several times so far. We slept in hotels a few times. But we stayed a few nights at Sisters RV parks during our last 8 months-long road trip in a camper truck from Alaska to Florida. Therefore, below you will find our recommendations for both hotels & camping.

It is worth booking accommodation in Sisters well in advance all year round. The town is small, and the number of places is limited. The beautiful surroundings attract many visitors. Check the map below to get the best hotel deals!


Sisters Oregon Hotels

Best Western Sisters Oregon is our favorite one. It is a small, charming Ponderosa Lodge with 48 oversized guest rooms renovated in a country theme. Tasty breakfasts and friendly service. Amenities include a refrigerator, microwave, hairdryer, and a club table.

Other features include a coffee maker, iron, and high-speed DSL hook-up. There is also an outdoor pool and hot tub. The property offers free WiFi and huge free parking. The area is wooded, and the garden has tables and chairs for relaxing outdoors.

If you have a problem finding accommodation in Sisters or need a budget option, consider staying in Bend. It is only 30 minutes from the Sisters. Bend is a larger city with a well-developed hotel infrastructure. The choice of hotels is more significant, and the prices are often much lower.


Sage Antiques store in Sisters, Oregon.

RV Parks Sisters Oregon

The best RV park in the area is Bend / Sisters Garden RV Resort. But you have to book it well in advance. It’s closest to the Sisters, located in a beautiful setting, and it’s hard to get a spot, especially in high season. There’s something for your whole family at the Resort.

You can enjoy a fishing pond with rainbow trout, a playground, and a heated pool and spa. Amenities: level paved sites, 30/50 Amp Service, Laundry Room, Dog Run Areas, Meeting Areas, and more. We like greenery and lots of trees in this RV Park.

When we visited Bend, we also stayed at Scandia RV Park. It’s a small RV park located in the city center, making it easy to navigate around Bend. It includes all the necessary amenities, relatively fast internet, and friendly service.

Things to Do in Sisters, Oregon

We love Sisters. The town has a fantastic charm and is worth staying there for a few days. Moreover, it is an excellent base for exploring the Central Oregon area.

You can visit Sisters for sightseeing, Shopping, Hiking, Horseback Riding, Bird Watching, Boating, Climbing, Cycling, Fishing, Golfing, Kayaking, Rafting, Running, Skiing, Snowboarding, Snowshoeing, Swimming, and much more. Below is our list of the best things to do in Sisters, Oregon.

Go for a walk

Sisters is an exciting town. Wooden, colorful facades of buildings attract attention with decorations, details, and beautiful signs. In Sisters, you will find unique shops and art galleries that make shopping a great experience. Handicrafts and souvenirs are of high quality & unique design.

Open Range western and home decor buildling in Siters, with western ornaments and animals sculptures at the front.
Things to do in Sisters Oregon: historic clock on one of the buildling.
Sisters Oregon cafe and souvenirs shop.

Attend one of the events

Sisters is known for local events. Depending on your need and time of visit, you can choose:

street art and murals on the walls.

Ken Scott’s Imagination Gallery it’s full of magical metal sculptures. You will find extraordinary wall designs, bronze castings, garden features, and lyrical lighting designs all by Ken Scott. You can also admire paintings, glasswork, carvings, and jewelry. The Gallery is located at 222 West Hood Avenue.

Ken Scott's Imagination Gallery
sculpter of rino in Ken Scott's Imagination Gallery.

Drive McKenzie Highway

Take McKenzie Pass Scenic Highway to see some of the most spectacular scenery the Sisters Country has to offer. But it’s important to know that the route is closed in winter from November to July.

The route number is 242. From Sister to McKenzie Pass is 15.5 miles. The total of McKenzie Highway is 37 miles. The views are breathtaking.

Admire Waterfalls near Sisters

If you’ve read our previous posts (as Havasu Falls), you know we love waterfalls and photographing waterfalls. Oregon is famous for its phenomenal waterfalls. You will find some of the most beautiful in the Sisters area.

The most exciting and beautiful in this area are Sahalie Falls, Koosah Falls, Proxy Falls, and Tumalo Falls. Some are easily accessible, and for some, you need to hike. Our favorite (pictured below) is Proxy Falls.

PROTIP: If you love waterfalls, we recommend outstanding books about Oregon and Washington Waterfalls. Hiking Waterfalls Oregon features 64 of the best waterfall hikes in Oregon. Some waterfalls are remote, while others are just a short hike from the trailhead. Inside, you will find good maps and good descriptions of trail conditions for each waterfall. The information provided for each fall is clear and concise. Especially trailhead information, nothing worse than driving down a dirt road and not finding the trailhead. We are looking forward to using this book for our next trip because tens of Oregon waterfalls are still on our list. The same series published Hiking Waterfalls Washington. So, if you are planning a longer Pacific Northwest waterfalls trip, it’s worth having both. They are great.

Proxy Falls

Go for a hike in the Sisters area

It isn’t easy to decide which hiking trails in the area of ​​Sisters and Bend are the most exciting and breathtaking. There are hundreds of trails in the area to choose from. Depending on your physical form, skills, and time available, you can choose from easy to demanding routes.

Our favorite hiking trails in the area are:

McKenzie River Waterfalls Loop Trail

It is a perfect family hike in old, magical forests, with views of the spectacular waterfalls of Sahalie Falls and Koosah Falls. It is a highly-accessible three-mile loop. Trailhead is located a half-hour drive west of Sisters.

The parking area of Sahalie Falls offers a viewing platform for the falls. Sahalie Falls is 34 miles west of Sisters. To get there, take a left at Santiam “Y,” then Highway 126 west toward Eugene.

Black Butte Lookout

It is a moderately strenuous 4-mile hike from the trailhead to the lookout tower and back. It’s worth your effort because the views from the summit are spectacular. It’s not too tough, with 1,556 feet of elevation gain.

To get to the trailhead, drive west on Highway 20 from Sisters to Forest Road 11 (Green Ridge Road). Then turn right and pass the Indian Ford Campground. Next, turn left at graveled Road 1110 and follow it to the trailhead.

Proxy Falls

Proxy Falls Trailhead is located 28 miles from Sisters at McKenzie Highway 242. So, you can get there only from July to November. Proxy Falls is only 2.0 miles hike. It is a family-friendly hike, but not ADA accessible.

The dirt and lava-rock trail is an easy loop. The track showcases two distinctly different waterfall views of the upper and lower sections of Proxy Falls. Check out our detailed Guide to the Oregon Proxy Falls Hike & Photography Tips.

PROTIP: Even on a short day hike, you should be prepared with some hiking essentials. Bring water and extra food. Dress in layers takes a map and GPS. Check our Day Hiking Packing List with a PDF checklist, before you hit your trail. It helps you prepare for your adventure!

McKenzie River Waterfalls Loop Trail

See the sunrise over Sparks Lake

There are several beautiful lakes in this area. But our favorite is Sparks Lake. We love going there to admire the sunrise. We like watching as the first rays light up the peaks, and how the mountains reflect on the clear surface of the lake. The place is magical.

Sparks Lake is 49 miles and an hour’s drive from Sisters. You have to drive through Bend. So, take US-20 E to Bend, and then turn onto Cascade Lakes National Scenic Byway. The scenery is breathtaking.

It can be freezing before sunrise, so dress warmly in layers and bring a thermos of hot coffee and sandwiches. It is great to have breakfast at dawn in such a picturesque setting.

Sparks Lake near Sisters - mountains reflactions in the water.

Ride a bike in Sisters

Biking is one of the most exciting options for exploring the Sisters & Bend area. You will find bike rentals in both towns. Bend has approximately 300 miles of continuously linked singletrack close to the city, including classic routes, as well as some little-known gems.

  • McKenzie Highway,
  • Peterson Ride,
  • Cache Mountain,
  • Trail 99,
  • Suttle Tie to Suttle Lake

These are just a few examples of the exciting mountain bike routes around Sisters. You will find detailed info in the guidebook, which perfectly describes the bike routes around Bend and Sisters.

Mountain Bike Guide around Bend offers 46 routes, ranging from the shortest trail network of fewer than 3 miles to epic rides of up to 30 miles. A route may be composed of a single trail or several connecting trails. Moreover, it is very informative and written well. It is a great book outlining some good rides in the Bend & Sisters area.

If you don’t like mountain biking, take a trip on two wheels or a tool around town and the area. It is a perfect idea for outdoor activities, especially if you are with kids.

Just relax with a glass of wine & fresh meal in Sisters, Oregon

Sisters have lots of great choices for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for all tastes and budgets. There are a few places where you can enjoy a coffee drink, beer, or glass of wine.

We can recommend an excellent place for lunch, Sister Meat Smokehouse. You can eat their local snacks: fresh and fragrant cheeses, freshly smoked meats, and sandwiches.

It is also worth visiting Bistro & Wine Bar, and The Gallery Restaurant & Bar.

If you’re planning a trip to Oregon, please check out some of the other great places we describe in related posts:

Wine and meat tasting in Sisters Meat Smokehouse.
Bistro and Wine Bar in Sisters.


  1. I would love to go here for hiking and mountain biking. There is also a festival? I love going to places for their local fests. Also those landscape images are amazing. I wanna visit 🙁 

  2. I love Oregon! It’s a beautiful state, I’ve visited a few times, but haven’t yet explored Three Sisters. I’ll have to check it out when I can cross the border again 🙂

  3. I LOVE this little town!  It has everything I need.  From your pictures it certainly looks like a town right out of the wild west.  Your recommendations for hiking trails is great. I would want to do them all!  Another place to visit has been put on the list lol.

  4. Sister Oregon with all its natural beauty looks amazing and cannot be missed out for sure. I liked the way you stated clearly about the staying options and also the alternatives which can be explored in case of need.I believe if a reader gets such information, it makes it easy for them to plan out the trip.

  5. I had never heard of Sisters before, but would love to visit one day! I did a road trip down the Oregon coast, then inland to McMinnville and Portland! I would love to go back one day and see more of the beautiful state 🙂

  6. When I last visited Oregon, I gave myself no where near close to the amount of the time one should take to spend in such a beautiful place. I drove through Bends, and wooow it was incredible and breathtaking! The next time I visit, I’ll have to check out the handcrafts, I love to fill my home with things that I find when traveling. I’ll also have to check out the waterfall loop. I’m think we will plan this trip for summer of next year and hope that it’s not too crowded! 

  7. I am glad to read your post, as I am thinking of some great options for a short trip next month. This seems like a fun place with plenty of outdoor activities. Thanks for the detailed info.

  8. This place looks like taken out from a movie. I would die to go there and do a ton of hiking, taking some time to appreciate the waterfalls, biking, and climbing. One thing I didn’t see (maybe I missed it) was any mention of propper areas for camping, not the RV park. Do you know if there are options for doing that safely in the area?

  9. Your posts are showing me so much about Oregon.  We will definitely have to spend more time there when we are next on the west coast.  And I have now added Sisters to my list of places to visit.  The town looks like it would be fun to visit.  The Rodeo sounds like fun but I bet we have to plan in advance for that.  The McKenzie River Waterfalls Loop sounds like the perfect hike for me.  And I know I will find great Oregon wine when finished!

  10. Oh wow! The photography on this post is on another level altogether! I have never heard of Sisters before, but it looks simply too amazing! I have visited Oregon a couple of times (Crater lake area), and it’s such a beautiful place, with so much greenery all around. I would love to be able to make another visit and hopefully see Sisters as well.

  11. This is such an inspiring post. The pictures of the waterfalls and the reflection of the mountain on the water are stunning. I really love the tip of visiting the metal sculptures park and chilling out drinking some wine and enjoying food at the Wine and Bistro bar. I really would like to hike in this park on day.

  12. Seems like Sisters is a kind of western town we liked to visit during our road trip. I will definitely go chasing waterfalls and do some hikes while in town. Proxy Falls is really beautiful! With average temp above 71.6F in the summer, no wonder it becomes tourists favorite town.

  13. Wow, I had never heard of Sisters before and now it has just made it to the top of my list. The Cascade Mountains looks spectacular and I would love to stay in this cute place overlooking those snow capped mountains. And the folk festival sounds interesting, I would like to visit the place around that time.

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