The perfect blend of destination resort and residential community, Sunriver is the hub of activity in Central Oregon and has been the playground of the Pacific Northwest for 40 years.
You can do everything under the sun on Sunriver’s 3,300 acres of forest and meadows bordered by the Deschutes River and public lands.
You’ll find more than 30 miles of paved bike and walking paths, five miles of scenic Deschutes River shoreline, two community aquatic facilities and 26 tennis courts.
Two world-class golf courses wind their way though the community and Crosswater’s 18 challenging holes, famous as a stop on the PGA Champions Tour, are just across the street.
Sunriver also has its own nature center and observatory, airport, stables, marina and shopping village
Within a short drive, you can explore dozens of alpine lakes, the Newberry National Volcanic Monument, the Cascade Range and so much more. The array of recreation opportunities for all ages ensures that everyone will find something they enjoy.
While it’s now a popular vacation destination, Sunriver started out as a large lake. Nearly 7,000 years ago lava flows dammed the Deschutes River at Benham Falls, backing up a lake that covered much of what is now Sunriver.
When the river finally broke through and the lake receded, a lush meadow surrounded by thick forests was left behind. The area was a natural gathering spot for Native Americans, and in the early 1800s, trappers found a wealth of game.
In 1855, the Army Corps of Topographical Engineers surveyed a route through the area for a railroad between California and the Columbia River.
Then in the late 1800s cattlemen began to drive their herds to the area to graze in the lush meadowlands.
During the next 50 years the area was used by the cattlemen, trappers, and a few hardy pioneers who settled in the area with their families.
In the midst of World War II, the U.S. government established a combat engineer training facility on the site of modern-day Sunriver. The area was chosen because it resembled the climate and topography of Northern Europe. The Army Corps of Engineers built Camp Abbot in 1942 and it officially opened the following year. More than 90,000 combat engineers were instructed at Camp Abbot before it closed in June 1944.
In the years following WWII some of the former Camp Abbot land was returned to the U.S. Forest Service, but 5,500 acres were sold as private land. The property changed hands multiple times until 1965 when John Gray and Donald McCallum obtained the land for development, forming Sunriver Properties, and Sunriver was born.
The lodge was constructed, as were the stables, Meadows Golf Course and an airstrip. Additionally, large areas for residential home sites were plotted. Lot sales and home construction began in 1968.
Today there are some 1,200 permanent residents and more than 4,000 homes and condominiums.
From its beginnings as a trapper’s rendezvous point to a World War II training area, modern day Sunriver is a paradise for all to enjoy.
Summer is the most popular season for vacationers, but Sunriver’s proximity to the slopes of Mt. Bachelor entice snow-riders of all ages to stay here during winter and early spring. The peaceful, visually stunning autumn months are the favorites for those who appreciate warm, crystal clear days on the golf course or bike trails followed by crisp nights with the hint of wood smoke in the air. For a four-season destination, you can’t beat Sunriver.