If you are visiting the Bend and Sunriver area, it is always worth it to explore the outdoors. In our experience, the best way to do that is with a book tour. We chose the Brews and Views Tour from Wanderlust Tours because of all of the good things we have heard about it, and boy, did it not disappoint. The tour allows you to explore the area’s natural wonders, the rivers, the mountains, and the wildlife. At the same time that you are exploring the Cascade Lakes, you are also able to check out some of the locally crafted beers in the area. What’s better than that?
This is no trip for the faint of heart. You will be paddling in a canoe and exploring some outstanding views while you do it. The private tour is a lot of fun, but you do have to book it in advance. We highly recommend the experience.
The Brews and Views Tour takes place in the spring months and again in the fall. You can book up to 10 people for the event. The event starts, and you will have a professional guide. To get started, then, you need to go to the office to get set up. That is about 30 minutes to 45 minutes from where the tour actually takes place.
Once you get there, you will then travel to the Cascade Range to start the tour. It is amazing and well worth it. I do not know of any better canoe tours in the Oregon area. You will spend about 2 hours on the water – which makes for a lot of paddling, but it is well worth it. You will see some great spots along the way, too.
As I noted, the two is about two hours long on the water itself. You will get to see some areas of natural animal habitat – they are everywhere. You can also get some swimming in – we love to swim in the mountain lakes, and this location is perfect. You get to have some fun relaxing midway through the trip so that you can explore the area. It is so remote and so worth the experience that you may not want to go back when it is time to do so.
Be sure you bring your swimsuit so you can get in the water. The lakes are large, and you’ll be able to paddle into the various areas, including the coves, bays, and wetlands – some of which have been present in the area since ancient times. The views of the mountains throughout this entire experience are incredible.
Along the way, you will get to sample some great beers, most of which are crafted locally. They offer a range of beer from Cascade Lakes Brewing Company and Worthy Brewing Company. The good news is, if you have kids on the tour with you (and you can bring anyone that is able to swim), they get to enjoy some root beer, too.
The beer available changes often, based on what the companies have to offer. In our experience, they are always full of flavor. We love the potions, including the Hazy IPA and the Blonde Bombshell. You will be able to sample a range of options throughout the trip. They bring with them plenty of options to help you to enjoy a range of flavors. We loved this process and that it allowed us to try out a few different beers we had not had before.
Tickets and Info
If you are planning a trip to the area, book this experience in advance. You can book a private tour if you have enough people and want to enjoy the tour alone. The tours are available in summer, fall, and spring, with various times available, though most are in the afternoon and early evening.
At the time of our visit, the cost was $110 per person, or for those who are 11 and under, the cost was $75. With that cost comes a professional tour guide as well as the gear you need, including the canoes, paddles, and PFDs. Each canoe has two people who will paddle and space for a third person who does not paddle. The good news is you do not need to have any experience – they will teach you what you need to do. We highly recommend, though, that you have lots of energy because it can be a fun but exhausting experience.
Be sure to bring your own sunscreen and hats to protect your skin, as the water reflecting the sun makes for some intense sunburn. You also should bring a water bottle and a camera, because there are lots of spots you will want to take photos.
- Professional Guide & award-winning naturalist interpretation.
- Gear: Canoes, Paddles, & PFDs.
- Local micro-brews (or root beer)
- Transportation roundtrip from the office to destination.
- Recommended to bring sun protection, layers, water, swimsuit, and camera.
- Kids are welcome! They will have root beer instead of beer.