Eagle Crest Resort

From sports centers to nature trails, Oregon’s Eagle Crest Resort runs the gamut of recreational activities 

By: By Mindy Poder

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Click here for a play-by-play itinerary for Central Oregon

Traveling solo to a new place can be daunting, especially when flight delays push back your arrival time into the wee hours of the morning.

When I eventually emerged from the airport in Redmond, Ore., the onset of early-trip stress was thwarted by the sight of the shuttle to Eagle Crest Resort, parked a few steps away. The free 24-hour shuttle, driven by friendly escorts, provided me with relief and is one of the many touches that make Eagle Crest an ideal destination for relieving tension.

Eagle Crest Resort boasts three 18-hole golf courses and a putting course. // (C) 2010 Eagle Crest Resort

Eagle Crest Resort boasts three 18-hole golf courses and a putting course. // (c) 2010 Eagle Crest Resort

Situated against the Cascade Mountains in the high desert of Central Oregon, the 1,700-acre Eagle Crest Resort offers an equally vast range of activities for clients, no matter their age, interest or time of visit. Its proximity to the Deschutes River, Smith Rock and Mount Hood allows for numerous off-sight summer and winter excursions such as river rafting, rock climbing, hiking, fishing, snowshoeing, snowboarding and skiing.

The region’s 300 days of sunshine provide the appropriate backdrop for the resort’s three beautiful and challenging 18-hole golf courses and one 18-hole putting course, complete with sand traps, cleverly placed holes, sneaky breaks and water hazards. Other outdoor features savored during the resort’s busiest months in the spring and summer include an 11-mile paved biking and running trail; a 1.5-mile nature trail; four pools; tennis, basketball and racquetball courts; children-only areas such as a spray court and jungle gyms; and areas with covered picnic tables, barbecue grills and horseshoes. To facilitate the fun, the resort’s daily activity calendar includes family badminton, T-shirt tie-dying, a game night, adult swims, advanced tennis, PiYo (a blend of Pilates and yoga) and aqua aerobics.

Because I visited during the off-season, when rain, wind and snow mingled with the location’s usually bright sun, I was delighted with the resort’s indoor facilities. The sports center — one of three located throughout the resort — provided a selection of treadmills, elliptical trainers, bicycles and weights.

After I worked up an appetite, I grappled with my choice of poolside fare at Birdies Cafe, fine dining at Niblick and Greenes, healthy wraps at Silverleaf Cafe and comfort food at Brassie’s Bar & Lounge. In the end, I opted for Brassie’s, home of local craft brews and an expertly grilled portabella mushroom burger on herbed focaccia bread.

Later, a shuttle transported me to the resort’s spa. Enveloped in a soft, cotton robe, sipping on warm green tea and breathing in cooling lavender, I began to feel even more relaxed. My one-hour, full-body massage did not hurt my cause, either.

The calm from my massage was uninterrupted in my two-story stand-alone chalet, which could easily make for a home-away-from-home for a large family, though groups of six and more may prefer the resort’s three- and four-bedroom townhomes. In my chalet, the knotty pine interior with exposed beams, complemented by the falling snow outside, made me feel as though I was in a forest cabin rather than on a golf course.

The chalet came with a bedroom and workspace with two twin beds; a downstairs bathroom; an upstairs master bedroom with a king-size bed, a bath, an enclosed shower, ample sink space, an entertainment center and a walk-in closet; a kitchen that’s better equipped than my kitchen at home; a washer and dryer; a family-size dining table; an immense living room with a sofa, fireplace, television and DVD player and two leather reclining chairs; and an outside patio with a barbecue.

The mega-resort also offers accommodations at the 100-room Inn at Eagle Crest, where guests can choose from king and double queen rooms or one-bedroom suites. The selection of lodging options is one reason Eagle Crest is popular with large gatherings such as wedding parties, family reunions and businesses. Groups can utilize the 10,000-square-foot conference center, holding up to 785 people, and the hotel’s three meeting rooms. An on-sight catering service and range of open, picturesque outdoor spaces also help make Eagle Crest a popular meetings destination.

Stress can hardly be sustained in an expanse as naturally beautiful and laid back as Eagle Crest, but the resort’s array of activities — all accessible and affordable — may overwhelm the indecisive. Luckily, the weather decided for me, and I was happy to go with the flow and relax.

Eagle Crest Resort

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