Get Away with the Grandkids

July 28, 2015 (Updated August 5, 2015)

Attention all grandparents: August has been declared Official Grandparents Road Trip Month. At least according your kids, and their kids. What better way to bring summer to an epic end for the children in your life than a last summer hurrah? Oregon has plenty of options for great getaways.

To the lake
You’ve heard of glamping. We’ll call this gramping. The quaint and well appointed cabins at the Lake of the Woods Mountain Lodge & Resort near Klamath Falls offer the classic lake trip with modern comforts for the grownups. The kids will love swimming, boating and fishing in the clear waters of the lake. For old-fashioned camping, check out the lakeside sites around Central Oregon’s beautiful Cascade Lakes, where you can hike, fish, look for birds and admire breathtaking views of surrounding mountains. Wallowa Lake State Park, just outside the town of Joseph, has endless options with bumper boats, go-carts and mini golf as well as a tram ride to the top of Mt. Howard, horseback rides in the Eagle Cap Wilderness and lakeside camping.

New to do
Stand up paddle boarding lessons are fun for all ages and ability levels. Take a family lesson on the Deschutes River with StandUp Paddle Bend or on the Columbia River with Big Winds in Hood River. Fat biking is another thrilling and accessible challenge for kids and adults. Bike Newport rents the fat-tired two wheelers at its shop and on Nye Beach. Take a guided ride or wheel off on your own. It’s a different kind of pedal power with the Joseph Branch Rail Riders near Joseph. The four-wheeled recumbent units travel along a historic stretch of rail line on 12- or 26-mile guided tours.

Mountains of fun
Grandparent and grandkid speed demons alike will love the 10 miles of downhill trails at the Mt. Bachelor Bike Park. For something a little more low-key, hiking and chairlift rides delight all ages. There’s non-stop excitment at Mt. Hood Adventure Park at Skibowl with mountain biking, ziplining, bungee jumping, kiddy canoes, a summer tubing hill and more. Anthony Lakes Mountain Resort near La Grande is another great spot for mountain biking and hiking with great views of the Elkhorn Mountains.

Creature feature
At Wildlife Images Rehabilitation and Education Center near Merlin, kids can learn about Pacific Northwest species and how they interact with humans. Meet and greet resident wolves, grizzly bears, cougars, bobcats and raptors. The Oregon Coast Aquarium and Seaside Aquarium in Newport and Seaside, respectively, get families up close and personal with seals, sea lions, sea otters and seabirds while teaching about their natural environments. Families can discover the lives of birds of prey, porcupines, bobcats and other desert dwellers at the High Desert Museum in Bend. Through Labor Day, visitors can experience the museum’s daily Raptors of the Desert Sky program with hawks, owls and falcons buzzing the crowd as biologists narrate their behaviors.

About The

Eileen Garvin
Eileen Garvin lives and writes in Hood River. When she’s not hunched over her keyboard or digging in the garden, you can find her mountain biking, kiteboarding, hiking, skiing or camping somewhere in Oregon.