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The Best Road Trip Stops Between Bend and Madras

Crescent Moon Ranch on Highway 97 in Terrebonne, Oregon

Break up the long drive with these hidden gems between Bend and Madras.

Crescent Moon Ranch on Highway 97 in Terrebonne, Oregon
Crescent Moon Ranch on Highway 97 in Terrebonne. Photo by Alex Jordan

The days of boring, monotonous road trips are in the past. Jazz up your next road trip between Bend and Madras with our picks of the best pit stops along Highway 97. Stretch your legs exploring the Redmond Caves or taking in the views at the Peter Skene Ogden State Scenic Viewpoint. Grab a quick bite to eat at the Sunspot Drive-In in Terrebonne or Great Earth Market & Cafe in Madras. Entertain the entire family feeding alpacas at Crescent Moon Ranch or digging for thundereggs amidst leaping peacocks at Richardson’s Rock Ranch.

Redmond Caves

A mere two minutes from Highway 97 on the way to the airport, the Redmond Caves are a hidden gem. These five caves were created by molten lava from the Newberry Caldera and the collapse of a single lava tube. Located in close proximity to one another, these caves are accessible and a great way to break up a long drive. If you are short on time, check out Cave #3 and #4, as they are the easiest to explore. Make sure to come prepared with headlamps or flashlights and sturdy shoes. The caves are free to enter.

Distance from Highway 97: 5 minutes
Open: Year-round, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily

Crescent Moon Ranch

Take a walk on the moon in Terrebonne at Crescent Moon Ranch, complete with an alpaca farm and boutique. The ranch is right off the highway, making it an ideal pit stop on your road trip. Either park and walk up to view the alpacas for free or go into the boutique and buy a bag of food for $3 to feed them. It’s worth it. Alpaca babies are born in March every year through autumn, so if you are lucky, there will be newborns to pet and feed. Grab a souvenir before you go at the boutique, selling all kinds of products made of natural fibers from alpaca fur.

Distance from Highway 97: On the highway in Terrebonne
Open: Summer hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Winter hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Sunspot Drive-In

Grab a quick, cheap bite to eat at the Sunspot Drive-In in Terrebonne near Smith Rock. It’s iconic, retro “Sunspot” sign and location right on Highway 97 makes it hard to miss. This all American restaurant prides itself on its biscuits and gravy and offerings of burgers and sandwiches, serving both breakfast and lunch. With only a handful other dining options in Terrebonne, Sunspot is a local favorite and boasts small town charm.

Distance from Highway 97: On the highway in Terrebonne
Open: 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily

Peter Skene Ogden State Scenic Viewpoint

A mere nine miles north of Redmond, right outside Terrebonne, the Peter Skene Ogden State Scenic Viewpoint is yet another roadside gem. Take in the views of steep basalt cliffs on either side of the Crooked River, a tributary of the Deschutes River, along with views of two historical bridges and the Cascades. With picnic tables and ample shady areas, this spot is a great place to cool off and stretch your legs on a long drive. You may even see bungee jumpers with Central Oregon Bungee diving 250 feet off the high bridge, one of the two historical bridges.

Distance from Highway 97: On the highway
Open: Year-round

Great Earth Cafe & Market

Road trips don’t always have to go hand and hand with greasy fast food. Skip the grub and grab a healthy bite to eat at Great Earth Cafe & Market in Madras, right off the highway. Using only the best local organic ingredients, Great Earth has been making breads and soups from scratch since 1996. Enjoy a bounty of gluten-free and vegan options and a wide selection of sandwiches, salads and soups. Either dine-in or grab an already-prepared meal for the road. With its friendly staff and healthy options, Great Earth is sure to become a routine stop on your Highway 97 road trip. If you’re driving through early in the morning, the breakfast burrito is a must.

Distance from Highway 97: 1 minute
Open: Monday to Friday: 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sunday: closed

Richardson’s Rock Ranch

About eleven miles north of Madras and a few miles east of Highway 97, Richardson’s Rock Ranch will entertain the entire family. The ranch is a family-run cattle ranch but their main draw is their world famous agate beds. You can find thundereggs from all over the world in the rock shop or grab some tools and dig for thundereggs yourself. Rocks are $1.25 per pound with a $12.50 minimum and, for a small fee, you can have your thundereggs cut to reveal the vibrant color inside. Digging is weather permitting, so always call ahead and make sure to arrive before 2:45 p.m. The gift shop is worth browsing to see the variety of rocks collected from all over the world. And watch out for the peacocks that roam the property.

Distance from Highway 97: 20 minutes
Open: March to October, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily

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