August Wedding FivePine: Byron Roe Photography

This summer has been full of wonderful weddings with amazing couples.  Each and every wedding is unique in its own way and it is so fun to see the couple’s creative side come out.

Click HERE to see more pictures from Byron Roe Photography.

Our summer Saturdays in 2012 are quickly booking up.  For available dates and reduced site fees for winter and midweek, contact our Events Coordinator, Tricia Maxson at or (541) 585-2647.

Style Me Pretty Feature


Chush Falls Hike

Chush Falls

If you want an epic adventure to liven up a dull day, Chush Falls is the perfect hike.

First, there’s a 30 minute drive from Sisters to the trailhead on gravel roads, full of the fun and fright of avoiding sharp rocks, fallen trees, and other cars. Take Elm Street south from Sisters toward Three Creeks Lake. Drive about 7 miles and turn right (west) on Forest Road 1514. Drive five miles to FR 1514-600 (this is where it gets rough) and follow it two miles to a T. Bear left to the Chush Falls Trail and an easy hike to the canyon rim.  After you cross the bridge over Whychus Creek, the last three miles are especially tense and nerve-wracking if you don’t have an off-road vehicle.

Arriving at the trailhead, you shake out the tension in your neck and begin a leisurely stroll through spacious woods with gurgling streams. After a few brief uphills and easy flat stretches, you come within sight and sound of Chush Falls proper, or Lower Chush Falls if we want to clarify its place relative to the other falls upstream.

Chush Falls used to be called Squaw Creek Falls, and I think it’s because the river cascades over this cliff in the same way hair cascades over the back of a woman’s head. You can see the fall from the trail, but if you want a clear view you’ll have to pick your way down the ravine to the base of the fall. When the creek is less full, it’s even possible to crawl behind the falling water. That takes some steely nerve though, because the space is tight.

The second waterfall is not much further up the trail, and it’s considerably smaller than Chush Falls. Because of its smallness, it doesn’t have a name…yet. Feel free to name it.

After the unnamed falls, you continue in a gradual uphill fashion, meandering and zigzagging and ducking through dense stands of tiny trees, as if you’re lost in a maze. Just when you begin to wonder if the trail is going anywhere, you emerge from the thickets…

…And there, looming above you on an unexpected cliff, is the climax of your adventure – Upper Chush Falls, also less-excitingly known as The Cascades. It’s three times as high and violent as anything before it, as it comes sliding and crashing down the cliff-face, whipped up in frothy white foam.

If you want to heighten your adventure from epic to slightly insane, you can scramble up the slope/cliff beside the waterfall – there’s a nice pool up top to wade in, plus some great panoramic views – but just remember that coming down that slope/cliff is much riskier than going up. And gravity is not your friend either way.

Depending on how far up you go, Chush Falls is a two to four mile roundtrip hike. Directions can be found at our front desk. As of July 2011, there was no parking pass required, nor any self-issuing wilderness permits at the trailhead. That’s probably because there’s no trail into the wilderness beyond the upper falls.


Click HERE for trail map & directions.

July Wedding at FivePine: Kimberly Kay Photography

Having a destination wedding is one of the best ways to share this special occasion with all your family and friends.  FivePine offers so many wonderful “things to do” without having to leave the property.  This allows everyone to spend quality time together for a few days rather than just a quick conversation at the reception.  The kids can play in the pool, go to a fun movie, or play lawn games.   The girls can spend the day at the spa, getting pampered and relaxed.  The boys can play golf or have fun on the Micro-Brewery Tour along the Bend Ale Trail.  The family can enjoy a relaxing rehearsal dinner on the patio or a small intimate dinner at Thyme restaurant.

FivePine offers a stress-free style of wedding plans where we do the work, and the bride, groom, and family can spend time together.   When we meet with wedding couples, we get a sense of which photographer might work best for them, or how elaborate or simple the perfect wedding cake might be, or which florist can match their vision of how their flowers would look.   There are many decisions that make the day perfect and our staff can offer recommendations for some of the best vendors in the industry.   We’re always honored to be part of these special events that are full of love, excitement, and new adventures.

Click HERE to see pictures from our most recent wedding at FivePine from Kimberly Kay Photography.

Summer Weddings at FivePine

Stay tuned for the next segment:  How to choose a photographer for your wedding.

Wedding at FivePine: Kimberly Kay Photography

This past 4th of July weekend we had a wonderful wedding with an amazing bride and groom.  Kimberly Kay captured some amazing moments . . .

“Katherine and Todd were married on a gorgeously sunny day at Five Pine Lodge, in Sisters, Oregon, where deer could be seen within the Ponderosa pine forest.

I got some wonderful photographs of Katherine donning her cream, strapless gown while Chris photographed Todd preparing for the ceremony. The theme of the day was Western-style elegance. Katherine wore cowboy boots with her dress and Todd topped his classic black suit with a cowboy hat. As Katherine was about the put on her jewelry, her father came into the room and, in an incredibly touching moment offered to put it on for her. The maid-of-honor was standing next to me and she began to tell me the story of the delicate pearl chain and earrings. Her father had wanted to buy her something for her wedding and desiring to find the perfect thing to match Katherine’s taste and personality; he had invited the maid-of-honor along. It was a beautiful moment and such a testament to their enduring love. I feel incredibly honored to have been there to capture it.”

Full Article:


Black Butte Hike

The nice thing about climbing Black Butte is that the road puts you halfway up the mountain before you have to start walking. What would be an eight-mile round trip from the base becomes a four-mile round trip – which is doable between breakfast and lunch, or between lunch and dinner. Or, like my hike recently, between dinner and dark.

It takes only half an hour to reach the Black Butte trailhead from Sisters – which was fortunate because the sun was already dropping toward the cloudy horizon. The gravel road up the Butte is in good condition. Only the last half-mile or so require a bit of obstacle-dodging for the normal sedan.

The trailhead is wide and accommodating – it clings to the side of the mountain, but it has enough space for about twenty cars, an outhouse, and a picnic table. A $5.00 fee/vehicle is required, unless you have one of the accepted Forest Passes. These can be purchased directly from the FivePine front desk.

Even though the mileage of this hike is relatively short, it’s not traveled quickly. The first mile climbs steadily through Ponderosa Pines and through undergrowth. The second mile leaves the taller trees behind and climbs more steeply through vegetation stunted by wind, elevation, and recent fires. The angle of ascent becomes so severe in places, it’s almost impossible not to plod slowly, one foot after the other. It’s okay though, because this is where the vistas really begin to open up…and a photo-op is a good excuse to rest.

The trail hugs the western slope of the Butte most of the way up. The perspective you get on Black Butte Ranch is dizzyingly high. The Cascades are in view from Three-Fingered Jack southward as far as the horizon allows. The highway back to Sisters appears as an odd, immense slice through the forest floor.

Ascending the western slope means you’ll get shade if you’re hiking in the morning, and sun if you’re hiking in the afternoon. The time of day determines what kind of lighting effects you’ll get to experience. My particular time of day gave me some fun patterns and effects not only to photograph, but also to be a part of.

When I reached Black Butte’s summit. I tried to push my way through the snowdrifts to the watchtower, but I lost the trail and started getting snow in my boots.

I found a way to the watchtower via the west side of the summit – less snow on that side, of course. There’s some history up there, which you can read about on informative plaques.

The structures on top are anchored to the ground with steel cables because of the wind. The cables make frightening music as the wind vibrates them.

I walked toward the north edge of the summit – the summit is over 100 yards long – and was eventually blocked by the private residence of whoever’s on fire-lookout duty at any given time. It is a charming, weather-beaten cabin with stacks of firewood nearby – made me feel like I was in Switzerland, on the rim of a deep valley, and the mist is rolling in…

When the sun set, the mist above me and the earth around me shone brilliant reddish-gold. Unfortunately, my camera battery had died by then.

The descent of Black Butte was steep and quad-straining, and dangerous in the gathering dark. I twisted my ankle twice, but reached the trailhead safely otherwise. The entire trip, including the drive back to Sisters, took only 4 hours.

If you want to climb Black Butte, make sure to take water, since there is none on the trail. Directions to the trailhead can be acquired at the Forest Service office or at our front desk.