Located approximately 30 miles south of Bend on Highway 97, the rural community of La Pine is surrounded by the splendor of the Cascades.
When it comes to natural beauty, La Pine has it all—clear, cold creeks and rivers full of trout, high country lakes, spectacular views of the mountains, and plenty of snow during the winter for recreationists.
And in November of 2006, La Pine became Central Oregon’s newest city when voters, after 20 years of rejecting the idea, elected to incorporate the community.
La Pine sits at the mouth of the Newberry National Volcanic Monument, one of the nation’s newest monuments. Established by Congress in 1990, the 550,000- acre area includes a 700-acre obsidian flow that can be accessed by trail, in addition to a number of other recreational opportunities. The highest point on the volcano is Paulina Peak. On a clear day, visitors to the 7,984-foot peak can take in views that extend into California and Washington.
Though Native Americans have lived and traveled throughout Central Oregon since ancient times, the first European visitors were trappers and fur traders who came to the area in the 1830s. The La Pine area was first explored in 1843, when John C. Fremont’s exploration party passed through the area on the way south to Klamath Marsh.
In 1885, members of a railroad survey party under the direction of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers came north near where Rosland Road is now located.
The La Pine area has always been heavily dependent on ranching and logging as the basis of the local economy. More recently, the area is becoming known for its affordable commercial and industrial land.
Newberry Business Park, a commercial/industrial park with 40 acres of developed sites, opened in La Pine in 2004. Finley Butte Industrial Park also provides commercial space for local businesses.
In addition to commercial development, more residential communities are also springing up in La Pine to accommodate those who are moving to the town. Crescent Creek, built by Pahlisch Homes, is a community with more than 100 home sites, in addition to a community park and recreation center. Huntington Meadows, built by Reinhardt Construction, is another large-scale development that added homes to the area.
Despite a steadily-increasing population, many people move to the area with the intention of living a rural lifestyle.
Along with its independent character, one of La Pine’s strong points is the active volunteer spirit evident in virtually every aspect of the community, from the parks and recreation district to the newly constructed 7,000- square-foot senior center.
Tourism is increasing annually in south Deschutes County as tourists discover world class skiing at nearby Mount Bachelor Ski Resort, golf, hunting, fishing and other outdoor activities in the area.
La Pine is also hoping to attract art lovers to the town. La Pine’s first art gallery in the Homestead Quilts building offers multi-media art including, oil and watercolor paintings, woodworking, stained glass and metal art. The community is also talking about forming a drama group in the near future.