Updated: May 21, 2015
Best Black Butte Home RentalsThe next best thing to having your own home at Black Butte Ranch in Central Oregon is to take a vacation to Black Butte and stay in a rental vacation home. Where is Black Butte? It is located on the eastern side of the Cascade Range off Oregon Hwy 20 near Bend and the small town of Sisters (about 8 miles away), in Central Oregon, about 1.5 hours from Salem and 2.5 hours from Portland. What is Black Butte? Black Butte is a community of 1400 homes set around forest, wide open meadows, towering snow-covered peaks, 2 golf courses, 4 swimming pools, and miles of bike and walking trails. Homes are all individually owned, and can range from simple log cabins or ski chalets to spectacular modern mountain retreats. Summer is the most popular time to visit, when the main draw is the hot, sunny weather, clear blue skies and fresh mountain air, perfect for relaxing on the deck or at the pool, playing a round of golf, or bike riding with the family.
Finding a rental home in Black Butte can be challenging, since there is no one central resource for checking availability or booking a home. Since each home is individually owned, you may need to do some work to find rental listings, look at a lot of pictures to see what the home looks like, and talk to some owners to get the details on their specific home, including room and bedding layouts, amenities (hot tubs, foosball tables, deck furniture, bikes, etc.), prices, and vacancy. Building began here in 1970, and you'll find a lot of these home have the look and feel of 1970's mountain design and decor - lots of small, barebones kitchens, bathrooms and bunkrooms. The basic homes here are not super luxurious, though the newer, larger, more expensive homes can be much nicer and better equipped.
Finding a Home for Rent in Black ButteFirst, lets start with a map to show you the layout of Black Butte Ranch. Click HERE and the Black Butte map will open in a new window. Their official site is BlackButteRanch.com. As you can see on the map, all of the homes are divided into various "homesite" groups. When you look for homes, they are generally identified by the homesite and the home number, like Golf House #47, which is located around the Big Meadow Golf Course area along the 11th fairway, as the map shows. So if the rental listings you are looking at don't show the home number, be sure to email or call the owner to find out exactly where the home is located in the ranch so you can find it on the map. The main homesite areas are:
- Golf Homesites, along the northwest edge of the property around the Big Meadow Course
- Spring Homesites, a small grouping of 52 homes tucked in begind the Big Meadow itself
- East Meadow, to the east of the Big Meadow, 67 sites with larger lots
- Rock Ridge, tucked in south of the East Meadow sites
- South Meadow, wedged between East Meadow and Glaze Meadow, with Aspen Lake in the middle
- and the largest area, Glaze Meadow, home of the new Glaze Meadow Recreation Center and Pool, a recent $6 million upgrade to the Ranch
No one area is "better" than the others at Black Butte. The entire resort has a relaxed, quiet, family-friendly feel to it, and most homes are tucked in nicely on wooded lots without excessive crowding. Some people like homes that front the golf course, some people like homes that abut state forest land, some people like to be near the meadows, some people like to be close to the pools. It all depends on your personal preferences. The peak rental season is in the months of July and August when families on summer vacation flock into the resort. Normally, you will have to commit to a minimum of 7 nights rental during these periods. Access to all the private homes is via card-activated security gates. If you are staying in the condos or visiting the lodge, you won't need a card-pass, as that area has unrestricted access. If you are renting a home, you will go to the check-in building immediately to your left when you enter the property. Here, you register and pay $4 per person daily resort fee, and you will get a magnetic card for swiping at the security gates to get into the residential property portion of the ranch.