Destination: Dinner!

We have traveled the west far and wide over these last (almost) two years and have chosen destinations for reasons of scenic beauty, available activities, visiting friends or family, weather management, or just stops along the way. This stay in La Pine, Oregon is a first. We routed here for one reason – dinner.


Randy and I first heard of Cowboy Dinner Tree from other campers while in Bend a couple of years ago. The restaurant’s days and hours are limited, their location is remote and you must have reservations so they know how much food to cook.

Many thanks to our friend Beth for playing along (and driving) because, even here in LaPine, we are still 50 miles from the restaurant. It is truly out in the middle of nowhere under a large tree that use to be a “shade and dinner” stop halfway along the cattle drive trail. The small town of Silver Lake is 4 miles away – not close enough for electricity – so all cooking is done over wood or with propane.


The namesake tree is in back. Don’t let appearances fool you – this place has good eats!



Dinner begins with a salad course followed by cowboy beans and the best rolls in the world.


The main entree is a 26 – 30 oz .steak, or whole chicken, served with a baked potato.  You must choose your entree when you make reservations. A small dessert follows the main course.

The atmosphere is old time cowboy and drinks are served in large mason jars. It was totally a delightful experience – one we would all repeat. We could tell who the experienced diners were because they brought tupperware along to collect their leftovers from every serving. We have enough steak left over for at least two meals!


The restaurant provide plastic bags for those of us new to the experience.

The cost you ask? $30 per meal – “no credit cards, no debit cards, no kidding” – and worth every penny and mile to get there. Their advertising is all word of mouth (I’m doing my part) and business is brisk.


Today we move 30 miles to Tumalo State Park west of Bend. That will be our last of four stops with fellow full-timer Beth and it has been a blast to travel together. In addition to this memorable dinner and seeing sites in Reno, Carson City, Virginia City and Lava Beds National Monument, we have enjoyed hanging out, watching some very old James Bond movies and playing card games. Getting together again somewhere along the way will definitely be on our radar.

After Tumalo, Beth is headed toward her volunteer lighthouse gig on the Oregon coast and we are staying in Oregon to have a family get together in Sumpter.  Life on the road is a joy and we are blessed.

About Serene

Former full time RVers, transitioned to homeowners and travelers. We've still got a map to finish! Home is the Phoenix area desert and a small cabin in the White Mountains of Arizona.
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4 Responses to Destination: Dinner!

  1. Mark McClelland says:

    Wow. It sounds like you REALLY have to plan to go to that restaurant!! Glad that you got to give it a try.

    • Serene says:

      Actually it was our third attempt over the years. It was worth the wait. Thinking fajitas tonight for some of that leftover steak!

  2. Shari Keyes says:

    Wow!!! This is now on our bucket list. Is the road paved all the way through (for a motorcycle)?

    • Serene says:

      I didn’t recall but Randy and Beth said the last couple miles were a good dirt/gravel road. The restaurant has a website and some lodging on site.

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