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Things To Do In Bend

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While In Bend, OR




1. Explore Newberry National Volcanic Monument

One of the most interesting places to visit in the Bend area is Newberry National Volcanic Monument, where you can explore numerous attractions of the Newberry Volcano. Stand on top of Lava Butte, a cinder cone that rises to 500 feet above the surrounding landscape, looking out over the old lava flow, or walk underground through the Lava River Cave, a one-mile-long lava tube. In another area of the monument, you'll find beautiful lakes and mountain peaks, with wonderful hiking and camping opportunities.

The monument has two main access points. Twenty minutes south of Bend off Highway 97 is the Lava Lands Visitor Center, from where you can ascend Lava Butte or visit the Lava River Cave. The Chitwood Exhibit Hall here provides a wealth of information on the geology of the area and details on things to see and do in the monument, as well as current conditions.

2. Visit Tumalo Falls

About 10 miles west of Bend, Tumalo Falls is one of the most popular sights in the area. The 97-foot waterfall plunges off a sheer wall to the roaring river below.

You can view the falls from an observation area near the parking lot, which looks up the river to the wall of water pouring over the cliff. This is the best view of the falls, but if you want a closer view and a different perspective, you can also hike up a .2-mile trail that leaves from near the restrooms at the Tumalo Falls Picnic Area. At the edge of the falls is a fenced area, where you can look down on the falls.

3. The High Desert Museum

Although this is touted as a popular family activity, everyone will enjoy a trip to the High Desert Museum. The museum provides an introduction to the history, flora, and fauna of Central Oregon. Spread over 135 acres, the complex has extensive permanent and temporary indoor exhibits in the large main building.

Outdoors, a nature trail connects a variety of exhibits, including an otter tank, an aviary, and historical displays. Live animal encounters are held several times throughout the day and feature everything from a porcupine showcasing its climbing abilities to a badger showing off its digging prowess. The museum is located just a short drive south of Bend off Highway 97 and is well signposted.

4. Smith Rock State Park

Twenty-seven miles north of Bend on Highway 97, Smith Rock State Park offers a unique and dramatic landscape, quite different from the surrounding area. The sheer, orange rhyolite cliff walls and freestanding pinnacles are particularly popular with rock climbers, but many people come out here to hike or walk.

An easy walking trail runs along the Crooked River, which flows quietly through the park. This is a pleasant area, where you may see deer and birds. For the more adventurous, a hike up the infamous Misery Ridge is a rewarding experience, with outstanding views in all directions, from fields to snowcapped volcanoes in the distance. The hike up the front is a grunt but worth the effort. On the way down, you can see a rock pinnacle known as monkey face. Watch for climbers on the back side of this structure.

5. Float or Surf the Deschutes River

The Deschutes River running through Bend is not just a meandering scenic area. This is a recreation area, and in summer, people take full advantage of every opportunity the river has to offer. Swimming, tubing, stand up paddle boarding, and even surfing are popular activities.

On a summer's day, as you walk along the paved riverside walking and biking trail, you can watch people floating down the river. Difficult areas of the river are even sign marked to indicate the level of difficulty, so tubers can choose to brave rapids, opt for tamer waters, or get out and walk around obstacles.

A man-made, non-stop surfing wave is one of the most interesting features along the river. The best viewpoint for checking out the surfing scene is on the SW Colorado Avenue bridge, just upstream from Bend's Whitewater Park. More information can be found here.

6. Old Mill District

Set along the Deschutes River, about a mile from downtown, the Old Mill District is built around the remnants of the Brooks-Scanlon lumber mill. The landmark three silver smokestacks make it easy to spot.

This rejuvenated area features mainly shops and restaurants. The retail here is a real mix, with chains and local establishments. The dining selection in this area is not extensive, but in summer you can dine on an outdoor patio and enjoy views over the river.

In the summer, outdoor concerts take place at the nearby Hayden Homes Amphitheater featuring bands across the musical spectrum.

7. World Class Mountain Biking

In the biking world, Bend is well-known as a mountain biking destination. Just outside of town, you'll easily find more than 300 miles of single track trails. Fourteen major biking regions, all with their own unique characteristics, offer opportunities for all levels of ability. Depending on the time of year, only some of these areas may be accessible.

A majority of the mountain biking trails are located to the southwest of the city off one of the many smaller roads linked to either Skyliner Road or the Cascade National Scenic Byway. Fast and flowy trails wind through the tall pine forests, crossing streams and offering the occasional wildlife sighting.

The area around Mt. Bachelor offers more outstanding trails, and the ski hill even offers lift service in summer for bikers who prefer only a descent. Stop in at one of Bend's many bike stores for additional local advice and information on current conditions.



Contact Us

Bend FC

145 NE Revere Avenue, Suite 6
Bend, Oregon 97701

Phone: 541-728-3261
Email: [email protected]

Bend FC

145 NE Revere Avenue, Suite 6
Bend, Oregon 97701

Phone: 541-728-3261
Email: [email protected]
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