Situated in central Oregon at the base of the Cascade foothills, Bend’s geography makes it an outdoor playground. From mountain biking, cycling, and hiking to kayaking, rock climbing, and skiing, Bend offers nearly every type of outdoor adventure. Here are some ideas on how to make the most of one day in Bend.
Morning: Hike to a Waterfall or Ancient Volcano
Jump start your visit to Bend on a hiking or mountain biking tour of the mountains just outside of town. The hike to Tumalo Falls is a locals’ favorite—plus, the viewpoint to see the main waterfall is just a few steps from the parking area, making it ideal for hikers of all abilities.
If you feel like venturing further afield, check out the ancient lava flows and cinder cones of Newberry Volcanic National Monument. Consider taking a photo tour to learn how to perfectly capture the wild desert landscapes that surround Bend.
Afternoon: Explore the Deschutes River
In the early 1800s, pioneers heading further west would cross the Deschutes River at Farewell Bend, where a makeshift community eventually became the city of Bend. The Deschutes River is still the heart of Bend, and watersports options are plentiful. Kayak, float, tube, or stand-up paddle board down the river, or visit the Bend Whitewater Park where kayakers will find a white-water playground right in the river. Alternatively, explore the Deschutes River Trail, which begins near the Old Mill district and meanders along the shores of the river or take a guided fly-fishing tour.
Evening: Sample Brews on the Bend Ale Trail
With over 20 microbreweries within the town limits, Bend’s prolific craft beer scene is what draws many visitors to the city. Before heading to the breweries, it’s worth checking out the top of Pilot Butte—which you can drive to during the summer months and hike anytime of year—to catch the sunset over the Cascades. If you can’t wait to sample the beer, you can also catch sunset from the Crux Brewery patio. Pick up a Bend Ale Trail passport from the Bend Visitor Center and receive a commemorative pint if you collect enough stamps.