A passion for recreation is what brings many people to Bend, Oregon. Located in the high desert of central Oregon, Bend is famous for its many forms of outdoor recreation. Kayakers and rafters shoot through the exciting triple waterfalls of the Deschutes River. The Deschutes, Metolius and Crooked Rivers also offer fantastic fly fishing, with more than 500 miles of streams and rivers stocked with trout and steelhead. Golfers have over 20 top-rated courses nearby, offering every kind of golf challenge. Mountain bike cyclists can choose off road riding in uncrowded lush forests, high mountain peaks, lava fields or desert.
Mt. Bachelor's ten alpine lifts, six of them high speed, give skiers 3,683 skiable acres of slopes, with 1,600 acres groomed daily. Parks and pipes for snowboarders are a priority, making Mt. Bachelor one of Oregon's premier snowboarding areas. Cross country skiing on the 56 kilometers of trails on Mt. Bachelor is a popular winter sport. Snowmobilers have 560 miles of groomed trails to choose from in the Deschutes National Forest, with 175 miles of that in the Bend District. Snowtubing, snowshoeing and sled dog rides are also exciting and memorable activities for your family.
World class rock climbing and miles of hiking trails at Smith Rock State Park makes it a popular retreat for climbers and hikers. Backcountry hikers and campers head into the solitude of the Three Sisters Wilderness, while others take a hike in the more than 2.5 million acres of national forests in the Bend area. Parks and picnicking abound in and around Bend. Almost all of the parks, lakes and rivers in the area have picnic areas. Bend has recreation fun for everyone!
Walking, shopping or dining in historic downtown Bend enhances your recreational experience. Drake Park's Mirror Pond, the jewel of downtown Bend, is a small lake with ducks, Canadian geese, and a pair of swans from Queen Elizabeth's royal swannery in England. The wide stretches of green grass provide a restful counterpoint to the old brick and masonry buildings that compose Bend's business area. Galleries, restaurants, outdoor eateries, boutiques and specialty shops are all within easy walking distance. Farther from the downtown area, the Old Mill District, located on a site previously used for lumber mills, features upscale shopping, trendy restaurants and an outdoor amphitheater which is used for summer concerts. A selection of shopping malls and factory outlet shopping is available in the areas outlying Bend.
For a panoramic view of Bend and the volcanic peaks around it, take a walk or a drive to the top of Pilot Butte. From this 511 feet high volcanic cindercone, you can see a vista of the high desert region, including nine snowcapped Cascade peaks. A few of the peaks you'll see are the Three Sisters, Broken Top Mountain and Mt. Jefferson. An even finer view can be found at the Newberry National Volcanic Monument. This monument stretches from Paulina Peak to the Deschutes River and includes hiking trails, lava formations, obsidian fields, and waterfalls, as well as incredible scenery. Also in the Newberry Monument area is the 18 square mile Newberry Crater, which includes Paulina and East lakes, two of Oregon's best mountain fishing lakes.
Spelunking, also called caving, in the lava tubes at Skeleton Cave, Arnold Ice Caves or Lava River Caves will show you how the underground half lives. Lava River Cave, Oregon's longest continuous lava tube, is a good beginner cave for families to explore. Geocachers can look for the Earthcache located at this site. All cavers should bring their own light, and wear warm clothing and boots - the cave temperature is approximately 40 F.No one can accomplish all there is to do in Bend in one visit. Choose a few of the many opportunities waiting for you, and then, plan what you will do on your next trip to this recreation mecca.