If you’re looking for a solid “bucket list” for your Bend, Oregon 2022 summer fun, head to our Top 10 blog post from last year. From hitting the mountain for fun in the sun, to the ubiquitous pastime of floating the Deschutes River, there are a whole host of must-do recommendations from our local team. This year, we’ve added some more general recommendations to the list. There’s never a shortage of things to do in Bend Oregon in the summer!
Go for a ride: We are incredibly lucky to have many ways to enjoy our beautiful area on two wheels. If you’re looking for off road adventure, the region boasts hundreds of miles of trails for mountain biking, managed and maintained by Central Oregon Trail Alliance. All skills levels are welcome: learn more about gear, etiquette and more in this short Discovery West video. If you want to keep it a little more relaxed, Sunriver Resort has a 34-mile network of paved trails among some of the most iconic Central Oregon scenery. Sunriver has a great selection of bike rentals and, if you want to stay right in Bend, you can also rent bikes at Wheel Fun Rentals in the Old Mill District and cruise around in town. Surreys are also available. And, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the pinnacle of the Bend Oregon biking experience: the Cycle Pub, in which you and your friends can pedal to consume the area’s renowned craft beer.
Go for a hike: In past blogs, we have definitely touched on the amazing hiking in the Central Oregon region, but it is worth revisiting. From exploring the unique badlands east of town to enjoying the crisp mountain air, streams and lakes, our backcountry trail system has a lot to offer. One of our favorite trails out east is the Dry River Canyon Trail, which winds along an ancient riverbed. Be aware: due to nesting birds and other wildlife, this trail is only open for a few accessible weeks per year. Up in the mountains, our erstwhile favorite Green Lakes Trailhead is now followed by a close second: Sisters Mirror Trailhead, at which you will find a network of hidden mountain lakes as well. Both are peaceful options for enjoying nature. These trails require permits to be purchased ahead – so plan your hike accordingly.
Go for a drive: There are several roadways in the region that are only open seasonally. Perhaps the most anticipated opening each spring is the McKenzie Pass Scenic Byway (primarily on Oregon Route 242), which branches off in Sisters and leads to what Travel Oregon calls a “lava rock moonscape.” It is spectacular in every sense of the word. (Be cautious as this is also a popular road biking route, and the road is narrow and winds through the forest.) Of course, we couldn’t access many of the summer amenities and outdoor recreation we love in Central Oregon without access via Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway, which leads past the Mt. Bachelor turnout, up through the Deschutes National Forest and Three Sisters Wilderness and comes out south of LaPine. Along this route, you’ll see pristine mountain lakes and streams, soaring mountain peaks and a diverse forest landscape. Worth a mention is the Paulina Lake Road (Forest Service Road 21), which leads up Newberry Crater to both Paulina and East Lakes, some favorite local spots, also open seasonally.
Bottom line: get outside and enjoy our beautiful Central Oregon surroundings – by foot, bike or car – there are options for everyone!