Come on out for Spring Break in Bend, Oregon! It’s lovely year-round, but in the spring, things are just starting to warm up, colorful wildflowers are just starting to bloom, and the crowds haven’t descended on us yet. It’s an in-between time; one minute there could be snow flurries and the next the sun could be shining. It just means you can enjoy a little of everything while you’re here!
Skiing and More
Did you know that Mt. Bachelor has one of the longest skiing seasons in the country? You should be able to hit the slopes through Memorial Day! This is the time to get in that last ski weekend or cross-country trek. And if there’s not enough snow for you, you can bike or hike up and down the mountain.
Spring is the perfect time to hike those trails and visit those popular spots that are normally too crowded or just too hot in the summer. The Deschutes River Trail (just a short 3 miles out and back) is a popular hike along the edge of the scenic Deschutes River to a cute little bridge, where you cross and head back.
If you love waterfalls, hike the Tumalo Falls Trail in the Deschutes National Forest. There is a viewpoint a few steps from the parking lot, but what fun is that? Hike the trail to the top of the falls for an absolutely breathtaking view. Or hike around Sparks Lake for quick 2+ mile loop around one of the most photographed lakes in the state, then stay for an amazing sunset from one of the viewpoints.
The Newberry National Volcanic Monument offers a wide variety of hiking experiences. Hike to the top of Lava Butte for an amazing aerial view of the chain of the area’s Cascade volcanoes (Mt. Bachelor, Broken Top, and the Three Sisters). Over 100 miles of hiking trails take you past cool lakes and waterfalls (don’t miss Paulina Falls), lava flows, and the Newberry Crater, the caldera stretching across the heart of the (still active) volcano. The Trail of Molten Lands holds the lava fields where NASA astronauts trained for their moon walk, and the Big Obsidian Flow with over 700 acres of black, shiny obsidian is something you just need to see.
Not sure what the trails are going to be like in this crazy spring weather? No problem! Just rent a fat tire bike. These mountain bikes have soft, oversized tires and can go anywhere! Trails can be snowy, icy, rocky, dusty, or muddy; it doesn’t matter because these bikes can handle it all. Try the Wanoga: Outer Loop Trail, it’s one of the trails specifically for fat tire bikes.
The Mount Bachelor to Bend Mountain Bike Ride is for real bike lovers. This five-day, moderate 22.9-mile (one way) trail winds through the area’s alpine forests, around several mountain lakes, and past waterfalls and ends at the Newberry Volcanic National Monument where you’ll ride the rim of the Caldera and ride through the Obsidian Flow. The cool weather will be perfect for a long bike ride, one of the most fun things to do in spring in Bend.
Climbing and Rappelling
Serious rock climbers probably already have Smith Rock State Park on their itinerary since it’s a world-renowned climbing spot. Climb towering rock canyons over the twisty Crooked River before it gets too hot and too crowded. The park has several thousand routes (some bolted) for your climbing pleasure. Keep an eye out for golden eagles and prairie falcons as you climb. If you aren’t a climber, there are several official hiking (and biking) trails in the Park, all with amazing views. It’s well worth the trip.
Bend is part of the Oregon Cascades Birding Trail, so you can do some serious birdwatching as you enjoy your biking, hiking, or climbing adventure through the Oregon wilderness. Make a stop at the Visit Bend Welcome Center for a copy of the Oregon Cascades Birding Trail Guide. On your way back to your rental, you may get lucky and catch sight (or the sound) of a great horned owl or western screech owl as they hunt through downtown.
Beer and More
Wander the largest beer trail in the area, the Bend Ale Trail, with over twenty breweries on the tour. Make sure The Deschutes Brewery Tour is on your list. Their Black Butte Porter is one of the more popular craft brews in the area. Enjoy some tax-free shopping at the Old Mill, then cool down with the cone-of-the-the-day at Ben & Jerry’s or the seasonal gelato at Bonta Natural Artisan Gelato. Later head to Bangers & Brews or Zydeco Kitchen & Cocktails for a casual dinner and drinks.
Enjoy Spring in Bend
Looking for more suggestions for a quick hike or where to rent a fat bike near your spring vacation rental? Maybe you’re looking for a quiet wine bar or fine dining establishment that’s open for dine-in service? Give us a call today and we’ll be happy to help!