The city of Bend in central Oregon may seem a bit off the beaten path--out there with its high desert surroundings in middle of the state--but it's a path worth following if you are someone who enjoys the outdoors, live music, fine arts, gourmet food, craft beer, fresh brewed kombucha, community-minded locals and friendly vibes.
Backroads Oregon Cascades & Crater Lake Bike Tour showcases the region's top outdoor activities and culinary experiences. It's by no means an exhaustive itinerary, because...well...fitting in everything that makes Bend so amazing would actually BE exhausting. Even our Trip Leaders, who live in the area between tours, feel hard-pressed to check all their favorites off the list each summer. Nevertheless, together they've compiled a list of SIX INSIDER REASONS why you should visit Bend as soon as possible!
HIKING: Bend is a natural playground - there are trails EVERYWHERE and the views on a clear day are unreal. Stroll to reflective Green Lake, scramble up geologically-fascinating Tam-MacArthur Ridge, pack yourself a picnic dinner to take to sunset on Pilot Butte or challenge yourself to summit an extinct volcano--the South Sister herself.
MOUNTAIN BIKING: From cautious beginners to downhill shredders, Bend offers world-class single-track mountain biking that's perfect for all ability levels. Head to Phil's Trails Complex for wide and mellow paths through open Ponderosa forests, hop on a lift at the Mt. Bachelor Bike Park for a rowdy rocky ride back down to base or call Cog Wild for a shuttle up to one of the dozens of other area trailheads so you can cruise one-way right back into town.
DESCHUTES RIVER: This dynamic waterway is the lifeblood of the area. It once carried logs to the timber mills in historic "Farewell Bend" as it was then known; today, it offers tubing, rafting, swimming, fly-fishing and surfing at the standing wave in the Bend Whitewater Park!
EATING: The food scene in Bend is exploding--probably because you have to eat well to play as hard as most people do in this city! Try Spork for a casual but sensational take on Asian fusion, Sparrow Bakery for the best breakfast sandwich of your life, Jackson's Corner for fresh regional dishes or any of the many food truck clusters (like The Lot, On Tap, and The Bite) or individual carts scattered throughout the area.
DRINKING: Just as playing hard requires fulfilling food, so too, does it require thirst-quenching quaffs. Don't miss Deschutes, Boneyard, Crux or GoodLife breweries, Dogwood and Stihl Whiskey cocktail bars, or the Humm Kombucha tasting room!
CULTURE: If you need a "rest day," Bend doesn't disappoint; the town is overflowing with creativity. Weekly "Munch and Music" summer concerts pop up in Drake Park, the Tower Theater hosts musicals and film fests, the High Desert Museum inspires and enlightens with displays promoting the region's natural and cultural heritage and the Les Schwab Amphitheater hosts pedigreed musicians in an outdoor river-side setting.
Want to experience Bend with Backroads?
Join us on our Oregon Cascades & Crater Lake Bike Tour!