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30 Best Hikes Near Bend, Oregon

10.04.17

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30 Best Hikes Near Bend, Oregon
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  • Paulina Lake Loop Trail en route to Paulina Hot Springs.- 30 Best Hikes Near Bend, Oregon
  • Looking down toward Green Lakes over a field of lupine.- 30 Best Hikes Near Bend, Oregon
  • View of Newberry Volcano's high point, Paulina Peak (7,989 ft).- 30 Best Hikes Near Bend, Oregon
  • They're called ice nubbins. Water drips constantly from the cave ceiling, freezes when it hits the ground, and builds ice stalagmites.- 30 Best Hikes Near Bend, Oregon
  • Tumalo Falls from the upper viewpoint.- 30 Best Hikes Near Bend, Oregon
  • View looking back at Broken Top Crater.- 30 Best Hikes Near Bend, Oregon
  • Lava River Caves.- 30 Best Hikes Near Bend, Oregon
  • Ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) along the Deschutes River Trail's South Canyon Reach.- 30 Best Hikes Near Bend, Oregon
  • View looking northwest toward the natural pillar, Monkey Face, along the Smith Rock, Misery Ridge Hike.- 30 Best Hikes Near Bend, Oregon
  • The Three Sisters from Broken Top's summit (9,177 ft).- 30 Best Hikes Near Bend, Oregon
  • Coupola Lookout at Black Butte's summit (6,436 ft).- 30 Best Hikes Near Bend, Oregon
  • Metolius River from Smiling River Campground along the Metolius River Trail.- 30 Best Hikes Near Bend, Oregon
  • Canyon Creek Meadows: Three Finger Jack from the upper meadow.- 30 Best Hikes Near Bend, Oregon
  • View looking west to Bend and the Cascades from the summit of Pilot Butte. Left to right: Mount Bachelor (9,068 ft), Broken Top (9,177 ft), South Sister (10,358 ft), Middle Sister (10,047 ft) and North Sister (10,085 ft).- 30 Best Hikes Near Bend, Oregon
  • Waldo Lake via the Waldo + Rigdon Lakes Trail.- 30 Best Hikes Near Bend, Oregon
  • View of South Sister (10,358 ft) over Sparks Lake via the Ray Atkeson Memorial Trail.- 30 Best Hikes Near Bend, Oregon
  • View of Newberry Volcano's caldera, including Paulina Lake, the Big Obsidian Flow, and East Lake from the summit of Paulina Peak.- 30 Best Hikes Near Bend, Oregon
  • Little Three Creeks Lake seen from the top of Tam McArthur Rim. Peaks from left to right: Mount Washington, Three Finger Jack, Mount Jefferson, Mount Hood and Mount Adams (if you squint).- 30 Best Hikes Near Bend, Oregon
  • Making our way up the "funnel" on the East Approach to the Middle Sister toward the base of Hayden Glacier. Middle Sister (10,047 ft) and Prouty Point in the distance.- 30 Best Hikes Near Bend, Oregon
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Team

Central Oregon is an astonishingly special place for outdoor recreation, and Bend is its capital...or in outdoor terms, its best base camp.

With more sunny days per year than Phoenix, a casual lifestyle, and direct access into the mountains, Bend's popularity as a destination and a place to call home has soared over the last few decades. Bend's population was a mere 17,000 in 1989, and now nearly 100,000 people live within the city limits and its outlying rural neighborhoods. The town features a four-year university and arguably one of the best funded parks and recreation departments in the nation; additionally, Bend now boasts more breweries per capita than any other town in Oregon, with a total of 22, and there has been an explosion of incredibly delicious eateries.

Although you'll undoubtedly see a few more folks on the trail than in decades past, what hasn't changed is just how fun Bend's surroundings are to explore. The area's volcanic history is what defines Central Oregon. To the west there are the stratovolcanos and buttes: Mount Bachelor, Tumalo Mountain, the Three Sisters, and Broken Top can easily be accessed within a 30-minute drive, along with countless alpine lakes. To the northwest, Mount Washington, Three Fingered Jack, Black Butte, and the Metolius River can be accessed in less than an hour. To the north, the Whychus, Deschutes, and Crooked River converge and Smith Rock rises high above the surrounding high desert. To the east, sage brush and juniper rise out of ancient lava flows and reveal lava tubes and caves. Finally, to the south, Oregon's largest volcano, Newberry, a massive and young shield volcano, has created one of the most unique landscapes in the west. Bend is a place where boredom doesn't exist because there is so much to explore.

So, where to get started?

We've put together a list of 30 undeniably amazing hikes, some even below ground, and one through Oregon's longest cave. If you've never been to Bend before, start by making the short hike up Pilot Butte from the center of town. You'll find 360-degree views that will give you the best perspective on this wonder we call Central Oregon.

Get out there and have fun! 

Keep scrolling to Featured Adventures for the full list...

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