Here Are the Absolute Best Hikes in Bend (and Central Oregon)

Bend Oregon is home to so many beautiful hiking trails, we’ve compiled a list of the best. Before you head out fuel up with a scrumptious multi-course breakfast at the Lara House then enjoy a wonderful day of outdoor exploration. When you get back we’ll have a glass of wine or local beer ready for you during our wine and beer hour.

Here Are the Absolute Best Hikes in Bend (and Central Oregon)TUMALO FALLS LOOP

Difficulty: Easy
Length: 4 or 7.4 miles
Pass: National Forest Pass
Trail Information

This popular hike leads to a pine-covered valley and the tallest waterfall (100 ft tall) in and around Bend. If you opt for the longer hike you’ll see less people and set your sights on a few more waterfalls and cascades. The loop is a connection of North Fork Trail (where you’ll see Tumalo Falls), Swampy Lakes Trail and Bridge Creek Trail.

PILOT BUTTE STATE PARK

Difficulty: Easy
Length: 1.8 miles
Pass: Not required
Trail Information

Just a few minutes from downtown Bend, Pilot Butte Trail is popular for tourists and locals. Open year round from the East side parking lot, you’ll work up a sweat climbing your way to the top of the pet-friendly trail and be rewarded with panoramic views of Central Oregon. Interpretive signs share the names of the mountain so you can locate the popular peaks like Mt. Jefferson, Three Sisters, Black Butte and Mt Hood.

Here Are the Absolute Best Hikes in Bend (and Central Oregon)MISERY RIDGE AT SMITH ROCK

Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 3.8 miles
Pass: $5 parking fee without Oregon State Park Pass
Trail Information

Smith Rock, with scenic views of deep river canyons, is a hot spot for rock climbers (there are thousands of climbs in the park) and a haven for hikers. The Misery Ridge trail begins with a brutal first mile but climbing the switchbacks to see the view at the top is so worth it. You’ll get a close view of the famous Monkey Face rock formation and on most days you’ll see a few brave people take the high line walk from the main buttress to the monkey’s mouth. If you catch a clear day, luckily there are many, you can see Mount Jefferson and Broken Top. This trail is popular because you get to see the best that Smith Rock has to offer.

LAVA RIVER CAVES

Difficulty: Easy
Length: 1 mile
Pass: $5 Day Pass or Northwest Forest Pass
Trail Information

Experience life underground as this short hike leads through a mile-long lava tube, the longest continuous lava tube in Oregon. To access the cave you’ll descend 55 stairs and exploration typically takes 90-minutes. It’s recommended to wear close-toed shoes, bring a headlamp or flashlight and warm clothing even in the summer because the cave temperature is 42 degrees Fahrenheit. Lava River Caves are open from mid-May to mid-September.

Here Are the Absolute Best Hikes in Bend (and Central Oregon)MT. BACHELOR SUMMIT TRAIL

Difficulty: Hard
Length: 4.4
Pass: Free at main ski lot
Trail Information

Best known for skiing, Mt. Bachelor is also an excellent spot to hike and mountain bike once the snow retreats. To get to the 9,065 summit, you can either start at the base of Pine Marten lift and hike all the way to the top, or take the Pine Marten Lift (chairlift ticket required) from the West Village base to the mid-mountain level at 7,775 feet and hike from there to the summit. The trail begins through lush forest of fir and hemlock and as you ascend to the top the trees slowly fade until mostly rock is exposed. At the top are awe inspiring views of the Cascade Lakes area, Sisters and Broken top as well as other Cascade peaks from Mt. Adams to Mt. Shasta.

GREEN LAKES TRAIL

Difficulty: Hard
Length: 9.1
Pass: $5 Day Pass or Northwest Forest Pass
Trail Information

Possibly the most popular summer hike in Bend, the trail begins along the banks of Fall Creek, follows along a lava flow and heads deep into the Deschutes National Forest. In mid-July you will see absolutely gorgeous wildflowers blooming. This hike is like an Oregon postcard, complete with picturesque views of mountains, alpine lakes, and mountain springs. The Green Lakes Trail hike can be accessed from different trailheads (Soda Springs, Todd Lake, Park Meadow and Moraine Lake); the most popular is the official Green Lakes/Soda Creek trailhead right off of the Cascade Lakes Highway. The best time to visit is from mid-July through mid-October.

DESCHUTES RIVER TRAIL

Difficulty: Easy
Length: 3.2
Pass: Not required
Trail Information

The closest hike from Lara House Bed & Breakfast, the Deschutes River Trail is right in town but you will feel like you are out in the woods. Beginning at either Riverbend Park or Farewell Bend Park, the trail wanders along the river through a scenic canyon. Anytime the sun is shining, which is most summer days, you’ll spot kayakers, river floaters and paddle boarders. When you reach a footbridge at 1.6 miles, it’s an ideal turn-around location.

Where can you get a Northwest Forest Pass?

You can purchase a Northwest Forest Pass at REI, Fred Meyer, Bi-mart, Pine Mountain Sports and the Bend Visitor Center (a .5 mile walk from Lara House Bed & Breakfast).

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