Bend Oregon is the perfect location for your family winter getaway.
During Thanksgiving of 2016 our family enjoyed a fun filled 4 day vacation in Bend Oregon. I have shared where to eat delicious gluten free food and now I will share where to hike.
Outdoor activities are limitless in the Bend area. There is an option available for every skill level. We had an absolute blast with our munchkin, my brother in law and sister in law. Here is the perfect list of where to hike during your visit to Bend.
Where to Hike:
We happened to be there after a snow storm so there was a lot of snow and ice. Because of the ice the path was a bit slick and we had to walk very carefully. We decided to hike along the Farewell Trail to a second waterfall. And just like the first, it was breathtaking.
If you plan to hike beyond the first waterfall make sure you have the proper gear especially in the winter. This is a nice option if you want a beautiful view with out a long hike. We are hoping to go back again and do more exploring in a warmer part of the year.
This is a great family hiking option. Pilot Butte is an extinct volcano that offers a panoramic view of Bend and beyond. You can do a shorter but steeper hike to the top or you can take a longer path that offers a more gradual accent. Our munchkin was in need of a nap when we adventured here so we opted to drive to the top and then get out of the car to enjoy the view. If you are looking for a simple hike that is close to town this is an excellent option.
We ended up on this trail by accident. We wanted to go on a snow drive to some of the beautiful lakes we had been hearing about. Trouble is, the road to get to the lakes was closed for the winter. So we went with plan B and we were not disappointed.
We did the three mile snow shoeing loop. Although we did not have snow shoes we were able to hike through just fine. You do need a parking pass from November – April. This trail was a lovely surprise and I am so glad we found it.
Harmon and Drake Park
And then cross the bridge to Drake Park to see the ducks and make a loop back to our rental. Harmon Park has a wonderful play ground with play structures to please multiple age groups. Drake park is a picturesque setting and has beautiful walking trails along the Rogue river.
The final adventure on out itinerary was a visit to Smith Rock. In the warmer months Smith Rock is a hub for rock climbing and hiking enthusiasts. On the winter day we visited there were only a few climbers and a few hikers. It was fun to somewhat have the place to ourselves. We decided to try our hand at the Misery Ridge trail. Yes, it is called this for a reason. It is considered a moderate hike. There are a lot of steps and up hill climb.
We put Genevieve in the carrier when we arrived at the top of Smith, where she quickly fell asleep. Matt and I did not do the entire trail. We backtracked to our car. It was an amazing work out! There are multiple trail options and levels of difficulty at Smith Rock. Even if all you do is stay in the parking lot and enjoy the view it is worth it.
How were we able to fit so much stuff into 4 days with a toddler?
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We ate our gluten free over night steel cut oats every morning so we did not have to spend time going out for breakfast. Our goal was to do at least one to two outdoor adventures a day. We tried to do our hikes earlier in the afternoon so we could have the evening free to get a nice dinner and relax in the hot tub (yes the airbnb rental was amazing!).
Make sure you bring water and snacks in your car so you always have them handy. Keep your baby gear, like a baby carrier, and hiking gear in the car when ever you go out so you are always prepared for the next adventure.