What Bend, Oregon lacks in size, it makes up for with adventures. This quaint city on the Deschutes River is one of the best summer adventure capitals in the United States. With sprawling mountains, high desert terrain, and 14 alpine lakes, you have endless options for outdoor adventures. Whether you want the rush of mountain biking or road biking, or explore Bend’s riverways by kayak or stand up paddleboard, this adventure hub has it all. A summer visit to Bend, Oregon can entail almost limitless outdoor adventures in the surrounding mountains and wilderness as well as visits to this city’s world class breweries, or taking in the beats at colorful outdoor music festivals. This small (but quickly growing) Oregon destination is family-friendly, has great hotel and camping options, and an impressive dining scene delivered by over 50 restaurants and many craft breweries. Bend is an adventure hub – gear rental shops and outdoor adventure providers offer endless activities that’ll give you a sun-soaked vacation!
Beyond the renowned biking trails in Bend are it’s lakes where water sports like kayaking and stand up paddleboarding dominate. Elk Lake is just 25 miles from Bend, and has been a local favorite for almost 100 years. The lake is one of the best places to stand up paddleboard and kayak in the area, featuring serene waters that are great for beginners. Another top paddling destination is the scenic Deschutes River, which cuts right through downtown Bend.
The best time to visit Bend, Oregon is from June to September when the mild weather encourages outdoor summer activities. Winter activities include skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing, mostly centered around nearby Mt. Bachelor.
TripOutside features the best local shops in Bend, Oregon for kayak, SUP and bike rental and other outdoor adventures.