Spring is already here and just like the game of thrones, summer is coming right around the corner. If are looking for an outdoor adventure to a destination off the beaten path this summer, Bend, Oregon is at the top of our list. While Bend is known for it’s many tasty breweries, there is more to this small city than just their incredible beer.
Bend is geographically blessed with an amazing location along the eastern edge of the Cascade Range with the Deschutes River flowing right through it. With its location surrounded by mountains, rivers and lakes, Bend is a great destination for outdoor adventure.
Bend Oregon Outdoors
Last summer we were looking for a place to meet up with friends for an unwinding yet thrilling break. We are all now working our butts off in respective fields and hectic jobs, so when a friend suggested Bend, Oregon we were in. Bend has been on our bucket list for a while, so this was the perfect opportunity to enjoy it with like-minded people.
Bend Mountain Biking
We had all heard great things about mountain biking in Bend, so this was our top priority. A few people in our group needed bike rentals, so we visited some of the best bike shops in town. We have now made renting a bike in Bend easy to do online at TripOutside.com. TripOutside offers online rentals at Hutch’s bike shop, which is conveniently located downtown Bend, and has top quality rental bikes for all ages.
The great thing about Bend is that they have trails for everyone – beginners to expert. We had all levels of riders in our group, and finding trails was simple on Trailforks.com! On our first day of biking in Bend, we rode almost 20 miles, starting on a doubletrack uphill that got our legs fired up, and taking the Larsen trail until we hit the Tiddlywinks/Funner loop. Funner was a bit of uphill, but Tiddlywinks was a fun fast downhill with some jumps and fun switchbacks, which made the uphill all worth it. Then we jumped on Lower Storm King, a super fun fast and flowing downhill ride to Catch & Release. Not only was our loop a blast, it was a great workout day!
Bend Oregon Kayaking
On our second day of the trip, we decided to paddle the infamous Deschutes River. The first step was to rent our equipment, so we visited Bend Kayak School to check out their kayak and paddleboard rental selection. Bend Kayak School is the premier paddle sports outfitter located downtown Bend, OR and the staff was informative and friendly. We’ve added them to TripOutside.com so you can book your gear online quickly and easily! We rented kayaks and a paddleboard for the full day, and they even have the option of returning them the next morning.
We picked our equipment and walked our way to the iconic Deschutes River. The shop also provides car straps and foam if you are taking the kayaks or paddleboards to one of the beautiful Bend area lakes. Paddling the Deschutes was refreshing, especially when one of our friends lost her balance during her turn on the paddleboard, and splashed into the chilly waters. She was a good sport about it, and the strong sun dried her out quickly. At the end of the day, boys will be boys and soon got into a kayaking race, and afterwards we watched the sun set as we cheered to some drinks in our kayaks in the river.
Bend Craft Beer Scene
Because drinking craft beer is a fantastic way to wrap up any outdoor adventure, we continued our drinks at one of the many breweries Bend is famous for – 10 Barrel Brewing Company. You can’t come to Bend without experiencing a brewery! Some of our other favorites include the renowned Deschutes Brewery and Crux Fermentation Project.
Bend Free Camping
One of the best discoveries we made in Bend was the incredible free camping spots practically on top of Phil’s World and only 10 minutes from town! Explore the Deschutes National Forest for free when you camp at Forest Road 260. Camping at this location is incredibly convenient, and for mountain bike enthusiasts, it really can’t be beat!
Accessibility wise, Forest Road 260 is in decent conditions but is not recommended to travel on with large RVs when wet. There is a 14-day limit at Forest Road 260. As for amenities, Forest FR 260 is a basic dispersed camping spot, however, there is a dump station close by in town where you can also find potable water. No RV? No problem! Rent an RV for your road trip, or locally in Bend on Outdoorsy, the new website for RV share.
Our trip to Bend, Oregon ended as one of our most memorable outdoor trips, with memories we will cherish for life (and many reasons to come back again!). If you are looking for an offbeat adventure this summer, (or a great place for a bachelor/bachelorette party!) we highly recommend Bend, Oregon.