Hiking in Bend… where do we start?! One of top questions we get asked is “what are your favorite hiking trails in Central Oregon?” It makes sense since roughly 42 percent of Bend visitors do some sort of hiking or trail running while in town. But that’s a tough question or answer! There are so many variables like how hard of a hike are you looking for? How long? What kind of scenery? How far are you willing to drive? Do you want to drive 2.5 hours south to see Crater Lake? Climb South Sister, the 3rd tallest mountain in Oregon? Hike the very well known Misery Ridge Trail at Smith Rock? Or are you looking for a moderate nature walk near town?
We could go on for hours about the beautiful trails in Central Oregon! Most often we hear that most people are just looking for something close to town to get their heart rate up and take in the gorgeous landscapes around Bend. Through our partnership with Visit Bend, we’ve created an awesome list of hikes near town that are generally accessible Spring though Fall. If you’re planning on visiting in winter, favorite hiking trails is a whole different conversation that generally starts with “are you bringing or renting snowshoes?”
One easy tip to remember when you thinking about hiking in Bend; the River Tail is never a bad place to start. There isn’t a ton of elevation change, but it gives you the opportunity to walk on paved paths through the Old Mill District or Drake Park as well as the option to hit dirt paths with amazing views.