I have to admit – I love living in the western USA. The diverse landscapes and incredible scenery draws me to the outdoors like no other place on earth.
Recently I’ve been exploring Central Oregon in the areas around the town of Bend, Oregon. What a place! Between the beautiful rivers and lakes and the nearby mountains, Bend is quite stunning. All of this natural beauty wraps a hip, kind of eclectic downtown that reminds you of old Americana.
I can totally get why Bend has been named as one of the best places to live in the USA. One limiting factor in visiting Bend as a tourist is the amount of hotel rooms. I found that the quality of rooms is excellent – it just seems that there is not very many vacancies. So, preplan if you’re going to stay any amount of time there.
If you want to stay downtown, the choices are slim but there is some rooms within walking distance of the majority of bars and restaurants. Also, in the Old Mill District, there is a couple of big name chain hotels represented. I’ve tried both and found all the rooms to be great – but there is not as much interesting activities in the Old Mill District – so plan on driving into downtown or taking a pretty long hike.
Some of the interesting explorations we went on were to go to the different caves around Bend. One south of Bend is very moderated and you can rent propane lanterns. But many others that are off the beaten path – you’ll need to bring your own. I highly recommend a propane lantern. We found the beam of a large flashlight to be too narrow and eery.
Other sites around the area are very numerous. The waterfalls west of town are fantastic and the mountain lakes are plentiful. Overall – I think I could spend weeks in Bend and not ever get bored. Take a look!
One of my favorite things to do is hike! I recently visited Central Oregon, and found some beautiful hiking areas that the locals love. I spent the entire week outdoors, I was filthy when I got home! I almost immediately had to have
Carpet Cleaners in Reno NV come over to get all the dirt out that I tracked in… it was a mess. Below is a list of my favorite hikes I did while in Central Oregon:
Smith Rock State Park
This one is obvious – people come from all over the world to see the famous Monkey Face rock! This is a great place to visit for every level of hiker. There are trails around the base of Smith Rock that makes for a great short or long hikes for the whole family. Or, if you dare, you can go up Misery Ridge… it gets it’s name for a reason! It’s one of the tougher hikes but SO worth it. It takes you right up to the top of Smith Rock where you get beautiful views of Central Oregon. It is truly breathtaking! Smith Rock is definitely on my favorite-places-I’ve-been list. 🙂
Tumalo Falls is a Central Oregon hikes that is family friendly. There are a handful of trails. One leads you to a beautiful lookout where you get a great view of the waterfall. Another trail take you above the waterfall, so you can look right over where the water starts falling! Incredible. My personal favorite trail is the one that takes you under the waterfall. You read that right…. this trail brings you right to the waterfall and you can walk behind it! You definitely will not leave this trail dry – get anywhere near the water and you will get soaking wet. Totally worth it!
Blue Pool is a hidden gem between Bend, OR and Eugene, OR. This is a hidden lake in the woods, and the water is COLD. It is a local dare to jump in the water… many people are too scared to because it’s so cold. If you want to jump in, I recommend you don’t feel the water first, because it will probably discourage you to jump all the way in! I would like to go back on a hot summer day where I will actually have the guts to jump in – I just couldn’t being myself to do it this time. Not only is the water cold, but it is the most pure blue color! So beautiful. I recommend checking it out if you ever find yourself in the Central Oregon area.
That’s all I have for you this time! There are endless hikes in Central Oregon – you may need a whole lifetime spent there to see all the beauty it has to offer!