There are plenty of things to do in Bend, Oregon in the winter that go beyond heading to the ski hill. While Bend becomes a desirable destination due to alpine skiing and snowboarding at nearby ski resorts Mt. Bachelor and Mt. Hoodoo, we can think of a few more adventures in the fresh white snow that don’t involve ski lifts. Here are some ways you can think beyond Bachelor and enjoy Bend in the wintertime.
Things to Do in Bend, Oregon in Winter
There are many snowshoeing trails in Bend to consider near Tetherow. Traveling over new snow on snowshoes offers a slower, more contemplative snowventure and it’s a great activity to do with small children and dogs. That way, everyone gets to enjoy a crisp day and get outside. Here are our favorite trails:
- Tumalo Mountain: While this mountain isn’t for beginners, it offers incredible views of the Cascade peaks, including Mt. Bachelor, Broken Top, and the Three Sisters. If you want to experience a challenging 1,200-elevation ascent to some of the best views of Bend and the Cascade Wilderness, this is it.
- Tumalo Falls: Though it’s misleading, Tumalo Falls isn’t near the Tumalo Mountain trail but farther north. It is one of the most popular hikes year-round due to the magnificent 89-foot waterfall. In the winter, the water erupts from the creek surrounded by thick, glistening ice. The 2.5-mile trail along Tumalo Creek is perfect for a scenic snowshoe trip.
- Good Dog Loop: Conveniently located right across the Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway from Tetherow is Good Dog Loop. Miles of trails crisscross the relatively flat, wooded area along the Deschutes River, providing a serene surrounding for a nice walk with the family, especially after a fresh snowfall. The loop is a popular dog trail, so bring the pooches!
- Wanderlust Tours: Another option is to book a snowshoe tour with Wanderlust, a local outfitting company. They offer moonlight and day tours in the Cascades complete with all the necessary gear and hot cocoa.
Sledding is a quintessential part of winter no matter what age you are- a required one if you have small children. There are many hills perfect for sledding around Tetherow, some right outside your door! Since the golf course is vacant in the winter months, there are designated areas open to sledding. Some other nearby areas in Bend include:
- Wanoga Sno-Park: Just up the road from Tetherow is the Wanoga sledding hill. Popular with locals and visitors alike, this steep hill is perfect for sledding. It does get bumpy with excessive use though, so a softer inner tube sled is better than a traditional wooden toboggan.
Nordic skiing is a great way to get outside in the winter without having to buy a lift ticket. Bend is known for its cross-country opportunities due to fresh, dry snow and plenty of sunny days. Here are our favorite spots to take advantage of the weather:
- Mt. Bachelor Nordic Center: The Mt. Bachelor Nordic Center is the perfect place to start a cross country trip with nearly 35 miles of trails to explore. You can easily rent gear there or buy a lesson. Best part is, the Tetherow shuttle takes you right to it every morning.
- Swampy Lakes Trail: From the Swampy Lakes Trailhead just up the road from Tetherow, you can strap on some skis and make your way up to the warming hut 1.5 miles in for incredible views of the Cascades.
Stay at Tetherow
There is no shortage of things to do in Bend, Oregon in the winter that don’t involve ski resorts. Staying at our boutique hotel or renting a vacation home at Tetherow is a perfect starting point to all the adventures you’ll have in the snow. To finish an adventure-filled day, you can relax in our hot tub or around the fire pit with a cup of hot cocoa or something stronger from The Row. Make sure you visit the concierge to get set up with gear rentals and learn more local secrets to explore the surrounding winter wonderland.