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10 Epic Winter Activities in Bend Oregon

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Epic winter activities in Bend Oregon, by travel blogger What The Fab

Everyone knows I love warm, tropical destinations, but when I feel like taking a winter trip, there’s no shortage of fun winter activities in Bend Oregon. 

With snow-capped mountains, snowy lakes, and frozen waterfalls, Bend is one of the best places to head out on a winter adventure.

Book the best Bend activities through GetYourGuide below

I was able to take a winter trip to Bend with my Babes That Wander squad and we spent three days exploring some of the best sights and activities the area has to offer. 

For anyone dreaming of a winter getaway, Bend should be at the top of your list, so here are my top 10 recommendations for winter activities in Bend Oregon.

10 Epic Winter Activities in Bend Oregon

Epic winter activities in Bend Oregon, by travel blogger What The Fab

1. Snowmobiling

Our first thrill was to embark on a snowmobiling tour with Central Oregon Adventures—an activity that quickly became one of my favorite experiences from the entire trip!

I’ll admit I was a bit scared at first since it was my first time snowmobiling but our guide provided us with thorough safety instructions before taking us to an open spot where we could practice and get comfortable maneuvering. 

After about five minutes of practicing, I felt confident and ready to hit the trails!

Our journey was full of stunning landscapes including a breathtaking viewpoint where we snapped some pictures. 

The entire experience lasted for almost three hours and it was SO much fun!

2. Hiking at Smith Rock State Park

Smith Rock State Park is truly a natural wonder, so I had to include it on this list of the best things to do in Bend during winter. 

This park is located about a half hour outside of Bend, making it an ideal spot for anyone craving some adventure in the form of hiking or rock climbing.

Smith Rock has plenty of trails ranging in difficulty so there’s always something fun to explore regardless of the season or weather.

One of the best hikes to do any time of year is Crooked River Trail, a moderate 4.5-mile out-and-back hike that gains less than 500 feet in elevation.

Make sure to wear something waterproof and bring plenty of snacks, water, and sunscreen.

If you’re looking for fun things to do in Oregon, visiting this beautiful park would definitely be on my list!

3. Touring a Cave

Another winter activity I highly recommend is touring one of Bend’s many caves.

If you’re interested in local Bend history, I suggest booking a prohibition cave tour through Wanderlust Tours where you’ll learn how these caves were used to store and distill alcohol in the early 1900s.

My Babes That Wander crew and I went on this tour during our Bend trip and our guide, Katie, was so friendly and knowledgeable.

GetYourGuide also has several Bend cave tours listed, like this Half-Day Lava Tube Cave Tour and Starlight Cave Walking Tour.

Make sure to wear proper footwear during your tour—the best option is hiking boots, and I also recommend bringing a small backpack along to store your water, ID, and other essentials.

The best winter activities in Bend Oregon, by travel blogger What The Fab

4. Snowshoeing

I consider snowshoeing one of the top can’t-miss winter activities in Bend Oregon, and there are plenty of companies that offer guided tours.

Going on a snowshoeing tour is the perfect way to see some of the most breathtaking sights in Bend.

You can join a day tour exploring the untouched beauty of Oregon’s Cascade Mountain Range or a nighttime tour when you can experience snowshoeing by moonlight. 

Even if you’ve never snowshoed before, your guide will teach you everything you need to know and offer help throughout the tour.

This is without a doubt one of the most magical winter activities in Bend Oregon.

5. Shopping

What’s a trip to Bend without some shopping? 

The Old Mill District and Box Factory shopping areas are home to a ton of stores and restaurants and are conveniently located along the Deschutes River which makes for a beautiful winter stroll.

Our first stop was Crow’s Feet Commons, an outdoor lifestyle store full of clothing and gear designed for hiking, biking, skiing, and more.

We also got a chance to try out some fun seasonal activities like ice skating during one of the open skate sessions at The Pavilion!

As you window-shop you’ll find a mix of classics like Athleta and Banana Republic and cute local boutiques—my favorites were Vanilla Urban Threads and Hello Sunshine.

6. Paulina Lake Hot Springs

If you don’t feel like freezing your butt off in the Oregon winter, you can enjoy one of the many natural hot springs located near Bend.

One of the best places to take a dip in Bend is Paulina Lake Hot Springs, situated about 30 minutes outside the city near Newberry Volcanic Monument. 

The atmosphere at Paulina Lake Hot Springs is so relaxing and you’ll have an amazing time enjoying the naturally heated pools.

You can embark on the 7.5-mile-long Paulina Lake Hot Springs Trail to add some adventure to your trip—the trail offers beautiful views of Deschutes National Forest and makes for a fun winter activity. 

The Paulina Lake Hot Springs are lesser-known among tourists making them one of Bend’s best-kept secrets. 

Note that the hot springs pools are quite small and can usually accommodate only one or two people at a time.

The temperature of the water at these hot springs fluctuates seasonally from 90 to 115 degrees Fahrenheit.

7. Visiting Crater Lake National Park

Any visit to Bend has to include a day trip to nearby Crater Lake National Park which can be found just an hour and a half drive away. 

It’s no secret that the national park destination is gorgeous during the winter, but many visitors underestimate how amazing the experience is.

Winter is the perfect time to explore Crater Lake because the snow-capped mountain peaks and crystal-clear waters become even more beautiful as the temperature drops.

You’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a Disney fairytale as you take in views of rugged, snowy mountains and bright blue lakes. 

One of the most unique ways to experience Crater Lake is by snowshoeing (which you’ll be a pro at by now), and there are plenty of ski shops in Bend that offer day rentals for affordable prices.

8. Skiing or Snowboarding

Another popular choice when it comes to winter activities in Bend Oregon is skiing or snowboarding at Mount Bachelor, the 6th largest ski resort in North America.

This ski area offers a variety of runs for all skill levels as well as some delicious restaurants where you can refuel throughout the day. 

Looking for a challenge? The terrain park at Mount Bachelor is one of the best in the country with more than 50 rails, boxes, quarter pipes, and other features—not my cup of tea, but so cool to watch!

If you don’t feel like skiing or snowboarding but you’re traveling with folks who do, there are a few vacation rentals and lodge activities available on the mountain to keep you occupied like tubing, cross-country skiing, and sledding.

If you’re looking for luxury ski wear, this post has you covered!

9. Exploring Tumalo Falls

Exploring Tumalo Falls in Bend Oregon should be at the top of your list if you’re searching for the perfect winter adventure. 

Tumalo Falls (located in Deschutes National Forest) is a beautiful sight all year round, but it’s especially breathtaking during winter when everything is frozen over. 

Since the main access road to the falls is closed to cars during the winter, you’ll have to take on a 5-mile roundtrip hike to see Tumalo Falls.

Thankfully, this hike is relatively flat and can easily be hiked or snowshoed—I promise the views are 100% worth the trek. 

In addition to the stunning views, Tumalo Falls is also much less busy in winter so you can expect a peaceful experience. 

The best part is that you can bring your furry friends along with you too since this area is dog-friendly!

Don’t forget to dress in plenty of layers and pack gloves, a hat, and winter boots.

Best Bend Oregon breweries, by travel blogger What The Fab

10. Warming Up at a Local Brewery

Bend is famous for its craft beer scene and visiting at least one brewery is a must while you’re here. 

You can’t miss Deschutes Brewery, a local favorite that offers a range of delicious beers that will warm you up after a hike or snowshoeing adventure.

Other options with delicious beer and a fun atmosphere include Bend Brewing Company and Crux Fermentation Project located in downtown Bend—for more recommendations, check out my guide to the Best Bend Breweries.

There’s nothing better than enjoying a cold beer in front of a warm fire on a cozy winter night, and don’t forget to snack on some classic bar fare like a soft pretzel or nachos.

If you aren’t the biggest beer fan, don’t worry! Many Bend breweries also serve craft cider, wine, spirits, and even kombucha, so you’re sure to find something that satisfies your taste buds.

You can find all the winter activities in Bend Oregon your heart desires and more, from hot springs and snowshoeing trails to caves and craft breweries.

If you’re in the Pacific Northwest and looking for more things to do, check out this post on things to do in Leavenworth, WA in winter!

Tag me on Insta (@wtfab) if you take a winter trip to Bend so I can live vicariously through your adventures!

things to do in Bend Oregon by travel blogger What The Fab

Planning a trip and need more inspo? Find all my Bend Oregon content here.

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What to Do in Bend Oregon: 3-Day Winter Itinerary

What to Wear in Bend Oregon

Bend Oregon Camping Spots: Top 6 Campgrounds

25 Best Bend Oregon Restaurants

Bend Oregon Breweries: 11 Delicious Places

The Best Bend Oregon Coffee Shops

8 Best Resorts in Bend Oregon

Must-Visit Bars in Bend Oregon

Delicious Bakeries in Bend Oregon


Is Bend Oregon worth visiting in the winter?

Yes, Bend is a great winter destination because it offers plenty of seasonal activities.

What are the top winter activities in Bend Oregon?

Popular winter activities in Bend include snowshoeing and touring caves.

What should I wear on a winter trip to Bend?

Pack plenty of layers, a waterproof jacket, waterproof hiking boots, a hat, and sunglasses—check out my guide on What to Wear in Bend Oregon for more ideas.

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