Bend hikes in Oregon

Best Bend hikes in Oregon


5 Best Day Hikes Near Bend, Oregon


Nearly smack dab in the center of the state lies Oregon’s best kept jewel. Bend is in the Central Oregon high desert sitting just to the east of the Cascade Range, providing it with a dry climate and 300 days of sunshine each year. It’s not uncommon to overhear discussions of mountaineering, climbing, skiing, biking and other outdoor pursuits among its 100,000 residents (and quickly growing). Imagine a place where nightlife consists of a post-hike beer at one of the cities 22 breweries, where puffy jackets are always in fashion, and, despite having all four seasons, access to any outdoor activity you can dream up nearly year-round and check out any of these amazing Bend hikes in Oregon.


I’m particularly keen on rock climbing, camping and hiking, and despite my preference for having the trails all to myself, I decided to share a few of my favorite hikes with you.




5 Best Day Hikes Near Bend, Oregon

Highlights of hikes around Bend


Tam McArthur Rim Trail


Mt. Tam 5 Best Day Hikes Near Bend, Oregon


The author’s friends and pooches Elvis and Hudson on a day hike to Tam McArthur Rim.


Just west of Bend is one of my favorite day hikes called Tam McArthur Rim. It starts at the beautiful Three Creek Lake and winds up through the forest and across an open plain until you reach the rim, offering expansive views of secluded lakes below, and across to the mountain peaks beyond. You can walk along the rim all the way to Broken Hand, a small rock formation with a bit of a scramble to the top. The views are all impressive, but standing atop Broken Hand changes the perspective just enough to make the climb up worth it. For those who want an even longer hike, or an overnight trip, continue down into the valley and across to Broken Top, then out of the trails leading to Cascade Lakes Highway.



Tumalo Mountain

 Bend, Oregon


Jessica (far right) and her friends at the Tumalo Mountain summit, overlooking the Three Sisters.


Sitting just across the highway from Mount Bachelor (our largest ski resort), sits Tumalo Mountain, offering a beautiful, tree-covered dirt trail winding all the way to the top. From the peak you’ll earn a 360-degree view, including the other mountains in the range and it’s an unforgettable site to behold.

Green Lakes Trail


Bend, Green Lakes


Jessica sitting at the Green Lakes trailhead, contemplating a snowy hike.


On summer weekends, this is one of the most popular trails since it’s relatively easy and offers a full day’s adventure. At 8.5 miles round trip, it takes about six hours, beginning with a forest-covered trail winding slowly up along the creek and past several impressive waterfalls, before eventually down into a lake basin sitting between the South Sister and Broken Top Mountains. On a sunny day, you can see them reflected in the main lake.


Misery Ridge at Smith Rock



Bend, Misery Ridge Rock

The view from the entrance to Smith Rock State Park, with part of the Misery Ridge trail winding along the Crooked River.


About 40 miles north of Bend, in the little town of Terrebonne, lies Smith Rock State Park, and it is perhaps one of Oregon’s best kept secrets. Due to it’s location being slightly off the beaten path and the popularity with the rock climbing crowd (fun facts: it’s the place where sport climbing got its roots, and also the image on the Cliff Bars packaging!), arriving at Smith Rock can feel like you temporarily stepped into another world. The geography of the place is unlike anywhere else in Oregon, and Misery Ridge, the most popular hiking trail, leads you down to the river basin, then up a series of switchbacks to the top— where you can see Central Oregon sprawl out in all directions — before climbing down the other side and back along the river.


South Sister Summit


Bend, Oregon South Sister Summit


Jessica sitting on the summit of South Sister, overlooking the Middle and North Sisters on a beautiful October day.


If you’re looking for more of a challenge than your typical 3- to 6-hour day hike, consider summiting the South Sister, which stands at 10,385 feet. While not an easy climb, it is a non-technical well-groomed 5.5-mile path to the top and is highly trafficked doable even by those who’ve never climbed a mountain (though it’s not recommended if you’re out of shape).


Tip: Take trekking poles, even if you normally hike without them. You’re going to want them to save your knees on the steep descent to the parking lot!


If you’re planning to visit Bend for some day hiking, it’s best to come in the summer and fall when the trails are dry and sunny, but many of these are possible in the winter months as well, provided you have the proper equipment. Regardless of your chosen adventure, make sure to pack it in and pack it out to keep our trails as clean and nature-friendly as you’re sure to find them.


Where to stay in Bend, Oregon


With Bend as a base for exploring these wonderful hikes in the area, you can find a variety of comfortable inns and hotels to accommodate all your needs. Here’s a sampling of some places you might want to consider.


The Oxford Hotel – Fantastic ambience and location, this hotel is impressive will spacious and well appointed rooms with excellent restaurant/room service.

Tetherow Lodges – a beautiful location with views, this hotel has excellent amenities, Pool & gym, great breakfast service and comfortable bedrooms for your visit.

Spring Hill Suites by Marriott – New and modern hotel in an excellent location. Comfortable stay and Marriott service and quality.


For more reviews of hotel and inn availability and prices, check out Trip advisors top 10 recommended stays here for more information.


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5 Bend Oregon hikes




Bend Oregon hiking trails


Guest blogger bio


Jessica Hill is the face of MissAdventure Travel, a blog about adventure travel and teaching English abroad. After teaching English in Thailand and China, she started a TEFL agency (Teach English: ESL) where she helps others teach English abroad.



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18 Responses to Bend hikes in Oregon

  1. anto February 15, 2018 at 8:36 am #

    I’m so sad I didn’t get to travel to Bend when I was in Oregon. I visited last summer and being from Europe, it turned out to be so much larger than I thought. I only had some 10 days though and made Crater Lake NP my priority, which was a bit out of the way. I can’t wait to come back one day and do all the hikes you proposed! Which are the volcanoes in the first picture btw?

    • Noel February 15, 2018 at 9:05 am #

      Bend is definitely spectacular, you have to come back and visit this very scenic area.

  2. Paige Wunder February 13, 2018 at 4:19 pm #

    Bend sound like my kind of destination. I’m an outdoor enthusiast and nature-lover, so this is right up my alley. I love funky rock formations, so Misery Ridge at Smith Rock looks unreal!

  3. Flying Fluskey February 12, 2018 at 10:50 pm #

    You are so lucky to live in such a stunning corner of the world! I think the Tam McAfthur Rim trail looks like my favourite. I like hikes when you have a nice spot and then a “just a little further” payoff.
    I hope you still get the trails to yourself 🙂

    • Noel February 13, 2018 at 9:34 am #

      These Bend hikes are pretty amazing, some of Oregon’s best landscape

  4. Anita Hendrieka February 12, 2018 at 10:00 pm #

    I really like the landscape of Smith Rock, that would be something I would love to see! I have never travelled to Oregon before but it definitely somewhere that interests me. There seems to be lots of great hiking to do!

    • Noel February 13, 2018 at 9:34 am #

      I agree, the landscape is spectacular around the Bend region.

  5. Meg Jerrard February 12, 2018 at 1:52 pm #

    We loved Bend, though only passed through briefly for a day on a road trip from the bottom of the US to the top. Tumalo Mountain summit, overlooking the Three Sisters looks like it’s a stunning climb though, so I would love to get back at some stage and set aside some time for hiking days. And the view from the entrance to Smith Rock State Park, just wow! There’s so much incredible nature here, thanks for sharing about these trails 🙂

  6. Lydia Smith February 11, 2018 at 11:06 am #

    The landscape at Bend is so beautiful and hiking encouraging. I’ll love to hike here any day any time.The South Sister and the entrance to Smith Rock State Park are the highlight for me You really do your research well to have found Bend. Nice pictures

    • Noel February 11, 2018 at 3:16 pm #

      I agree, Bend is gorgeous with all these amazing hikes and landscapes

  7. Kavita Favelle February 11, 2018 at 12:08 am #

    I have friends who really love hiking, especially in places you can hike virtually all year around, so I’ll forward on your post to them, I’m sure this will go on their bucket list!

    • Noel February 11, 2018 at 7:54 am #

      You definitely need to visit Bend and do some of these hikes

  8. Fairuz Ibrahim February 10, 2018 at 6:10 pm #

    I love trekking, camping and spending some quite time with nature, and Bend looks so inviting. The views from Tumalo Mountain and South Sister Summit look incredible. I’ve done trekking in warmer climate (Australia and Borneo), but not yet in cold or snowy weather. Bend might just be perfect place for me.

    • Noel February 10, 2018 at 8:48 pm #

      Bend is fantastic for enjoying nature and doing some great hikes, I’m sure you would love trekking here.

  9. Debbzie Leksono February 10, 2018 at 6:02 am #

    Dang! I’m having a hard time right now to decide which route is my most favourite! The picture of Misery Ridge at Smith Rock looks like it was taken in planet Mars (not that I’ve been there before, lol). While South Sister Summit is the trek I’d really love to hike if I ever visit Oregon. Stunning view!

    • Noel February 10, 2018 at 7:48 am #

      These Bend hikes are spectacular, don’t you agree?

  10. Sam Sparrow February 9, 2018 at 8:39 pm #

    I did not know about Bend before, but now I do, I really want to hike there! It’s so naturally stunning, although my favourite is Tumalo Mountain. I love the contrast of snow and rock and sun and the views over the Three Sisters is beautful. Time for me to get my fitness up!

    • Noel February 10, 2018 at 7:49 am #

      You should try some of these hikes if you get a chance to visit the Bend area.

I look forward to hearing from you and continuing our discussion with any comment you would like to add

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