I am looking for some ideas for scenic short hikes near Bend. I have in mind something like 2 to 5 mile walks that are easy/moderate, with nice scenery. What are your suggestions? Thanks.
Let's see...where to start... Actually, you can start right in Bend at the Old Mill. A 3-4 mile easy loop takes you upriver into a wild section of the Deschutes River. Just out of town is the Deschutes River Trail which can be accessed in a number of spots from Meadow Picnic off The Cascades Lakes Hwy to several spur roads off Conklin Rd across from the Deschutes National Forest Welcome Center. Pick one and hike as far as you like before turning back. One of my favorite stretches is between Dillon Falls and Lava Island. A great short hike is up the Cascade Lakes Hwy about 25 miles at Todd Lake, a gem set between Mt Bachelor and Broken Top/South Sister. A quarter mile walk from the parking area brings you to the lake; then it's a little over a mile around it. Another favorite of mine is the Trail above Tumalo Falls about 11 miles out of Bend. The main falls, which are visible from the parking area, are quite impressive but If you hike a couple miles above them, you'll be rewarded by more smaller but still lovely falls. One thing, be forewarned hiking near water you should bring some mosquito repellent; the little critters can be voracious early in the season. A totally different hiking experience can be found north of Bend at Smith Rock, a world-class climbing area. The hike over the top is quite strenuous but hiking along the river is gorgeous. There is no shade along the trail so be sure to get an early start if it's going to be a hot day and bring plenty of water.
What OregonTrekkie said... also hike up Pilot Butte. It's only about a mile, and the trail winds around to the top and there's an amazing 360* view from the top. On a clear day you can see lots of mountains! Another favorite is the northern reach of the Deschutes River trail, starting from either First Street Rapids or Pioneer Park - great views of the river canyon and Gopher Gulch, but it's an OAB.
Thanks! I really appreciate the suggestions.
There are so many great hikes in the Bend area, but to name a few popular ones, I would recommend:
- Farewell Bend River Trail Loop near the Old Mill District
- Upper Deschutes River Trail that has a couple of awesome waterfalls, all at different distances along the trail
- Tumalo Falls is a little bit further of a hike (4 miles one way), but so worth it!
There are several others you can find at the link here: https:/…