Deas and I first visited Bend about three years ago, when we decided to attend an RV show that was being held there. We fell in love with Bend then, and it was just as great the second time around.
We stayed the first 4 nights at the Bend/Sisters Garden RV Resort, which is closer to Sisters than to Bend. We were supposed to meet our friends Don and Gail there, but unfortunately they had a slide issue with their RV that prevented them from getting there. This RV park was lovely, with flowers planted everywhere. Because it was close to Sisters, we spent a couple of days exploring that area. We went on a hike along the Metolius River, which was beautiful, nice and level, and had a cool breeze thanks to the closeness of the river.
Another day we met up with Hans and Lisa to hike with them on the Tumalo Falls trail. It’s always nice to hike with friends! There were waterfalls galore on this hike – it was very pretty, with some elevation but not too strenuous, and there was lots of shade. Just perfect. After about two miles we had to turn around because the trail entered a watershed management area where the dogs weren’t allowed, but Hans and Lisa continued on and did the whole loop.
After 4 nights near Sisters, we decided to move to an RV park closer to Bend. We lucked out and got a spot right next to Hans and Lisa at the Crown Villa RV Resort. There is so much to see and do in Bend – the hiking possibilities are endless. One morning we drove to Pilot Butte State Park, which is an extinct volcano right in town. You can hike one mile to the top, or you can drive if you’re not into hiking. The views from the top were fantastic!
Another day we hiked part of the Deschutes River Trail System. You can hike for miles and miles on this trail; we did about 3 miles of it. It follows right along the river for the most part, and there is a huge lava bed in the middle of it in one section.
At one point the trail crossed right over the river.
The next day we decided to fit in as much as we could, since it was our last full day in Bend. We started out at Sparks Lake, which was a good 30 minute drive out of town, but promised beautiful scenery. The hike was a relatively easy 2 mile loop, and provided views of South Sister Mountain over the lake.
Next we visited the Newberry National Volcanic Monument and hiked the Trail of the Molten Land, which loops through the lava flow at the base of Lava Butte. The lava flow is from an eruption that occurred over 7,000 years ago, and was vast. Amongst the lava there were signs of new life – trees and yellow plants were growing alongside the lava. It was fascinating!
Our last stop of this very long day was Paulina Creek Falls, which was another short hike down to the base, and lovely way to end the day.
All together we spent 8 days in Bend, but it wasn’t enough. Next time we’d love to spend a week or two here. It’s definitely one of our favorite places of the whole trip.