Center of Attention
Winter Getaway to Central Oregon
Being the center of attention comes naturally for Central Oregon. It’s home to the craft beer capital of the US, the Deschutes River, and trails for every kind of outdoor adventure: hiking, skiing, paddling, biking, and—of course—relaxing at fire pits. Sunny days seamlessly transition to starry nights, and bonfires keep you warm amid the silhouettes of the Cascade Mountains as you decide what the next day’s adventure will be. Hike among incredible spires at Smith Rock State Park. Ski at Mt. Bachelor or snowshoe on Tumalo Mountain. Or soak up the sun while sipping craft beers along the Bend Ale Trail.
Winter in Central Oregon brings snowcapped mountain peaks, crisp air and good timing for visiting Smith Rock State Park. The jagged landscape—created by volcanic ash from millions of years ago—is favored by climbers and slackliners, as well as hikers and bikers who like adventurous terrain and epic views. Within the park’s 650 acres are 12 official trails—some easy, some requiring scree scrambling, and some ideal for fat-tire fun. The half-mile Rimrock Trail is a nice way to see some classic parts of the park without powering up an ascent. The 7.3-mile Summit Loop takes things up a notch and includes beautiful views of Crooked River. Find your favorite winter hike or fat bike ride at Smith Rock State Park.
For similar geologic features but fewer people, head to Fort Rock State Natural Area for some easy exploring. This National Natural Landmark is wondrous: rock walls rise dramatically from the vast high desert creating a fort-like structure you can explore. This is where sandals discovered in a nearby cave were found to be the oldest known in existence. After a day of adventure, head back to nearby Sunriver, recognized as an International Dark Sky Place for some stargazing.
Ale Together Now!
Do all trails lead to craft beer? Why yes, at least in Central Oregon! There’s just a ridiculous amount of craft brew pub and brewery choices here—30 of them, to be exact.
Gather around an outdoor fire pit and watch the sunset while sipping a gold-medal IPA … it all goes down smooth as the mountains are temporarily bathed in hues of marigold and lilac.
Meet the Bachelor
You won’t be disappointed in this Bachelor—it comes up roses in the eyes of many. Central Oregon’s Mt. Bachelor is a short drive from Bend and Sunriver. The mountain’s light, dry snow, plentiful sunshine, and stunning views of the Cascades make for some magical skiing and snowboarding. If cross-country is more your style, Mt. Bachelor’s Nordic Center has more than a dozen groomed trails. Après in Bend, where the brew pub scene is legendary. Pair locally sourced foods with some of the world’s best craft beers.
Where to Stay
Sunriver Resort (snowshoe photo above) is set amid beautiful ponderosa pines, with the Deschutes River running nearby and mountain peaks in the distance. Sunriver was the first designated Dark Sky Place in Oregon, so spend your evenings at the resort looking up at the crisp stars in awe and admiration. Tetherow Resort (firepit photo above) sits quietly within Deschutes National Forest and feels worlds away, despite being just a 10-minute car ride (or free shuttle!) to Bend. A few of its amenities are a heated outdoor pool, three restaurants, a gorgeous golf course, and vacation rental homes with full kitchens, hot tubs, and outdoor fire pits.
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