sunset over Bend

Your Bend, Oregon FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have questions about Bend, Oregon?

We have the answers! This list includes the most frequently asked questions about our city. If there’s more you want to know, please contact us for the answers.

What is Bend’s elevation?

A: Bend is located at 3,623’/1104m above sea level.

What is the population of Bend, Oregon?

A: There are more than 97,000 people living within Bend city limits.

How did Bend get its name?

A: Until the winter of 1824, this area was known only to Native Americans who hunted and fished here. Members of a fur trapping party led by Peter Skene Ogden were the earliest white men to visit. John C. Fremont and other army survey parties came next. Then the pioneers heading further west came through and forded the Deschutes River at “Farewell Bend.” A small community developed around the bend in the river and in 1905, a city was incorporated with approximately 300 citizens. Visit our history and statistics page to learn more.

Where is the closest airport?

A: Roberts Field (RDM) is located in Redmond, which is 15 miles/25km north of Bend. It is serviced by American Airlines, Horizon (Alaska Airlines), United Express (United Airlines), and Skywest (Delta Airlines). There are direct flights from Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, Denver, Phoenix, and Salt Lake City. There are two private plane airports as well, the Bend Municipal Airport and the Sunriver Resort Airport. Visit our How to Get Here page for more on traveling to Bend.

How far is Bend from…?

A: Bend is located in the geographic center of Oregon, and is accessible by plane or car. Here are the distances to some of the more popular locales below:

  • Portland: 175 Miles
  • Crater Lake National Park: 89.5 Miles
  • Mt. Bachelor: 22.2 Miles
  • Sunriver: 17 Miles
  • Smith Rock State Park: 26 Miles

How do I get to Tumalo Falls?

A: Tumalo Falls is located about 14 miles west of Bend off of Skyliner’s Road. Follow these Google Map directions to get you there from the Bend Visitor Center.

Is Tumalo Falls in Tumalo State Park?

A: No, but this confuses visitors quite often! Tumalo State Park is located at 64188 O.B. Riley Road. It’s about 19 miles northeast of Tumalo Falls.

What are the road conditions like in the winter?

A: Road conditions vary due to snowfall. For an updated report, please call Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) at 503.588.2941 or 511 or visit our road conditions page.

What will the weather be like when I visit?

A: Experiencing Bend’s weather is one of the best parts of visiting Bend. With abundant sunshine and a dry, high-desert climate, Bend has nearly ideal weather. Moderate days and cool nights characterize Bend’s year-round climate. Because of high altitude and clear air, nighttime temperatures average 30F to 40F below daytime highs. Evenings are generally cool, even in the summer, requiring sweaters or jackets. Frost can occur during any summer month. Check out our general weather page for more in-depth info.

When does Mt. Bachelor open for snowboarding and skiing, or for summer activities?

A: Usually the mountain opens for winter activities Thanksgiving weekend and is open until mid-May, depending on snow levels.

Mt. Bachelor opens for summer activities around July 4. These include chairlift rides, zip lines, sunset dinners, disc golfing, and lift-served mountain biking. For information and ski conditions, visit Mt. Bachelor’s website.

How far is Mt. Bachelor from Bend?

A: Mt. Bachelor is approximately 22 miles/32km south west of Bend. It takes about 25 minutes to drive there, depending on road conditions. For updated ski and road conditions, visit our winter road conditions page.

Where can I snowshoe, Nordic ski, or snowmobile in Bend?

A: The Deschutes National Forest, which surrounds Bend, offers one of the most extensive trail systems for snowmobiling, nordic skiing, and snowshoeing. Click here for a summary of all Sno-Parks and winter trail maps. Please remember that for all Sno-Parks, you’ll need a valid Sno-Park permit. You are not required to have a Sno-Park permit if parking at Mt. Bachelor.

What kind of passes or permits do I need to play outside in Bend?

A: Oregon State Parks such as Smith Rock State Park or Tumalo State Park, require an Oregon State Parks Pass.

Other recreation areas such as Newberry National Volcanic Monument and popular hiking trails in National Forests require a Northwest Forest Pass. To find out what recreation sites require a pass, click here.

Note: if you have an America the Beautiful – National Parks and Federal Lands Annual Pass OR a Senior America the Beautiful – National Parks and Federal Lands Pass (available to those 62 and over), you do not need a NW Forest Pass. You will, however, still need an Oregon State Parks Pass.

The Oregon State Parks Annual and Two-Year Passes, and Northwest Forest Day and Annual Passes may be purchased at the Bend Visitor Center.

During the winter months between November 1 and April 30, you’ll need a Sno-Park permit to play at any of the many designated Sno-Parks in the mountains. Sno-Park passes can also be purchased at the Bend Visitor Center. Visit the DMV’s page on Sno-Parks.

I love Bend so much, I want to move here. What are my next steps?

A: Moving can be difficult, but we have made it as painless as possible. Most of your questions can be answered by visiting our Move Here page, which will give you access to realtors and other important information you may be seeking. You can also view Bend Chamber’s Moving to Bend website.

The place I want to play or visit is full, so now what?

A: The fact that tourism is booming in Bend, Oregon, is either a testament to how well we’re doing our jobs at Visit Bend, or a testament to how cool Bend is. How about we just say it’s both?

In any case, it’s not uncommon for vacationers to arrive in the summer months to discover everyone simultaneously had the same idea about where to stay, where to drink, or what to do. Never fear! If this happens to you, here’s a roundup of ideas to make sure you can still snooze, sip, and splash in style.