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8 ways to make use of all this snow in Bend, Oregon

cross country skiing
Snowboarding at Mt. Bachelor in Bend, Oregon.

This season’s heavy snowfall has made for epic skiing and boarding at Mt. Bachelor.

It’s been an epic snow year in Bend, with nearly 60 inches falling in town so far this season.

To put that into perspective, Bend’s normal average snowfall for the entire year is 24 inches. This is January, guys—we’re not even halfway done!

Fans of the white stuff have been flocking here this winter for sledding and snowball fights and all the fun things that make up a winter vacation.

But what else is there to do with all this snowy goodness? Here are eight ideas!


Ski, snowboard, or snowshoe

This one’s kinda obvious, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out all the ways you can enjoy our epic snow year at Mt. Bachelor.

Snowshoe adventure with Wanderlust Tours in Bend, OR

Nothing beats the magic of a Bonfire on the Snow outing with Wanderlust Tours.

There’s downhill skiing and snowboarding, plus Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, and even unique options like sled dog rides and the Snowblast Tubing Park.

Wanderlust Tours has also been enjoying a fantastic season of snowshoeing. I took my whole extended family on their Bonfire on the Snow tour over the holidays, and if I had a snowball for every time someone uttered the phrase “magical,” I’d win the neighborhood snowball fight.


Dig yourself a snow cave

The snow is officially deep enough in town to make yourself a pretty sweet snow cave or igloo. What kid hasn’t fantasized about this at some point?

Just be careful not to let kids play in snow berms near roadways, since plows are continually piling up the white stuff and may not see them.


Make a tasty dessert

Make a snow cone in Bend, Oregon.

Snow cone, Bend style!

Anyone who’s been to Hawaii knows the pleasure that is “shave ice.” Fluffy mounds of frozen goodness get covered in flavored syrup and served atop a scoop of ice cream. Here’s your chance to try it Bend-style!

Note: If it appears the snow has already been doused with lemon syrup, choose different snow. Also worth noting: giardia is no fun, so be careful about using only pristine, untouched snow.

For more snow-based dessert ideas, check out this piece on making ice cream.


Get creative with your snowman (or woman!)

A humorous snowman in Bend, Oregon

She’s bringing sexy back.

There’s tons of raw material to work with out there, so now’s a good time to add a little flair to your snowman or snowwoman. Heck, you can make a whole family of them!


Have a Snow-B-Que

Grill covered with snow in Bend, Oregon

Show you’re a real grill master with a barbecue in the snow.

Just because the snow is piled waist-high doesn’t mean grilling is out of the question. In fact, it’s a fun way to enjoy our winter wonderland while you grill up something warm to fill your belly.

Plenty of Bend hotels and Bend vacation rentals have barbecues for guest use, so here’s your chance to prove you’re a true grill master!


Shovel some snow

Here’s your opportunity to add a little “voluntourism” to your Bend vacation.

Got a shovel and a strong back? Lend a hand if you spot a driveway or sidewalk that hasn’t been tended. Elderly and disabled homeowners are struggling right now, and it’ll make your heart feel good to help out.

It’s a timely effort not only because of the heavy snowfall, but because January 16 is celebrated as Day of Service.  Go here for more ideas on getting involved and making a difference, or check out our Visit Like a Local page to get inspiration.


Chill your beer

This is nature’s cooler right here. And now there’s more room in the fridge for other things like…well, more Bend beer.

Chill your beer in a snow bank in Bend, Oregon

Nature’s beer cooler!

Just be cautious about what you’re leaving outside when temperatures dip much below freezing. There’s a bottle of soda on my back porch right now that looks like a science experiment gone bad.


Ice that aching knee

Got an old ski injury that flares up from time to time, or an owie that feels better when iced? The consistency of snow makes it a perfect, moldable ice pack when sealed in plastic baggies.

That might come in handy for your aching back if you get a little too hardcore with the aforementioned shoveling!






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