It’s no secret we’ve seen some severe weather in the Pacific Northwest this winter. Conditions have run the gamut from ice storms in Portland to flooding in southwest Washington to massive dumps of snow in Central Oregon.

Ready for bluebird skies at Mt. Bachelor this weekend?

It’s the latter that has snow-enthusiasts rejoicing about the winter of 2017, and they’re celebrating even harder as this weekend approaches. February 11 and 12 are predicted to be “bluebird days,” which is a fancy term for the holy trinity of clear blue skies, bright sun, and fresh snow.

Thinking about a last-minute getaway to Bend to enjoy this winter weather phenomenon? Here are 8 ways to spend a bluebird day in Bend.

 

Hit the slopes

If you’re a skiing or snowboarding enthusiast, Mt. Bachelor is already on your agenda. Conditions this season have been epic, with more than 360” of snowfall already, and plenty more to come. Their new Cloudchaser quad lift has added 635 lift-serviced acres to Mt. Bachelor’s existing terrain (not to mention reducing lift lines that were already pretty short).

Snowshoeing is one of dozens of ways to play in the snow in Bend.

Oh, and did you know kids 12 and under ski free with advance purchase of an adult lift ticket for three or more days?

 

Okay, but what if I’m not a skier?

There’s plenty to do at Mt. Bachelor even if you’re not a fan of strapping boards to your feet.

Hit the Snowblast Tubing Park, or schedule a sled dog ride. You can even check out Bachelor’s groomed Nordic trails for a chance to glide on fresh snow under pristine blue skies.

If snowshoeing is your scene, book a guided outing with Wanderlust Tours and leave the driving, gear, snacks, and decision-making to their skilled naturalist guides.

 

Walk the Bend Ale Trail

It’s easy to cruise the Bend Ale Trail responsibly if you book a tour with the Bend Brew Bus and let them shuttle you between your hotel and a handful of breweries.

Fact: Beer tastes better when it’s sunny.

But when skies are clear and weather is mild, why not walk a portion of the legendary beer trail? More than half of the 15 breweries on the trail are within walking distance of each other, and it’s a great way to burn off a few of those beer calories while enjoying a leisurely stroll through Downtown Bend.

 

Recapture the thrill of a snow day

There’s something about the combination of blue skies and fresh snow that brings out the kid in a lot of us. Seize the moment by scheduling a snowball fight or making snow angels in fresh powder.

How long has it been since you made a snow angel?

You can also recapture your youth by taking a twirl on the ice rink at The Pavilion or heading up to one of the Sno-Park to build a snowman.

The possibilities are endless, and I have it on good authority that giggling cures wrinkles.

 

Go for a hike

Clear skies make for perfect hiking conditions, and there are several hikes you can plan this time of year with no snowshoes required.

Stroll along the Deschutes River Trail with the added bonus of giving yourself easy access to post-hike snacks at one of several restaurants in the Old Mill District.

The contrast of bright blue skies and craggy, ancient juniper is stunning in the Oregon Badlands Wilderness this time of year.

Late-winter is my very favorite time of year to visit the Oregon Badlands Wilderness. The craggy volcanic rocks and ancient junipers look stunning against a backdrop of blue sky, and with nearly 30,000 acres to explore, odds are good you’ll have a trail to yourself.

 

Hit the High Desert Museum

I adore the High Desert Museum for all its cool natural history and critters, but I’ll admit I’m a wimp about exploring the outdoor exhibits when the weather is nasty.

But blue skies are a great excuse to wander their expansive grounds checking out the birds of prey and the recently remodeled otter exhibit.

Check their online schedule to make sure you don’t miss any cool presentations or animal demos.

 

Save time for stargazing

Another upside of clear skies is the chance to check out the winter stars in all their twinkly glory. We’ll see a full moon on February 10, which means the whole weekend will be primo time for a moonlight snowshoe adventure.

Get up close and personal with the stars this weekend in Bend.

As a bonus, this month’s full moon (known as the full snow moon) isn’t the only thing you’ll see when you look up at the sky. This weekend’s skies will also bring us a comet and a lunar eclipse, and being in Bend pretty much guarantees you a great viewing platform to take it all in.

 

Hang out under the stars by a fire pit at Wall Street Suites

Few things are as magical on a clear winter evening as cozying up beside a fire pit after a good meal and gazing up at the stars.

What’s that? You don’t have a fire pit handy? Well Wall Street Suites does. They also have some of the coolest luxury suites in Bend, and a fab Downtown setting that makes it easy to walk to the best shops and restaurants. Restaurants like . . . oh, I don’t know . . . Jackalope Grill?

Wanna win a package that includes a one-night stay at Wall Street Suites and $100 to spend at Wall Street Suites?

Leave a comment below and tell me your favorite thing to do on a bluebird day in Bend. Don’t worry if you’ve never been—you can just share which idea above sounds most appealing to you.

We’ll draw a winner at 4 p.m. on Friday, February 10. Good luck!

82 responses to “8 ways to enjoy bluebird days in Bend this weekend (plus your chance to win a night at Wall Street Suites and $100 for Jackalope Grill!)”

  1. I wish the weekend was longer so we could enjoy all those things! Since we’re finally over being sick I think we’ll take our girls on a hike and explore more of Oregon’s beauty. We moved here 7 months ago from a place that didn’t have a lot of nature around so we love to get out and enjoy our new sights ♡

  2. I always enjoy headed to bend with the idea of an adventure to try something new. Like finding a new local smoothie place. Or going on a hike. But hands down a bluebird day belongs to the slopes at least for a while. Nothing better than being able to do what you love and having it right at your finger tips! A Bloody Mary on the patio is a must of coarse!!

  3. For our family it would be a hike for sure! Around Farewell Bend Deschutes River Trail with our kids or Shevlin Park (we love all the bridges) is always a favorite. And for my husband and I we would love to walk the Bend Ale trail 🙂

  4. A bluebird day requires heading up the mountain, maybe a nice snowshoeing day at Edison or one of the other sno-parks if the low snow isn’t good enough for Edison, taking photos that will get oohs and aaaahs from folks and a “wish I was there”, then a difficult debate of getting a flight at Crux with tasty snacks, or a meal at Worthy with some Lights Out on tap. Don’t forget to pick up your Ocean Roll or Breakfast crescent at Sparrow bakery on the way up to the mountain in the morning.

  5. I am so looking forward to going on a hike! My husband and I haven’t hiked since all this snow hit and we are so ready to get back out on the trail! And then we’ll be grabbing some lunch after!

  6. I enjoy sledding with my kids and dog, then enjoying hot cocoa while we sit around a campfire roasting marshmallows.

  7. Last month, it was skiing down Pilot Butte. But more typically it involves skiing at Bachelor and having beer with friends in the evening.

  8. When a blue bird day falls on a weekend, my boyfriend and I love grabbing breakfast burritos at Shred Town and then we pick up cross country ski rentals at Mountain Supply (still need to get our own pairs) and then head out to cross country ski to Tumalo Falls. After we finish that up, we’ll often head over to Crux for a celebratory beer (despite it only being a 5 mile round trip ski) and maybe a plate of Big Island Nachos from Mauna Kea Grill because, well,––live a little!

  9. We love going up to the mountain to snowboard or hike, then hit Ida’s for a cupcake and eat it in one of the many beautiful parks Bend has to offer!

  10. How will we spend our weekend? Snowshoeing, taking pictures, enjoying the sunshine, and doing something as a family.
    Afterwards, we usually stop for a beer (soda for the kids) and a nice lunch.

  11. I would go snowmobiling and discover the gems of Bend while walking downtown with my husband, coffee in hand, concluding with some of Bends finest brews!

  12. I love going up to Bachelor early in the morning, getting in some solid runs, then head back in to town and walk between all of my favorite breweries, drinking in all the views Bend has to offer. Definitely my kind of paradise.

  13. In the morning a strong coffee at spokenmoto, then hunt around at some of the amazing thrift stores around bend, lunch, tacos and margaritas at el Sancho… the late evening drinks in the broom closet at McMinns

  14. Family day at the High Desert, mid day brew from Crux, a walk in the Old Mill, and dinner at Worthy, is a lofty plan for such a day. (We normally get in one place, then find hours have passed )

  15. Getting an ocean roll at Sparrow bakery, a delicious coffee, and taking a walk along the Deschutes breathing in the fresh high desert air.

  16. Definitely the moonlight snowshoeing and the Bend brew bus tour. This sounds like the perfect 20th wedding anniversary getaway!

  17. My ideal bluebird day in bend would be hitting bachelor or snowshoeing tumalo mountain followed by a couple of craft beers from any of the top notch breweries.

  18. Breakfast at Chow followed by hiking the river trail or exploring the old mill! Cross country skiing during the winter is a must!

  19. Love taking pictures of the three sisters on bluebird days! Especially early in the morning! Follow that with a hot cup of coffee and I’m a happy camper!

  20. After weeks inside, I love the chance to clean up a bit around our house outside, then it’s time to wander downtown and enjoy all the wonderful shops and restaurants there!

  21. I love the chance to clean up around our yard a bit and then wander through the wonderful shops and restaurants downtown!

  22. My little family of four has never snowshoed before and we’re trying to figure out a trip to Nend for the experience. We’d love to win! ❤

  23. I can’t wait to see the blue skies!!!! I just moved to Bend a week ago from miami, Florida so I am missing the clear skies and sun.
    I don’t care what I’m doing this weekend as soon as is outdoors!!!!

  24. We have not been to Bend in the Winter, but a sled dog ride has always been on my bucket list. We love Bend so much that we have made it our annual vacation place and we are looking for new adventures each trip!

    • Hey Erika – Thanks for taking the time to stop by and read our blog post. You’ve been randomly drawn as our winner, and we’re super excited for you to be able to experience Bend in the winter for the first time. Shoot us an email at nate at visitbend.com with you contact info and we’ll get the certificates out in the mail. Congrats, again!

  25. Friday fun day starts with great coffee & breakfast at our favorite spot, Nordic skiing under clear blue sunny skies, followed by a little apre’ ski walk with the old dog, then a relaxing evening around the firepit enjoying some of Bend’s best brews while gazing up at the full February snow moon – life is good! ☀️❄

  26. I love to adventure around downtown shops and try new restaurants each time I visit Bend from La Pine. Also love to try out different breweries! Bring on the sunny weekend!

  27. I absolutely LOVE Bend!! Especially a gorgeous winter weekend. I haven’t been able to afford a weekend over there in a couple years, would love to take my kids up to Bachelor to play in the snow and back into town to enjoy all the amazing outdoor city has to offer!!

  28. Probably backcountry skiing around tumalo falls while the trails are still snow covered, or else enjoying as many runs down from summit lift as I can. I always love the soaking pool after a hard day skiing!

  29. I love hitting up the Bend Ale Trail on a bluebird day!

    Two of my favorite breweries make the most of Bend’s bluebird days in different ways: It’s hard to beat the views from Crux (especially during Sundowner Hour), and I love the relaxing next to the fire pits at 10 Barrel!

  30. On a bluebird day #inbend I enjoy breakfast and coffee at the Pancake Wagon, followed by a hike to Tumalo Falls! Can’t be beat!

  31. We haven’t been to Bend in the Winter, but a dog sled ride has always been on my bucket list. Vacation time in Bend is now an annual tradition and we are always looking for new adventures each trip!

  32. We have been coming here annually for a family reunion in the summer for years. We just moved here permanently a month ago because we love it that much!! We have a 7 week old baby boy but cannot WAIT for next winter to get season passes up at Mt Bachelor, and hit the slopes! This winter we love getting out in the fresh air with our little one, grabbing a coffee, and enjoying a nice walk!

  33. We will be visiting Bend as a family thisbtime! We love to hit the town, the mountain and pretend like a local. All the great beer, beautiful scenery, amazing food and fun people make this town so much fun to visit!
    See you soon Bend!

  34. Explore a little further. Chocolate showcase at Sunriver on the 11th then listen to free acapella groups at the Old Mill. Cello concert in Redmond on the 12th. In between, soak in the sun & watch the snow & ice melt.

  35. Definitely the dog sledding! Always been on my list of things to do when I visit. Then of course throw back a few pints and just straight up relax. So long over due for a relaxing weekend in Bend and nothing beats strolling through Drake park on a sunny day.

  36. The best bluebird day involves the charcoal grill, some brats, and some brews up at Bachy. Park at Sky and get some summit laps in before making new friends in the parking lot!

  37. Bluebird days are the best up at Bachy: bring the grill, some brats, and some brews and park at Sky. Get some epic summit laps in before making new friends in the parking lot! Cheers!

  38. I have never been but I know I’d enjoy spending the whole day hiking and then relaxing and getting a good meal in the evening.

  39. Nothing better than a bluebird day skiing on Bachelor followed by a tasty beer at one of our awesome local breweries, of course!

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