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The best things to do in Bend for July

Best activities to do in Bend, Oregon for the month of July.

If you’re itching to see Bend in July, count yourself in good company. It’s Bend’s busiest month of the year, with toasty temps, tons of outdoor fun, and endless spots to explore on trails, lakes, mountains, and rivers.

Let’s smear some ointment on that itch and scan the best things to do in Bend each July!

Paddleboarder in Bend, Oregon.

The temps are on the rise and bend’s rivers and lakes are calling your name.

Soak up some fun in rivers, lakes, and pools

As temperatures in Bend hit “hoo, boy” levels, it’s lovely to know there’s no shortage of water waiting to cool your body and calm your soul.

Local lakes and rivers boast a bounty of spots to try standup paddlboarding and kayaking. Add an adrenaline rush to your adventure with a whitewater rafting trip with Sun Country Tours.

For a more serene river experience, try floating the Deschutes River as it ambles through the Old Mill District and Downtown Bend. The river shuttle runs all month in July so floaters don’t have to walk back to the put-in. Go here to learn everything you need to know about floating the river in Bend.

For other forms of water play, including canoeing, swimming, and surfing (yep, really!) follow the links on this page.

And if you’re seeking the chlorinated safety of a hotel pool, this page makes a great starting point to find your perfect July crash pad.

4th of July firework show in Bend, Oregon.

Each year, the 4th of July Fireworks are set off from Pilot Butte.

The month of a million events

Arguably Bend’s biggest event of the whole year, the annual 4th of July Pet Parade takes place each Independence Day. It’s been going strong since 1924 and draws thousands of folks ranging from farm animals to face-painted kids on bikes to grownups strolling with costumed dogs. The timing and route vary a little from year to year, but one constant? This all-ages event captures the Bend spirit like nothing else.

Most years, July 4 festivities also include an Old Fashioned Festival in Drake Park, though annual changes mean you should watch the Bend Park & Rec page devoted to all the best Independence Day happenings.

If lighting things on fire is your personal July 4th tradition, Bend’s not the place for it. Starting in 2021, Bend banned the use and sale for all fireworks in the city limits. Our drought-stricken, fire-prone high desert is a tinderbox waiting for one misplaced spark, so it’s inspiring how folks stick to the rules and protect our fragile landscape. Maybe it’s because the professional fireworks show fired from atop Pilot Butte is so awesome, there’s no need for more. Catch the display from almost anyplace in Bend beginning at 10:00 p.m. each July 4.

What if you’re feeling festive but can’t make it to Bend for Independence Day? There’s always something to celebrate, including July’s ever-popular Bend Summer Festival featuring live music, food booths, and tons of family fun. 

Balloons Over Bend also happens each July with a fun-filled weekend of hot air balloon launches, the evening Night Glow event, and fun and games with a Children’s Festival.

Smaller festivities sprinkled throughout July mean there’s something happening nearly every weekend, from the Newberry Event Music Festival to the Sisters Quilt Show. For more celebrations taking place around Bend on any given day of July, check our Event Calendar.

Ready, set, GO!

If your competitive spirit heats up in July, don’t miss some of the season’s most unique sporting events. 

The High Desert Classic hunter/jumper horse show attracts world-class riders from all over the U.S. and Canada. Approved by the U.S. Hunter/Jumper Association, it’s the only event of its kind in Central Oregon and helps fund the nonprofit J Bar J.

Catch the Oregon Lacrosse Classic in mid-July, featuring five games over the course of the weekend with a championship format.

Prefer to enjoy your competitive sporting events with a beer and hot dog in hand? Baseball season for the Bend Elks is in full swing (pun intended) in July, so take yourself out to the ballgame. If you hit the July 2 game against the Walla Walla Sweets, you’ll even catch a post-game fireworks display.

Family hikes around Paulina Peak in Bend, Oregon.

The trail along Paulina Peak offers spectacular views.

Plan some high-elevation fun

When July rolls around, Bend’s high-elevation hotspots shake off their blankets of snow to become stunning and accessible hiking trails

Mt. Bachelor morphs from a ski hill to an oasis of summertime fun with sunset dinners spanning July through September, plus activities like disc golf, ziplining, scenic chairlift rides, and their popular downhill bike park.

While most trails and resorts in the Newberry National Volcanic Monument open in May or June, Paulina Peak tends to open toward the end of June or even July in heavier snow years. But with snow finally melted from its slopes, this midsummer month marks the perfect time to gain some elevation and fantastic views of the region.

With the Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway fully open, trails you couldn’t reach in February or May become suddenly ripe for the picking. If you’re headed that way, make sure you know the rules for Central Cascades Wilderness Permits. You’ll need to plan ahead and secure a permit for popular hiking areas like Green Lakes and Tam Macarthur. It’s also vital to know snow conditions before you set out, as this varies widely from year to year, week to week. Keep an eye on the Facebook page for the Forest Service’s Deschutes National Forest page, as they often post updates about snow levels.

Concert at Hayden Homes Amphitheater

There is a full summer of concerts scheduled for Hayden Homes Amphitheater!

Get jiggy in the great outdoors

Few months spotlight Bend’s groovin’ outdoor music scene the way July does.

With 50+ shows happening at the Hayden Homes Amphitheater this summer, you’ve got ample opportunity to twirl in the grass beside the sparkling Deschutes River to the sounds of the Smashing Pumpkins, Dierks Bently, Lindsey Stirling, the Dave Matthews Band, and dozens of other artists. Scope out this post for everything you need to know about this season’s shows.

July also brings Munch and Music, which has been going strong in Drake Park since 1991 with free, family-friendly shows. Bring your own picnic basket, or pick up some grub from a variety of food booths adorning the banks of the Deschutes River.

If music festivals are your jam, don’t miss the FairWell Festival at the Deschutes County Fairgrounds. The inaugural lineup includes performances by Zach Bryan, Willie Nelson & Family, Turnpike Troubadours, Sheryl Crow, and Gary Clark Jr., plus dozens of others. Artists will perform on one of three outdoor stages, plus there’s loads of local craft beer, wine, tasty dining options, and handmade craft goods. Go here for ticket info.  

Riverbend Park replanting of native plants along the riverbank.

Volunteers work to restore the native plants along the Deschutes River in Riverbend Park.

Leave Bend better than you found it

It’s undeniable that July’s increase in visitors leads to some trails and attractions being loved to death. Why not work to leave Bend better than you found it?

Participate in a voluntourism activity like the annual Deschutes River Cleanup. There are multiple stewardship sites to pick from, and you can cap off your day with a relaxing river float.

Want to learn more about sustainability efforts aimed at tending Bend’s wild places? Go here for details on the Bend Sustainability Fund, then pat yourself on the back because a portion of transient room tax (TRT) from your Bend hotel stay helps support this valuable program helping tend all the places that tend your soul.

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