Best Bend City & Mountain Views in Town

Pilot Butte State Park & Viewpoint




Greenwood Ave, Bend, OR 97701
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Pilot Butte is a little like Bend’s North Star; you can see it from just about anywhere in town and when you do, you can orient yourself accordingly. In fact, it’s the landmark that guided wagon train immigrants who sought a safe crossing of the Deschutes River. Aside from being a handy navigation point, the old cinder cone is a pretty great place to visit. A one-way road winds its way up to the top and back down and is open until dusk as long as there isn’t snow and ice. For more intrepid souls, there are several paths that lead to the top and every turn provides a different view of Bend below and the great expanse of Central Oregon in the distance. The truly committed have made the trek at least a hundred times, earning them a place in the unofficial Century Club. Whether you drive or hike, the view from the top is truly spectacular. Informational signs highlight points of interest and historical facts for those who want to make their visit an educational moment. You’ll also find benches and a low, circular wall where you are welcome to just sit and gaze at stunning mountains, trees, and rock formations for as far as the eye can see.

Hiking Pilot Butte

Difficulty: Easy/Moderate 
2 miles
 452 feet

There are three ways to the top of this 480 ft. butte, either a mile long paved road, a mile long steeper nature trail or the base trail which winds around the extinct volcano. Most people hike up one and down the other (beware of cars on road after 10:00 p.m.). There are spectacular panoramic views of Cascades to the west and high desert to the east.

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6 Wonderfully Weird Attractions in Bend

Bend is known for many things, such as its unlimited outdoor recreation, endless trails, amazing dining scene, and spectacular events. What you’ll find when you experience all of these is that Bend is also home to some really cool, quirky attractions. From the world’s last Blockbuster movie rental location, searching for Sasquatch in a helicopter with Big Mountain Heli Tours, surfing in the snow at the Bend Whitewater Park, hiking Pilot Butte, a dormant volcano in the middle of town, diving 250 feet off a bridge with Central Oregon Bungee Adventures, and taking The Bend Pledge for a chance to win a free trip to Bend, which encourages visitors to practice responsible Leave No Trace principles. No matter what your favorite activity is, you’re sure to come across one of these bucket list items while in Bend.

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