Best Bend City & Mountain Views in Town

Pilot Butte State Park & Viewpoint

Save to a List Saved




Greenwood Ave, Bend, OR 97701
Map It

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.

Featured In

6 Favorite Spring Activities in Bend

Spring is the time of year to make your vacation plans do double-duty, bringing you the best of warm-weather and cold-weather recreation in Bend. From getting your last fix of snow play to embracing the sunshine and open trails, here are 6 ways to do it: Get the best of the ski conditions Mt. Bachelor has to offer by hitting the slopes first thing in the morning. Head over to Rivers Edge Golf Course for a round of 18, soaking up the afternoon sun while you’re at it. Pedal your way through the Old Mill District on a surrey bike from Wheel Fun Rentals. Take the kids to Sun Mountain Fun Center for some family-friendly competition at bumper cars, arcade games, and bowling. Embrace the remaining cold weather by ice skating at the NHL-sized ice rink at The Pavilion. Put on your best hiking shoes and enjoy a magnificent view…

See Loves List

Is this your listing?

Click here to update it