Greenwood Ave, Bend, OR 97701 Map It
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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.

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