Backcountry Conditions

Bend’s location, surrounded by public lands, makes it an ideal getaway for a backcountry ski or snowboard trip, or even just a day on the snowmobile getting up close and personal with our mountains and forests. Central Oregon Avalanche Center has a network of properly-trained avalanche and winter conditions experts and a weather station in the heart of the Central Oregon backcountry to help you decided if today is a safe day to head into our backcountry. As always, when you head into the backcountry, make sure you’re prepare for the unexpected. Always carry a beacon (and know how to use it), a shovel and an avalanche probe in addition to the remaining ten essentials. Travel with a buddy, and know what to do if things go wrong.

Mountain bike trail conditions

Mountain bikes look a little differently in the winter in Bend. The tires are a little fatter and the trails are generally groomed. That’s what it’s like to ride a fat (tire) bike in Bend during the winter. Bend’s Fat bike trails are groomed out of Wanoga Son-Park in the wintertime, conditions permitting making for a truly unique biking experience. Many bike and gear shops in town rent fat tire bikes for you to take up the Cascade Lakes Highway or out to Tumalo Falls for a fun day of human-powered sightseeing.

If you’re looking for more traditional mountain biking, head east to the Horse Butte and Horse Ridge areas. Bend Trails keeps riders updated on trail conditions, so you know that if the trails or muddy or snow-covered to stay off of them and practice proper trail etiquette. Even if the trails west of town are snow free, it’s best to stay off of them during freeze-thaw cycles to ensure that the trails don’t develop ruts and become further eroded. For more tips on how to treat our trails well, check out our Cruise Like a Local page.

Pledge for the wild

Once your trip is done, make sure to say thanks to the groups who are working hard to make sure your experience on the trails are world-class. Want to take your thanks a little further? Text ‘WILD4BEND’ to 44-321 and consider making a small donation to the Deschutes Trails Coalition who’s working hard to protect and take care of Bend’s trails. Visit the Pledge for the Wild website to learn even more about this initiative.