Bend, Oregon is known as one of the best places in the Northwest for snowmobiling. The Mt. Bachelor trail system alone stretches for over 250 miles into acres of backcountry full of open snowfields and old growth Ponderosa pines. The rugged high mountain terrain promises exhilarating mountain views at every new bend in the trail.
One of the most popular day trips leaves from Dutchman Flat, directly across the street from the main entrance to Mt. Bachelor. A groomed trail follows the Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway for 11 miles to Elk Lake Resort, where hot meals are served throughout the day and Sledhead Ale from Cascade Lakes Brewery is the most popular brew on tap. Sit at the bar and take in spectacular views of the lake and mountains in the distance.
If you are traveling without your own machine this time around, Central Oregon Adventures, Inc. offers two- and four-hour snowmobile tours leaving from Wanoga Sno-Park.
Paulina Lake Lodge is another favorite Central Oregon snowmobiling destination. Surrounded by 200 miles of snowmobile trails, the lodge is in the heart of the Newberry National Volcanic Monument. Take Highway 21 up to 10-Mile Sno-Park. The lodge is another three miles in by sled or ski. The restaurant is open Thursday through Saturday for lunch and dinner and reservations are required.
Snowmobiling in Bend provides the perfect break from a day out on the slopes and is an exciting way to explore areas of the National Forest that most will never get a chance to see. Please visit the Central Oregon Avalanche Association’s website for avalanche resources and recent snowpack observations.