A Peaceful Winter Hike


A Peaceful Winter Hike

Snowshoeing Around Bend, Oregon

Wrap yourself in a blanket of gently drifting flakes in the hidden beauty of the Deschutes National Forest, or launch yourself off a white-capped peak and into a pile of pillowy powder. For some of the best snowshoeing in Oregon, come to Bend and explore by trail or backcountry and go off-grid into a serene winter wonderland.

Snowshoeing is the perfect winter activity for the entire family and all abilities, it gets you tons of fresh air and exercise, and has a low-cost entry fee. Around Bend, there are several sno-parks with perfect trails and terrain for winter trekking. And if you want to warm your winter soul and your hands, then check out Edison, Virginia Meissner, and Swampy Lakes Sno-Parks where you’ll find cozy hike-to warming huts.

Wanderlust Tours, a nationally recognized ecotourism company based ​in Bend, takes small groups into little known sections of the forest off of Century Drive for snowshoe tours. Their savvy naturalist guides will dazzle you with details about forest ecosystems, the history of snowshoeing, and animals you may see along the way. You might follow a pine marten’s tracks or learn how the geology of the Three Sisters has influenced the land around the mountains.

Plan an unforgettable evening by booking a moonlight or bonfire snowshoe trip with Wanderlust. Turn off your headlamps and watch moonbeams reflect a thousand diamonds of iridescent light off the snow, or descend into a hand-built snow amphitheater to warm yourself by a bonfire with a mug of hot cider.

For those looking to break fresh tracks on their own, several Bend outdoor shops rent snowshoe equipment and sell trail maps and Sno-Park passes. All five ​Sno-parks along or near Century Drive allow snowshoeing. Be courteous to your cross country ski friends and make your own tracks alongside the established ski trails instead of through them.

Not far from Bend, the Willamette National Forest, the Ochoco Mountains, Crater Lake National Park, and the Newberry National Volcanic Monument provide dozens of opportunities for natural solitude.

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