Located in the foothills of Oregon's Cascade Range and edged by Ponderosa pine forest,the city of Bend sits on a high desert plateau, a modest urban hub that is very nearly Oregon's geographic center and most certainly its recreational heart. At an elevation of 3,628 feet, Bend's climate is typical of the high desert plateau, boasting cool nights and sunny days to lure in anyone hoping to escape the gray skies of winter (and coastal rains) or revel in warm-weather pursuits come summer. Home to nearly 70,000 souls and counting, it is now Central Oregon's most populated city and as those looking to relocate will tell you, a prime place to snag a piece of real estate (if you can).
Bend, which takes its name from an easy ford of the Deschutes River, provides convenient access to a variety of natural environments and despite it's burgeoning population retains a rather atmospheric, small-town feel. To the east is traditional high desert vegetation dominated by junipers and sagebrush. To the west, Forest Service land provides a broad range of recreational opportunities including downhill and cross-country skiing, hiking, rafting, camping, fishing, and rock climbing - not surpringly, there are outfitters galore on hand to provide equipment for the sport of your choice, from bikes in summer to skis in winter. Bend has also become a Central Oregon mecca for golf, with one area course recently named by Golf Digest as one of the 10 best in the state.
Flocked with pine forests and brightened with lush meadows, the small town of Sunriver is a high desert community (and associated resort) a short way south of Bend on Hwy 97, that, for its riverside location and proximity to Mt. Bachelor has earned a place in the Oregon pantheon of resort destinations.
Sisters, nestled away in the trees northwest of Bend, plays host to a permanent population of less than a thousand but don't let its size fool you - in addition to a perfectly charming downtown done up with an 1880's theme, this town is a veritable portal into some of the best the Cascade Range has to offer, from stunning alpine meadows and crisp, clean air, to frothing rivers and expansive wilderness areas.
Northeast of Bend, past Redmond near the town of Terrebonne, find Smith Rock State Park, Oregon's premier climbing destination and one of the top spots in the country. Choose from thousands of routes leading up rugged cliffs of basalt and tuff, meander miles of trails back on the ground again and enjoy a "Wild West" landscape that has landed this spot a starring role in many a western.
Bend is located in central Oregon at the junction of US 20 and US 97. To learn more about Bend, please select an area of interest from the navigation bar on the left.