Safe travel in
What was once a quiet lumber town located in central Oregon at the foot of the Cascade mountain range has since grown into a busy and thriving destination for outdoor enthusiasts and visitors in search of recreation opportunities. Bend boasts over 50 public parks, including a mechanically engineered white-water park, 20+ breweries and is known as an entrepreneurial hub. This town knows how to work hard and play harder. For years it has been touted as one of the best places in the country to visit and live. Many locals miss the years when Bend was a secret paradise. Visiting thoughtfully is important to maintaining Bend’s feeling of openness and kindness.
Like so many other quickly growing towns with a population of adoring locals, Bend is in need of conscious tourists who are also there to enjoy and preserve the things that make the area so spectacular. While Bend hasn’t suffered any major natural disasters in recent history, its location in the dry and often volatile high desert makes it vulnerable to wildfires in the summer. Not to mention its proximity to highly monitored active volcanoes and the Newberry caldera. Support Bend by visiting to enjoy the versatile recreation opportunities and leave it as you found it by putting your campfires dead-out, observing the recreation site fees and carrying out what you carry in whether you’re camping, picnicking, or enjoying the Deschutes River in town.
Best Time to Visit Bend
There isn't one best time to visit Bend. It all depends on what experience you’re looking for. If you’re a ski or snowboard enthusiast, come anytime between December and May to enjoy Mt. Bachelor’s terrain. If you love hiking, camping, or enjoying the water, you’ll want to visit when the Cascade Lakes Highway opens up for the summer. Typically the road is opened around Memorial Day Weekend and closes in early to mid-November. There, you can enjoy a number of lakes with the Three Sisters, Broken Top, and Mt. Bachelor as your backdrop. In August to late September, you’ll have the greatest accessibility to backcountry hikes and camping. Unfortunately, this is also the hottest time of the year, and you may experience smokey days from the usual wildfires around the state in late summer.
Travel Safely in Bend
Terra Frma strongly believes that disaster prone towns and cities deserve to be visited and supported. Some of the most spectacular areas in the world happen to be disaster prone areas. If we stop visiting them, we stop seeing the world at its fullest. Just as you deserve to be resilient at home, you deserve to be resilient while traveling as well.
Travel safely to Bend, Oregon, by taking these simple preparedness steps, which include packing smart and researching helpful resources ahead of time.
Pack the following items
- Disaster Deck
- Vehicle Kit
- Printed map of Deschutes County
- On-Foot Kit in day pack for wildfire safety
Local safety resources for Bend, OR
- Sign up for Deschutes County Emergency Alerts.
- Using the Oregon Explorer Hazards Reporter interactive map, add your location while in Bend and go to the layers selection to see what areas are a risk for earthquakes, landslides, flooding, and volcanic hazard areas.
- Use the Advanced Oregon Wildfire Risk Explorer interactive map here. Add your location in Bend and then go to the layers selection to show the area’s risk for wildfire.
- Text COFIRE to 888777 to receive updates on prescribed fires in Central Oregon. You can always stop texts once your visit is over.
- Sign up for the USGS Volcano Notification Service and select the "Cascades Volcano Observatory Volcanoes."
Bend is at risk for
- Volcanic Eruption
A Day in Bend...
Bend has several “downtown areas,” but the historic downtown is located on Bond and Wall streets. Here, you can peruse boutiques, handmade home goods stores, designer decor shops, and stop into local favorite eateries and bars. If you’re in the mood for something sweet, Bonta Gelato is not to be missed. The Gelaterie was opened by a couple who traveled Europe, learning the techniques of crafting fine gelato and brought it back to Bend. Rest your feet at Drake Park, which runs along the river adjacent to the downtown area. Snap a photo of the well-known Mirror Pond while you’re there (Deschutes Brewery named their Mirror Pond Pale Ale after this view).
Walk to the end of Drake Park and continue down along Galveston Ave. Here, you’ll enter another world of shops, breweries, and restaurants. This area includes Brother Jon’s Public House, where you must order extra sides of their ‘bomb sauce’ no matter what entree you chose. Just trust us.
When in search of even more restaurants, bars and shops, head down to the Box Factory area. Bounce around between Crux Fermentation Project Brewery to enjoy their view of the mountains and large outdoor space and Brown Owl to grab a bite of food from their food truck which won the best in Bend and grab a beverage from their bar which is well-known for their large can selection. Finally, head over to a local favorite motorcycle inspired establishment, Spoken Moto that serves beer, coffee and has rotating food trucks onsite.
Shop in Bend
For the seasoned shoppers, head to the Old Mill District where you can find the main shopping area in Bend. The stores include Gap, American Eagle, REI, and many others. The casual shopper might enjoy the downtown area of Northwest Crossing. There, you can find unique clothing and home goods boutiques and Bend Pizza Kitchen, which is well-known for their Chicago style deep dish pizza.
Get Outside in Bend
Tumalo Mountain is located just across the road from Mt. Bachelor and is accessible in the summer or winter. Hike, snowshoe or backcountry ski to the top to enjoy a fabulous view of the Three Sisters and Broken Top on one side and Mt. Bachelor on the other. This short yet relatively steep hike is well worth the sweat getting up.
Phil’s Trails Complex has trails perfect for beginner, intermediate and expert mountain bikers. Map a ride to your desired length and difficulty with ease at this large configuration of rides. Be sure to check which trails are designated one-way trails and brush up on trail edicate before embarking down the trail.
Mt. Bachelor offers a great variety of terrain for all levels of skiers and riders, similar to Phil’s Trail Complex. For experts, enjoy the backside of the summit all the way down to the bottom of the Northwest lift. Beginners will enjoy taking runs down Sunrise lift. No matter what experience level, we urge everyone enjoying the mountain to always ski or ride with a partner and be extremely alert for tree well hazards that exist when skiing off-trail.
Rock Climbing at Smith Rock State Park and enjoy perhaps one of the most famous recreation sites in central Oregon. The park has been a mecca for rock climbers over the past few decades and remains in bustling use today. Hikers can also enjoy a number of trails around the park, though it can get hot in the summer so bring plenty of water. We would also advise dog-owners to be aware that there are rattlesnakes in the area and a strict leash rule, so if taking your dog, be extra mindful of the other occupants and recreationalists.
Where to Eat in Bend
El Sancho is well-known for its authentic Mexican street eats, refreshing margaritas, and funky decor. If you’re adventurous, try their lingua taco. This casual restaurant is filled with good vibes and locals.
Spork. If ask any random person walking down the street for a restaurant recommendation, the odds are pretty good that Spork would be on their list. This modern Mexican-Asian fusion restaurant is always bustling and rightfully so. Try their Lomo Saltado plate for something extraordinary or peruse their always-changing specials.
Ariana is one fine dining experience that will leave you impressed and beyond satisfied. Relish in exceptional service and enjoy Chef Ariana Fernandez’ fresh take on classic dishes. Located in a craftsman bungalow on Bend’s westside, you’ll be making your next reservation before you pay your bill.
What to Drink in Bend
Palate Coffee is a cozy coffee shop offering one of the top cups in town. Order their perfectly balances sweet and bitter mocha, or a matcha latte sprinkled with cinnamon. Whatever you’re looking for, it’s likely they offer it at a high quality at Palate.
Humm Kombucha was born right here in Bend and has since grown to a national brand. Head to their taproom on the northeast side of town to try their latest new flavor, fill a growler or mix a match whatever flavors you like.
Boneyard Brewery is best known for their heavily sought-after RPM IPA. Up until recently, they only distributed kegs and offered growler and crowler fills at their neighborhood taproom. Now, they have opened their much anticipated new taproom where patrons can grab pints and a bite to eat.
Dogwood is like stepping into an upscale metropolis bar while still being in cozy downtown Bend. Their inventive cocktails are both impressive, delicious and often touted as the best in Bend.
Where to Stay in Bend
Camping & RV Parks are a great option for those who want to experience the outdoor lifestyle of Bend. Choose between dozens of great outdoor options in Bend and the surrounding mountains.
Bunk & Brew takes the core of Bend's spirit to the next level. With super affordable bunks (shared room) and private rooms, Bunk & Brew offers a shuttle service, kitchen, laundry and is the hub of their Beer Trail with some 10 breweries on a round-trip 5-mile loop.
Mill Inn Bed & Breakfast is a charming bed and breakfast located smack between downtown Bend and the Old Mill District. It's location is beyond ideal for any visitor, most notably, they're directly across the street from Palate Coffee.
The Oxford Hotel, located right in downtown, is where every creature comfort has been thought of. It's spacious, elegant and sustainable with perks that include a Jacuzzi, complimentary cruiser bikes, Tesla charging stations, same-day dry cleaning, and a Pet Friendly Welcome Package.
The Grab + Go Box
Not only is Bend a fantastic place to live and visit, it is also the home of Terra Frma! We are proudly operating from our downtown Bend office, ensuring that our customers are doing their best to become prepared for any natural disaster.
No matter where you live or where you travel, the Grab + Go Box is your resource for practicing vital steps to outsmart any disaster. It is the only step-by-step product that prepares you before and guides you during any natural disaster. Interactive expert resources and wellness-focused guidance help build physical and emotional resilience in you and your family.