After a day of playing in the mountains, manning rock faces that reach up to the sky, and snowboarding down some of the best slopes in US, it's not uncommon to kick your feet up and crack open a cold one. And one of the best places to do that? Bend, Oregon. Bend has more breweries per capita than any other city in the state, earning it the nickname Beer Town USA. Adventure and ale addicts rejoice because we found your perfect pairing. Here are a few of the best places to explore and imbibe.
Just two hours outside of Bend is one of America’s most treasured gems. A national park that's home to the deepest lake in the country, the pristine water was formed by a volcano collapsing after an eruption. A mighty sight to behold, after you take in the beauty you can get your adventure on by swimming, hiking, boating, or fishing in the summer months. Winter activities like skiing and snowshoeing are popular from November through April.
Deschutes National Forest
Dense forests and towering cinder cones make for an eye-opening welcome to the area. Millions of people come here to enjoy the scenery and array of activities like hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, fishing, camping, and boating. Keep your eyes peeled for bald eagles, osprey, elk, otter, and other critters that call the region home.
Smith Rock State Park
The site of Smith Rock is impressive from the start. The birthplace of American climbing, the impending monoliths are also a result of volcanic eruptions from long ago. The Crooked River winds it’s way through the rock formations, providing a spectacular view for those in need of a leisurely stroll. If it's adventure you’re after, try one of the many designated hiking trails or one of the challenging climbs like Monkey Face.
You’ve seen pictures of the crisp white peak contrasted against the deep blue sky. Mount Bachelor is actually a volcanic cauldron teeming with winter activities like skiing and snowboarding. With snow about eight months of year, it offers everything from beginner to Olympic level terrain.
Newberry National Volcanic Monument
Are you picking up on a theme here? The volcanic history surrounding Oregon is what gives the landscape so much character. Another phenomenal area to explore is the Newberry caldera, formed by an eruption 75,000-years ago. Fishing, camping, and hiking are your tickets to adventure here.
Don’t take off those hiking boots just yet because you'll want see the waters of Tumalo Falls. Cascading streams which lead to smaller waterfalls and rapids, while hiking along the trail you’ll have to clammer over the creek ensuring a wet and rowdy afternoon romp.
Lava River Cave
Formed over 80,000 years ago, descend into the longest continuous lava tube in the state. The dark underworld feels like another planet entirely. The air has a chill and you'll navigate around stalactites ensuring you really earn that beer.
Follow the Ale Trail
The Ale Trail is the best way to explore Beer Town USA. Neatly organized into an app so you can maximize your time, there are so many breweries it would be impossible to finish in a day. We've highlighted a few of our favorites that are simply not-to-miss:
Atlas Hard Cider Company: Using local fruit and produce from Oregon and Washington, Atlas experiments with passionfruit, apricot and blackberry ciders, which are all a party for your palate.
Goodlife Brewery:A tribute to the good life in Bend, their specially crafted ales will having you cheersing to adventure.
Deschutes Brewery: One of the original breweries in the area, Deschutes is a classic spot, celebrated for it's beer and food pairings.