10 Best Winter Activities in Central Oregon

Snowboarding at nearby Mt. Bachelor is one of many popular winter activities in Bend.

If you are moving to Bend, you’re probably looking forward to the winter weather and may already have a few plans about what to do, especially if you already enjoy snow sports. But if you and your family are still looking for a few ideas, here are 10 2020-friendly activities you should all check out!

1. Snowboarding at Mt. Bachelor

The second-largest single-mountain resort in the country is packed with excellent boarding opportunities and high-quality powder with a long season – why not take advantage of it? If it’s your first time, there are plenty of classes to take, many of them family friendly! The mountain also has carefully maintained inner tube courses as an alternative.

2. Cross Country Skiing

Central Oregon is one of the most incredible places in the world for cross-country skiing, and many people around Bend will be happy to share advice and routes for your expeditions. Mt. Bachelor has a dedicated Nordic lodge and its own 56km of tracks to enjoy, but there are plenty of opportunities to strike out on your own, too.

3. Snowshoeing

It’s no surprised this area of the Cascades is also packed with snowshoeing opportunities, without options for the whole family and plenty of rentals or discounted shoes to buy. From simple excursions to Shevlin Park, to guided tours through snowy old growth forests, to moonlight treks up to cozy cabins, there really is something to try for everyone.

4. Skills and Drills Hockey

Hockey is very popular in Bend, but quite limited this year due to COVID restrictions. However, you or your kids can still attend skills and drills sessions to learn the sport and practice!

5. Skate Sessions

Skating is still allowed in places like The Pavilion, but with some limitations, like limited capacity and face masks. Look for ways to make reservations for sessions like Cheap Skate or Parent-Tot Skate.

6. Tailgating at the Mountain

With only a few people allowed in the Lodge at a time, Mt. Bachelor fans have had to get creative: That means a lot more tailgating in the Bachelor parking lots, as ways for small groups to enjoy the setting and get ready for the slopes. But act fast – the parking lots are only allowing a certain number of vehicles in, and making reservations is important.

7. Hike Riley Ranch

Snowy hiking opportunities abound around Central Oregon, but this year we’re going to recommend the extra-friendly Riley Ranch, a 184-acre ranch that’s been converted to a public park with smooth paths and plenty of opportunities to appreciate nature. Be ready for winter weather!

8. Night Skiing at Hoodoo

Hoodoo is maintaining and expanding its night skiing sessions this year. Whether you love skiing or just want to enjoy the glowing slopes with a family outing, be sure to check out their 23 night skiing runs. Masks are required and food options are more limited this year.

9. Fat Biking

“Fat” bikes with extra-wide tires are designed to handle the snow easily. Many shops around Bend, including the excellent Crows Feet Commons, The Hub Cyclery, and Pine Mountain Sports, offer fat bike rentals! Ask the locals what trails are best or strike out on your own.

10. Find a Fire Pit

Most of Bend’s popular spots, from Cruz Fermentation and O’Kane’s to the On Tap food truck lot and Worthy Brewing, have great fire pits and heat lamps set up. They are great locations to enjoy a pint with a close group of friends when things get chilly.