Next on my road trip I headed to south Bend, a city that I had heard amazing things about and couldn’t wait to check out. I headed out from Hood River and had stunning views of Mt. Hood for the first half of the ride as road hugged the side of the majestic volcano. The second half of the drive was through the high desert and the road followed the gorgeous Deschutes River for a while.
After a while in the car I was ready to stretch my legs and start hiking which was timed well with my arrival at Smith Rock State Park. Smith Rock is known for being the birthplace of modern American sport climbing and is filled with lots of rock climbing routes. Smith Rock is great for taking in some epic views and while also watching rock climbers tackle challenging routes. There are numerous hiking routes around the park suitable for different fitness levels and time frames. I choose the Misery Ridge Loop which takes you up to the 3,360′ summit and then around the backside and along the river for a total 3.7 miles. It was quite toasty and the sun was out at full power when I was there. I’d suggest taking the sun into consideration and trying to tackle the strenuous uphill portion of the hike on the side not in full sunlight.
Next up on the agenda and my resting spot for the night was Bend. Bend had been on my radar for a while and is marketed as the outdoor recreation capital of Oregon. It’s located between the high desert and the Cascade Mountains and is regularly touted as one of the top places to live in the US for outdoor recreationalists. Unfortunately, when I was visiting there were several wildfires burning nearby and the air was quite hazy which is evident in the photo below. My first stop in Bend was Tumalo Falls, an 89 foot waterfall located in the nearby Deschutes National Forest. I wondered up to the top of the falls and along the river and found a place to eat lunch. I love eating a lemon pepper tuna pack, avocado and crackers for a quick and nutritious hiking lunch. There are a bunch of other trails in the area so you can pick your own adventure if you’ve got a bit more time.
Next I made my way back into town and checked into the Mill Inn Bed & Breakfast for the night. Mill Inn was a great spot to spend the night. The location was perfect, close to both downtown Bend and the Old Mill District. The rooms were cozy and my particular room had access to a shared communal bathroom down the hallway. The highlight was definitely breakfast the next morning. They have a buffet with many healthy options available including quiches, home fries, sausages, bacon, fruit, local granola and even waffles to made to order.
After checking into Mill Inn I set out to explore the river and Old Mill District with a local lime coconut Humm Kombucha in hand. If it were a bit warmer I would have rented a inflatable tube and joined the locals and floated the river. To finish out the night I headed to Jackson’s Corner for a veggie pizza and a glass of Oregon Pinot Noir. The veggie pizza included local mushrooms, greens, caramelized onions, garlic confit, mozzarella, tomato sauce and a pesto drizzle and the leftovers made for a great lunch the next day. If you’re in Bend and looking for a casual place to grab a tasty bite to eat I’d highly recommend checking out one of Jackson’s Corner’s locations.
The next morning I woke up and enjoyed a delicious breakfast at the hotel. On my way out of town I stopped at Palate for an energy kick for another long day of exploring in the form of a delicious cinnamon matcha latte.
- Hike the Misery Trail Loop at Smith Rock State Park
- Explore Tumalo Falls
- Pizza dinner at Jackson’s Corner
- Stay at Mill Inn Bed & Breakfast
- Grab a matcha at Palate