Kid Friendly Hikes in Central Oregon

Kids, am I right? Either you’ve got some or are you kind of are one. Me? I fall into both categories. All it takes for me to be happy is a car ride with snacks and maybe a lizard sighting. I saw a lizard the other day in fact, it was my favorite thing for…

Green Lakes Trail

A hike with a beer namesake? That’s got to a be a pretty good sign! This hike (and it’s beer) is a Bend staple. Crisp, clean, and positively mood-altering; The Green Lakes Trail is a robust, and full bodied hike. Beer metaphors aside, when my friend called and asked me to last-minute-join her on on the trail, I…

The Painted Hills

A delicious layer cake of history, the Painted Hills are a visual timeline dating back 40 million years! Rocks found in The Clarno Area (named for a pioneer crossing near John Day) are from The Eocene Epoch and paint a picture of a sub-tropical grass land. The present day Cascades were not yet formed and…

Tumalo Falls

Local Classic Tumalo Falls is never a disappointment! The 89 foot Waterfall always looks good in whatever the weather. I’ve trudged in snow shoes and gazed upon a frozen canyon, water paused in time, and sipped sweet micro brews in her mist in Summer. In Autumn the golden glow of Aspen’s line the creek and…

Petersen Rock Garden

Not far off Highway 97, between Bend and Redmond is a quaint little piece of roadside Americana, The Petersen Rock Garden. The Garden was built in 1935 by Danish immigrant Rasmus Petersen and is made entirely of locally collected rocks. Obsidian, Petrified Wood,Crystal Quartz,and Agate make up a miniaturized world complete with irrigated ponds and…

Tam-a-lau Trail

A terrific Spring hike is the Tam-a-lau Trail located within Cove Palisades State Park. The park is situated among towering cliffs that surround Lake Billy Chinook, an impoundment of the Deschutes, Crooked, and Metolious rivers. The lake was named after a Wasco tribe member who assisted The Fremont Expedition in 1843. The Cove Palisades was once…

Paulina Lake Hot Springs

Located within Newberry Caldera is Paulina Lake, fed by snowmelt and volcanic vents. The lake drains into Paulina Creek and forms a twin Waterfall. The lake has a small resort, several campgrounds, a lake trail and good fishing. This is not a swimmable lake, it is very deep (250 ft) and can often have noxious algae blooms….

Glass Buttes: Obsidian Collection

77 miles East of Bend, on Highway 20 lies Glass Buttes, a geological wonderland literally speckled with ancient volcanic glass. The area is one of the largest Obsidian collection sites in the North West. Native American’s have been accessing The Buttes for centuries.  Artifacts from this area have been identified as far north as British Columbia and…

Lava Butte

Halfway between Bend and Sunriver is Lava Butte, a 5,020 foot cinder cone. The Lava Lands Visitor Center sits at the base of the butte and is the hub of the Newberry Caldera National Monument. The center hosts a delightful northwest bookstore and informative interpretive site (complete with topographic map and helpful rangers). There is an easy…