If you’re going to snowshoe to a view, why not enjoy some local craft brew? Bend’s original guiding company, Wanderlust Tours, offers the ultimate Bend winter experience: snowshoeing to a view of the majestic Cascades, where you’ll crack open and sample some local craft beer.
After being shuttled to iconic Mt. Bachelor, strap on snowshoes and follow your friendly guide through a winter wanderland of old-growth mountain hemlock. The terrain is varied and totally fun, with some gradual uphill, fun downhill, and short breaks en route.
The pinnacle is a secret spot, a clearing that offers a direct view of some of the Cascades’ volcanic peaks, including Broken Top Mountain, South Sister, Middle Sister, and North Sister (not much sibling rivalry here—they’re all beautiful!). All that’s needed to complete the scene? Why, some Cascade Lakes craft beers, of course! Sample their Blonde Bombshell, 20 Inch Brown, and of course, IPAs. Winter keeps the beer chilled, but the snowshoeing keeps everyone warm, especially when “running” downhill, and perfecting log rolls if you do indeed fall (perhaps purposely?!) into the powdery snow.
BONUS FOOD & BEER: Back in town, grab dinner and (yes) more beers at 10 Barrel Brewing (1135 Northwest Galveston Ave, Bend). Their nachos are a locals’ favorite, as are the burgers and fresh salads. Try the Dub (Double IPA). 10 Barrel beat out 46 other entries to take Gold in the “Other Strong Beer” category at the 2016 World Beer Cup. For a romantic dinner option, Zydeco has a fantastic wine selection from Oregon and a creative menu.
STAY: The Oxford Hotel (10 NW Minnesota Ave, Bend) is Bend’s best boutique stay, located right downtown and within walking distance of restaurants, brewpubs, and cool shops. All the rooms are large and styled with modern touches and amenities, the eco-friendly beds guarantee a comfy night’s sleep, and the heated en suite floors are a bonus after a winter’s day and a warm tub soak. The super friendly staff has the beta on noteworthy outdoor adventures and where to go in town.