Bend's culture is one of the things that makes Bend so great. As a whole we are fun seekers, outdoor lovers, beer fanatics, and friend makers. We love our dogs, our free time, our food trucks, our trails, and our powder days. There's a lot to get excited about here, and believe us, we get excited about all of it. We also want you to share that excitement! 

The good people at Visit Bend have put together a campaign encouraging people to visit Bend like a local. We were inspired and wanted to share some central beliefs to the mission of Wanderlust Tours. 

For over 23 years Wanderlust Tours has shared the beauty of central Oregon while striving to preserve the earth and care for natural habitats. We train our staff with this mentality in mind and teach our guests to do the same. Here are a few ways we do that. 

Wanderlust van filled with eager snowshoers // Photo by  Natalie Puls

Wanderlust van filled with eager snowshoers // Photo by Natalie Puls

  1. We carpool. Most of our trips meet at our office in Bend before we transport guests in one vehicle to our final destination. This keeps lake parking lots less crowded, cuts down on road wear and tear, and is better for our environment. 
  2. We pick up trash. Wherever we go we try to practice LNT (leave no trace). This means that our trips will not leave an impact, but it also means that we pick up after others. Each of our guides brings a trash bag in case they see floating trash along the trail.
  3. We clean the caves. Each year Wanderlust Tours joins forces with other local companies to clean the caves and desert area east of town. Anyone is welcome to join in these efforts. This year's Cave Cleanup is scheduled for May 6, 2017. 
  4. We don't use plastic bottles. In fact, we exclusively use recyclable cups, plates and utensils. We like to call this practice "pre-cycling." We sell bottles from Hydro Flask in our office and encourage our guests to fill up their bottle before leaving for the tour. 
  5. We wash our boats after each water tour. Why? Aquatic invasive species attach to boats and travel from one body of water to another. They displace native species and harm the fish and wildlife habitat. Worst of all, they are extremely difficult to remove once they arrive. We don't want to disrupt the natural wildlife! 
  6. We sell locally-made products. This supports local businesses and cuts down on the need for shipping (think extra packaging waste, fuel, etc.) 

There are a ton of other great ways to learn how to "visit like a local." Visit Bend has worked hard to put together some awesome tips! Including how to navigate those round-a-bouts! Search the hashtag on Instagram or Facebook and find out other ways you can visit like a local!