Here in Bend, we're pretty spoiled when it comes to opportunities for outdoor recreation. Situated perfectly at the base of the East Cascades, just north of Crater Lake and east of the Oregon Badlands Wilderness, Bend truly is an adventure playground. And with so many options at our fingertips, it can be difficult to decide how to spend your playtime! That's why we'll be bringing you a guide to outdoor activities that range in difficulty, time, and type of recreation. This week we're starting with a quick hike that is short in time but offers a high reward of views: Tumalo Mountain.
An easy 21-mi drive west of Bend via the Cascade Lakes Highway, Tumalo Mountain is accessible year-round. An ideal snowshoe excursion in winter turns to a short but steep hike in the summer. The spectacular views are available year-round on a clear day: the Three Sisters and Broken top to the west, Mt. Bachelor and Mt. Thielson to the south, and Paulina Peak and Newberry Crater to the east. Getting to the trailhead is easy: follow the CLH due west until you see Mt. Bachelor on your left. The entrance to the Dutchman Flat parking lot will be on your right, and the trailhead is at the west end of the lot. Parking requires either an annual Northwest Forest Pass or a $5 day-use pass in the summer.
• Distance: 3.9mi
• Trail Type: Out-and-back
• Tumalo Mountain elevation: 7,779'
• Elevation Gain: 1429'
• Average Hike Time: 1.5 hours
• Gear Required: None
• Kid friendly
• Dog friendly
This hike is relatively short but surprisingly steep, especially in the first 1/2 mile where you'll run into 5 switchbacks. Making your way through the Hemlock and Pine forest, you'll see gorgeous greens overhead. Once you're past the switchbacks, you'll come to a meadow that is home to a vibrant array of Lupine, Indian paintbrush, and other wildflowers at your feet. Hike another mile up the trail and you'll come to the last stretch of trail, which is lined in red volcanic rocks to keep hikers on-trail and off the fragile ecosystem underfoot. At the top of the summit, enjoy sweeping vistas of the surrounding Cascades and Badlands.
Whether you're heading out to hike this fun and fast trail to catch sunset in the evening after work, or taking a leisurely stroll up the summit on a weekend, this hike is sure to please even the most experienced adventurer!