Your adventure awaits.

Your adventure awaits. Photo: Clark

Located about 45 minutes north of the outdoor playground of Bend is Smith Rock State Park. Known for its legendary sport climbing and the meandering Crooked River doing its crooked thing, the Smith Rock region area offers fun hiking and stunning, awe-inspiring views.

It's a place where you can be perfectly content just standing and staring at the jagged peaks. But the other beauty of Smith Rock is that it’s also centrally located among the rest of the greatness that is Central Oregon.

Naturally, for us, with all the new snow, we had skiing on our minds, which meant we pointed the Eurovan straight to Mount Bachelor, 30 minutes west of Bend.

Skiing Mount Bachelor

Mt. Bachelor, in all her glory. Photo: Clark

Mount Bachelor in all her glory. Photo: Clark

With an average annual snowfall of 450 inches, 3,700 skiable acres, great intermediate terrain, as well as fun, advanced terrain in the Northwest zone, Bachelor is Central Oregon's ultimate winter playground.

Plus, the views of the nearby Sisters Peaks and Broken Top Mountain are easy on sightseeing eyes.

We indulged in the fresh two feet of new snow, skied untouched powder off the inbounds, hiked the terrain of the Cindercone (“That's a cone smile,” a skier told me, as I reached the bottom of the run near the lift after enjoying the powder bounty), and found powder stashes in between giant conifers below the famous Red Chair lift, of which Bend's most famous brewery, Deschutes, named a beer after.

Feeling the fresh, photographer/videographer Adam Clark enjoying his first experience at Mount Bachelor. Photo: Stifter

Adam Clark enjoying his first experience at Mount Bachelor. Photo: Stifter

As fun as the mountain is, a trip to Central Oregon isn't complete without spending some time in Bend with its 14 breweries, tasty eateries and shops nearby.

Here are our favorites in this fun, outdoor-loving town:

Fat biking

Head to Crow's Feet Commons, a ski, bike, beer and coffee shop in Bend, and rent fat tire bikes so you can go for an adventurous ride along the Deschutes that intersects town. You can leave right from the shop and make your way to the bike path that leads to a single-track trail that goes along the river.

Feeling like kids. Photo: Clark

Feeling like kids again. Photo: Clark

Trust us, you'll have way more fun than you think as your transcended back into your childhood, riding bikes in the mud.

Bend eating and drinking

Grab a delicious breakfast at Chow and a dinner at Spork, which used to be a mobile food cart housed in an Airstream.

Now, it’s a bonafide restaurant serving up creative dishes inspired by Latin America, Africa and Asia. Get the Carnitas Sando — it's amazing.

We washed down our food and activities with a few pints at 10 Barrel, Brother Jon's and the Fireside Pub at the McMenamins, which is also home to indoor soaking tubs and a fun little cigar bar.


Deep underground. A truly unique experience. Photo: Clark

Deep underground, it’s truly a unique experience. Photo: Clark

One hundred feet under the Earth's surface and 1,800 into its core, the Boyd Cave outside Bend gives you a glimpse of Central Oregon's radical geology like no other.

Book through Wanderlust Tours, and you'll feel smarter with all the fascinating facts of the region being thrown your way throughout the hike into the darkness.

Where to stay?

Our day was made better when we arrived at Sunriver Resort, a short 20-minute drive from the mountain where we stayed for three nights.

There, we ate delicious meals at Carson's American Kitchen and Twisted River Tavern, sucked down pints of locally brewed hard cider at Sunriver Brewing Company and woke up early to ogle Mount Bachelor and the surrounding countryside that comprises Sunriver Resort's 3,300 acres on the east side of the Deschutes River.

Plus, with 47 miles of walking/cross-country skiing trails around the property and an amazing spa (post-ski massage, anyone?), it's a place you can enjoy, even if you take a day off from enjoying the mountain.

John Stifter & Janna Irons, @vanventures

To win an Oregon Winter Wonders getaway …

Learn more about John and Janna’s trip through Oregon’s 7 Wonders and plan your own adventure at TravelOregon.comere.