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.
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.
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:
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.
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
Now, it’s a bonafide restaurant serving up creative dishes inspired by Latin America, Africa and Asia. Get the Carnitas Sando — it's amazing.
CavingOne 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.
Learn more about John and Janna’s trip through Oregon’s 7 Wonders and plan your own adventure at TravelOregon.comere.