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Bend Area in A Day

Georgia
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107 posts
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Bend Area in A Day

Okay, here's the setup. We have found time during our September visit to devote 1 day to the Bend area. The previous day, we will be driving from Grants Pass to see Crater Lake, and then on to Bend and the Shilo Inn for the night. That next day will be devoted to the Bend area, but we will have to be in Portland by bed time. Two adults just sight seeing, but I wanted your opinions on what to do because there are alot of things that sound cool and obvioulsy we can't do them all; they include:

**The town of Sisters

**McKenzie Pass/Dee Wright Observatory

**West Cascades Scenic Byway

**Salt Creek Falls on Hwy 58

**Newberry Nat'l Monument

Those look like the best options, how would you prioritize? If it helps, our vacation will also include areas like Columbia Gorge and Mt St Helen's.

Thanks for your input.

Eugene, Oregon
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1. Re: Bend Area in A Day

Quite frankly, you have a problem with trying to do too much in one day out of Bend...which has quite a few attractions of its own (High Desert Museum, etc.).

Be sure to check www.tripcheck.com

since the road to Dee Wright Observatory (Old McKenzie Hwy #242) will be having lots of construction work this summer and won't be open in all directions all the time. I would spend some time in Bend and then set out over Santiam Pass, maybe have lunch in Sisters, turn onto the McKenzie Hwy #126, see Sahalie falls (a couple miles after the turn), enjoy the beautiful McKenzie River and take the hwy all the way to I-5 and then zip up to Portland (2 hrs from Eugene to Portland).

I'm sure others will have other opinions, but that's mine considering the time you have available.

Bend, Oregon
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2. Re: Bend Area in A Day

I recommend ... pretty much what Oregonpoppa said. :-)

Salt creek falls is gorgeous but too far the "wrong way" so I agree that Sahalie is your better bet. Santiam is my favorite route to Salem and Portland... it really is gorgeous.

Sisters is tiny and most of the downtown is little shops and so on. Try Sno Cap (amazing chicken strips) or the Sandwich Depot for lunch. You don't say when you will be traveling but check their event schedule. If there's something going on that weekend (especially the Rodeo or the Quilt Show) it will be a VERY slow drive through town.

For the morning in Bend, you might be able to squeeze in a quick tour of the High Desert Museum. You could also walk the river trail (from Farewell Bend Park near the Old Mill or from Sawyer Park near the Shilo). There's a Heritage Walk downtown (get a flyer from the Deschutes County Historical Society). Shevlin Park is also nice, and I recommend either driving or walking up to the top of Pilot Butte.

Oregon Coast
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for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
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3. Re: Bend Area in A Day

Hmmm, I kinda lean toward the Newberry Nat'l Volcanic Monument. There are two things there that are very unique - the Lava River Tube and the Lava Butte cinder cone.

tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g51766-d27…

Georgia
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4. Re: Bend Area in A Day

Thanks for the responses.

Might any of you happen to know, in general, what are the weekday hours for the shops in Sisters after Labor Day?

Also, Newberry sounds really interesting...how many hours should we carve out for it (I'm not so sure my travel mate will want to go down in the cave, so don't account time for that).

Georgia
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5. Re: Bend Area in A Day

Oh, I meant to add...what is Pilot Butte? I don't recall hearing about that before.

Bend, Oregon
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6. Re: Bend Area in A Day

Thanks for asking! Pilot Butte is an extinct volcano located right in the middle of Bend. From the top if it's a clear day you can see many of the Cascade Mountains from Hood/St Helens down *almost* to Shasta... along with Smith Rock, Ochoco Mountains, and Powell Butte. (I know people that claim to have seen Shasta from up there. I haven't.) If it's not a clear day you can usually still see the Three Sisters, Broken Top, and Mt Bachelor.

It's an Oregon State Park and there are two ways to enjoy it. If you are in "decent" shape then you can park at the base and walk to the top (~1 mile, 500 ft elevation gain). If you don't want to walk (or you are in a hurry) then you can also drive to the summit where there is limited parking (but the views are just as spectacular). ;-)

Georgia
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7. Re: Bend Area in A Day

Thanks "five..", I will have to check out Pilot Butte...sounds rather cool.

I'm still not sure how I want to plan this lone day in Bend...guess I'll figure it out when I get there.

Oregon Coast
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for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
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8. Re: Bend Area in A Day

This might help you with your planning:

tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g51766-d27…

Bend, Oregon
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9. Re: Bend Area in A Day

There was an article about Newberry in today's paper:

bendbulletin.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article…

Georgia
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10. Re: Bend Area in A Day

Okay...I think I'm sold on Newberry....at least the Lava Butte and the Falls. And maybe catch Three Sisters on the way out of town.

What really gets me pumped about this trip is the Bend newspaper article link has the current temperature there at 56 degrees....in the meantime, I'm sweltering in 99 degrees and high humidity at this hour :(