I was lucky enough to spend a week in the Bend, OR area for a family vacation. Full of good times, beautiful locations and fun adventures! Mountain biking, White Water Rafting, ATV'ing, Photography, hiking, lightning, sun, card games, Timbers winning and the USA Women's Soccer team becoming World Champions!!
Since this was a family vacation, majority of these photos are taken with my phone in lieu of my big setup. There are quite a lot of photos just as a heads up.
Be sure to click on the photos for a larger view, especially the panorama shots.
MTB Ride along the Deschutes River Trail
A popular but gorgeous trail that follows along the Deschutes River. Pretty easy trail overall with no real hard technical sections save for a few rocks that may be difficult to get up without using your feet. Great views along the river by some rapids, waterfalls and some areas to stop and take a quick dip in the river.
Edison Butte OHV (ATV)
We decided to hit up Edison Butte OHV area for our ATV rides. Having never been here, I looked up some youtube videos of the area, and found mostly Jeeps and 4x4 rigs. After talking with a local, he still recommended this area, so we went! It was a lot of fun and a great ride for me. A couple gorgeous views as we made our climb as well. Some areas where you could go faster, but there was quite a bit of rock crawling/climbing over sharp lava rocks that was slow and technical. Not a trail I'd take a beginner on or someone who doesn't have good control of their bike, but it wasn't overly difficult and we made it with no flats! If you look at the trail map below, we started on the right hand side and made a big loop up to Kwohl Butte Shelter, down to Sheridan Mtn. Shelter and then followed trail 3 back up to our trailhead and parking area. Some sections were really dusty and I was glad to be taking the lead as you'll see the results of my two riding partners with dirt mustaches!
White Water Rafting on the Deschutes River
A few of us went white water rafting as well! About half of us have done this before, and even this same section of river, but it had been many years. This was a ton of fun! Our raft was feared early on by the others as Nick decided to take a flying leap through the air to take out another guide into the river. From then on, the other rafts would always turn away as we neared. Couple people also had the pleasure of falling into the river on a couple rapids.
These photos are courtesy of the photographer with High Desert River Outfitters, the company we went with.
Hiking at Smith Rock State Park
Nearing the end of our trip, we wanted to check out Smith Rock. Having never really spent any time here, we were all impressed and amazed with how gorgeous the area was. Two of my brothers and I decided to take the harder hike and go up Misery Ridge Trail for the better views and it did not disappoint! It was a tiring hike, but totally worth it. Next time I will bring my bike and do some riding here as well. In a couple photos you can see my standing on a rock near Monkey Face rock, and in a couple others if you look real close, you can see a climber making his way up Monkey Face as well.
We hit up Smith Rock in the morning and then headed for the Painted Hills. This is an absolutely stunning and unique area that everyone has to see in person to believe it. The textures and colors are just unreal. We didn't do much hiking here since the temperatures were the hottest of our entire trip topping out at 103 degrees, ouch! We still couldn't help but to get out for some very short distances to get some views and pictures.
Sparks Lake Sunset
One evening I decided to duck out and check out Sparks Lake for the sunset. I brought all my camera gear along in case it turned epic. If you haven't seen my shots from my first trip here last year, the sky had to be rather impressive to top that one. This was not such a night, but this location is just so peaceful and amazing to be at regardless of the color in the sky. The first 3 shots here were taken with my DSLR and the rest with my phone.
That's about it! Was a really great and fun week for all. Do you have any favorite spots in the Central Oregon Area? I'd love to hear them and put them on my list for my next visit! Have any favorite photos from the area? I'd love to see those as well.