Lots of communities offer fly-fishing, Little League and greenways, but Bend takes the great outdoors one step further. Welcome to the Lava Lands of Central Oregon. That’s lava. As in volcanoes. The 50,000-acre Newberry National Volcanic Monument is the cradle of a real-life volcano. Adventurous souls can drive through the 17-square-mile caldera at the volcano’s summit, which geologists believe sits atop a body of magma bubbling two to five kilometers under the earth’s surface. If you’re getting nervous, take comfort in the 1,300 years between you and the most recent volcanic eruption. But even though you might not see red-hot rock shooting into the air, there’s a lot to see at Newberry.
he scenery at Paulina Peak, the 8,000-foot summit, includes two lakes brimming with trout and salmon, along with views of the Oregon Cascades and the High Desert. Underground, Lava River Cave is a tunnel through the rivers of molten rock that traverse the volcano’s innards. The ceilings soar to 60 feet, and at the point where the tunnel crosses under U.S. Highway 97, the cave’s ceiling is 50 feet thick. If red-hot rock isn’t your cup of tea, Mt. Bachelor offers a cooler, more powdery alternative. More than 3,600 acres of slopes are accessible to skiers and snowboarders, and in the Bend district, snowmobilers can fly along 175 miles of groomed trails. Kid-friendly activities include snow tubing, snowshoeing and sled dog rides. Closer to sea level, the Bend Department of Parks and Recreation maintains nearly 2,400 acres of parks and open space including sports parks, riverfront property and 48 miles of trails.
The department also offers hundreds of sports and activities for those seeking a more organized approach to recreation. Whatever your passion, Bend is a recreation paradise – literally from fire to ice, and everything in between.