Best Fall Hikes in Central Oregon
With an average of more than 260 days of sunshine per year, Bend is one of Oregon’s most-loved vacation destinations, year-round. Fall in Bend is a best-kept secret and the perfect time to take advantage of the endless outdoor opportunities this scenic city has to offer. The leaves are turning, the sunsets are filled with golden light, and the days are often sunny and mild. If you are a hiker, the trails are less crowded and the wilderness is bursting with fall color, making for a dreamy backdrop to your outdoor adventures.
Book a Meredith Lodging Bend vacation rental in the fall and enjoy off-season rates and far fewer crowds. We offer beautiful, private homes in Bend, Sunriver, Three Rivers, Sisters and up at Mt. Bachelor Village…plenty of options for a getaway that will have you falling in love with Central Oregon all over again! Wondering where you should take a hike?!? We have rounded up a shortlist of our favorite fall hikes to make your planning easier!
The magical Metolius Riverbank area pops with color during the fall. This is a great hike for families with a relatively flat trail ending with a small waterfall. The trail is rated as easy for all hikers, is 4.6 miles out and back, and dogs are welcome but must remain on leash.
Shevlin Park is a beautiful spot to discover Bend’s fall foliage, offering more than 652 acres available to explore and see all your favorite fall colors. The Park is easy to navigate, with nearly 10 miles of mostly flat walking paths and trails for running or for hiking that the whole family, leashed pups included, can enjoy.
If you time it right, Tumalo Falls is an amazing spot to observe the contrast of dark lava rock, rich evergreens, and vibrant fall foliage. This dog friendly trail is rated moderate, is 6.5 miles out and back, and will reward your efforts with dramatic views of the always-impressive falls. This adventure is popular year-round but offers something extra-special when the trail is ripe with seasonal colors. Hike in from the trailhead or drive to the falls parking lot for instant waterfall viewing.
Upper Deschutes River Trail
The mighty Deschutes River serves as Bend’s ultimate gathering spot, winding its way through town, and offering a bit of everything…from calm spots to paddleboard, world-class rapids, and hiking paths along its shoreline as it cuts a gorgeous path through Bend and Sunriver. The Upper Deschutes River Trail provides the best stretch to take in stunning fall colors. The 5.3 mile loop trail is good for all skill levels and welcomes hikers, runners, mountain bikers, and leashed dogs.
Drake Park in Downtown Bend
Drake Park is a fun place to explore any time of year, with its beautiful walking paths and places to play, as well as the perfect paddle spot – Mirror Pond Lake. Come autumn, the giant maples and weeping willows explode into a stunning array of burnt orange, red, and yellow shades, and on a still day they are perfectly reflected in the water – a sight that will make your inner photographer swoon. If you like to capture fall colors in photos, the reflection of the trees in Mirror Pond is simply stunning. Conveniently located right in downtown Bend, it is the perfect place for a family picnic (leashed pups can be included!), a stroll after drinks or dinner, or one last photo to capture the magic that is fall in Bend.
Ready to book your fall getaway? Visit MeredithLodging.com to see our collection of Central Oregon collection vacation rentals and plan your color-show #staywithmeredith.