New to Bend or just need something new to do? Wintertime in Central Oregon is beautiful, but it can be hard to break out of the house, or even out of old patterns. Here are four outdoor activities that newbies and those-who-need-new-activities can check off in the new year.
Night Skiing at Hoodoo
Want to get your ski fix, but avoid the crowds and maybe not even have to wake up early? Hoodoo ski area gets its night skiing game on starting in late December. The smaller resort west of Sisters has 34 groomed runs, five chair lifts and lights on at 3:30pm for those who hardly see daylight this time of year.
While the mountain is smaller than Bachelor and is twice as far for those who live in Bend, it's calmer and has space for skiers of all skill levels. Lift tickets for adults range from $79 for peak pricing and $69 for a regular day ticket, to $38/48 for the night shift, from 4-9 pm. Night skiing happens Wednesday through Saturday, 3:30-9pm.
Fireside Music Series at Suttle Lodge
For those looking for an intimate and peaceful way to end a day in the snow at Hoodoo or otherwise, I recommend checking out the Suttle Lodge Fireside Music series. These magical musical evenings are held most Thursdays from now until May. Along with soothing sounds, the lodge offers tasty cocktails, delectable food and a wintery wonderland vibe.
Grab some snowshoes
Todd Lake and Edison sno-park are my two favorite places to snowshoe. Because of the snowy season, the main trailhead to Todd Lake is not accessible. To get to Todd Lake, you must go to the trailhead at Dutchman's flat or Mt. Bachelor. The trail takes you through forests of snow-covered trees and along the outlet of the lake. The journey is about 6 miles round trip and can be made into a loop if you go around the lake at the end. The trail winds through forests of snow-covered trees and along the outlet of the lake, where hikers find stunning views of the snow-capped Cascades and the perfect spot to relax and have a snack.
Edison sno-park is another local favorite, and dog friendly with two loops to choose from. To get to Edison shelter, hikers have the choice between varying loops that can make for a decent 3 to 5-mile trek. The shelter itself is closed this year due to the "integrity of the structure," the Deschutes National Forest advises on its website, but the park's AC/DC and other shelters remain open.
Dog Sledding at Mt. Bachelor
Mt. Bachelor is often associated with skiing and snowboarding, though the mountain also offers a dog sledding experience, taking guests around the snowy landscapes of Mt. Bachelor. Riders can even help care for, water and feed the dogs after the ride. All sled rides depart from Sunrise Lodge. While it's a family friendly event, riders must be at least three years of age.