We drove to Bend Oregon via Hwy 97 south from I-84. Along the way, about 5 miles west of Shaniko is a nice viewpoint area where you can view the Cascade Range from Broken Top which is 75 miles to the south all the way to Mt. Rainier which is 135 miles to the north. There is even a mountain identifier (Broken Top, Three Sisters, Mt Washington, Mt Jefferson, Mt Hood, Mt Rainier, Mt Adams to name a few) on the ground to help you identify the mountains. A nice place to stop. On a clear day it is incredible.
On the way to Bend is the lovely town of Redmond which is full of recreational activities including Smith Rock State Park. This park is known for its rock climbing due to its sheer cliffs. All sorts of different rock climbing (sport climbing, traditional climbing, multi-pitch climbing, bouldering) can be viewed or performed here. A beautiful and interesting place.
Another fun place to visit is the Peter Skene Ogden State Scenic Viewpoint which is perched on top of a scenic canyon along the Crooked River.
And you can’t come to this area without heading to Sisters, Oregon. A quaint, charming town nestled up in the hills of the Cascades. Several ski resorts are in the area, lots of mountain biking, great ice cream stores and quilting stores, and golfing. We stopped by the Aspen Lakes Golf Course (our friends are members) for a fabulous lunch. A beautiful area.
And let’s not forget the gorgeous Cascades themselves. A short drive from Bend on the west side of Hwy 97 you can be up in the mountains by Mt Bachelor and Elk Lake. And on the east side of Hwy 97 is Paulina Lake and Paulina Falls. If you have time ride the Paulina Plunge.