I’ve still only barely adjusted to the timezone change since arriving in Bend but that has some advantages. I’m waking up pretty early. So on a recent morning I took a drive down south of Bend to Paulina Lake.
There are actually two crater lakes in this spot that caught my attention on a trail map I was perusing for interesting hikes. But Paulina Lake – the western one of the two – has a trail that goes all the way around the lake. I figured the views must be great – and I think they were.
The morning I arrived – a weekday – I easily found a place to park and then headed off on the nearby trail. Around the lake is a little over 7 miles. Most of the trail is right along the lake and pretty flat. There is one section that requires a climb up and then back down again but it’s not a particularly long section.
The trail can be pretty rocky in various places. You can see some of that in the photo here but some places were much rockier. And at least in one section you encounter quite of bit of Obsidian. Essentially a kind of black volcanic glass. Pretty cool to see.
A one point along the trail you encounter a campground. A modern campground. Plenty of parked RVs, some of which were running generators. Ultimately not too much of a distraction along the way.
Lots of anglers out in boats on the lake. I even saw one guy in hip waders fishing from maybe 5 yards off the shoreline.
Great views all along the hike though and I enjoyed this morning outing a lot!
My return trip to Bend is in full swing and I’ve been enjoying a mix of hiking and biking – both road and mountain bike.
One of my favorite hikes is the trail at Tumalo Falls. This is not the first time I’ve done this trail and I enjoy it every time I find myself in this area.
So not surprisingly, one of the first hikes I did on this trip was this one. It’s the trail that keeps on giving. At the trailhead you are treated to a spectacular falls of about 100 feet, and it’s a short walk up the trail to a viewing platform to get a really good look and listen.
But then you keep on walking up the trail along Tumalo Creek. And all along the way you find spots like this photo to the right.
In my case this visit I hiked up along the creek for 3-something miles and then turned back to make it an out and back hike. Not surprisingly given the direction of the water, the return trip on the trail is mostly downhill. And for that reason too – and because it’s a pretty popular trail – mountain bikers that ride this trail must only do-so going uphill.
As to logistics: I recommend getting out there early. It’s a very popular trail and spot not far from Bend and it fills up fast. Parking is very limited though you can find a spot along the side of the road into the trailhead if you can’t get a spot amongst the maybe dozen available at gravel lot. When I finished my hike I counted 30+ more cars along the road that weren’t there when I started. And this was a Monday.
Some other notes: there’s a pit toilet there at the trailhead in case the need arises. You need a parking permit. $5 on the way in at a self-pay station unless you have a $30 seasonal pass (not available on-site).
I should preface this blog post with a little history… I have traveled to Bend, Oregon at various times over the last 20 years or so and always in the summer. Each time I have been charmed by the city and what it has to offer. And so, with vaccinations starting at the end of 2020 and some hope we’d all get a dose soon and that a return to travel was gonna be possible in 2021 I booked a place to stay here in Bend, right at the start of the year.
And so, here I am. It has actually panned out at least to get here. We’ll see how it goes.
Photos below are of the place I’m staying upon arrival. I have a one-bedroom apartment above a garage that’s a relatively short walk into the downtown area of Bend. All of the photos in the gallery below are of my stay with the exception of the last one. That last one is just a nearby food truck lot that’s not far away and that I had remembered from a past visit in 2018. I had lunch there upon my arrival into Bend. There are both food and drinks available from various vendors and plenty of outdoor table space to kick back and enjoy.
I hope to post more here as my visit unfolds and I discover more…