Central Oregon's high desert offers a rare location for spring vacationing. Bend is one of those places for multisporting, where vacationers can pair up a morning at Mt. Bachelor Ski Resort with golfing, biking, or rafting on the same day.
This year, Mt. Bachelor extended its ski and snowboard season to run through May 29. Full operations will run throughout March and April until Easter, when the resort shifts into spring mode.
Spring hours start up April 25 with four lifts running 8 a.m. to1 p.m. daily, conditions permitting. "Those four lifts access 80 percent of the terrain on the mountain," clarified spokesperson Andy Goggins, "and on-mountain concerts will keep it fun until the very end."
Longer daylight hours and the resort's early afternoon closure permit plenty of time to add in other outdoor activities in the afternoon. Skiers can look for lodging packages that combine lift tickets with golf, biking, or rafting.
The greater Bend area offers more than 25 golf courses, the majority of which are public and semi-private. "The golf areas tend to start opening at the end of March, as soon as the snow is off the courses," Lynnette Braillard for Visit Bend told us. Skiers can squeeze in at least nine holes after the slopes.
Bend, home to serious road bikers and mountain bikers, offers plenty of locations for pedaling after skiing. "Biking is one of those things that people do year-round here, especially at Smith Rock and Horse Butte," added Braillard. Bend has several shops that rent bicycles, and the new Three Sisters Scenic Bikeway is expected to see its first paving this spring.
Class III rafting on the Deschutes River starts up in April, letting skiers combine sliding and splashing on the same day. "Yes, the water is a little chilly, but the rapids are raging at that time," said Braillard. Five rafting companies run trips from Bend.
During blustery spring weather, skiers can tour the Bend Ale Trail in the afternoon. The indoor tour includes eight breweries, with routes available on iPhone and Android applications.
Mt. Bachelor received abundant snow at the end of February, helping to set it up for a long spring. Check out the action in this YouTube video: