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A surprise awaits around nearly every corner of this 5-day tour! Truly a nature lovers’ playground, the Oregon Cascades are a showcase for snow-capped volcanoes, lava fields, high deserts, rainforests, waterfalls, hoodoos, mountain lakes, and more. Come see for yourself why the outdoor mecca of Bend, Oregon is ranked as one of the most enviable cities to live – in the world! Culminating on the shores of the deepest lake in the United States, Crater Lake, words and photos inevitably fail to convey the wonder of the “crystal ball” of this collapsed volcano. It simply has to be experienced. Our naturalist guides will connect you with the best the area has to offer!
Meet in Portland. After a visit to Mt. Hood's beautiful Timberline Lodge and surrounding meadows, head to rock-climbing mecca Smith Rock State Park for a hike alongside the aptly named Crooked River.
Our first stop is at Timberline Lodge on the flanks of Mt Hood, the highest mountain in Oregon. Learn about the history of the lodge and revel in panoramic views on a short walk through the surrounding meadows. From there, we head to Smith Rock State Park – the birthplace of sport rock-climbing in America. Surrounded by sage desert, church-like spires of volcanic ash rise above the aptly-named Crooked River to form the central features of this majestic landscape. Against a backdrop of snow-capped volcanoes, climbers hang suspended from the cliffs while eagles and prairie falcons ride thermal air currents in search of prey. Enjoy dinner and sample an array of unparalleled craft beers at Bend Brewery before relaxing in eco-luxury at the award-winning Oxford Hotel in Bend (2 nights).
Today, meet the Three Sisters, Broken Top and Bachelor - a few of the Oregon Cascades's stateliest peaks. Tonight, explore the brewpubs of Bend.
Head to the Mt. Bachelor ski area today for a hike through subalpine forests to the summit of Tumalo Mountain in Deschutes National Forest. Come face to face with Three Sisters, Broken Top and Mt. Bachelor on this relatively short hike to one of the best viewpoints in the central Oregon Cascades. Take the afternoon off to explore more of the town of Bend or enjoy another short hike in the area. Dinner is on your own tonight and great choices abound from food carts and brewpubs to wine bars and fine dining.
- Tumalo Mountain: 4 miles, 1400’ gain, 7755’ high point
Survey majestic Crater Lake from the Mt. Scott fire lookout. Visit lush Plaikni Falls, a contrast to the Pinnacles rising from Sand Creek Canyon.
Bidding farewell to our beloved Bend, we head south to Crater Lake. This rain and snow-fed geologic marvel is the result of the collapse of 12,000’ Mt. Mazama about 7700 years ago. Learn the history of this scenic wonder while trying to spot the Old Man of the Lake – a 30-foot hemlock log that has been sailing on the surface of the lake for over 100 years. Beginning on the east side of the Park, our first stop will be the Mt. Scott fire lookout for a literal overview. On the way to the summit, traverse fields of pumice, dawdle through wildflower meadows and rest your legs beneath mountain hemlock, whitebark pine, or the occasional Shasta red fir. Take a short walk to lush Plaikni Falls before stopping to contemplate the Pinnacles. These anomalistic, needle-like rock formations rising from the depths of Sand Creek Canyon are visually reminiscent of the canyonlands of Utah. Spend tonight and tomorrow night at the peaceful Diamond Lake Resort.
- Mt. Scott: 4.4 mi, 1,250’ gain, 8832’ high point
- Plaikni Falls: 1 mile, 150’ gain
Choose your own adventure from today's buffet of options: hiking, horseback riding, paddle-boating, mountain biking - or simply relaxing.
Choose your activity today. Options abound for more hiking and scenic enjoyment in the Park. Your naturalist guide will know the best places for the season. Or you may choose to relax at the Resort and enjoy a day by the lake. Read a book. Go for a swim, a paddle, or a horseback ride. Rent a bike and ride the paved network of trails along the lake. Catch a trout and have the restaurant cook it up for you for dinner. Hike to the summit of Mt. Bailey. Options abound for activity, repose, or both!
Scenic stops, lunch and, of course, another great hike are in store on our way back to Portland.
Enter a new world today. Descending from Crater Lake puts us back on the moss-carpeted, densely forested westside (aka – the “wet-side”) of the Cascade Mountains. The Trail of Ten Falls in Silver Falls State Park provides a perfect representation of the rainforest ecology of this area. On top of that, it boasts the 2nd highest concentration of falls in Oregon (the Columbia Gorge is #1). We will hike a 5-mile section of the trail in the afternoon before returning you to your hotel in Portland.
- Trail of Ten Falls: 5 miles, 900’ gain
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As an optional extra, a person traveling solo on any inn-to-inn trip may reserve a room for his or her exclusive use. This will guarantee you a private room and private bath every night. Unlike other tour companies, if you're willing to share a room, there is no extra charge for coming solo, no matter when you sign up for the tour - even if you wind up with a private room by default.