September 10, 2021

Experience Bend, Oregon in the Fall

Fall in Bend, Oregon means sunny days and cooler crisp nights, with plenty of activities to enjoy, making it one of the best times of the year to plan a trip to the area.

While the weather is often comfortable and the fresh mountain air cools somewhat in the evening, the summer crowds thin out and there are many pursuits to savor at your leisure throughout September, October and November.

Bend is rightly acclaimed for its beauty and multiple outdoor activities, but there’s a lot to be said for visiting in fall, as mountains take on fiery hues, and shades of rust and orange dominate the landscape, before the ski season sets in.

Discover what makes Bend a popular place to visit. With outdoor adventure in a destination for everyone, the town’s popularity is for a good reason.

Autumn in Central Oregon sees fall foliage start to come out in late September and peaking mid to late October, offering opportunities to embrace cool breezes and enjoy colorful leaves along the Deschutes River Trail, Tumalo Falls, Shevlin Park right outside of Bend, or the town’s signature Drake Park downtown – where orange and gold colors are reflected in the jewel of Mirror Pond.

This “shoulder season,” as it’s known in the tourism industry also offers the chance to score great deals on lodging and activities, including discounted green fees at the area’s multiple golf courses.

Following are a few highlights of the autumn season by month:

Discover Bend in September

September brings what locals call a “second summer”. Previous peak season crowds start to peter out but for most of the tenth month sunny skies linger and the days continue to stay warm enough for many outdoor activities. The daytime weather in September in Bend averages in the high 60’s to mid-70’s though slightly cooler at night, making September a prime time of year to visit and explore the area. Enjoy outdoor dining, quieter hiking trails including high Alpine terrain or more urban routes close to town, or shopping including boutique downtown outlets and the popular Old Mill District.

Enjoy Bend in October

The sun continues to shine on Bend in October, with the weather usually bringing sunny days in the 60’s and cooler temperatures at night. This also means perfect hiking conditions or pleasant walking weather in the mountains or downtown. In addition, October in Bend offers trips to Central Oregon pumpkin patches, such as at DD Ranch in Terrebonne or Smith Rock Ranch, where stunning vistas await. An abundance of popular events are staged in October, including the Bend Fall Festival featuring live music, a Harvest Market, Fine Artist Promenade and Family Play Zone, the acclaimed BendFilm Festival and Bend Venture Conference. On the night of Halloween, the Old Mill District transforms into a trick-or-treating wonderland, while Bend Farmer’s Market is still going strong Wednesdays through October 13.

Appreciate Bend in November

November brings the true fall experience in Bend with high temperatures usually in the low 50’s dropping into the low 30’s at night. Cool crisp days and nights with stunning autumn shades and mountain air make that abundant cold craft beer or hot cider that much better. Bundle up with a puffy coat like a local and continue to enjoy outdoor dining in the sun and shopping downtown. In some years, the snow starts to fall enough in November for Mt. Bachelor to be able to open for skiing on Thanksgiving Day.

Favorite Things to Do in Fall

Fall is short and sweet in Central Oregon but operators such as Wanderlust Tours can offer some incredible opportunities for outdoor play; whether kayaking the Deschutes River, heading to the top of a Volcano to see the length of the Cascade Mountains or exploring the history and geology of a lava tube. Tumalo Creek Kayak & Canoe also offers regular Fall Foliage Deschutes River Tours.

If cycling is more your thing, Central Oregon boasts over 300 miles of mountain bike single-track. With sunny summer months come dusty and relatively busy trails, but when the temperatures start to dip a little in fall, the dirt firms up, creating some of the most ideal mountain biking conditions around.

The Lower Deschutes offers world-class fishing and majestic river scenes alongside glowing canyon walls, while autumn also brings harvest time, which means seasonal menus at many Bend eateries, coffee roasters, and breweries – including the ever-popular pumpkin beer, which is quite appropriate as Bend is such a great place to find local breweries that it has garnered a reputation as “Beer Town USA”.

With endless hiking, biking and running trails; many lakes and rivers for stand-up paddle boarding, and seasonal eats, brews and outdoor fire pits such as discovered along the Bend Ale Trail; Bend is an ideal destination to experience the best of fall.

If you plan a trip to Bend in the fall, a stay at the Waypoint Hotel offers easy access to all the ideal activities and the opportunity to meet all your needs for your next visit.
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