March 17, 2017
Our Favorite Guided Tours of Bend
By: Marlena Williams
One of the only downsides of visiting Bend is trying to decide how best to spend your time here. Bend boasts no shortage of exciting and unique ways to immerse yourself in nature, try out a new sport, or explore its growing arts and culture scene. At the Pine Ridge Inn, we understand planning a river rafting or biking trip can be just as daunting as deciding which of the city’s many breweries to hit first. Thankfully, Bend’s numerous, first-rate tour operators are dedicated to helping you maximize your time in Bend and experience everything Central Oregon has to offer. Here are some of our picks for the top tour operators in town.
1. Cogwild: Cogwild offers a variety of mountain bike tours around Bend and Central Oregon. You can choose between single day or multi-day tours, including trips to Mount Bachelor and Oakridge, a former timber town about 2 hours outside of Bend. Cogwild’s trademark tour is The Bend Bike and Brew, which allows you to experience two of Bend’s main attractions at once: cycling and beer. An informed and friendly guide will take you on a fun and informative tour through town and then cap off your day with a tour of Deschutes Brewery. If you select the multi-day tour, you can spend three days biking through Bend, finishing each day off with a pint of beer and a delicious, hearty meal.
2. Wanderlust Tours: Wanderlust Tours is one of Bend’s premier tour outfitters. During summer, you can choose from a wide variety of tour options, such as cave tours, volcano sightseeing, and moonlight canoe rides. We are especially fond of their Brews and Views Canoe Tour, where you’ll paddle through a pristine mountain lake while savoring local microbrews along the way. During wintertime, Wanderlust offers lava tube tours and snowshoeing tours, some that even end with bonfires and stargazing.
3. Sun Country Tours: Sun Country Tours is the best operator if you want to give white water rafting a try. Their fearless, experienced guides will make sure your rafting adventure is both safe and exhilarating. The popular Big Eddy Thriller takes you on a three-mile trip through Class III rapids, but you can also do a half-day trip along the Mackenzie River or try the Lower Deschutes All Day Adventure. Sun Country also offer Stand Up Paddle lessons and river tubing trips.
4. Tumalo Creek Kayak and Canoe: If you are looking to try out kayaking or canoeing but are hesitant to go out on your own, Tumalo Creek has got you covered. Their highly trained instructors will teach you everything you need to know about equipment and technique before taking you out on the river for what is sure to be a memorable adventure. Tumalo Creek offers half and full day tours of the Deschutes that allow you to experience the serenity of the river while getting a workout and catching some of Bend’s best nature and wildlife viewing. They also offer a Paddleboard tour which introduces you to the sport and takes you on a 90-minute trip down the Deschutes.
5. The Bend Tour Company: In a town overflowing with arts, culture, and recreational activities, The Bend Tour Company lets you pick just the adventure that is right for you. Whether that is ride in a helicopter or a trip around the city in a Cyclepub, the Bend Tour Company offers a wide variety of options to best suit your needs. We recommend the Bend Sunset Spectacular Tour, which takes you to all of Bend’s best shops, breweries, and historic sights before stopping for a stellar view of one of Central Oregon’s spectacular summer sunsets.
Visiting Bend? Stay at the Pine Ridge Inn and let us help you plan your activities while you're here! Book direct for our best rates & amenities