Between a work from home set up, recently relocated family and the need for some change in the day to day monotony of this past year, I found myself driving the 3.5 hours to Bend, OR more often than not. These trips to Central Oregon, while familiar from childhood road trips, gave me a renewed sense of discovery and appreciation for exploring this landscape as an adult. Each outing to a new trail, lake or river has become a chance to hit pause, take a deep breath and recharge my mind; a true reminder of the power of spending time outside.
Deschutes National Forest
Just 30 minutes or so up the Cascade Lakes Highway toward Mt. Bachelor, you’ll find Swampy Lakes, one of many winter sno-parks for snowshoeing and cross country skiing. We hit the snowshoe route and took the ~4 mile long loop through the forest into calm vistas covered in snow.
You can opt for a shorter route or even stop for a break at the warming hut in the center. Pro tip: go before noon if you want to avoid too many people on the trails.