Bend, Oregon is equipped for nearly every outdoor activity you can imagine—including skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, rafting, hiking, fishing, mountain biking, climbing, trail running, and more. The Deschutes River Trail provides nearly uninterrupted access to the breathtaking waterway weaving through the community. During the winter, locals and tourists alike head to Mount Bachelor just 20 miles west of Bend for some of the best skiing and snowboarding in the region.
But exploring the great outdoors is always more fun with a buddy. Thankfully the Bend area is home to several outdoorsy groups where you can meet a few friends while you trek through the wilderness! Whether you’re a hiker, a runner, a biker or a skier—there are a few friendly groups on this list just for you.
Photo courtesy of Bend Bella Cyclists
Bend Bella Cyclists, a woman-only cycling club, has been riding strong since 2004 and is currently home to more than 200 members. The group was founded to give women a safe and fun place to ride without intimidation or competition. They offer a variety of weekly rides for all different schedules and skill levels. Visit their website for more information on how to join.
The Bend Area Cycling Enthusiasts is a MeetUp group focused on mountain biking, touring biking, fat biking and even tandem biking. They meet for rides throughout the week, offering a variety of routes for a wide range of skill levels that sometimes end at a brewery or overnight camping. Check out their MeetUp page for information on their next meeting and information on becoming a group organizer.
Formed in 2016, the Central Oregon Wheelers is a nonprofit cycling organization based in Bend. The organization’s goal is to provide a community where cyclists can connect with other riders and create lasting relationships—and the addition of gorgeous Oregon scenery doesn’t hurt! They traverse several different types of routes, most of them starting and ending in Bend, for a variety of different skill levels. To see when their upcoming rides are and to learn more about joining, visit them on their website.
Whether you’re a true day-hiker or a beginner ready to dive into the world of backpacking, you’re welcome at the Bend Backpacking & Adventure Collective. This MeetUp group hosts several backpacking and other fun wilderness trips, including car camping, in-town gatherings and climbing events, throughout the year. Visit their MeetUp page for a full list of upcoming events—but make sure to check out each trip’s skill level first to see if you’re up for the journey!
If you’re more of a casual hiker, hikes at the Bend Park & Recreation District are perfect for you! Here, you can hop in a van at their main office and be transported into the wilderness for a guided hike focused on wildflowers, geology, history, snowshoeing and backpacking. Meet with outdoor enthusiasts just like you as you enjoy the best of Central Oregon’s landscape and learn about the area from your knowledgeable and experienced guide. Visit the Bend Park & Recreation District website for a full list of upcoming trips.
A surefire cure for the hump day slump? A hike of course! This outdoorsy group gets out and about on Wednesdays, hosting 7-to-10-mile, low-risk hikes each week. They try to explore a new trail each week, so no two trips are the same, and are always up for a new adventure. If you’re interested in breaking up your week with a hike, visit their MeetUp page for more information on their next trip!
The Central Oregon Kayaking and Winter Fun Meetup is a community of kayakers that is active year-round, hosting a variety of fun activities both on the water and off all year long. When the weather isn’t kayak-friendly, you can expect happy hours, movie nights, snowshoeing and skiing that will fulfill your need for adventure in the winter. All meetups are open to everyone, regardless of skill level, so visit their MeetUp page to see what events are coming up soon.
Photo courtesy of the Bend Area Running Fraternity
The Bend Area Running Fraternity, or BARF, is a “group of drinkers with a running problem” (they said it, not us!) that meets every Monday at 5:30 p.m. for a 3.5-mile run through the Old Mill District and along the Deschutes River. Meetings usually start and end at Avid Cider Co. Taproom, with post-run celebrations consisting of a few discounted beverages. There is no membership fee or sign up required to run with BARF; all you need is yourself and some good shoes!
The Central Oregon Running Klub is more than just a weekly run meetup; it’s a community dedicated to promoting health and fitness through running. Proceeds from annual memberships go to fund local scholarships, trail stewardship, local nonprofits, and to help teach young athletes the importance of health and fitness. You can learn more about joining, and get more information about their weekly runs on their website.
Founded in 1998, the Bend Ski Club is one of the largest ski clubs in the area, boasting more than 700 members on MeetUp. Join them as they ski Mt. Bachelor and other local ski resorts—all while making some lifelong friends! While the group’s primary focus is skiing, members also enjoy a variety of social events throughout the year. You can find a full list of upcoming events on their website.
There’s no need to hire a guide to find adventure in the mountains when you can join the Cascades Mountaineers! This group of climbing enthusiasts enjoys everything from mountain climbing to ski mountaineering to glacier travel and indoor rock climbing at Bend Rock Gym. But while the climbs can be pretty tough, the Cascades Mountaineers are open to every skill level—because you have to start somewhere! They have a jam-packed calendar this season, so check out their MeetUp page to see what’s coming up.
This Facebook group was created to help Bend area climbers come together. The page provides a space to talk about your recent climbs, meet like-minded climbers, schedule meet-ups, share climbing events and to even sell your gear. Even if you aren’t an experienced climber, the inspiring photos and tips and tricks from local Bend adventurers will help you become an old pro in no time!
What do you like to do outside in Bend, Oregon? Chat with us, and other like-minded outdoor enthusiasts, in the comments below!