Bend, Oregon might be heaven on earth for dogs—the majority of the Deschutes National Forest is an off-leash playground during the warm or cold months. Nearly 1200 miles of trail are yours for roaming. Then you have the colorful town that sits on the cusp of the wilderness. Trendy and inclusive, locals sarcastically say dogs are sometimes allowed in places when children aren’t. Get ready to eat local, play in the rivers, ski, hike and drink beer made from volcanically purified water, all with your best friend.
McMenamin’s Old Francis School falls under the categories of hotel, restaurant, brewery and mystical adventure land. What used to be an old catholic school is now an iconic place to have a weirdly good time, and your dog can come along. Rooms are endearing and warm, and you might find yourself stumbling upon a hidden bar in a broom closet.
LOGE Bend sits right at Phil’s Trail head, and near other Deschutes exploration areas—it’s an outdoor adventurists’ paradise. Formerly a Travelodge, the revamped motel is super trendy with fun colors and modernized room with hammocks hanging from the ceilings. Firepits are right outside the door for nighttime snuggles with Fido.
Riverhouse on the Deschutes sits right beside the rushing waters of the river, which some rooms get a front row seat to. The restaurant deck is also a stunning space to soak it all in. Dogs are welcome at the polished resort, which has spacious rooms and one heck of a delicious breakfast menu (try the crab eggs benedict).
Eat in Bend
Worthy Brewing not only creates unique beer with their own discovered hop varietal (in the Strata beer), they have an outside recreation space that might possibly be from your pup’s dreams. Cornhole, green space, comfy seating and even a concert stage are a part of the super cool brewery, and canine parents can climb up to the “hopservatory” to take a peek at Saturn, the moon and star clusters. Munch on artisan wood fired pizza and steel head trout, while your four-legged buddy can enjoy a $5 order of Diggy Dog Scoop, a cucumber, carrot and chicken blend.
So, you’ll notice many of the great places to eat in Bend are breweries—that’s because a pristine water source has prompted a saturation of breweries in the town. That brings us to 10 Barrel Brewing, where you can get a juicy burger, pizza and homegrown beer. Dogs will love the spacious patio, where they may meet a friend or two!
Looney Bean Coffee on the river in downtown offers treats for dogs at just 25 cents, and the Killer Bee Latte, for humans, is deliciously made with cayenne pepper, honey and cinnamon.
Playing in Bend
We mentioned the Deschutes National Forest, which is almost completely at your off-leash disposal. There you’ll find waterfall trails, lakes galore, river pathways and expansive lava flow fields. It would take forever to explore it all.
Pilot Butte is impossible to miss when driving through bend—it’s an enormous volcanic hill where, at the top, you can see all the different districts of the area. While drivable, you can take your dog, on leash, up the 1.8 mile, steep but well cleared, hike to the top. It’s a great workout suitable for almost anyone, just keep a comfortable pace. The views are so worth it.
Mount Bachelor, technically an old volcano, houses Bend’s ski resort. Not only is the resort dog friendly, an off-leash park with a “snow play” space awaits your furry friend.
Dogs are incredibly accepted in Bend, making it a destination where pet owners can truly go to relax. No worrying about leaving your baby behind at the hotel while you go on adventures, it will be just pure fun, for the both of you. Visiting in the spring, summer, winter or fall all have perks, so there really isn’t a bad time to go. You just have to decide if you want to play in the snow or the water!
Karyn Wofford is a “Mom” to her fluffy, sweet dog Halli. She spends much of her time traveling and advocating for Type 1 diabetes—and Halli sometimes accompanies her on her adventures. You’ll find Karyn’s work on sites like Mother Earth Living, and in magazines such as Diabetes Forecast.