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The Best Time to Visit Bend, Oregon in 2023

The Best Time to Visit Bend, Oregon in 2023

For any nature lover, a trip to Oregon is the perfect vacation. With incredible forests, soaring mountains, and vast lakes, the Beaver State offers so many opportunities to get outdoors and enjoy the fresh air.

If you’re looking for the thrilling and scenic outdoor recreation that Oregon is known for, Bend, Oregon is one of the best places to visit. Nestled near the Cascade Mountains and the Deschutes River, there are endless outdoor activities to explore in Bend.

Whether you want to avoid crowds, find the cheapest tickets and accommodation, or enjoy perfect weather as you hike and swim, we can help you choose the best time to visit Bend to meet all your needs.

Why You Should Visit Bend, Oregon

Mountain bikers aggressively making their way across a dirt path under Mount Bachelor in Bend during the best time to visit

Mountain bikers traveling a dirt road under Mount Bachelor Bend, Oregon, United States – June 21, 2007/Reimar/Shutterstock

It’s no secret that the Pacific Northwest boasts some of the most incredible scenery in the United States. And with a trip to Bend, Oregon, you can uncover some of the best natural landscapes the region has to offer.

From thrilling water sports in the Deschutes River to dramatic mountain landscapes in state parks, Bend can keep any outdoor enthusiast entertained and happy throughout their entire visit. There are countless incredible outdoor adventures to enjoy throughout Bend.

Travelers can:

  • Hike to Tumalo Falls
  • See scenic views from Pilot Butte
  • Visit the Newberry National Volcanic Monument
  • Spot wildlife in Smith Rock State Park; or
  • Climb through the Lava River Cave

While there’s no shortage of activities to enjoy while the weather’s nice, there are even more adventures in Bend during the winter. Mt. Bachelor offers world-class skiing and snowboarding, and several snow parks are available for snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and fat tire biking.

And you won’t have to worry if mountain and water sports aren’t for you. Bend also has a historic downtown district with plenty of museums, galleries, shops, and restaurants to keep you busy during your stay in Oregon.

The weather in Bend is another aspect of the scenic city that draws millions of tourists to Central Oregon every year. For most of the year, Bend experiences mild, sunny weather that’s perfect for exploring the outdoors.

In fact, Bend sees more sunny days than any other city in Oregon. Whether you’re a history, nature, or art lover, you’re guaranteed to find plenty to do during a trip to Bend.

Overall Best Time to Visit Bend

Man holding his arms above his head and standing on the edge of a lake while he looks at a mountain in the distance during the best time to visit Bend, Oregon

Bob Pool/Shutterstock

The overall best time of year to visit Bend is September through October. In this early fall season, you can enjoy warm weather, a variety of activity options, and fewer crowds.

September and October in Bend both offer mild weather that allows you to hike, swim, and try any outdoor recreational activity without discomfort from extreme temperatures.

In September, the average high is 70 degrees Fahrenheit, with cooler temperatures at night. And while the average high does drop in October, it remains warm enough to spend time in the great outdoors and take in Bend’s iconic scenery.

While the parks and mountains in Bend are stunning at any time of year, the leaves start to change colors in September. By mid-October, visitors can enjoy the peak of Oregon’s colorful fall foliage.

This is also a great time to visit to avoid the summer crowds. Peak tourist season in Bend is June-August, when the weather is at its warmest and kids are out of school. By September, schools have started again and you can avoid the crowds from family vacations.

Throughout the fall, the city of Bend hosts several exciting annual festivals and events for both locals and visitors to attend. You can try local food and drinks at Oktoberfest, or shop and listen to live music at the Bend Fall Festival.

If you’re not able to plan a visit to Bend during these months, another one of the best times to visit Bend is in the spring, primarily in April and May. Spring weather in Bend is warm and mild, spring flowers are blooming, and you can avoid the large summer crowds.  

Cheapest Time to Visit Bend

If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly vacation when planning your trip to Bend, you might want to consider a visit in January or February.

During the low season in winter, you can find the cheapest flight and hotel options. January is one of the coldest months of the year in Bend, with an average temperature of 25 degrees Fahrenheit.

January-February also sees more snowfall in Bend than any other month. The more extreme weather limits many of the outdoor activities you can find in Bend, including hiking, swimming, paddleboarding, or canoeing.

With fewer activities available, fewer tourists are traveling to Bend in the winter, which drives down major travel costs.

Despite the limited activities, there are still so many ways to enjoy Bend during the winter. Winter in this mountain city creates the perfect conditions for a huge variety of winter sports.

During a budget-friendly winter vacation, Bend visitors can:

  • Ski on Mount Bachelor or Mount Hoodoo
  • Snowshoe at the Swampy Lakes Sno-Park and Trail
  • Fat bike on groomed trails at Wanoga Sno-Park; or
  • Explore 47 km of cross-country ski trails at the Virginia Meissner Ski Park

With so much to do in the off-season, you won’t have to miss out on any of the excitement in Bend while planning a budget-friendly vacation!

Least Busy Time to Visit Bend

Young man in an inflatable canoe floating on the water in the middle of a lake in Bend Oregon during the least busy time to visit

Bob Pool/Shutterstock

Along with being the cheapest time to visit Bend, the winter months are also the least busy time to travel to the area. During the colder season from December to March, you can generally avoid large crowds of tourists.

Once the weather gets cold, most snowbirds travel to warmer vacation spots, leaving Bend quiet and peaceful during the winter months. Despite fewer travelers and colder weather, the winter in Bend is still relatively mild.

If you layer up and prepare for the cold, it’s still possible to have incredible outdoor adventures surrounded by snow-capped mountains. Even with the cold weather, there’s so much to enjoy in Bend, from the downtown district to all the thrilling winter sports.

So if you’re hoping to avoid crowds, consider a visit to Bend from December to March. Just be sure to look at school calendars to avoid the busier weeks when students are out of school for winter break.

Worst Time to Visit Bend

Ultimately, there is no bad time to visit Bend. The incredible, scenic city offers outdoor adventures and unique areas to explore year-round. The worst time to visit Bend truly just depends on your interests and the goals of your trip.

Visiting Bend in the summer can have its drawbacks. June through August is peak tourist season, so attractions are busy and prices are at an all-time high.

There are benefits of traveling to Bend in the summer, as the weather is consistently warm and sunny, and nearly every waterfall and outdoor activity is accessible.

But if you’re hoping to avoid large crowds and high costs, the summer months are the worst time to plan a trip. Traveling in the winter months presents its own unique set of challenges, as many of the most iconic waterfall hikes and water activities aren’t available.

Winter sports are abundant, but if you’re looking to spend most of your time in Bend’s gorgeous natural landscapes, winter is the worst time to visit.

Things to Consider

Tumalo Falls pictured during the best time to visit Bend, Oregon with a gorgeous waterfall as seen from the middle of a couple trees

Clifford Wayne Estes/Shutterstock

Now that you have an idea of when you might want to plan your vacation to Bend, you can start looking for plane tickets and preparing your itinerary. But before you arrive, there are a couple more things to keep in mind.

Here’s a quick guide to some key tips to consider before heading to Bend:

  • Pack accordingly. Bend has such a diverse collection of landscapes, from coastal areas to mountains and lush forests. With so much to explore, it can feel overwhelming to pack the right gear. Be sure to plan accordingly and bring everything you need for hikes, water sports, and more.
  • Plan around vacations and holidays. No matter when you’re traveling, holidays and school/work vacations can increase the cost of hotel, flights, and activities. If possible, plan around these dates to avoid the crowds and make the best out of your trip.
  • Dress for the weather. During every season in Oregon, the weather can quickly fluctuate, with warm daytime temperatures and cool nights. Bring plenty of layers and plan ahead so you can stay dry and comfortable in any weather conditions.
  • Know your limits. Bend is home to so many hiking trails, ranging from leisurely walks to steep, challenging mountain climbs. Always prepare for the weather, bring a trail map, and be aware of your hiking abilities before setting off on a trail. With such a huge variety of outdoor activities, it’s simple to stay safe and only find hikes that fit your skill and abilities.
  • Look for discounts. If you’re traveling on a budget, there are so many ways to save money while planning a trip. Look for deals during the shoulder seasons in spring and fall, and keep an eye on airline costs to find the best time to buy tickets.

With these tips, you can stay safe and comfortable while planning the perfect trip to Bend within your budget.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some more questions you might have in mind about your trip to Bend, Oregon:

What months have the best weather in Bend?

The warmest, sunniest weather in Bend occurs over the summer between the months of June and August. However, the weather is relatively mild and warm through late spring and early fall as well.

Why is Bend such a popular travel destination?

Bend is so popular among travelers because of the abundance of scenic views and outdoor activities. The amount of hiking, water sports, winter sports, and more brings droves of tourists to the area.

Is Bend expensive to visit?

While costs for a trip to Bend can add up, there are plenty of ways to explore the city on a budget. Flying in during the off-season can save you a lot of money on flights and accommodation. There are also plenty of walking trails, bike paths, and parks that allow you to explore the area for free or at a low cost.

How many days should I spend in Bend?

A minimum of four days is generally necessary to see all the best parts of Bend. However, you could easily spend up to a week discovering new landscapes and attractions.

When is the peak tourist season?

The warm summer season is the busiest time of year in Bend, with August drawing in the largest crowds of tourists.

So, When Should You Visit Bend, Oregon?

While you really can’t go wrong with a visit to Bend, Oregon at any time of year, a visit during the spring or fall guarantees fewer crowds, incredible scenery, and ideal weather.

No matter when you’re interested in visiting Bend, there’s always so much to do and see in this quintessential Pacific Northwest region.

The breathtaking views and unforgettable outdoor attractions at any time of year are guaranteed to leave you with lasting memories. So what are you waiting for — book your trip to this gorgeous destination today!