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When the sun shines

By Nolan Wironen | The Broadside (Contact:

“Spring around here is still winter,” said Tim Peterson, Health and Human Performance Chair at Central Oregon Community College. “If you’re willing to snowshoe in some areas, though, then there’s still a lot of hiking locally.”

Certain trails in Central Oregon will be closed as late as May, and choosing a spot for outdoor exploration has to be done strategically. Bundling up and proper gear is be necessary even in the springtime.

“Smith Rock is a must-do if you’re not from the area. Misery Ridge and up and over is full of beautiful views,” Peterson added.

Oregon State Parks website states that Smith Rock is one of the most popular parks in Central Oregon, with an annual day-use attendance of 776,632 people a year.

“I love going to Smith Rock to go explore because of how big it is and the many cool views and trails to check out,” said student Abbie Rembe.

Bend has many caves to explore ,too, from Arnold Ice Caves to the Skylight Cave outside of Black Butte. If you’re looking to stay in Bend and still want to get some underground exploration, Boyd Cave would be the way to go.

Boyd Cave is a half mile off of NF-18 in the southeast area of Bend and is free to visit. “There’s a whole bunch of caves out in the southeast part of town but you should definitely check with the Forest Service because regulations are always changing,” Peterson explained about Boyd Cave.

Bend is considered an outdoor paradise, and has many different trails to explore.

“If people are thinking about hiking, one of the easiest spots is Tumalo Falls. It’s not too long and is pretty straightforward and has some spectacular views. It’s super pretty rain or shine,” Rembe said about Deschutes National Forest. 



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