Lodge-Style Condos Nestled in Deschutes National Forest
Oregon’s Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway offers some of the best views of the Cascade Range’s smoky-blue peaks and volcanic formations. The still-active Newberry Volcano lies at the southern end of the byway, and further up the road is the Lava Cast Forest, filled with molds of pine trees that were suddenly incinerated in a lava flow about 7,000 years ago. At the roadway's eastern end, Seventh Mountain Resort lets visitors stay in this picturesque wilderness, offering prime views of its own from private patios overlooking groves of douglas firs and ponderosa pines.
The forest is more than a scenic backdrop—its rocky ridges and waterscapes form a playground for adventures year-round. In spring and summer, you can bike through Bend, named America's Top Mountain Biking Town by Mountain Bike Action magazine. Fishers wade through the Deschutes River for trout and steelhead, and golfers can tee off on one of several area courses with a gorgeous mountain backdrop. In the winter, skiers and snowboarders head to nearby Mount Bachelor and its 71 runs. And because a full day on the mountain can leave you tired and a bit sore, finish the day by relaxing in one of the two heated outdoor pools or three hot tubs.
Kitchens in the one-bedroom condos make it easy to whip up dinner at home, or you can drop by one of the resort's two restaurants. Seasons Restaurant serves smoked-chicken hash ($10) and other hearty breakfast dishes to start the day. You find more unexpected entrees at the intimate Rimrock Bar, including pan-seared trout stuffed with bacon and crab ($16). Pair your meal with fine wines from an extensive list while enjoying views of the expansive skating rink.
Bend, Oregon: Year-Round Adventures in Cascade Range
Although the Pacific Northwest is associated with gray skies, Bend, Oregon, is blessed with about 300 days of sunshine per year, creating a warm, dry climate and high-desert terrain. In spite of the sun, Mount Bachelor accumulates more than 370 inches of snow annually. Located within Deschutes National Forest, the mountain’s ski lift takes you up to breathtaking views of central Oregon’s wilderness, and gives access to nearly 35 miles of groomed cross-country skiing trails. Though there are plenty of warm-weather activities at the mountain, you could also head over to nearby Smith Rock State Park, where day hikes reveal golden eagles, mule deer, and river otters.