Bend is a fast-growing, outdoor mecca of a city in Central Oregon. Runners will love the varied geography and terrain, all within close proximity: from paths along the Deschutes River, which flows down from the Cascade Mountains to wind through the forests of Ponderosa Pine, to the rocks and sagebrush of the nearby high desert.  Our guide to running in Bend incorporates a combination of road routes and some trail running highlights.

In central Bend, the parks and paths along the Deschutes River are the running highlight, as are the proximal Old Mill and Northwest Crossing neighborhoods. Shevlin Park is Bend’s largest park and features a 6-mile loop around a canyon. Our other favorite places to run in Bend are the options at the Lava Lands, only 20 minutes away, and some easy trail running at Smith Rock State Park. Phil’s Trail, Green Lakes, and Larkspur are a trail runner’s dream. This TRAIL MAP is a good overview of some of the running options in Bend.

Runners also love Bend for its year-round sunny weather. For transport. the Cascades East Transit bus system has ten routes around town, as well as a bus to Mt. Bachelor in the winter and a “Ride the River” shuttle in summer. Bend is also very bike and pedestrian friendly.

Editor's Picks

Some of our favorite runs in Bend, OR

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Deschutes River Trail: Central

Bend, OR

The highlight of running in central Bend. Paved paths run along the river from Drake Park downtown, south to Farewell Bend Park. Beautiful river views, several parks, numerous loop options. Adjacent historic neighborhoods are nice add-ons.
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Northwest Crossing

Bend, OR

You won’t find many McMansions around Bend, but if you’d like to explore some of the nicer residential areas of the city on your run, there’s no better choice than Northwest Crossing (affectionately shortened to NWX) which was built on a Ponderosa Tree Farm.
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Shevlin Park

Bend, OR

At over 600 acres, Shevlin Park is Bend’s largest park — and it has a great 6 mile loop curling around the rim of Tumalo Creek canyon. The park is 3 miles from Bend. Tumalo Creek rambles through the park with several foot bridges.
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Phil’s Trail System

Bend, OR

The local runners at FootZone recommend heading out on Phil’s Trail, which is the common name for a network of several trails that span a total of about 40 miles between Skyliners Road and Route 372. Starts about 4 miles west of Bend.
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Larkspur Trail and Pilot Butte Park

Bend, OR

Run to the top of an extinct volcano! The Larkspur Trail is the gem of Eastern Bend, and while it curls out into some urban streets, the iconic section is Pilot Butte Park, where the trail plateaus with a stunning view of Bend's high desert.
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Downtown Bend FootZone Loops

Bend, OR

When it comes to running in Bend, the team at Footzone is the most trusted source for great route advice. In fact, they’ve mapped out a series of road runs between 3 and 10 miles in length to help you choose the best streets to sprint on.
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Smith Rock State Park

Bend, OR

A worth-it destination run! Easy trail run on a canyon valley floor along a river with stunning views of towering rock spires. Located 1/2 hour north of Bend. More advanced trail running options as well. Also fun to watch the rock climbers!
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Run in the Lava Lands

Bend, OR

Run a paved path across a basalt lava flow! This is among the running highlights at the Lava Lands, only 15 minutes from Bend. Other great options include running the Lava Butte hill, a 5.3-mile paved multi-use path, and several trail running options.
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Deschutes River Trail: Central

Bend, OR

The highlight of running in central Bend. Paved paths run along the river from Drake Park downtown, south to Farewell Bend Park. Beautiful river views, several parks, numerous loop options. Adjacent historic neighborhoods are nice add-ons.
Explore

Shevlin Park

Bend, OR

At over 600 acres, Shevlin Park is Bend’s largest park — and it has a great 6 mile loop curling around the rim of Tumalo Creek canyon. The park is 3 miles from Bend. Tumalo Creek rambles through the park with several foot bridges.
Explore

Smith Rock State Park

Bend, OR

A worth-it destination run! Easy trail run on a canyon valley floor along a river with stunning views of towering rock spires. Located 1/2 hour north of Bend. More advanced trail running options as well. Also fun to watch the rock climbers!
Explore

Bend has a relatively dry climate with warm summers and cool winters. Average high temperatures in summer are in the low 80sF (27C), although nights cool off, into the high 40s (6C), even in July! In winter, the average high creeps into the low 40s (3C), while nightly lows dip into the mid-20s (-5C).

Bend gets 11 inches of rain a year, but less than 1 inch per month in summer. There are 23 inches of annual snowfall.

Runners should be prepared for winter running in Bend, especially outside the city on trail runs and at altitude. And even in summer, bring a layer for those cool evenings and mornings!

Check out Visit Bend for lodging opportunities.

STORES

FootZone is the local go to for gear, group runs, and advice. They’ve also mapped out several routes in the city and some of the trail runs farther afield. Group Runs nearly ever day. Information here.

GROUP RUNS

FootZone has group runs nearly every day. Information here.

If you are interested in connecting with a local running club check out either the Central Oregon Running Klub or the Central Oregon Track Club.

Local event calendar, courtesy of Footzone.

Visit Bend also keeps an ongoing list of running events.