Bend Oregon Is A Surfing Destination? Surfing In Oregon’s High Desert

In the heart of Oregon's high desert 140 miles from the Pacific Ocean, Bend has it's own unique surf culture.

A surfer at the Bend Whitewater Park. Photo via the Bend Whitewater Park Facebook page.

140 miles from the Pacific Ocean, Bend Oregon lies in the heart of Oregon’s high desert.  Bend is one of Oregon’s premier vacation destinations due to the miles of mountain biking trails, nearby ski resorts, dozens of lakes and gorgeous views.  But did you know Bend is also a destination for surfers?

A Unique Experience – Surfing The Waves In Bend Oregon

Surfing at the Bend Whitewater Park at sunset. Photo by Wayne Hsieh via Flickr CC2.

Located in the Deschutes River near Bend’s Old Mill District, the Bend Whitewater Park is a unique spot to surf man-made waves in the middle of Oregon’s high desert.  The Whitewater Park is open for river bodyboarding, river surfing, tube floating, whitewater kayaking, and whitewater paddleboarding.

The park is made up of three separate channels, each with their own purpose.

A map of the Bend Whitewater Park. Photo via the Bend Whitewater Park Facebook page.

The fish ladder is a channel perfect for those with children in their group or who want to add some little rapids to their float.

A child at the Bend Whitewater Park. Photo via the Bend Whitewater Park Facebook page.

The whitewater channel is where all the action is for river surfers and adventure seekers.  This channel features four unique wave features to explore.  Waves are shaped by a ‘wave shaper’ who manipulates water flow and the wave gates via touch screen controls. After water is managed in the fish ladder and habitat channel, remaining water is given to the whitewater channel, so the waves vary depending on the time of year and water needs.

Finally there’s the habitat channel, which is off limits to people.  The habitat channel is there specifically to protect and enhance river health, and is important to fish and migratory birds.

The Bend Whitewater Park. Photo via the Bend Whitewater Park Facebook page.

The three channels are separated by two islands.  The island nearest the habitat channel is off limits to people.  The island between the fish ladder and white water channels is available for people to line up and get ready for their turn to surf the waves.

Surfers are encouraged to visit the park for up to an hour, and then leave to give others a chance to surf that day.

Bend Whitewater Park Information

People surfing at the Bend Whitewater Park. Photo by Wayne Hsieh via Flickr CC2.

The whitewater park in Bend Oregon is currently open from 5 am to 10 pm.

You can get more information about the Whitewater Park in Bend Oregon here, including updated park hours, rules and information for beginners.

People enjoying the Bend Whitewater Park. Photo via the Bend Whitewater Park Facebook page.

It’s important to check current wave and water conditions before heading out as they vary throughout the year.  You can check current conditions at the Bend Whitewater Park Facebook page here.

Surfing the Deschutes River in Bend Oregon. Photo by Gary H via Flickr CC2.

Where To Stay When You’re Hitting The Waves In Bend

A gorgeous cabin in Sunriver Oregon surrounded by trees.
Gold Finch #11 at Sunset Lodging In Sunriver.

Our favorite place to stay when visiting Bend has always been with Sunset Lodging In Sunriver.  Before you head to Bend see if Goldfinch #11 is available. This cabin is one of my favorites because it has a private hot tub and is gorgeous on the inside and outside.

A private hot tub on a deck at a cabin in Sunriver Oregon near Bend.
The private hot tub at Gold Finch #11 at Sunset Lodging In Sunriver.

After a day at the Whitewater Park the hot tub is a perfect way to relax with friends and family.  The large wooden deck is just asking for you to spend time barbecuing and hanging out with your guests.

The inside of a gorgeous cabin with a rock fireplace in Sunriver Oregon.
The gorgeous fireplace at Gold Finch #11 at Sunset Lodging In Sunriver.

Goldfinch #11 sleeps 12, has two king beds, 2 queen beds, 2 twin beds, 2 other beds and 4 bathrooms.  Dogs are allowed and the house comes with 3 bikes for guests to use and is close to the Deschutes river.  Learn more about Goldfinch #11 and book now here.

Have you ever been river surfing before?  Let us know in a comment and tag the friends and family you want to go to the Bend Whitewater Park with!

Sunset Lodgingl