Distance from Bend: 20 miles west on Century Drive (park along Cascade Lakes Highway in front of Sunrise Lodge)
Door-to-Door time: 3 hours
Elevation gain: 2,651 feet
Movement time: Less than 2 hours
Fitness Level: Moderate
Gear: Trail running shoes
Reward: Climb a mountain before work! Stop for an Ocean Roll and coffee at Backporch on the way back into town.
What better way to start a workday than with a mountain summit? Mt. Bachelor may seem a little intimidating, but the trail to the summit is beautiful and totally doable. With 2,600 feet of climbing in about 3 miles, it’s only about twice the distance of hiking Tumalo. Usually you’ll have the mountain to yourself, though occasionally you’ll see a lone skier hiking to a high snowpatch for a morning turn.
The trail starts at the Sunrise ski lift, but you can’t park up there. Instead, pull over along the side of Century Drive in front of the entrance to Sunrise Lodge, and then follow the pavement up and to the left toward the ski lift. The trail begins to the right of the ski lift and goes up into the woods. The first mile or so is runnable, with steep climbs interspersed with more gradual sections that let you catch your breath. Above the tree line, however, the trail becomes more technical, so watch your footing on the loose lava rock. Enjoy the sunrise as you make your way through the scree. It takes just more than an hour to reach the summit, where you can enjoy a 360-degree view of the surrounding wilderness and peak into the snow-less bowl. Watch your footing on the descent as lava rock does not make for a soft landing when you fall. Once you hit the trees, you can let loose and enjoy a ripping fast downhill to the car.