Incorporating more than 50 destinations, their state parks range in landscape from forests, lakes and beaches, to rivers, deserts and rock pinnacles.
Collectively these public recreational spaces provide plenty of opportunity to partake in outdoor pursuits like swimming, fishing, hiking, mountain biking, horse riding, hunting, boating and generally enjoying nature.
In 2022, Oregon State Parks are actually celebrating its 100th birthday. So what better way to honour it than to go and visit one?
If you live near the city of Bend, many of these parks are within easy driving distance of your home. Here are five of the best ones to visit, should you fancy doing some exploring.
Map of State Parks Near Bend OR
Here is a map of the state parks in Oregon covered in this post:
List of State Parks Near Bend
Outlined below is a selection of five terrific state parks near Bend in Oregon to visit when you can. All of them can be reached within an hour and 45 minute drive from the city, so make very good day trip destinations.
However, if you would like to stay at any of these destinations for a few nights, they all offer a diverse range of camping options too.
1. Smith Rock State Park
Location: Terrebonne, OR 97760
Situated just a 30 minute drive north from the city, Smith Rock State Park is a breathtaking place to visit.
Covering 650 acres, and residing at an elevation of 3000 feet, the park resides in central Oregon’s High Desert, not far from the small communities of Redmond and Terrebonne.
Characterized by its incredible rock faces, which were created by compressed volcanic ash that has formed over a period of 30 million years, this is an excellent destination for those who love rock climbing. It is also a top spot for photography, and hiking and biking through its deep river canyons.
Although the park is open year round, during the summer temperatures regularly reach up near 100°. So you should always bring plenty of water with you on any visit.
The campsite here is only open from March 15th to November 15th, and operates on a first come first serve basis.
It is important to note that RV camping and sleeping in vehicles are not allowed, along with open fires.
2. The Cove Palisades State Park
Location: Culver, OR 97734
At just an hour’s drive north, The Cove Palisades State Park is a fabulous place to visit if you love water related activities.
Situated right in the center of Oregon, this park features both the Crooked River and Deschutes canyons. It is a popular destination year round for swimming, as well as kayaking, SUP and canoeing. There are also three day-use areas where you can launch your boat.
Those who enjoy hiking also come here for the Tam-a-láu Trail, which showcases sensational views of the imposing snow-topped Cascade Range.
Overall the park offers two seasonal campgrounds, some of which have sites that are full hookup, or feature electrical sites with water. Facilities at them include flush toilets and hot showers, as well as an RV dump station.
For those who are after some more upscale accommodation, there are also deluxe cabins available too.
3. Prineville Reservoir State Park
Location: Prineville, OR 97754
If you love stargazing then you simply have to make the one hour drive east from Bend to get to the Prineville Reservoir State Park.
A Certified International Dark Sky Park, the stars seem to shine that little bit brighter here, and you will be in awe at night, checking out all the constellations.
During the daylight hours there is a boat ramp to use, as well as a fishing pier that is complete with a fish cleaning section. You should be able to catch plenty of trout, catfish, crappie, small and largemouth bass and crayfish as well.
There is also a roped-off swimming area too. As well as plenty of hiking trails, should you fancy a wander around.
Camping is available year round, with 22 full hookup sites, as well as 22 electrical sites that come with water. There are also 23 tent sites that are near water, while you can also choose to stay in any one of five deluxe log cabins, as well.
4. Cascadia State Park
Location: Cascadia, OR 97329
If you are looking for a place with a rich pioneer and native American history, then look no further than Cascadia State Park.
It will take you about 90 minutes to drive west there from Bend. But once you are there you will find a public recreational space that sits at the confluence of the South Santiam River and Soda Creek.
Set within a stunning rain-forest terrain, this park is a fabulous spot for hiking, as it takes you through areas of cultural and historic significance. Which includes part of a military trail that was used in the 1800s.
There are also good places to swim and fish here, while one of the park’s main highlights is the 150 foot cascade of Lower Soda Creek Falls.
In terms of accommodation, there are 22 non-hookup sites available on a first come first serve basis. As well as two group tent areas and two group picnic areas.
5. Collier Memorial State Park
Location: 46000 US-97, Chiloquin, OR 97624
At an hour 45 minutes south of Bend, the Collier Memorial State Park is the furthest state park on this list from the city.
It is notable for its fascinating outdoor museum, which features historic logging equipment that dates back to the 1880s, as well as its relocated pioneer village.
It is also a noted spot for fishing on account of the Williamson River and Spring Creek which converge in the park. Both of which are well stocked with quality trout fish.
The campground here is relatively small, featuring 16 full hookup sites and 18 non-hookup sites that are near water. There is an RV dump station too, as well as flush toilets and hot showers, which are always welcome.