Deschutes National Forest/Mount Bachelor/Bend

Deschutes National Forest is huge, spanning 1.8 million acres, and it offers more than 560 miles of groomed snowmobiling trails, several of which are accessible from Bend, OR, known as a truly epic area to ride snowmobile.

The area has a wide variety of landscapes and elevation changes, from Lake Billy Chinook at 1,950 feet above sea level, to South Sister’s summit at 10.358 feet above sea level, and includes five wilderness areas. Top trails within this national forest include Crescent Lake, Hoodoo, which has over 80 miles of groomed trails; and Mt. Bachelor with 250 miles of trails that provide a thrilling ride through acres of backcountry with both twisting trails and wide open expanses. Snow season here lasts from November until the end of May, with an average snow-base from 150 to 200 inches. The area around Mt. Bachelor is known as Moon Country because it resembles the lunar surface.

While on the Newberry National Volcanic Monument Snowmobile Trail, you’ll see signs encouraging caution on curves so as to avoid collisions with dog sled teams, which are encouraged to travel on the right side of the trails. Newberry, which last erupted over 1,300 years ago, was formed into the shape of a broad shield by repeated eruptions over 400,000 years ago. This beautiful area, filled with lava flows and beautiful lodgepole forest lands, tends to fly a little bit under the radar when people talk about the best places to go snowmobiling. It covers more than 84 square miles, surrounding the volcano’s caldera and Paulina Peak, with two large pristine lakes, Paulina Lake and East Lake.

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