Whether you’re cruising to Bend by car–or fully decked out Sprinter Van–or hopping on a flight, getting here and exploring the city is a snap. There are several different ways to travel to Bend, including driving, flying, and by bus. Once you’re here, discover restaurants, shopping, and epic outdoor recreation via car rentals, shuttles, public transportation, taxis, or by foot.
Here are some tips and ways to travel to and around Bend, Oregon.
Getting to Bend
Two airports provide easy access to Bend, the Redmond Municipal Airport, which is about a 20-minute drive from Bend, and the Portland International Airport, which is about a three-and-a-half-hour drive from Bend.
Redmond Municipal Airport (RDM):
Located just 17 miles north of Bend, Redmond Municipal Airport is the primary gateway for those flying into Central Oregon. Several major airlines offer daily flights to RDM, making it an accessible option for travelers from across the country. From the airport, you can easily reach Bend by renting a car, taking a shuttle service, or using rideshare apps.
Portland International Airport (PDX):
For more flight options, consider flying into Portland International Airport, which is approximately 160 miles from Bend. Once you arrive at PDX, you can rent a car or take a connecting flight to the Redmond airport. This option is perfect for travelers looking to explore the greater Pacific Northwest before arriving in Bend.
Bend Municipal Airport (KBDN)
For private on-demand air travel, both KinectAir and Direct2 offer air taxis and charter flights connecting you to Bend in small, efficient, and comfortable aircraft. Check their websites for available flights and pricing.
For those who love road trips, driving to Bend is a scenic adventure. Whether you’re coming from across the country or a neighboring state, enjoy rugged mountains, sweeping high desert views, and charming Central Oregon towns. There are a few major highways that lead to Bend, making it very accessible no matter the time of year.
- US Route 97: Running north-south through the state, this is the main artery leading to Bend. Highway 97 is open year-round, but snow is possible during winter months, so be prepared.
- US Route 20: If you’re coming from the west, Route 20 offers a picturesque journey through the Willamette National Forest. Snowy conditions are common during winter months.
- Oregon Route 126: Ideal for travelers coming from the Eugene area, this route takes you through the stunning McKenzie Pass. Snowy conditions are common during winter months.
Driving Distances to Bend
160 miles or 281km SE of Portland, Oregon
130 miles or 194km NE of Eugene, Oregon
500 miles or 804km NE of San Francisco, California
330 miles or 531km W of Boise, Idaho
330 miles or 552km SE of Seattle, Washington
400 miles or 634km N of Reno, Nevada
For current road conditions, closures, and road cams, visit the Oregon Department of Transportation’s travel information website, TripCheck.
Travelers seeking an eco-friendly option or who would rather have someone else do the driving can take advantage of bus services. There are a few companies that offer scheduled bus trips to Bend, connecting you from various cities in the area.
Bend is served by regional bus service from a few cities in Oregon:
From Portland: Central Oregon Breeze
From Eugene: Pacific Crest Bus Lines
From Ontario: Eastern POINT
Amtrak’s Coast Starlight route includes a stop in nearby Chemult, Oregon. From here, you can connect to the Bend/Sunriver area via Amtrak’s Thruway bus service, which takes about an hour and a half. While not the most direct option, taking the train can be a unique and leisurely way to travel to Bend, with scenic views along the way.
Getting Around Bend
Now that you’ve made it here, getting around is a breeze! Here are some different ways to explore the city and the surrounding areas.
If you want the flexibility to explore Bend and its surrounding outdoor playgrounds at your own pace, renting a car is a great option. There are several car rental agencies to choose from, both at the Redmond Municipal Airport and Portland International Airport, as well as in town. Major companies like Budget, Avis, and National are all available. Depending on the time of the year and your outdoor pursuits, you might want something with clearance or all-wheel drive in the winter or for accessing certain trails.
Ride-Sharing and Taxis
Need a ride in a hurry? You’ve got options! You can hop on a ride-sharing service like Uber or Lyft or opt for the reliability of a traditional cab or taxi service to get around the city and its nearby regions. These choices are perfect for quick trips or when you’d rather avoid the hassle of finding parking.
Bend’s public transportation system, called Cascades East Transit (CET), provides bus services that connect the city and surrounding towns. You can even hop on the bus all the way to Mt. Bachelor and back. Buses are equipped with bike racks, making it convenient for cyclists. For wheelchair and ADA rides, Ride Assist is available. CET’s routes cover key areas of Bend and are an eco and budget-friendly way to explore the city.
Bend is known for its bike-friendly culture. The city boasts an extensive network of bike lanes and dedicated paths, making it easy to explore on two wheels. If you didn’t bring your own bike, don’t worry—local bike rental shops offer a wide range of options like cruisers and e-bikes for getting around town.
Bend’s is perfect for exploring on foot. Explore the intimate and vibrant downtown or the Old Mill District, where you can stroll along the charming streets lined with boutique shops, art galleries, and restaurants. Don’t forget to take a leisurely walk along the Deschutes River and enjoy the scenic beauty.
Tours and Shuttles
Whether you’re flying into Redmond and need an airport shuttle or you’re looking for a guided outdoor tour, there are ways to get around Bend without relying on your own wheels. You’ll find options for shuttle services, van transportation, or private buses. You can even order a limousine or town car if you’re feeling fancy.
With so many awesome things to do in Bend, make it easy on yourself and take an unforgettable tour. From mountain biking with Cog Wild to snowshoeing with Wanderlust Tours or kayaking with Tumalo Creek Kayak and Canoe, you can leave the planning, guiding, and transportation to the pros.
No matter where you want to go in Bend or how you want to get here, there’s a wealth of transportation options to get you here and make your exploration of the city seamless.
Bend’s roundabouts are not only super efficient and safe, but also showcase an artistic side of the city. The Roundabout Art Route features over two dozen public art sculptures, from tributes to Bend’s heritage to artistic whimsy. These artistic creations are fantastic to admire, but please keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road as you go around. And round and round.
For newcomers to roundabouts, here are some tips on how to navigate them:
- Yield to traffic in the roundabout before you enter.
- Yield to pedestrians and cyclists.
- Stay off the center circle, it is not a passing lane.
- Go slow (especially when it’s snowy or icy) but don’t stop in roundabouts.
- Use your turn signal
- Merge to the right lane and exit.
- If you miss your exit, simply go around again.
Be mindful of large vehicles and emergency vehicles. If unsure, err on the side of caution and yield.