Best snowshoe tour in Bend: Wanderlust Tours

Another day, another excellent outdoor experience with Wanderlust ToursWhat makes Wanderlust the best snowshoe tour in Bend? My family and I first experienced Wanderlust during a kayak tour of the Cascade Lakes of Central Oregon, and loved our afternoon so much, we came back for a winter Cascade Mountain Snowshoe tour. Yes, Wanderlust gets our highest possible endorsement: a return visit.


What makes Wanderlust Tours great? Their access to areas off-limits to other tour operators, their expertise and professionalism, but more than anything, their guides. Wanderlust guides know their stuff—flora, fauna, and outdoor safety—but they don’t just spout it out. They teach it in a natural and enthusiastic way that gets even teens onboard. They meet their guests’ needs in the fullest extent possible, tailoring each tour to what people want to experience.

Before our Wanderlust snowshoe tour, my kids said they didn’t like snowshoeing. It’s an activity I enjoy, and drag them along for. The boys are adrenaline junkies who love downhill skiing and mountain biking: snowshoeing is too tame! However, the minute we met Wanderlust tour guide Danny, I knew their opinion was about to change. I was right: Danny met the challenge of creating snowshoe fans with enthusiasm. He understood and enjoyed kids—a crucial requirement in any guide—and treated them to an off-trail, deep powder snowshoe trek. Our tour included epic snowball fights, snow fort building, snowshoe jumping (and sort of landing) and races. Would this be everyone’s ideal snowshoe trip? Maybe not, but that’s the point: Wanderlust tailored the afternoon to us.


The nitty gritty:

We started at the Wanderlust Tours office in Bend, and drove approximately 25 minutes up Century Drive into the mountains. We stopped at Mt. Bachelor, where we donned snowshoes and took off into the woods. We weren’t restricted to trails, and while Danny guided our route, he was open to suggestions. Right away, he proved himself a good shot with a snowball, which intrigued all the kids. For the next two hours, we trekked, ran, jumped, and even dove through the snowy terrain, with short periods in which Danny reigned us in to point out various trees and moss, and to give us historical or geological lessons. We stopped mid-way for a hot chocolate break, and practiced building snow shelters just for fun. By the end of our tour, all our boys thanked me for booking the snowshoe tour, and admitted that now that they knew ‘how to make it so fun’, they’d snowshoe with me again. Win-win!


Snowshoe tours are offered by Wanderlust daily, and span half-days. This is the optional amount of time needed to gear up, get there, and return, with approximately two hours in the snow. Any longer, and we would have begun to feel the cold, and any less, and we wouldn’t have felt as though we’d gotten too far into the wilderness. Wanderlust also offers cave tours, moonlit snowshoe tours, and craft beer tours for adults. In summer, try a kayak tour!


Tips: As with all outdoor guided experiences, families will want to arrive prepared. For a snowshoe tour, wear waterproof pants and jacket (ski attire works well) and snow boots. Knitted hats and gloves are a must. If you don’t own snow pants or boots, they are available for rent. Snowshoes will be provided. We found it helpful to bring a small day pack to store extra layers and water bottles. We also brought granola bars for the van ride back down the mountain.

Date last visited:

March 2014

Distance from the interstate:

Wanderlust Tours is located in Bend, off Highway 97.


During the time of our tour, snowshoe half-day tours were $60 for adults and $55 for kids. Children must be 8 years old and up to participate. Check the Wanderlust Tours website for specific tour date info.


The Wanderlust Tours office is located at 61535 S. Highway 97 in Bend.

As I disclose whenever applicable, we experienced Wanderlust Tours as guests, for the purpose of review. All opinions are our own.

About the author

Amy Whitley AUTHOR: Amy Whitley is the founding editor of Pit Stops for Kids and content editor of Trekaroo. She writes on staff monthly as a family travel expert at Go Green Travel Green and Practical Travel Gear, and contributes to Outdoors NW as an outdoor adventure traveler. Find Amy at Google.



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