Let’s talk about the day we hiked Tumalo Mountain for sunrise, shall we? Our alarm goes off at 4:30 in the morning and we reluctantly find ourselves trying to get up in the cold and dark mountain air. A very steep hike of 4 miles and 1,400 feet of elevation gain awaits us and I’m using all the womanly sorcery I can muster to convince Will we should just hit snooze.
But Will is no stranger to my shenanigans and I can tell I’m getting nowhere. But you better believe I will not allow this early sunrise hike to be in vain! I’m tagging you all along for the ride.
So, without further ado, let’s talk about our chilly (and stunning!) sunrise ascent of Tumalo Mountain in Bend, Oregon.
We started the hike in the dark and quickly realized our naivety. Neither of us have hiked this trial before so we resorted to doing what we do best. We got lost. In fact, we got lost within 15 minutes! Our little snafu set us back and we had to make up for lost time. Remember when I mentioned the elevation gain earlier?
Now imagine 1,400 feet of elevation gain in 2 speedy miles because you took a wrong turn (and Lord knows the sun isn’t waiting for you). Yeah, it was tough! But it’s funny, no matter how hard something is in the moment, it is dang near impossible to relay in a story. So let’s pretend I didn’t just say all of that.
Hiking Tumalo Peak
- Tumalo Mountain is a volcano that lies northeast of Mount Bachelor. The trail starts at Dutchman Flat Sno-Park and follows a steep ascent to the summit. It’s worth noting that the trail is not visible when there is snow on the ground. We figured we couldn’t get lost if we just kept going up.
- As you climb, your back will face Mt. Bachelor, so make sure to turn around and give ‘er a wink every once in a while. About a mile into the hike the forest begins to thin and gives way to views of the flat summit.
- From the top, you’ll be rewarded with 360-degree views of Mt. Bachelor, South Sister and Broken Top. A lot of people choose to ski down the east side of the mountain. This is a must do hike if you’re in Bend!
So up the steep mountain we went, singing all our woes. But alas! Half the team (of which there were two members) persevered and made it to the summit in time for sunrise. Will made it to the top first and had to come down to find me because I got lost.
We had a great time though and the views were worth the rude awakening! We soaked in the views, split a granola bar and made our way down.
This hike was so worth it, cold and all. There’s something spectacular about catching a sunrise and hiking 4 miles before most of the west coast wakes up. And I guess there’s something spectacular about a 9:30am nap as well – ha!
If you’re planning to spend some time in Bend, Oregon, make sure to read: