Just west of downtown Bend on the road to Mount Bachelor, Virginia Meissner and Swampy Lakes are excellent cross-country ski areas. The Sno-Park area at Virginia Meissner is about 13 miles west of town; Swampy Lakes is about 2 miles up the road from Meissner. The two trail systems join up and together access more than 25 miles of ski trails dotted with strategically placed warming huts.
There are also snowshoe trails leading from each Sno-Park. Dogs and motorized vehicles are prohibited at both Virginia Meissner and Swampy Lakes. Sno-Park permits are required. In the summer, these trails are good for mountain biking.
Up the mountain at Dutchman Flat Sno-Park, what you gain in elevation and early-season snowpack you’ll lose in peacefulness. This Sno-Park, located almost directly across from the turnoff to Mount Bachelor’s Sunrise Lodge, has trails for both skiers and snowmobilers and can be extremely busy on weekends and holidays.
Snowmobilers can use this spot to access roughly 150 miles of trails; skiers find about 19 miles of trails, including some fairly challenging ones.
by Judy Jewell and W. C. McRae from Moon Oregon, 8th Edition, © Elizabeth & Mark Morris and Avalon Travel