One of my biggest goals for 2023 is to find and connect with more women in the outdoors. I’ve been craving a community of like-minded women who share a passion for hiking, camping, and enjoying outside time. Don’t get me wrong, I have some incredible online outdoorsy friends, but I was in need of something more tangible, something I could experience in real life.
When I received an email inviting me to join the AdventurUs Women’s adventure retreat in Central Oregon, I instantly knew I had to seize the opportunity. It was exactly what I had been searching for! The chance to be a part of a community of adventurous women who were just as eager as I am to explore the great outdoors was too good to pass up.
If you’re considering attending a women’s adventure retreat or simply looking for recommendations on what to do in Bend, Oregon, this blog is for you! Keep scrolling to read about my experience and get inspired to plan a girl’s trip in Bend.
Hey! Visit Central Oregon and AdventurUs Women sponsored this blog post! All opinions are my own. Thanks for your support!
Setting The Stage: Bend, Oregon
Where is it? Bend is nestled in the beautiful state of Oregon, located in the western United States. It is situated in the high desert region of Central Oregon.
How to get there: I flew into Redmond, the closest airport to Bend. The airport is conveniently located just a short drive away from the town, making it easily accessible for travelers.
Climate: I visited Bend in June and had perfect weather. With its high desert climate, Bend has warm and sunny summers, perfect for outdoor adventures. Bend has relatively mild winters, making it a year-round destination for outdoor enthusiasts.
What’s the town like? This was my second time visiting Bend, and I love it even more. The town is charming and welcoming, surrounded by awe-inspiring natural beauty. From the stunning Deschutes River to the majestic Cascade Mountains, Bend makes every visitor consider uprooting their life to move to Central Oregon.
Introducing AdventurUS Women: The Ultimate Women's Adventure Retreat
AdventurUs Women is all about breaking barriers and promoting inclusivity in outdoor adventures. They believe that every woman deserves the chance to experience the joy and empowerment that nature brings.
Through their thoughtfully curated all-inclusive retreats, AdventurUs Women provides a safe and supportive environment where women can step out of their comfort zones to try new outdoor activities. Whether you’re a seasoned outdoor enthusiast or just starting your outdoor adventure journey, they’ve got you covered.
An Adventurous Weekend in Bend, Oregon
Day 1: Arrival and Welcome
Getting to Bend, Oregon was a breeze for me — I hopped on a direct flight from PHX to Redmond, and voila! To add to the convenience, a fellow adventurer friend of mine attending the retreat picked me up from the airport!
The retreat was held at LOGE Bend and the rooms were cozy and comfortable!
I have to say, as an introvert, one of the things I appreciated most was having my own room to retreat to when I needed a little quiet time. It’s the perfect balance of shared experiences and personal space.
Before the official kick-off event, we grabbed a bite at Good Life Brewing Company. Not only did the food hit the spot, but it was also the ideal spot to mingle and meet some of the amazing women we were spending the weekend with.
After dinner, we gathered for the eagerly awaited welcome ceremony. It was time to connect, bond, and meet amazing women who would be adventuring with!
Day 2 in Bend, Oregon
I couldn’t resist joining the morning yoga session, held right outside my room. Yoga was optional, but I found it was the perfect way to ground myself and prepare for the day ahead.
Following yoga, we gathered for a delicious breakfast at 8:30, fueling up for the exciting adventures to come! The retreat had a well-structured schedule, with morning check-ins to ensure everyone was ready for the day’s activities.
What I loved about this retreat was its “choose your own adventure” approach. Once you registered, you had the freedom to select the activities you wanted to participate in each day.
Here’s a look at what I experienced during my time at AdventurUs Women:
Hike Smith Rock State Park
First on my list was a hike in Smith Rock State Park! Our hike was led by experienced guides from Wanderlust Tours, who taught us about the park’s history and shared fun geology facts.
The groups were kept small, which made for an intimate and personalized experience. As for our hike, we collectively challenged ourselves by tackling the aptly-named Misery Ridge Trail. The panoramic views and the sense of accomplishment we felt at the summit were worth the climb.
After our hike, we returned to the camp, where a delicious lunch awaited us. All of the food provided throughout the retreat was nourishing and Bleu Bite catered to various dietary preferences, ensuring that everyone felt included and well taken care of.
Wilderness Navigation Course
Next on my itinerary was a class on Wilderness Navigation. Our instructor, Shawnte Salabert, was a wealth of knowledge, sharing insights and practical skills that left me feeling empowered and capable. Learning how to use a compass was a particular highlight for me! I’m still directionally challenged but am proud to say I have a new skill and more confidence in navigating the great outdoors.
Day 3 in Bend, Oregon
After another optional morning yoga class and breakfast, we checked in and prepared for the day’s adventures!
Undoubtedly, the cave tour was the highlight of my AdventurUs Women retreat! Ali, our amazing guide from Wanderlust Tours, picked us up and drove us to the high desert, where we had an underground adventure.
Equipped with helmets and headlamps, we geared up and added extra layers to prepare for the cave exploration. As we descended a mental ladder, we entered a massive cave awaiting our discovery… and we had it all to ourselves!
We hiked inside the cave through the winding lava tubes. Crawling through narrow passages and marveling at the intricate formations that time had crafted was an otherworldly experience!
Kayak the Deschutes River
For my second activity of the day, I found myself kayaking down the majestic Deschutes River. A short drive from the camp led us to the drop-in spot, where we were paired up and guided onto the calm river.
The weather couldn’t have been more perfect for an early-June day. The warm sunshine kissed our skin as we glided along the river, and we were immersed in the serenity of nature around every bend.
Days like these, when you’re fully present in the great outdoors, rejuvenate the soul. They remind us of the simple pleasures in life and allow us to connect with nature, and ourselves, on a deeper level.
Day 4: Morning Yoga + Farewell Ceremony
The last day of the retreat was bittersweet. We met for one last time on our yoga mats, embracing the stillness of the morning, and joined in a peaceful yoga practice. It was a time of reflection and gratitude, allowing us to savor the remaining moments together.
The remarkable CEO/Founder of AdventurUs Women, Saveria Tilden, shared her closing remarks, encapsulating the essence of our journey and the transformative power of this retreat. Her words resonated deeply, reminding us of our incredible experiences and the connections we had forged.
With our hearts full, we set off for our final activity of the retreat.
Plein Air Painting
Another activity that captured my heart was the Plein Air Painting session hosted by the talented Latasha Greene of Jitterbug Art.
The activity began with a scenic 1.25-mile hike that led to a serene river near the camp. With her expertise and warm spirit, Latasha guided us through the basic concepts of watercolor painting and encouraged us to observe our surroundings, feelings, and presence in that sacred space.
The tranquil ambiance and the company of my newfound friends made this experience truly special. We painted, laughed, and reveled in the beauty surrounding us.
Final Thoughts On My Weekend in Bend, Oregon, With AdventurUS Women
As I mentioned, this experience was exactly what I needed.
The bond I formed with the women I met during this experience is indescribable. We hiked through breathtaking landscapes, shared stories around the campfire, and encouraged each other to push our limits. As cheesy as it sounds, we tapped into the true power of female connection and the strength that comes from supporting one another.
If you’re a woman who, like me, is searching for a community of outdoor enthusiasts and a space to grow and thrive, I wholeheartedly recommend joining AdventurUs Women. It’s an opportunity to forge meaningful friendships, challenge yourself, and create memories that will last a lifetime. Trust me, it’s a decision you won’t regret.