Updated: Sep 9, 2020
Scavenger Hunting in Bend
By Soni Kennedy, A Meandering Daisy
Bend Oregon, nestled in the midst of the Cascade Mountains, has mild summers, blue skies most days of the year, a plethora of recreational activities to explore, and more breweries, restaurants, and brewpubs than you can visit in one day. Bend is considered to be heaven to many.
With so much to explore, one may wonder what’s the best way to see it all and the best way to learn about this haven. Consider taking a scavenger hunt tour. Bend has two such tours. Riddle Routes and Ultimate Scavenger Hunt.
Two sisters, both teachers who grew up loving the board game Clue, have come together to create a sleuth like adventure tour company called Riddle Routes. Because they both love the history and culture of beautiful cities, they created a way to share this love with visitors to various cities, including beautiful Bend.
The Bend Riddle Route adventure starts with 25 clues, the answer of each clue leads you around town to the next clue. Through riddles and trivia, hunters are taken to various destinations around Bend, meander through the town following clues to historical plaques, statues, paintings, and other locally produced artwork around town, all with interesting tidbits about Bends history. While passing by local restaurants, pubs, and bars, you can’t help but stop in and have an ice-cold beer, refreshing cocktail, skillfully prepared snack, or even a full meal at any of the places you pass.
Taking you through the historical district of Bend, you can smell the flowers in the yards of homes built in the early nineteen hundreds and the vanilla scent of the ponderosa pines found dotting the neighborhood. The hunt flows nicely with a balance of ease and quandary. It was fun and engaging even for the locals that we are.
Riddle Routes hunt takes roughly 1&1/2 hours, but maybe longer if you stop for libations along the way(wink wink), the walk is approximately 2&1/2 miles. It is a unique way to explore Bend; it’s like a trivia game and walking tour combined.
A second scavenger hunt in Bend is Ultimate Scavenger Hunt. The curator will send 25 clues to destinations. You have 3 hours to find all 25 destinations based on the very challenging clues given. This hunt takes you all over Bend, so no walking here, to learn about the wonders of Bends walking trails, the history of Bend, and art donated to the city and done by locals around the city.
The hunt also takes you visiting local bars and restaurants, historical and recreational sites. There are two ways to do the quest, rushing around Bend taking selfies of your group in the three hours allotted, to receive the prize at the end (I am unsure of what this prize is, as our group did not complete the hunt in the 3 hours). Or take your time, days, even a week, to enjoy the challenge of finding each site by engaging with the friendly locals of Bend and taking the time to learn about the artists, the history, and the origin of each destination. Slowing the pace allows one to partake in the deliciously prepared food and adult beverages at clue destinations. Upon completion of this slower pace, your group will receive a Certificate of Completion. The Ultimate Scavenger Hunt can be fun and challenging either way.
Both hunts/tours can be found on-line. Riddle Routes tours can be purchased both at their website riddleroute.com or through Trip Advisor. Riddle Routes also has other routes you can riddle though in both Oregon and California. Oregon routes include Bend, Sisters, HoodRiver, and Ashland. California routes include Big Bear Village, Carlsbad Village, San Diego, and Palm Springs.
The Ultimate Scavenger Hunt can be purchased through Trip Advisor, Ultimate Scavenger Hunt tours include Memphis, where they began, but they have spread to other cities - Albuquerque, Missoula, and Bend.