Take it to the Slopes: Where to Ski Near Bend, Oregon

By Max Bendis  


On our team at Ablis CBD, we have people who are bikers, hikers, joggers, climbers, and skiers, to name a few. We’re athletes, and we love exploring the outdoors. That’s why I’m happy to share my favorite places to ski near Bend, OR, my hometown and where Ablis CBD is based. We love it here for a lot of reasons

If you’re ever in our area and want to plan a day on the slopes, here’s where we’d suggest going near Bend, OR. Hope you have fun!

1. Mount Bachelor

This is closest to Bend, and probably one of the most well-known places to ski. It’s about a 30-minute drive West of Bend and has epic routes (check out this video, and you’ll see what I mean). When you get there, make your way up to the summit and get ready for adventure. 

There’s 4,300 acres of terrain here, and you can access all 360 degrees of the mountain from your starting point at the top. As the sixth largest ski resort in America, Mt. Bachelor has a lot to explore! Their trail map covers a lot of great ground, including the Woodward Mountain Park, a great place to go if you want to test your skills. 

Don’t miss their excellent events, resort activities (like sled dog rides…no, we’re not joking!), and great places to dine in-between your time on the slopes. You can purchase tickets online to save time (and money), and if you have a beginner skier in your crew, be sure to book a lesson in advance at the Gravity School. No skis? No worries—Mt. Bachelor has rental equipment that you can also reserve easily online. 

See it on SkiMaps

See it on Google Maps

Check out Mt. Bachelor’s website

2. Hoodoo Ski Area

Visitors and locals have been heading to Hoodoo for ski days for a long time: since 1934, to be exact. Things really became official in 1946, when they asked for a ski tow. Hoodoo now has one of “the largest tubing parks in the West” and is a must for anyone who wants to experience skiing (day or night) in Central Oregon.

Although it’s an hour southwest of Bend (located in Sisters, OR), the 800 acres of exciting terrain you’ll find here is definitely worth the drive. For a full look at what you’ll experience, check out their trail map. They also offer classes at the Ski & Ride School (with skis, snowboarding, and snow bikes), where you can learn a new skill or two during your visit. 

If you want to experience something you can’t find anywhere else in Central Oregon, make plans to go night skiing at Hoodoo: they have 23 night runs with custom-built lights that make sure it’s smooth skiing down the mountain, under the stars. Keep reading about why I like skiing at Hoodoo here

See it on SkiMaps

See it on Google Maps

Check out Hoodoo’s website

3. Willamette Pass Resort

For a tried-and-true local experience, hit up the slopes at Willamette Pass. This (now) resort was originally founded in 1941 with “a handful of tow ropes” by Roy and Edra Temple. It passed through several hands over the years before the Wiper family began taking care of it in 1982. 

This ski area may be the furthest from Bend (about an hour drive southwest, in Crescent Lake), but again, it’s undoubtedly worth the drive—especially if you’re wanting to get a great skiing experience for less cost. From the trails to the views, Willamette Pass gives the larger ski areas a good run for their money. They also offer skiing and snowboarding lessons, as well as rental gear if you need it. 

See it on SkiMaps

See it on Google Maps

Check out Willamette Pass’s website

First Time Skiing? Ablis CBD Has Some Tips. 

  1. Take it slow. — Don’t overexert yourself, especially during your first ski outing. Listen to your body so that you’re able to come back soon and have more fun on the slopes. 
  2. Look before you leap. — They say this in most beginner ski classes because it’s one of the most important tips: look to see where you’re going to land before taking the jump. 
  3. Make post-ski plans to unwind. — In the same way you don’t want to overdo it while you’re skiing, you want to make sure you wind down after you step off your skis. We have a few tips here



Why We Love Skiing Hoodoo: A Day on the Slopes with Ablis CBD

By Max Bendis

There are few things more relaxing than a weekend in the snow, exploring new trails and enjoying the adventure. Hoodoo Ski Area in Sisters, OR, never fails to disappoint if you need a fun skiing getaway near Bend. It’s an hour northwest of town, near Mount Washington.

Let me tell you: Hoodoo is worth the drive. The ski area has incredible views, terrain that’s great for experienced skiers (or for newbies!), short lines, and friendly people on the slopes. If you’re just starting out, you can even take a lesson at their Ski & Ride School

No matter what you’re looking for, I’m pretty sure Hoodoo has it. Here are a few reasons why I love skiing here (and why you’ll probably get a kick out of it, too). 

Skiing at the Hoodoo Ski Area Has…

Ski Bikes. This is one of the only places I know that allows you to ride ski bikes (yes, you can bring it on the chair lift with you) and even offers ski bike rentals and lessons for those who want to try something new. If you’re curious what a “Ski Bike” looks like, it’s basically a mountain bike with skis on it…and it’s really, really fun. 

Cool Lodging. If you’re spending a weekend on the slopes, there are plenty of places you can stay nearby. You can book a night at several different resorts or lodges (I enjoy the Suttle Lodge and Boathouse, about 10 minutes away from Hoodoo), snag a space at the RV Park, or unwind at Black Butte Ranch

Sweet Drinks. Hoodoo has Ablis on draft and in cans, and offers Crater Lake’s Ablis cocktail. After a day on the slopes, you can stop by the restaurant and dining area to unwind with one of Ablis’ craft beverages. Keep an eye out for the arcade on the second floor—That’s great for blowing off some steam, too. 

Challenging Slopes. Hoodoo has more than 800 acres of terrain, 34 runs, five lifts, and one of the largest tubing parks in the West (although it’s temporarily closed; check their website for updates). Nordic Ski along the Skyline Trail or Hayrick Glide, or if you’re newer to the trails, test out the Schuss Chute. I always enjoy riding up the Ed Chair—the views are insane—and trying my hand (feet?) at the Grandstand slope. 

Night Skiing. During winter seasons, you can experience the slopes after the sun sets. For 23 nights, you can zip down the mountain guided by special custom-built lights that provide optimal skiing conditions (even under the stars). 

Beautiful Views. One thing that’s a constant throughout the year is the phenomenal views you can catch at Hoodoo. From the top of the mountain, you can get an epic 360-degree view that’ll stick with you for months to come (especially if it’s a clear day). 

Max’s Suggested Gear 

When you’re planning for a day on the slopes, you’ll want to come prepared. Under the current circumstances, I’d suggest making sure you bring a mask that you’ll be comfortable wearing in public areas at Hoodoo (you can read all of their current COVID-19 precautions here). You can rent skis, boards, boots and even ski bikes in-house! Oh, and don’t forget to bring some Ablis muscle rub

Different things ache after spending several hours skiing—for me, it’s my knees. My knees get pretty blown up when I’m out on the slopes. I have several other ideas on how to unwind after a day on the slopes, if you’re interested. You can check it out here

Enjoy skiing at Hoodoo!



How to Unwind After a Ski Day in Bend, OR

By Max Bendis

There’s no doubt that Bend, Oregon, has plenty of places to enjoy a day on the slopes. I’ve spent countless hours zipping around on skis, starting when I was four years old and my dad, Jim, introduced me to the sport. 

Since then, I’ve not only learned how to hone my skiing skills, but also how to kick back after a good workout. 

Why It’s Important to Unwind 

Personally, my knees take most of the beating when I skii, along with my legs (especially my glutes). If you want to get back out there without injuring yourself, you need to make sure that you’re taking care of your body after putting it under pressure skiing down the slopes. 

Max’s Favorite Ways to Recoup After Skiing in Bend, OR 

Visit Recharge Sport’s Recovery Lounge + Spa 

This recovery lounge in Bend has a lot of different gear you can use to wind down your body. I always gravitate towards the NormaTec Massage Boots, a leg compression system that squeezes different parts of your legs and increases your blood flow. 

The NormaTec Massage mimics a blood plump, pushing out old blood and lactic acid while giving your quads, glutes, and feet a squeeze. After a day on the slopes, your legs will thank you. 

At Recharge, you’ll also find hot and cold tubs that’ll treat your sore muscles. You can hop from a cool 52 degrees to a toasty 104 degrees, working with your body’s natural healing systems to get your blood moving like it’s meant to. 

Last but not least is the recovery lounge’s Infrared Sauna. This unique sauna penetrates the skin and heats muscles directly tissues with far-infrared technology (combined with mid- and near-infrared waves). You’re sure to walk out of here feeling refreshed and ready for your next adventure. 

Pro tip: Recharge also offers sports massage therapy if your muscles are in need of a little extra TLC. 

Stretch Your Body

Two of my favorite stretches after a day of skiing is the Pigeon Pose (a hip opener) and the World’s Greatest Stretch (which stretches all parts of the body). You can check out how to do these stretches below. 

How to Do the Pigeon Pose The Right Way: Watch Now 

  1. Start in the downward dog position with your hips up. 
  2. Lift your left leg into the sky, and bring your left foot forward to sit next to your left hand. 
  3. Lay your left knee down on the ground and slide your right leg back. 
  4. Untuck your right toes and press into the top of your foot. 
  5. Sit back on your hips and stretch tall through your crown (If there’s space between you and the ground, sit on a blanket). 
  6. Walk your hands forward and rest your forehead on the ground (or a block for support).
  7. Hold this pose for 10 breaths. 
  8. Return back to downward dog position, and repeat these steps on the other side of your body. 

How to Do the World’s Greatest Stretch: Watch Now (or embed) 

  1. Begin in a plan pose with your hands below your shoulders. 
  2. Step your left foot towards the outside of your left hand. 
  3. Move your left elbow inside towards your left foot. 
  4. Move your left hand outside your left foot and rotate it toward the ceiling. 
  5. Return your left hand back down the ground, and your left foot back to the plank. 
  6. Follow these steps on the other side of your body.  

Decompress with a Drink

Just as much as skiing tires out your body, it can tire out your mind, too. That’s why I like to kick back with a beer or a cocktail after wrapping up a ski day. 

Brother John’s never fails if you’re in need of a classic burger + beer combo. Looking for a different kind of unwind? Stop by Crater Lake Tasting Room and sip on a Rhye Lemonade (a mix of Ablis CBD, ginger, and Crater Lake Rye Whiskey). 

Keep Your Body Active

Even when it’s not skiing season, it’s always important to keep your body in shape by staying active…and anytime you’re active, it’s important to take care of yourself with a little R&R. Your body deserves a reward after an intense workout, and you deserve to keep enjoying active workouts and days on the slopes for many years to come. Give your body the rest it needs in its off time, and you will.

Happy adventuring, friends! 

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An Epic Twelve Hours in Bend, Oregon with Max Bendis

By Max Bendis

With everything that has happened this year and so many states going back into lockdown, I can’t help but daydream about going places and doing things.

Remember having plans?

This year has definitely made me appreciate the little things like walking around town or sitting in a coffee shop, so my best day includes a good balance of memorable activities and life’s little pleasures. 

That’s why I decided to dream up what the best day in Bend, Oregon would look like. I hope this list inspires you to plan an epic day in Bend, too!

8 AM

First things first, caffeine! 

Backporch Coffee is my go-to for that daily fix, and you’ll need it for the day ahead. It’s a great spot to sit and enjoy a killer roast and take it easy for a few minutes.

They have several locations and they’re all great, so take your pick. If you prefer to stay home, you can buy their beans online.

9 AM

After you’ve become sufficiently caffeinated, shuttle up the hill to pick from one of Bend’s great mountain bike trails. Phil’s Trailhead is about 6 miles out and back and is a local favorite. 

In the winter months, I like to head out to Horse Ridge or Cline Butte to avoid a ton of snowfall. If you’re not into mountain biking, Pilot Butte is a great hike to view the city from up high.

12 PM

Time to get some food, and there’s no better spot than The Bite Tumalo. This food cart lot is home to some of my favorites like Heidi’s Grilled Cheesery.

Related: Top 10 Things To Do in Bend, Oregon

1 PM

In the summer months, there’s no better way to spend an afternoon in Bend than with a float down the Deschutes River. It winds right through Downtown Bend and is one of the best ways to see the city.

In the cooler months, go for a walk downtown in the Old Mill District. The Old Mill District is Bend’s historic area of town. Once an industrial area full of mills (hence the name), it now houses some of the best shops and eateries Bend has to offer. I recommend grabbing a beer at Brown Owl.

4 PM

For a brew with a view, Crux Fermentation Project is a perfect spot to wind down after an active morning on the trails and the river. The mountain views and open-air vibe make for a memorable evening and a perfect place to watch the sunset. And their beers are fantastic. 

6 PM

Dinner at Brother Jon’s is where my ideal day would take me. Their Peppersteak Sandwich is one of my all-time favorite bites in town, and I eat it regularly. 

Related: The Last Blockbuster on Earth is in Bend, Oregon

8 PM

Concerts at the Les Schwab Amphitheatre in the summertime or the Volcanic Theatre Pub are some of my most missed events of this year. 

Bend has a pretty great music scene for a small town, and I have missed supporting local bands like Strange Rover during the pandemic. 

10 PM

For a nightcap, I’d head into Cascade West Grub & Ale House, which is my favorite dive bar in town. 

Their menu is great for late-night bites as well. You’ll want to stay until last call at this place.

If you make it home before last call, finish your night off with popcorn and a classic rented from the last blockbuster on earth, only in Bend. 

I’m so looking forward to when this epic day in Bend is possible again. For now, buying merch online and ordering take-out are great ways to support your local favorites and help keep Bend alive! 

Keep reading: The Last Blockbuster on Earth


The Ultimate Bend, Oregon Restaurant Guide: Classics, New Eateries, and Food Carts

By Max Bendis

There are so many incredible, locally-owned restaurants and food carts in Bend, it can be overwhelming to make a decision about lunch. 

Born and raised in Bend, I have definitely accumulated a list of go-to spots and menu items over time. It hasn’t been easy for restaurants and bars this year, so anytime you can eat local, you should!

So, I have rounded up my all-time favorite classics as well as some new spots to check out and the local food trucks that you don’t want to miss. 

Best of Restaurants

Best Breakfast 

Birdie’s Cafe 

Birdie’s diner-style menu is the American breakfast classic we all know and love. Open Wednesday through Sunday, breakfast, and lunch are served every day. They offer delivery and take-out, so you can enjoy your pancakes from the comfort of your own home. 

Best Brewery

Bend Brewing Company 

Whether you live in Bend or are just visiting, you’ll probably end up at Bend Brewery during your time here. One of the first breweries in the area, they’ve been serving award-winning beers since 1995 and have become a staple in Bend. They are a big part of the tradition of craft beers in the region. Their pub in Downtown Bend serves pub fare with a twist and has a great outdoor area that is family-friendly. Order online and get your craft beer fix with some Cajun tots to go with it! 

Best Burrito 

Los Jalapeños

This place has been around since 1994. I must admit, I frequent this spot about three times a week on average. Their Ranchero Burrito is killer. Steak, fresh jalapenos, grilled onions, mushrooms, salsa ranchera, rice, beans, cheese, and fresh avocado make this a hands-down favorite local food item for me. They have a huge menu of specialty burritos and I can tell you that they are all delicious. Order some take-out or go have a margarita on their patio! 

Related: Top 10 Things To Do in Bend, Oregon

Best Cocktails & Appetizers 

Dogwood Cocktail Cabin

One look at their website, and you’ll see why this one made the list. Their craft cocktail and small plates menu can’t be beat. This place has a cozy, loungey vibe that feels like being in an old ski chalet. They feature a DJ several nights a week but are currently serving their cocktails to-go. That’s right, you read that correctly. Booze to-go! Grab some food while you’re at it because their cocktails can be deceivingly potent.

Best Dive Bar 

Cascade West Grubhouse & Ale 

As soon as it’s safe for us all to be in the same room and have a drink, I’m heading to Cascade West. This little favorite has become the watering hole for Bend locals. They don’t have a website because what self-respecting dive bar would? They have been serving drinks on their heated patio the past few weeks, and have started serving breakfast and lunch as well.

Best Hotel Bar & Restaurant / Best Burger 

The Row 

Tucked in the Tetherow Hotel has a pub-style restaurant that is a little more of an upscale experience. We like to keep things casual in Bend, but The Row keeps it casual overlooking a golf course in a luxury hotel. Not too shabby, right? The views are worth the visit, but the burger will keep you coming back. This spot has been awarded two Bests on our list because of the Truffle Marrow Burger. I’m pretty sure this burger has a lot of awards already, so it’s not just me. It’s objectively the bomb.

Best Pho

Pho Viet & Cafe 

There is nothing quite like warming up with a bowl of pho in the wintertime. Pho Viet & Cafe is the first Vietnamese restaurant in the Bend area to offer the delicious traditional soup that can be enjoyed at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Open every day except Thursday, this will surely become one of your regular favorites around town. 

Best Pizza

Pizza Mondo

Since 1996 Pizza Mondo has been serving up some of Bend’s favorite pies. After a little break due to the pandemic, they have fired up their ovens and are back at it. They’re currently offering a limited take-out and delivery schedule to accommodate the safety precautions necessary. Give them a call or order online for yours!

Best Lunch Sandwich

Valentine’s Deli

The Albuquerque is not to be missed in my humble opinion. This sandwich is one I find myself going back to probably weekly. It’s a classic combo of turkey, avocado, and bacon with arugula, onion, and chipotle mayo on a sourdough bun. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it. Valentine’s is offering curbside pickup and take out options right now, so check out their full menu online and give them a call. You won’t be sorry!

Best Dinner Sandwich

Brother Jon’s Public House

This might be the location of my all-time favorite sandwich. Brother Jon’s Peppersteak Sandwich is so tasty, I find myself actually craving it. If you’re into classic pub fare, this place won’t disappoint. Their menu features everything from a Cuban to a Portobello burger. They keep it simple and they do it well. Their bar carries a lot of local beers and they always have a game on. Give the Peppersteak sandwich a try and let me know how much I have changed your life. 

Best Sushi 

Bend Izakaya Ronin

Not only does this place serve amazing sushi, but it’s also just a really unique dining experience. Modeled after cozy Japanese cafes where friends can gather and eat, Ronin’s atmosphere is as much a part of the meal as the food. Everything is served to be shared and you’re encouraged to order lots of their smaller plates to try as much of this chef’s killer menu as possible. Bring your friends here for a truly memorable night out. At the moment, they are offering a to-go menu for pick up that includes bento boxes, ramen, and Poke bowls! 

Best of Food Carts

Bend has some incredible brick and mortar food establishments, but that’s not the only way to get a memorable bite in town. And frankly, right now, it may be the safest option. Bend is home to tons of unique food trucks that are absolutely worth tracking down.

Best Fancy Pasta

Sunny’s Carrello at River’s Place

For a food cart, Sonny’s food feels like it’s coming out of a five-star Italian kitchen. Any time I’m craving pasta, this is my stop. Everything on the menu is excellent, but be sure to indulge in one of their pasta dishes. You’ll be back! Open Friday through Tuesday, you can get your fill from 11-8 pm. 

Best Grilled Cheese

Heidi’s Grilled Cheesery at The Bite Tumalo 

Do I really need to convince you to give a gourmet grilled cheese truck a try? Simply put, this cart is comfort on wheels. These aren’t your run of the mill grilled cheeses. Heidi’s has so much more to offer than just another take on your average grilled cheese, while still staying true enough to the classic to give us all the warm fuzzies. Of course, they serve tomato soup as well!

Best Thai

Thailandia at The Podski Food Cart Lot

Last but certainly not least is Thailandia. Born and raised in Northeastern Thailand, the Chef has been serving up traditional Thai in the streets of Bangkok for years. We are so lucky that she now calls Bend home and has brought her incredible authentic flavors to Bend. Using seasonal ingredients, the chef plays with flavors and gets creative with her menu regularly. There’s always something new to try at Thailandia. You can now order their food through UberEats!

Best Vegan

A Broken Angel at Spoken Moto 

This is a pretty unique vegan cart, don’t be fooled. It’s vegan, it’s French, it’s Southern… You’ll just have to try it for yourself. 

This year has been tough on local businesses, and everyone in Bend wants to see them succeed. The best way to do that is to continue to put our dollar back into the community. If this list didn’t make you hungry, I don’t know what will. Bend has some incredible food and I’m happy to be able to showcase it this week and hopefully inspire you to order some take-out! 

Go ahead. Treat yourself! 

Read more: Rafting the Grand Canyon: An Epic, Month-long Adventure



Greatest Hits Guide to Skiing in Colorado, Idaho, Utah, & Oregon

I have been skiing for a long time, all over the country. It’s one of my favorite things to do!

With all my years of shredding, I have compiled what I believe is the ultimate list of the most epic ski destinations (in my humble opinion). Here are my all-time favorites, hand-picked, just for you.


Wolf Creek
On the way to Pagosa Springs, sits the Wolf Creek Ski Area. Heralded as “the most snow in Colorado,” consistency of snowfall is what brings people back to Wolf Creek time and time again. 

Skiers will never be disappointed by the amount of snow on the 1600 acres of skiable terrain, with the longest run coming in at two miles long. Wolf Creek offers several a variety of slope difficulties. This makes it a great destination for families with skiers of differing difficulty levels. 

The average yearly snowfall is typically around 430 inches. 

The slopes at Wolf Creek don’t open up until November 26, but they are worth the wait! 

You’ve probably heard Aspen is a snowy playground for the wealthy and famous, but there are actually some killer spots that are worth the hype. The town of Aspen itself is beautiful and charming, but Aspen Mountain is considered a classic for a reason. 

Aspen Mountain is 675 acres of ski runs cut by some of Europe’s most famous mountaineers, as well as the U.S. Army’s 10 Mountain Division back in the 1940s. Although this mountain doesn’t have a ton of acreage, it has expertly cut runs all conveniently accessible from Downtown Aspen. 

Buttermilk is another Aspen favorite of visitors and locals alike. It is where the X Games Aspen is held and has 470 acres of terrain, varying in difficulty at a rise of 2,030 feet. The longest run is three miles long. Don’t let this discourage you if you’re a novice skier. The Hideout is a great area for beginners to gain confidence without the stress of a crowded slope.

Buttermilk is open to skiers now but is also a hot spot for uphillers looking to make the trek up Tiehack

On November 13, Breckenridge will open up their epic slopes to the public for the winter season. Another Colorado classic, Breckenridge offers five peaks and 2,908 acres of skiable terrain, 2-6 person lifts, 187 trails, and a peak elevation of 12,998 feet. 

There is something for everyone in Breckenridge; from high alpine terrain to beginner slopes. For intermediate to expert level skiers, locals say Peak 6 is the favorite. Accessible from town, Peak 7 is a snowboarders’ dream with wide, open runs. Peak 8 is the most famous of all the peaks in Breckenridge. Peak 8 is home to the highest chairlift in all of North America and the iconic Horseshoe Bowl that can be seen from town.  

The best place to purchase passes, lift tickets, or book a lesson is on

There is a lot of ground to cover here, so it’s best to plan ahead. They offer a virtual mountain assistant that you can text for up-to-date information on weather, lift lines, parking, and basically anything you could ever need to know on-demand. 


Tamarack is a special place and one of my all-time favorite ski destinations. You can do a lot here depending on the season like zip line tours, mountain biking, and rafting, but the skiing rivals some of the very best in the U.S. The mountain offers Alpine, Nordic, and backcountry skiing, so you’ve got some cool options. 

Tamarack’s ski season typically begins in early December, when its 1,100 acres of East-facing, wind-free slopes are packed and groomed. The summit sits at 7,700 feet with a base elevation of 4,900 feet. Seven lifts lead to fifty different trails to choose from. 

Day and season passes can be purchased on their website to ensure you get in line for the lifts on opening day. 

Brundage Mountain, located in McCall, Idaho, is famous for some of “the best snow in Idaho” and the resort is well-known and beloved. If you like backcountry skiing or snowboarding, Brundage offers 18,000 acres of more intense terrains outside of the controlled runs.

If you’re totally new to skiing, this is the place for you. Their terrain park is a perfect place to learn some new skills and gain confidence on the slopes. The park is broken up to encourage a natural progression in skills and safety. It’s kind of an incredible location to learn. 

And even for super experienced skiers, this is still the spot. More than half of the 67 trails are more difficult (hence the emphasis on education and safety). 

The average snowfall is about 320 inches a year. You can sign up for “Powder Alerts” on their website and get the latest snowfall reports. Their season opens up in mid-November.

The “Little Ski Hill”
Just a few miles north of McCall is the third oldest ski area in Idaho. Dubbed the “Little Ski Hill,” this spot dates all the way back to 1937 and has some of the best night skiing in the area. The area is part of the Payette Lakes Ski Club, whose goal has always been to offer affordable winter recreation to the community of McCall. They are a super cool organization that even offers after school programs to kids in the area looking to get into ski culture and lessons from their seasoned instructors.

This place is worth the trip just for the hometown vibe and friendly, local attitude. Plus, night skiing is a totally unique experience and this is the place to do it. This location is all about fun. 

Related: How To Relieve Sore Muscles: Advice from a Pro Athlete


Brighton is one of those ski destinations that you only hear about from serious skiers (if that tells you anything). This is the only resort in Utah where you can access all of the slopes by high-speed quads that can fit the whole family. 

The mountain gets about 500 inches of snow each year at a base elevation of 8,755 feet. The highest elevation on the mountain is 10,500 feet. Regardless of your skill level, you can find something perfect for you here. Night riding is also available, with over 200 acres of night-skiing terrain. 

Brighton boasts 66 runs, four terrain parks, and a world-renowned ski and snowboarding school on over 1,000 skiable acres. It’s known for its immaculate grooming. Head to the top of Big Cottonwood Canyon for an unforgettable view.

Passes and lift tickets can be purchased on their site. They offer a variety of pass options at different price ranges and kids ten and under ski for free!

Powder Mountain
Powder Mountain is massive. It’s not just considered the greatest snow in Utah, it’s considered the “greatest snow on Earth” with over 500 inches of natural snowfall on average yearly. 

This spot has a cool history, as well. It started out as the winter range for a herd of sheep looked after by a man named Frederick James Cobabe. In the 1950s, somebody realized it would make the perfect location for a ski resort, so the son of Frederick James Cobabe continued to add to his father’s acreage until he owned over 14,000. The resort opened its doors in 1972.

With 154 named runs and two terrain parks, Powder Mountain boasts over 8,464 acres, making it the largest ski resort in the United States, where the slopes are wide and uncrowded. 

They offer day and season passes for both day and night skiing on their website as well as beginner lessons. Only 1,500 tickets are offered daily, so if you’re hoping to continue social distancing on your ski trip, this is the place to be. 


Mount Bachelor
You can’t talk about Oregon skiing without putting Mount Bachelor at the top of your list. The sixth-largest ski area in North America, Mount Bachelor has over 4,300 acres of terrain available to skiers. Also, it’s a volcano! It gets about 462 inches of snowfall a year and boasts 101 runs, maxing out at 4 miles long. 

Mount Bachelor has teamed up with Woodward, an action sports company, to create an experiential action sports destination called the Woodward Mountain Park. There, skiers and snowboarders can progress their skills in zones dedicated to specific terrain, courses accessible for all skill levels, and tons of open space for free-styling and learning purposes. 

Free parking! Reserve your spot online, so you’re all set the day of. Opening day is December 7, and the resort will be open to the public on December 11. Passes of up to 14 days can be purchased on their website

Hoodoo is a personal favorite of mine. It has been around since the 1940s and continues to be an Oregonian classic. They have 34 runs on over 800 acres of family-friendly terrain, as well as night skiing and a huge tubing park. Need I say more? 

Hoodoo even has their own mascot, Harold the Hodag. What exactly is a hodag, you ask? That’s unclear but it hasn’t stopped the mythology surrounding Harold from forming. 

Club Hoodoo offers discounted tickets for a membership fee. However, you can still purchase the classic season pass or a day pass on their website. 

Related: Top 10 Things To Do in Bend, Oregon

Things to Keep in Mind

Know your limitations and your abilities.
Don’t wing it if you’re unsure. Backcountry terrain and steeper slopes could potentially be super dangerous for inexperienced skiers. Don’t be afraid to take lessons. Even if you’re an experienced skier, just a tad rusty, brush up on your skills to avoid a silly — and likely preventable — injury. 

Make sure your gear fits correctly.
This one seems like a no-brainer, but it’s the difference between a good and bad day on the slopes. 

All of these resorts offer the very best rentals in equipment and safety gear. However, if you’re looking to build your own collection of high-quality gear, Lib Tech and Saga Outerwear are two brands I’m digging right now.

Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen.
We’ve all done it. We’ve all forgone sunscreen and thought everything would be okay only to return to the lodge with the bottom, non-goggled half of your face blistered and red. Wear sunscreen.

Helmet, always.
Don’t be a statistic! Safety is key when it comes to a successful day on the slopes. Well, that and an après-ski cocktail.

Have we forgotten anything? Where are some of your favorite places to ski?


Happy Little Accidents: The Birth of Our Most Popular Flavor

A Q&A with our founders, Jim and Max Bendis on how they stumbled upon the happiest accident: our cranberry blood orange naturally-infused sparkling beverage with CBD.

What led you to the CBD industry?

Max: For me, it was a passion for cannabis and the industry itself. The excitement of it in Oregon at the time was palpable.

Oregon has always been ahead of the curve in terms of cannabis — and now with CBD as well. It was cool to see my friends starting dispensaries and forming a kind of community. I couldn’t wait to get involved.

Jim: I had a vision for the future that cannabis would be enjoyed socially and become so mainstream that no one felt the need to hide if they smoked or consumed edibles.

I saw CBD as a crucial stepping stone to that future because it’s a dominant reason cannabis can benefit our overall wellness.

CBD aligns with the core values we always envisioned for Ablis.

What inspired you to make this a family business?

Max:  Back in 2016 I had been trying to make some other beverage products. I had a couple of runs making kombucha and started a business with that. But, it kind of fizzled out.

Then, the cannabis industry began to blossom. Cannabis has always been a passion I share with my dad, so it was natural for us to be curious. It started out as just a father-son project that soon became a business.

Jim: I knew I couldn’t do it by myself. Creating a brand new product in a young industry takes dedication and a lot of hard work.

I knew Max had the drive, compassion, and dedication to make this work. Plus, having a family business feels good and keeps us close.

Related: Our Origin Story

How did the cranberry blood orange flavor come about?

Max: The first flavor for the CBD line was actually a chai tea, which has been discontinued for a few years now. The lemon ginger formula was made around that time too, and it has managed to stay popular. But our most popular flavor, cranberry blood orange, that formulation just happened by accident.

We were making small batches of special flavors for a couple of local accounts that sold them in kegs.

We had toyed with the idea of doing a festive, seasonal flavor. I was trying to make a cranberry lime flavor for the holidays, and in small batches, it tasted super good. I made it in the lab and thought I had something perfect for that season’s keg special.

But, then we went to blow it up to the production-sized batch (250 gallons / about 45 kegs) it tasted like tart water. It was just not good. Our growler partners were expecting this flavor ASAP, so I decided to think on my feet and get to work saving the batch.

I went through some of the leftover ingredients around the distillery and added some fruit concentrates and fruit extracts that were leftover from other projects. I think that’s where the blood orange made its way into the batch, which really started getting the flavor profile going.

I think the original batch even had some apple and mixed fruit juice concentrate, but honestly, I can’t remember all the things I threw in there to save the batch. It was a total concoction! I didn’t even keep track of what we were adding. Just eyeballing it and doing everything we could to make it taste good.

Well, it was a hit! When it was gone, everyone wanted more. But, we didn’t write anything down and had no idea what was in the final product. We didn’t even have a name for it, people just kept asking for the cranberry one and when it was going to be back in stock.

So, we had to recreate it. Luckily, Cody helped me a lot. We spent maybe a week in the lab trying out different flavors and juice combinations based on my memories of mixing that day.

We made it as close as we could to the original, but I will admit, it’s not an exact match to that seasonal keg batch. It’s really just a tribute. Instead of using a mix of fruit concentrates, we used an all-natural cranberry juice concentrate and infused it with blood orange extract. It was still pretty tart, so we played with the sugar until it was a perfect balance.

Nobody really knows what the original recipe was. It was just a happy accident, and it turned out to be a pretty popular one.

Jim: Bendistillery, our flagship brand, has always done a lot of experimentation with all-natural flavors and real fruit infusions, whether for Crater Lake Spirits or for private labels clients.

We like to have fun and create tasty products, plus we had the ability to distribute in kegs and let our original retailers and customers sample.

We had great success with the lemon ginger flavor and didn’t have any other flavors in mind.

After Max’s mixture of juices we already had in stock, we put it on the market as a special blend and let people sample. They loved it, of course, and wanted more, but whoops we had not written a formula down.

Thanks to Max and a small group of tasters, we were able to recreate.

We wrote down the recipe this time!

Where do you see Ablis in the future?

Max: I’d like to see the whole CBD industry become massively accepted as an ingredient for food and beverages.

In five years, all these grocery stores will have a whole section of CBD drinks and I’d like to see Ablis right there on top.

Jim: I see Ablis mainstream and nationwide, right on the shelves of your local grocery store, the “green” section, created for those who want an alternative to soda or alcohol.

I see the essentials loved by all who like a more targeted method of CBD usage.

Related: Jim Bendis: My CBD Journey

What does Ablis mean to you?

Max: It means a lot. It’s still a father-son project to me.

It’s still this thing that we created together and a fun project for me. It doesn’t even feel like work half the time.

Like the cranberry blood orange story, everything about Ablis has been like that; fun little projects that have turned into big things.

Now, it’s just about growing our brand, getting CBD beverages out there, and changing the whole industry.

Jim: Ablis was born from the words cannabis and bliss. Ablis means finding bliss from the brands we create.


The Best Mountain Biking Trails Near Bend, Oregon

We are all about outdoor activities at Ablis, and mountain biking is a passion we can all seem to agree on. 

Bend offers tons of trails, of varying difficulties, for anyone looking to cover some ground and get your heart pumping. 

I am happy to share some of my favorite spots to tear up some dirt around Bend.

Why Bend for Mountain Biking

Bend is a killer destination for mountain biking. Oregon itself has some of the most epic mountain biking in the Pacific Northwest. 

Plus, we are really lucky to have some of the best spots right here in Bend. 

You can do over 30-mile rides inside Bend, so you could easily make a whole day of it.

I’ve been riding pretty much my whole life, except a few years after high school because of multiple injuries. 

I’ve gotten even more into riding in recent years, but I had to build it back up, and I don’t know if I’ll ever again have the confidence that I used to.

However, I feel really good about riding again this year!

That being said, there are some things to consider beforehand when you’re planning a ride. 

Choose the Right Course

First things first, you need to know what level of difficulty you’re going to be comfortable with.

A lot of the trails aren’t marked very well, but Mount Bachelor, for example, uses the same kind of markings as a ski terrain. 

So, you have the green circle — which is the easiest way down. The blue square is a little more medium and then there’s a black diamond and a double black diamond. 

They’ll also have signs that say mandatory drops and mandatory jumps on certain trails. 

For the most part, the trail system in town isn’t marked super well. However, there isn’t anything too crazy out there!

Then, determine how long of a ride you want to do. 

As I said, Bend has some longer rides available. You can do up to 100 miles near Bend. We even hold 100-mile races each year. 

Currently, my rides are 5 to 30 miles. Rarely more. The longest ride I’ve done myself was probably 35 or 40 miles. 

I did a couple of long road rides with my dad back in the day. I think we did 60 miles once.

We rode from town up to the top of the old McKenzie pass, which is a scenic byway just outside of Sisters, Oregon. It’s a super windy road up to the top, it’s only open in the summer, and they don’t plow it during the winter. 

There’s not a lot of traffic on it because it’s not the main highway. So, it’s great for scenic rides because it’s absolutely beautiful and super calm. 

Personally, I am more fond of gravity and downhill trails. 

We’ve got some of those around here, including Mount Bachelor

Mount Bachelor, a ski resort during the winter, is open for downhill mountain biking in the summer. They have a trail up there called Red Line that is pretty next level. 

It’s probably one of the coolest things in Bend, in my opinion. 

Red Line is a flowy, jump trail and it was built by some next level trail designers. 

Our friend Kyle Jameson was actually a big part of building it! 

Black Sage Dirt Works is his and another buddy’s company and they build incredible trails. They even built a pump track for us over at our property in Tumalo.

Related: CBD and Me: Kyle Jameson – Ablis CBD

Flagline trail is another favorite of mine. It’s a climb through a forest with incredible views.

There are so many to check out in Bend. There is truly something for everyone. 

Be Prepared

There’s nothing worse than getting all the way out to a trail and realizing your bike needs servicing. I always make sure my bike is dialed, check the tire pressure and the shock pressure, and just make sure it’s running smoothly overall. 

Then, I make sure I have all my gear, depending on if I’m riding a local trail or if I’m going to, say, Mount Bachelor.

It’s a little bit different because a trail like Bachelor, requires the full-face helmet and you’ll need all the motocross type of gear to ride up there. It’s just pretty gnarly. 

Around town though, just the basics will do (little pads and a helmet). 

Snacks and beverages are crucial. Having a little nutrition and maybe some CBD, caffeine, and water are important as well. 

A ride is always better with friends. Ride with people who know the trail if you can. 

However, I’m trying to make it a goal to explore a little more because sometimes I get stuck in riding the same trails all the time. It’s so easy to stick with what you know. 

Taking bike trips with friends has gotten me out of my comfort zone because they’re always looking for new places to explore. 

We’re in a high desert, so it gets super hot and all the moisture goes away in August. Everything is completely dried out, which makes the trails sandy and loose. 

Trails are open, but they’re not ideal in the high desert until Fall, which is my absolute favorite time of year for rides. 

It cools off a little bit, we get some moisture, some of the trails get some work. So it’s prime time.

The most practical advice I can give would be to look before you leap.

Be mindful of not trying to exceed your skill level too much. 

Play on the line of exceeding it, because that’s how you progress but don’t go too far.

Injuries suck and they can hurt your confidence on the trail.

Ablis and Mountain Biking

This year, we gave away a crazy special bike in our summer raffle. 

Last year, we did a local scavenger hunt and gave away five bikes. They weren’t as decked out as the one from this year, but it was still so fun to put together. 

We made these custom tokens out of tree branches essentially, hid them out in the woods, and made a big scavenger hunt out of it. We had so many people out looking for these tokens.

This year, we kept it pretty mellow because we couldn’t find anything that was super COVID friendly other than an online raffle.

We’d like to do it again next year for sure, but we’ll probably do something a little bit different.

This year, the raffle proceeds went to the Central Oregon Trail Alliance. 

Last year, we didn’t do a benefit. It was more about giving back to the community and having a great time outside!

One of the guys who won last year was a total beginner, but he decided to take up mountain biking and ended up losing about 65 pounds. He said he has ridden about 1,000 miles since he won the bike!

We are so proud to be a part of that story.

Related: Ablis’ Bike Raffle with COTA

The Best Local Resources

Bend Trails

It’s kind of a local organization. They post about some of the more popular trails. On their homepage, they have the latest Bend trail reports.

Mountain Bike Project – Oregon

This site gives you an in-depth look at specific trails all over the country. It includes difficulty, distance, elevation, and other trail info. 

Trail Forks Oregon

Another great link to access info on Oregon’s bike trails and their difficulty ratings.

CBD Education

Is CBD Legal? Here are the Facts

It’s no surprise that we get asked a lot about the legality of CBD.

We totally get it! It’s a lot of information to absorb, and the laws have evolved a lot over the past few years. 

It can be overwhelming when navigating CBD products. There are so many to choose from, and new ways to manufacture and consume CBD are being created at a pretty crazy rate. 

This has caused a lot of confusion around the legality of hemp-derived products like CBD, so let’s clear the air and break down the legal stuff. 

Embracing Hemp Products

The U.S. is finally embracing hemp products and the possibilities of CBD, but it hasn’t always been that way.

The 1970 Federal Controlled Substances Act categorized cannabis and hemp as a Schedule 1 substance. This restricted the public’s access to cannabis and hemp-derived products for decades until states began to realize the potential of hemp. 

Hemp got a bad wrap for a long time until the government realized it was a hot agricultural commodity.

Luckily, Ablis is located in Oregon. We are lucky to have some of the most quality hemp to produce our CBD because our state was way ahead of the curve.

Oregon has historically been one of the most progressive states in terms of cannabis laws, and our hemp laws followed suit. We legalized medical cannabis in 1998 and recreational cannabis, including hemp, in 2014. 

So, we were more than ready to contribute to the growing CBD market. 

The Legalization of Hemp

The Farm Bill was passed in 2018.

This bill legalized hemp cultivation and CBD extraction on a federal level by making a clear distinction between hemp and marijuana-derived products. 

It also placed the regulations for CBD in the hands of the FDA. The FDA allows CBD products, with 0.3% of THC or less, to be sold anywhere (as long as they don’t make any big health claims).

The interest and the demand for CBD was pretty much instant. And that’s when Ablis switched from THC-infused products to all CBD.

We decided to take advantage of the amazing hemp here in Oregon and create products that supplemented an active lifestyle with CBD.

Related: Clearing the Top CBD Myths

THC vs. CBD Legality 

THC is still illegal federally, but CBD is now legal in most states. 

THC is the cannabinoid found in cannabis that gives you a high sensation, which is not the case with CBD.

Since recent studies have been able to isolate and research specific cannabinoids, it has been confirmed that CBD does not contribute to any of these psychoactive effects, leading lawmakers to revisit hemp legislation and eventually pass the Farm Bill. 

Because of this, THC is still federally illegal and categorized as a Schedule 1 drug.

Since the CBD cannabinoid can be isolated from THC, CBD products are available almost everywhere in the United States.

Although CBD is legal on a federal level, there are a few states that still have strict regulations when it comes to hemp and CBD. 

Related: Can CBD get you high? The Scoop on CBD vs. THC

Hemp is Still Illegal in Some States 

Certain states have still banned the cultivation and manufacturing of hemp products.

Idaho, Nebraska, and South Dakota do not allow any production of hemp or hemp-derived products locally, however their shipping laws are a little unclear. More clarification is required before we’d recommend having CBD shipped to these states. 

Each state with CBD friendly laws now has regulations for hemp. They do vary, but all regulate labeling, cultivation, and testing. 

However, regardless of the state, CBD products must contain no more than 0.3% of THC to meet federal regulations laid out by the FDA and in the Farm Bill.

Testing requirements break down all cannabinoids present and determine if any pesticides or solvents were used. Legitimate CBD products will be labeled with a lot of this information. 

The Different Types of CBD 

It’s good to know the difference between full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and CBD isolate. 

These three distillation processes allow certain cannabinoids, like THC, to remain in the finished product or not depending on the desired result. 

Full-spectrum is the least processed, with all of the cannabinoids present in the hemp, including small amounts of THC. The THC levels will not exceed 0.3% of course. The THC is present to aid in what’s called the “entourage effect.”

The THC and other trace cannabinoids are said to help facilitate the absorption of the CBD, which can be beneficial for some. It all just depends on how your body responds to CBD. 

Broad-spectrum goes a step further, removing all the THC cannabinoids, but leaving other trace cannabinoids behind. This is a safer option if you’re looking to keep THC out of your system, as it has been known to build up over time. 

The CBD isolate distillation process isolates the CBD from all other cannabinoids found in the hemp plant, leaving you with CBD and CBD alone. This is the safest and most legal option. 

This is the method used for the CBD used in Ablis’ products. That’s why we are allowed to ship nationwide. 

Related: CBD Isolate Definition and Broad vs. Full Spectrum

Always Read the Label 

This is key. The label will give you a lot of information like the amount of CBD in the product, where it was manufactured, what type of CBD it is, the batch number and date, dosing suggestions, and a list of all ingredients.

If you’re worried about travel/shipping restrictions or keeping your system free of any THC for possibly a drug test at work, read labels carefully, and make your decisions accordingly. 


*The statements above have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Our products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

CBD Education

CBD Isolate Definition and Broad vs. Full Spectrum

CBD is still fairly new to many and the choices are overwhelming. 

Whether you’re trying to get the most bang for your buck, need to be able to pass a drug test at work, or require some holistic relief, knowing what to look for is the hard part these days. 

If you’re struggling to understand the jargon and processes involved, allow me to explain. 

CBD is manufactured using predominantly three different methods. All three methods utilize the hemp plant, yielding vastly different results. 

That’s right. There’s way more to it than just a CBD label!

These three types are isolate, full spectrum, and broad spectrum CBD. 

At Ablis, we use CBD isolate to infuse our beverages, so let’s start there.

What is CBD Isolate? 

CBD isolate is CBD in its purest form. Just as it sounds, it is isolated from the rest of the cannabinoids in hemp giving you nothing but a dose of natural balance. 

This means you’re only enjoying the effects of cannabidiol (CBD) and no other plant compounds found in the hemp plant are present. 

Isolate contains absolutely zero THC, which means maximum legality and no chance of a high-feeling.

To achieve this level of purity, after the oil is extracted with CO2, a method called winterization takes place, followed by a distillation process. This removes all excess wax, terpenes, and remaining cannabinoids, leaving it in its purest crystalline form. 

What About Full and Broad Spectrums?

Full spectrum CBD is the most unfiltered method and contains all the natural phytochemicals found in the hemp plant including terpenes, oils, and moderate amounts of cannabinoids. It is the least processed form of the three types. 

This means it can contain trace amounts of THC (0.03% or less), giving you the possibility of some mild psychoactive effects, though highly unlikely. (Get it? Highly?)

Full spectrum creates the “entourage effect” by facilitating those interactions between cannabinoid receptors. The entourage effect is said to be what causes cannabis to be the most potent because the cannabinoids work in tandem to create a synergy and optimize each compound.

Some of the noteworthy cannabinoids that can be found in full spectrum extracts are CBN, CBDV, CBDA, CBG, and CBC. 

Broad spectrum CBD contains all of the plant’s compounds except for THC. The method of extraction and refinement is similar to isolate, however, it only targets the THC cannabinoid. 

This type of CBD can produce a similar entourage effect like full spectrum. 

Both broad and full spectrum contain terpenes and flavonoids that have distinct flavors. 

The least amount of information is known about broad spectrum since it is the most recent method to make its way into the industry. 

Related: CBD vs. THC: They Are Not The Same

What’s the Big Difference? 

Aside from the variation in cannabinoids, price is a prominent difference. 

Keeping consistent ratios of CBD and THC compounds is not simple by any means. This makes full spectrum the most expensive of the three types of CBD. 

Broad spectrum is less pricey, however not as widely available since it’s new on the scene. 

Isolate is easy to find and typically the most affordable option.

I previously mentioned legality, which may seem irrelevant given that hemp and CBD are federally legal (thanks to the Farm Bill passed in 2018). 

However, certain states still have stringent regulations around all products that fall under the category of cannabis. It’s a good idea to look into your local and state regulations before choosing a CBD product. 

Which One is for You? 

Everyone is different. Each one of us contains a unique Endocannabinoid system internally. Many different factors can affect the way CBD interacts with your system.

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again; you’ve just got to experiment! Start small. 

If you are someone who finds a ratio of both CBD and THC to be advantageous, you might consider full spectrum. The entourage effect could be appropriate depending on the individual.

If you are sensitive to THC or live in a more restrictive location, broad spectrum or isolate might be a better choice.

Even trace amounts of THC can build up over time, putting you at risk in non-legal states. If you anticipate a drug test soon, save yourself the anxiety and stick to isolate

Unfortunately, mislabeling is a recurring pattern in the industry and many are sadly motivated by profit alone, so trusted brands with transparent testing and nutritional information are a must. 

It may take some time to figure out which type of CBD is a good fit for your needs, but it’s worth the wait! 

Why Did We Choose CBD Isolate at Ablis? 

We started in 2014 making a beverage that contained THC but eventually pivoted to CBD due to a growing demand for CBD products without the high associated with THC. 

We wanted to achieve a maximum reach with CBD, which meant the most legal route was the wisest. 

By ensuring that our process of extraction leaves no traces of THC, we can ship across state lines and sell just about anywhere.

Our sparkling CBD beverage might actually be the first of its kind.

We also care about quality. We have third-party testing, use crazy-good Oregon hemp for our isolate, and put only the essentials in our products. (No artificial sweeteners, preservatives, or additives!)

Isolate is odorless and flavorless, so it doesn’t leave that plant-matter-y taste behind. This seemed like a no brainer to me during the meticulous process of creating flavor infusions for our sparkling water. 

Another reason we are big fans of isolate is because we don’t want anything to slow down your lifestyle. If trace amounts of THC could potentially mellow out an intense hike or mountain bike ride – it simply isn’t ideal for our super active customer. 

Most of all, we think CBD is a powerhouse amongst the different compounds found in cannabis.

There’s nothing quite like starting or ending your day with CBD. Isolate allows you to do that without worry and still enjoy all the potential goodness the hemp plant has to offer.

How can Ablis infuse your lifestyle? 

Related: Staying True To Our Craft Beverage Roots

*The statements above have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Our products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.