The very first Descend On Bend started as a small gathering of 18 Volkswagen Vanagons. In the years since it has grown to a much larger crowd of thousands traveling in all types of vehicles.
For four days, nomads from all walks of life camp out in Central Oregon and connect with like-minded travelers, sharing tips and stories. The people you’ll meet range from full-timers to weekend warriors, young van dwellers to senior travelers who have been on the road for decades, solo RVers, couples, and families.
All vehicles and campers are welcome, including cars, motorcycles, and bikes. Registration covers your entry fee for three nights and four days of camping. It also covers a daily private land access fee, as the location is a short bike ride away from Hole-In-The-Ground (a volcanic crater). They have the luxurious amenity of Porta Potties on-site, potable water, relatively level ground, and shower tokens available to purchase.
“Imagine being in a forest parked alongside a crater a mile across with 500+ people who are into all the same cool shit as you.” One Reddit user explained. “Lots of wonderful conversations, bottles of tasty beverages passed around a campfire, and one totally mesmerizing sunrise.”
They host a variety of activities to bring people together day and night. Kick off your morning peacefully doing Sunrise Yoga at Hole-In-The-Ground. Then take a guided nature walk or enter your best recipe in their salsa contest. The event also holds a Ladies’ Cocktail Hour, Whiskey Tastings, nightly music and dancing, and a raffle.
On Saturday morning, they host a Scavenger Hunt with tokens hidden across 574 acres of wilderness. These tokens can be redeemed for a variety of Descend On Bend merchandise.
They also hold a community potluck, charity pancake breakfast, and a BBQ on their own World’s Largest Grill. This year they will have an option for vegetarians as well.
An incredible amount of work goes into getting the event ready every year. You can learn more about the behind-the-scenes and get an idea of what the gathering is like in this new documentary from Totem Ent. on Youtube.