Tuesday ยท July 11, 2023
Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area: Top Horse Trails | July 2023
Author: Admin

The Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area is a stunning natural wonder that stretches for over 80 miles along the Columbia River, forming the border between Washington and Oregon. With its breathtaking views, cascading waterfalls, and diverse landscapes, it is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. For horse riders, the scenic area offers a variety of trails that allow you to explore its beauty on horseback. Here are some of the top horse trails in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area.


1. Catherine Creek Trail: Located on the Washington side of the scenic area, Catherine Creek Trail is a popular choice for horseback riders. The trail winds through open grasslands, scattered oak trees, and wildflower fields, offering panoramic views of the river and the surrounding hills. The trail is moderate in difficulty and provides options for loop rides of varying lengths. Be sure to check for seasonal trail closures as the area is also used for cattle grazing.


2. Klickitat River Trail: The Klickitat River Trail is another fantastic option for horseback riding enthusiasts. Starting at the Fisher Hill Bridge on Highway 142, this trail follows the stunning Klickitat River for about 14 miles, taking riders through a diverse landscape of lush forests, rocky cliffs, and open meadows. Along the way, you can spot various bird species and maybe even catch a glimpse of river otters playing in the water. The trail is mostly flat and well-maintained, making it suitable for riders of all skill levels.


3. Lyle Cherry Orchard Trail: Situated near the town of Lyle, Washington, the Lyle Cherry Orchard Trail is known for its picturesque scenery and historical charm. This trail takes riders through an old cherry orchard, offering breathtaking views of the gorge and Mount Hood. It is a relatively easy ride, making it a great choice for beginners, families, or those seeking a leisurely ride. Don't forget to pack a picnic and enjoy a peaceful break amidst the beauty of nature.


4. Deschutes River State Recreation Area: Located near The Dalles, Oregon, the Deschutes River State Recreation Area offers numerous equestrian trails that are perfect for exploring the area's diverse landscapes. From open grasslands to rocky canyons, the trails provide stunning views of the Deschutes River and its surrounding cliffs. The trails vary in difficulty, making it possible to find a suitable route for riders of all levels. Be sure to plan ahead, as overnight camping with horses is available but requires a reservation.


5. Memaloose Hills: For those looking for a more challenging ride, the Memaloose Hills offer a great opportunity to test your skills. The trails wind through steep, rocky terrain, taking riders through forested areas and open meadows filled with wildflowers during the spring and summer months. The views from the top of the hills are absolutely breathtaking, with panoramic vistas of the gorge and the mighty Columbia River. Due to the steepness and unevenness of the terrain, this trail is recommended for experienced riders and well-trained horses.


Before embarking on any of these trails, it is essential to check for current trail conditions, closures, and obtain any necessary permits. Respect the environment, follow Leave No Trace principles, and ensure that you are well-prepared with proper gear and supplies for both you and your horse. By doing so, you can fully enjoy the unparalleled beauty of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area on horseback and create unforgettable memories in this remarkable natural wonder.