Tuesday ยท July 11, 2023
Deschutes National Forest: Top Horse Trails | July 2023
Author: Admin

Exploring the beautiful wilderness of Deschutes National Forest in Oregon is an adventure worth undertaking, whether on foot or on horseback. With its vast expanse of towering pine forests, crystal-clear lakes, and breathtaking mountain views, it offers an unparalleled experience for equestrians. In this article, we will delve into the top horse trails in Deschutes National Forest, providing valuable insights and recommendations for riders of all skill levels.


1. Metolius-Windigo Trail: Offering a truly scenic journey, the Metolius-Windigo Trail is an excellent choice for riders seeking a longer adventure. Stretching over 100 miles, this trail combines multiple terrains, including forests, meadows, and wetlands. The trail can be accessed from multiple entry points, allowing riders to choose the distance they wish to cover. Along the way, be prepared to encounter stunning Wild and Scenic Rivers, such as the Deschutes and Metolius, as well as majestic mountain vistas.


2. Tumalo Falls: For those looking for a shorter yet breathtakingly beautiful trail, Tumalo Falls is a must-visit. With its close proximity to Bend, Oregon, it is easily accessible and makes for an ideal day trip. The trail weaves through a lush forest of towering Ponderosa pines, leading to the magnificent Tumalo Falls. Riders can enjoy the sights and sounds of the cascading waterfall, which plunges over 90 feet into a rocky canyon, creating a mesmerizing natural spectacle.


3. Sisters Tie Trail: If you're in search of an immersive backcountry horseback riding experience, the Sisters Tie Trail won't disappoint. This trail, located near the scenic town of Sisters, takes riders through spacious meadows, dense forests, and enchanting alpine landscapes. As you traverse the trail, keep an eye out for the diverse wildlife that calls this area home, including majestic elk, deer, and soaring bald eagles. With its stunning views and remote feel, the Sisters Tie Trail offers a true wilderness escape.


4. Cultus Lake Loop Trail: Nestled amidst the striking Central Oregon Cascades, the Cultus Lake Loop Trail provides a picturesque journey around the shores of Cultus Lake. This trail not only offers magnificent lake views but also passes through old-growth forests that provide a serene and cool environment. Riders can break for a picnic, go for a refreshing swim in the lake, or simply enjoy the tranquility of the surrounding nature. The trail is approximately 10 miles long and is known for its relatively mellow terrain, making it suitable for riders of various skill levels.


5. Newberry Caldera Trail System: Situated within the Newberry National Volcanic Monument, the Newberry Caldera Trail System presents endless opportunities for horseback exploration. With over 50 miles of interconnected trails, riders can choose their own adventure within the picturesque volcanic landscape. Highlights of this trail system include views of Paulina Peak, serene lakes such as East Lake and Paulina Lake, ancient lava flows, and unique geological formations. Riders can also pack a lunch and stop for a picnic at one of the many designated areas along the trail.


Before embarking on any horseback riding adventure within Deschutes National Forest, it is crucial to check trail conditions, obtain necessary permits, and be prepared with appropriate gear. Additionally, riders should be aware of any seasonal restrictions or closures.


Deschutes National Forest is a haven for horse enthusiasts, offering a diverse range of trails that cater to all levels of riding experience. Whether you seek a leisurely ride along a scenic lake or an exhilarating backcountry excursion, these top horse trails will undoubtedly provide unforgettable experiences in the heart of Oregon's stunning wilderness. So saddle up, explore, and immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Deschutes National Forest on horseback.