Tuesday ยท July 11, 2023
Hells Canyon National Recreational Area: Top Horse Trails | July 2023
Author: Admin

Hells Canyon National Recreational Area in Oregon is a paradise for nature enthusiasts, offering stunning landscapes, diverse wildlife, and incredible horseback riding opportunities. With its rugged terrain, deep canyons, and rivers running through it, this area provides some of the most exhilarating trails for horseback riders. If you are an equestrian lover, here are the top horse trails in Hells Canyon National Recreational Area that you shouldn't miss.


1. Hat Point Trail: Hat Point Trail is a challenging but rewarding 10-mile trail that takes riders to the top of Oregon's second-highest peak, the Hat Point Overlook. The trail showcases breathtaking panoramic views of Hells Canyon, Snake River, and the surrounding mountains. As you navigate the steep slopes and switchbacks, you'll be in awe of the dramatic cliffs and diverse flora and fauna. The trail is best suited for experienced riders due to its rugged terrain and steep inclines.


2. Dug Bar Trail: For a more moderate ride, Dug Bar Trail is a perfect choice. Stretching for approximately 9 miles along the Snake River, this trail offers riders a mix of open grasslands, shady forests, and river crossings. The trail provides an excellent chance to spot wildlife like deer, elk, and a variety of bird species. You'll also have opportunities to catch glimpses of historical sites, including old homesteads and Native American petroglyphs.


3. Kirkwood Ranch Trail: Kirkwood Ranch Trail is a popular horseback riding trail that spans 17 miles along the Snake River, offering riders a chance to explore the Hells Canyon Wilderness. As you ride through diverse terrain, including meadows, forests, and rocky slopes, you'll come across captivating views of the river and the surrounding canyon walls. This trail is abundant in historical significance, passing by the restored Kirkwood Historic Ranch, which offers a glimpse into the region's ranching history.


4. Seven Devils Loop Trail: For experienced riders looking for an extended adventure, the 26-mile Seven Devils Loop Trail is a premier option. Known for its challenging elevation changes and extraordinary panoramas, this trail takes you through alpine meadows, lush forests, and steep switchbacks. Along the way, riders are rewarded with breathtaking views of granite peaks and deep canyons. It is advisable to plan for multiple days as this trail showcases some of the most stunning and remote wilderness in Hells Canyon.


5. Heller Bar Trail: For a more leisurely ride suitable for all skill levels, Heller Bar Trail offers a gentle and picturesque journey. This trail covers around 8.5 miles and runs along the Snake River, providing a tranquil and scenic experience. You'll ride through groves of cottonwood trees, enjoy tranquil river views, and have opportunities to spot a variety of bird species, including bald eagles. This trail is a great option for riders who want a relaxing ride immersed in nature's beauty.


When riding on any of these trails in Hells Canyon National Recreational Area, it's essential to pack plenty of water, food, and appropriate safety gear. Additionally, check the local regulations and obtain any necessary permits or passes before embarking on your horseback riding adventure.


Hells Canyon National Recreational Area is truly a paradise for horseback riders. With its diverse trails, breathtaking scenery, and abundant wildlife, riders of all levels can find their perfect adventure. So, saddle up and explore the beauty that Hells Canyon has to offer on horseback.