The Umatilla National Forest, located in the northeastern part of Oregon, is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. With its vast expanses of stunning wilderness, diverse flora and fauna, and numerous recreational opportunities, it is a destination that should not be missed. Among its many attractions, the forest offers some of the best horse trails in the region. Whether you are an experienced equestrian or a novice rider, Umatilla has something to offer for everyone.
One of the most popular horse trails at Umatilla National Forest is the North Fork Umatilla Wilderness Loop. This trail is perfect for riders who enjoy picturesque landscapes and want to experience the untouched beauty of the forest. The loop is approximately 18 miles long and takes riders through dense forests, crossing streams, and offering breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains. It is a moderately difficult trail, making it suitable for experienced riders, but not overly challenging for beginners.
For those seeking a more extensive and challenging trail ride, the Wenaha-Tucannon Wilderness Loop is an excellent choice. This 32-mile loop takes riders deep into the heart of the wilderness, offering an unforgettable riding experience. The trail takes you through canyons, up steep slopes, and along ridgelines, providing stunning views at every turn. Riders will also have the opportunity to witness an extraordinary diversity of wildlife, including deer, elk, and various bird species. This trail is more suitable for experienced riders due to its demanding terrain and longer distance.
If you are looking for a shorter trail that combines stunning views with a touch of history, the Table Rock Lookout Trail is the answer. This 6-mile trail offers a unique experience as it takes riders to an old fire lookout tower that provides panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. The trail gently winds through forests, wildflower meadows, and rocky outcrops, creating an incredibly scenic ride. Riders will feel a sense of awe as they take in the breathtaking vistas, making this trail a must-visit for any horse enthusiast.
For those seeking a trail that offers a combination of natural beauty and cultural significance, the High Ridge Trail is a great option. This 12-mile trail takes riders through a historic area where Native Americans used to gather and hunt. It offers magnificent views of the surrounding valleys, as well as encounters with archaeological sites and ancient rock formations. The trail showcases the rich history and natural wonders of the Umatilla National Forest.
It is important to note that when riding on any of these trails, riders should always come prepared with proper equipment, including a well-fitted saddle, helmet, and appropriate clothing. Additionally, riders should be mindful of their horses' wellbeing, providing them with adequate water, rest, and nutrition.
The Umatilla National Forest is a treasure trove for horse enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. Whether you are seeking a short scenic ride or a challenging adventure, the forest offers a variety of trails that cater to riders of all levels. With its breathtaking landscapes, diverse wildlife, and rich history, Umatilla is undoubtedly a destination that will leave riders with memories to last a lifetime. So grab your saddle, hop on your horse, and explore the best horse trails at Umatilla National Forest – an experience you won't want to miss.