Cole Loop is an optional loop which you can add to your ride around Grey Butte. It was historically a horse trail, but certain times of the year — winter and spring — it’s in good shape for mountain biking.
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Cole Loop, Gray Butte and Smith Rock are all riding really well. I would recommend getting out there ASAP as the cattle are grazing and the equestrians are out in FORCE. There were at least a dozen horse trailers at the Skull Hollow TH yesterday (3/28/21)!
No cows out today in Cow Canyon and on the east loop. Those trails riding well.
Eastern loop is riding well. Didn’t ride westside.
Mud Season! The road up to Gray Butte TH and Cole Loop access is very muddy and slick – please avoid. Higher elevations are worse currently than lower elevations.
P.S.A. – If mud is sticking to your shoe or bike tire, you should turn around. We know, fun killer. Please understand that huge numbers of volunteer hours, money, love and passion have gone into your trails, and riding through significant mud causes damage. Don’t worry, tacky spring riding is just around the corner!
Eastern side of Cole Loop around Pine Ridge is riding well except for a couple of trees across which are easy ride arounds.
Cattle on the loose in Cow Canyon, but little trail impact so far.
The two trees that were blocking the trail between Skull Hollow and the Saddle (intersection with Gray Butte Trail) have been cleared.
For anyone that rides the east side of this loop (around Pine Ridge), a group of equestrians did a number on it by riding it while it was muddy. Now that it’s dry it’s pretty punishing hardened post holes up to the cattle troughs. :( North of that it’s riding pretty well thanks to a few downed trees we purposely didn’t clear.
Rode up from Skull Hollow to connect with Gray Butte trail. There is water running down the trail in a few spots on the lower section, and one big juniper down across the trail up near the intersection with Gray Butte. Overall, great conditions.
I only road down the cow canyon section of the Cole Loop trail and it was muddy. I would advise to stay off for now or ride it early when it is still frozen.
Eastern half which is not shown on the map view is riding well. Based on posting running race scheduled for 11/9.
Seems like it would be helpful to add the Trail Crossing Corrals trailhead to the map as the easiest access to this trail from the west.
Dusty down low, but tread still firm. Seems to be getting more foot traffic than anything else.
Riding pretty well at the moment. A bit horsed-out, but not too bad. Reading the previous comments… what is gumbo? ;-)
It’s a delicious mix of mud, gravel, pebbles and sand that coats your tires and dries to concrete-like hardness. Don’t worry, when it’s available, it’s always all you can eat and you always go home full.
Oh, I see. That definitely sounds like a buffet to avoid!
Still plenty of the infamous gumbo on the west side. I imagine the rest isn’t much better.
The Crooked River National Grassland and surrounding areas received several inches of snow this past week, and the forecast looks like more of the same. While snow doesn’t tend to stick around too long on the Grassland, mud season does.
Rode cole loop clockwise today to grey butte summit. Trail is marked up by horse hooves but very little mud. Awesome riding.
A little choppy and a few stretches with a touch of gumbo, but overall it’s riding great.
Rode this today clockwise from the Skull Hollow Trail climb and was in great shape for the descent down to the fenceline/private property boundary. From there, the bottom half or so is pretty bumpy from the hooved traffic, but not so loose it’s unrideable.
We rode the east side of this loop (not shown on the map) up from the Skull Hollow TH to avoid the usual road climb. It was medium horsey early on, but actually got pretty good as we came around Pine Ridge until we tied back into Rd 57. Adds 5-5.5 miles to the Smith/Gray ride, so if you’re looking for a little more mileage (but no additional climbing) it’s actually a pretty good option.
Conditions are perfect out there right now.
Not too bumpy, wildflowers are out. This is a great +/fatbike ride!
Conditions Perfect. Cattle Chop is much less now. Be aware there is a Horse event May 5th 6th 7th on gray butte, not a good weekend to ride .
Conditions good. Cattle chopped up the trail a bit last year when muddy, so there are some speed bumps present.
Cattle have hit the trail in muddy conditions making trail very choppy for about 50% of trail
Dirt is perfect! Cow are gone. No mud. Trail is mostly packed smooth like a race track.
Did you enjoy the Cole loop? We took that south side that one time….how is the rest?
Such a good descent in the clockwise direction! One on the most beautiful around.
Getting a bit on the dry side. There are a couple of short sandy sections and a bit of horse chunder, but totally worth getting on!
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