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Horse Butte Loop Trail by Adam Nichols

Bend Trails » Horse Butte Loop Trail Map

Trail Snapshot

Report (Date)
9.9 miles
Update Trail Conditions:
Deadfall on Trail?

Trail Reports

  • Bruce Bradshaw October 16, 2018 at 8:47 pmRiding well, but dusty.
  • Bruce Bradshaw October 4, 2018 at 4:34 pmSoft out of tread, but otherwise good. Some bushes have been cut back, but still get wacked by others.
  • Dylan Moore April 2, 2018 at 9:06 amRiding great. A couple of dry sandy corners.
  • Bruce Bradshaw March 12, 2018 at 5:06 pmPatches of mud in the trees, but tacky elsewhere.
  • Richard Fernald February 21, 2018 at 6:12 pmHorse Butte Loop riding great.
  • Mike Maidl January 13, 2018 at 4:26 pmA little sloppy, some minor muddy spots
  • Robert Rekward November 8, 2017 at 8:42 amLoop is riding great. Just a tiny bit of snow on the side of a few areas, but mostly prime dirt.

Ride Description

The Horse Butte Loop is a great 10 mile loop that’s nice and close to town. Because of its elevation and exposure, it gets less snow than the west side, and that snow melts faster too — so while we’re listing it as a fat bike ride, it’s really a “winter riding spot.”

The loop is made up of three trails: the Coyote Loop Trail, the Boyd Cave Trail, and the Arnold Ice Cave Trail. Depending on the snow depth and trail conditions, you’ll often find other options to extend your ride — or jump on China Hat Road and rack up some miles.

One of the coolest things about riding Horse Butte are the views. Unlike Bend’s west-side MTB trails, Horse Butte is fairly open and exposed making for some great vistas. For the same reason, it’s not super fun spot if the wind is howling, because there’s little to no cover.

These trails are maintained by Central Oregon Trail Alliance.

Trail Photos

Before heading out, please take a minute to look at the Rules of the Trail.
More pix @bendtrails and #bendtrails.

Trail Reports » Horse Butte Loop

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  1. Bruce Bradshaw says:

    Riding well, but dusty.

  2. Bruce Bradshaw says:

    Soft out of tread, but otherwise good. Some bushes have been cut back, but still get wacked by others.

  3. Dylan Moore says:

    Riding great. A couple of dry sandy corners.

  4. Bruce Bradshaw says:

    Patches of mud in the trees, but tacky elsewhere.

  5. Richard Fernald says:

    Horse Butte Loop riding great.

  6. Mike Maidl says:

    A little sloppy, some minor muddy spots

  7. Loop is riding great. Just a tiny bit of snow on the side of a few areas, but mostly prime dirt.

  8. Marty Dawson says:

    Horse Butte was riding well today, 10/28/17

  9. Bruce Bradshaw says:

    Loose in places and dusty, but still rides well. The bushes seem bigger. I hadn’t noticed handlebar notches in them before today.

  10. Kellie Jacobson says:

    Rode the loop this last weekend – our first time out in this area (we’re from the valley). It was beautiful. No snow – nice footing. Fast and fun for us and the dogs!

  11. Rick Clothier says:

    loop is very rideable if you go early, as to not cause trail damage. I got out there about 8:30 was definitely worth riding.

  12. Steven Powers says:

    Rode today. Snow and mud in the trees. The open areas are 95% clear and riding well. Suggest park at Boyd Cave trail and do an out and back either way until you hit the trees. Lots of snow and mud in the trees and in the short canyon near Coyote Butte. Like Patrick said, should be better in a week. Keep single track single, ride in the middle!

  13. Mark Campbell says:

    Rode today and it was FANTASTIC! That trail when it’s good….it is really really good. Only a few slick spots but the views are just awesome. Makes you feel like you are riding the real High Desert instead of the Forrest….which I do love.

  14. Bruce Bradshaw says:

    A few loose spots and expect to be bushwhacking otherwise in good shape.

  15. David Dodge says:

    Trail is in great shape.

  16. Adam Nichols says:

    Great condition right now, no more mud, just tacky dirt!

  17. Matt Wesley says:

    Riding well. A few small spots of mud but overall trail is in great shape.

  18. Mike Johnson says:

    My wife and I rode it last Sunday, (2/21/16). As with most trails this time of year, it was great early – when it was still frozen. At about 4,700′ elevation the trail was about half snow and half dirt. By 4,800′ it was pretty much all snow. But… it had a nice crust and you could cruise along the top on a fatbike. I was able to get all the way to the horse camp. I’m not saying it was easy, but it was rideable. By the time I got back down to the dirt on the Coyote trail it was very sloppy.

  19. Willem Boom says:

    Horrible ice mess this morning. The snow is so packed, that it is pure slip and slide at this point. Had to bail on my attempt at a ride. Hope the new snow helps!

  20. Willem Boom says:

    Overall riding okay as of this week. Lots of other traffic on this trail is making the snow bumpy.

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