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Mountain Biking Horse Butte Trails

Bend Trails » Horse Butte Trail Map

Trail Snapshot

Report (Date)
Length
9.8 miles
Elevation
743'
Rating
Forecast
Trail is riding well right now and there are no reports of mud, deadfall, or snow.

Trail Reports

  • Marty Dawson April 23, 2017 at 8:48 amRiding Well, 4/21/17. Rode the standard loop past Boyd Cave road, thru the gates and back to Horse Butte parking.
  • Dale Navish April 18, 2017 at 7:47 amKeoni, Thanks for educating that guy. We came across them at the Boyd Cave road too! I think they had just gotten there and were not set up yet.
  • Keoni Chung April 16, 2017 at 6:38 pmIn case anybody was wondering I did educate him a little and directed him to a more appropriate/safer location.
  • Keoni Chung April 16, 2017 at 6:35 pmTrails in xlnt condition with lost of people out enjoying the trails...even the guy that decided to do some target practice, shooting his gun across the trail just past the gate on the Boyd Cave section. He literally had a target set up on a stump 6 feet from the trail and walked back and started shooting...across the trail...unbelievable! Be careful out there!
  • Robert Rekward March 29, 2017 at 10:17 amHorse Butte 10 Mile Running Race is the Sunday (April 2nd). Starts at 9:00, so plan to ride late afternoon if you’re going to Horse Ridge.
  • Eric Kutter March 12, 2017 at 8:16 pmAt least the main 10mi loop is in awesome shape. Really doesn't get better. Horse to Horse connector is also in great shape, best I've seen it.
  • Cody McCabe March 1, 2017 at 10:16 amTrails are in good early season shape. Some muddy sections, and a few snow fields, but as long as you're out in the open and out of the thickets, things are shaping up!
 

Trail Description

Horse Butte is primarily a winter riding area East of Bend which consists of Arnold Ice Cave Trail, Coyote Loop Trail, Swamp Wells Trail, and Boyd Cave Trail.

During summer months the area is typically avoided as the soil is too dry and sandy due to limited tree cover. This type of soil lends itself to drying out quicker than the west side trails, so if trails on the west side are muddy – you can often find good riding here.

Most people access these trails by parking at the base of Horse Butte which is on Horse Butte Rd. From the parking area, there is a standard 10 mile loop that can be ridden in either direction. There are also many extended options into the Swamp Wells area and even as far East as Horse Ridge.

For the 10 mile loop, many prefer to ride counter clockwise as there is one steep, loose and techy switchback section along a rock ridge on the East end that is quite difficult to climb without walking. The loop takes from 45 minutes to an hour for most people, and is more narrow than most trails on the West side of bend due to less frequent traffic. Bunch grass and sagebrush grow very close to the tread, so be mindful of sneaker rocks. One of the things that makes this a desirable area to ride is that you have views from almost anywhere along the 10 mile loop due to a past forest fire.

Half way along the loop the you cross a gravel road which you can follow a quarter mile to Boyd Cave entrance. If riding clockwise, start the loop across Horse Butte Rd from the trailhead. This is the start of Arnold Ice Cave Trail. If riding counter-clockwise, follow the gravel road along the South edge of Horse Butte and look on the left for Swamp Wells trail which has a sign about a quarter mile down.

Note there can be horse traffic at times, which can leave the trail quite bumpy in sections. These bumps iron out fairly fast once a few bikes ride through.

This is primarily a winter riding area due to the sandy soils. Winter rain and snow doesn’t hit this area as hard, and trails are often prime in the winter months.

This trail is 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

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  1. Marty Dawson says:

    Riding Well, 4/21/17. Rode the standard loop past Boyd Cave road, thru the gates and back to Horse Butte parking.

  2. Keoni Chung says:

    Trails in xlnt condition with lost of people out enjoying the trails…even the guy that decided to do some target practice, shooting his gun across the trail just past the gate on the Boyd Cave section. He literally had a target set up on a stump 6 feet from the trail and walked back and started shooting…across the trail…unbelievable! Be careful out there!

    1. Keoni Chung says:

      In case anybody was wondering I did educate him a little and directed him to a more appropriate/safer location.

      1. Dale Navish says:

        Keoni,

        Thanks for educating that guy. We came across them at the Boyd Cave road too! I think they had just gotten there and were not set up yet.

  3. Horse Butte 10 Mile Running Race is the Sunday (April 2nd). Starts at 9:00, so plan to ride late afternoon if you’re going to Horse Ridge.

  4. Eric Kutter says:

    At least the main 10mi loop is in awesome shape. Really doesn’t get better. Horse to Horse connector is also in great shape, best I’ve seen it.

  5. Cody McCabe says:

    Trails are in good early season shape. Some muddy sections, and a few snow fields, but as long as you’re out in the open and out of the thickets, things are shaping up!

  6. Dave Coppedge says:

    Rode this morning.. no mud – hero dirt all the way. But.. it started to rain around 8:30, so conditions could change.

  7. Marty Dawson says:

    Rode it this am, March 3. Smooth and hard pack, no mud, tiny bit of dampness here and there from overnight sprinkles.

  8. Bruce Bradshaw says:

    Getting ridden a lot even with the mud. Arnold side is much wetter.

  9. Sections North of China Hat road are reported to be riding really well. Uphill (South) of China Hat is still snow/ice/mush.

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