Swamp Wells Mountain Bike Trail

Bend Trails » Swamp Wells Trail Map

Trail Snapshot

Report (Date)
Length
23.6 miles
Elevation
5051'
Rating
Forecast
Trails are riding well right now. They may not be perfect.

Trail Reports

  • Kristopher Siewell April 17, 2017 at 12:05 pmTotally agree with Eric trail is great shape with just some snow spots great loop on Saturday but man thou's pinecones are evil
  • Eric Kutter April 15, 2017 at 8:46 pmAbout 6 snow spots of about 20' in length which are kind of rideable in the last mile to Swamp Wells. Other than that, the trail is in great shape all the way to Swamp Wells. Lots of pine cones though.
  • Brian Frankle April 15, 2017 at 12:36 pmRode Arnold Ice Cave - North Swamp Wells Loop this morning. Patchy snow prior to Swamp Wells Butte (riding from Arnold), but nothing too inconvenient. Zero blow down, trails were in fine shape
  • Patrecia Hedges April 2, 2017 at 6:15 pmRode up to Swamp Wells Rd (the red road). Multiple hike-a-bike patches of snow in the last couple miles, including the small canyon which was mostly snow. But overall, better than expected!
  • Joe Myers April 1, 2017 at 5:53 pmrode up swamp wells a few days ago. No snow until about 1/2 mile past Kelsey butte in manageable patches. Took a Ed just past the next small butte over to coyote loop. Road had several snow patches. Coyote was clear all the way down.
  • Paul Armstrong March 26, 2017 at 7:46 amSnow has receded nearly to the Coyote Loop trail. After Kelsey Butte, the trail is a bit overgrown in places, making it difficult to get through unscathed.
  • Roger Schultz March 21, 2017 at 9:26 pmThe trail couldn't be better. Made it halfway up Kelsey Butte before turning around due to snow patches
 

Trail Description

Swamp Wells starts at Horse Butte and goes all the way up to Newberry Crater rim. Most people only ride the bottom sections to make loops in the 10-30 mile range.

The trail is mostly in the trees and would be similar to a trail in the Phil’s area, but with far fewer riders, and a more remote feel. The trail is used by horses near horse butte and in the middle near the horse camp. As you get higher in elevation the trail gets a little more primitive.

From the horse camp up to Newberry, the trail is rarely cleared of deadfall, so keep this in mind if riding the entire trail.

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.

Trail Photos

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More pix @bendtrails and #bendtrails.

Trail Reports » Swamp Wells

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  1. Kristopher Siewell says:

    Totally agree with Eric trail is great shape with just some snow spots great loop on Saturday but man thou’s pinecones are evil

  2. Eric Kutter says:

    About 6 snow spots of about 20′ in length which are kind of rideable in the last mile to Swamp Wells. Other than that, the trail is in great shape all the way to Swamp Wells. Lots of pine cones though.

  3. Brian Frankle says:

    Rode Arnold Ice Cave – North Swamp Wells Loop this morning. Patchy snow prior to Swamp Wells Butte (riding from Arnold), but nothing too inconvenient. Zero blow down, trails were in fine shape

  4. Patrecia Hedges says:

    Rode up to Swamp Wells Rd (the red road). Multiple hike-a-bike patches of snow in the last couple miles, including the small canyon which was mostly snow. But overall, better than expected!

  5. Joe Myers says:

    rode up swamp wells a few days ago. No snow until about 1/2 mile past Kelsey butte in manageable patches. Took a Ed just past the next small butte over to coyote loop. Road had several snow patches. Coyote was clear all the way down.

  6. Paul Armstrong says:

    Snow has receded nearly to the Coyote Loop trail. After Kelsey Butte, the trail is a bit overgrown in places, making it difficult to get through unscathed.

  7. Roger Schultz says:

    The trail couldn’t be better. Made it halfway up Kelsey Butte before turning around due to snow patches

  8. Zach Blickman says:

    Good for a few miles south of China Hat, snow patches start around rd 1814

  9. Josh L says:

    Went out yesterday to check Swamp Wells from China Hat going south.

    It’s unrideable. Still tons of snow, and ground is very soft.

    In this area, best bet is to ride the cinder roads, then maybe the forest service roads, but even those are still covered with snow under the trees.

    1. Josh L says:

      Checked again yesterday, still too many snow patches (south of China Hat).

  10. Brian Frankle says:

    Rode Swamp Wells – Arnold Ice Cave Loop this morning. A bit of ice/snow on Kelsey Butte and higher sections of trail just before the Horse Camp as well as on the top end of Arnold. Surface was hard and fast. One downed tree between RD 550 and 570. Few soft spots on Arnold but nothing significant. Trail was in great shape.

  11. Natalie Herse says:

    Rode from the horse camp up towards Paulina. Made it 6.5 miles before turning back due to time constraints. Didn’t hit snow. Perfect tread, a few trees down.

  12. Patrecia Hedges says:

    Good to the horse camp.

  13. David Welton says:

    Rode up from Paulina lake and then down Swamp Wells to Coyote Loop and Horse Butte.

    This is a really beautiful trail with a lot of variety if you do the whole thing: pumice deserts, fast swoopy stuff in the forest, rock gardens. I’m surprised that it hasn’t been ridden more. It could use it, as it’s a little bit overgrown in spots.

    It could also use some work on the switchbacks going up and down some of the buttes on the way.

  14. Eric Kutter says:

    Did the loop from Horse Butte to Swamp Wells. Out on Swamp Wells, back on Arnold’s. Swamp Wells was in surprisingly great shape. The outer 2/3 rds of Arnold’s was pretty rough. Seems like it gets a lot more horse traffic than bike.

  15. Chad Ash says:

    Trail is clear all the way from the top down to Swamp Wells Horse Camp. It gets more, and deeper, mob dust the closet you get to the horse camp.

  16. Natalie Herse says:

    Surprisingly not dusty nor horse tracked today. Fun! And the flowers are spectacular, especially my newly named “Paintbrush Alley” (the climb up the westside of Kelsey Butte) where the paintbrush are going nuts. And I only saw one other rider out there.

  17. Marc Fortier says:

    Went a few miles past the horse camp towards Paulina. Numerous trees down, about 10-12 per mile. Nothing major – a couple of minor bushwacks. Turned around at the road on the other side of that lava butte climb

  18. Bruce Bradshaw says:

    No snow and no trees across to horse camp.

  19. Marc Fortier says:

    Swamp Wells : a couple of snow patches and 2 trees down near the top. Riding great.

  20. Garrett Hampton says:

    Popped on trail just south of Kelsey Butte & rode to Bessie. Trail was in pretty good condition – there was a couple moondust sections but not bad at all.

    Trail was also clear. (Did see a few fresh cuts)

  21. David Anderson says:

    Rode from town up Swamp Wells and down Coyote on Sunday. As others have said, a little bit of snow to negotiate. About 10 trees across the trail up high that you need to negotiate as well.

    1. Bruce Bradshaw says:

      This is confusing since the COTA Worklog had the dead fall being cleared yesterday. You could have been there before the trees got removed.

  22. Bruce Bradshaw says:

    Still a small patch of snow just beyond the south end of the “alt hard line”. Another rider got turned back by snow not far beyond that. I took the 350 road for half mile to Coyote Loop. Another small patch of snow on the road which I road thru.

  23. Patrecia Hedges says:

    Oh so nice! Really good riding! Hit hefty snow in the little canyon about 1/2 mile before Swamp Wells Rd but it is hike-able. Then took the road over to Coyote. Did not try to make it to the horse camp.

  24. Stephen Bryson says:

    The trail up past Kelsey butte to the intersection of the alt hard line is perfect, couldn’t be better, get sum

  25. David Anderson says:

    Road lower swamp. Still some snow here and there. Roads in area good option.

  26. Shane DeMars says:

    Kelsey Butte is now dry. Got stopped about 1.5 miles past there by a very large patch of snow in a low spot. If you know where you’re going you can probably get past this or even cut over to Coyote as it appeared to be an isolated spot.

  27. Nick Skinner says:

    Last snow still hasn’t melted off Kelsey butte. Got to the base and turned around this morning.

  28. Ballard Dustin says:

    Rode from horse butte trailhead to almost swamp wells horse camp where I lost the trail due to snow.. dirt was good for almost all of the ride few downed trees very short hike a bike sections no mud. wound up turning around and riding the double track to coyote lp trail which was in great shape

  29. Josh L says:

    Confirming previous report: trail south from China Hat Rd nice dirt – one mud puddle and 2 downed trees – I turned around at the first giant patch of snow, as it was deep, about 40 minutes in. Any more rain and I would avoid.

  30. Natalie Herse says:

    We rode our fatbikes from China Hat to the base of Kelsey Butte. It was pretty much hero dirt with a few short snow patches and 2 downed trees. We got about 200 yards up Kelsey but had to turn back as we suddenly hit about 6″ slushy unrideable snow from there on up. Hopefully by next week we can summit Kelsey? Good fun!

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