Horse Rock Ridge

Crawfordsville, Oregon

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1 Review
4 out of 5
Despite its close proximity to Eugene, Horse Rock Ridge remains a semi-secret hideout for local botanists and only a handful of knowledgeable hikers. The trail here is not maintained, but it is in good shape and generally easy to follow. Best of all, the scenery is wonderful, featuring steeply sloping meadows, a lot of interesting volcanic rock formations, excellent spring wildflowers, and extensive views. Even though the area’s highest elevation is only 2864 feet, the open terrain provides the look and feel of much higher mountains. Since the trails here open as early as March, this hike is a great way to smell the flowers and get a taste of the High Cascades early in the hiking season. To protect the unusual botany of Horse Rock Ridge, one of the last remaining grassy “balds” on the west margin of the Cascade Range, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has set aside this place as a research natural area. The agency does not promote or manage the area for recreation, and visitors are strongly encouraged to tread lightly and to faithfully remain on the trail. Larger groups are asked to coordinate their visit with the BLM office in Eugene.
100 Classic Hikes in Oregon

DESCRIPTION FROM:

100 Classic Hikes in Oregon

by Douglas Lorain (The Mountaineers Books)

Despite its close proximity to Eugene, Horse Rock Ridge remains a semi-secret hideout for local botanists and only a handful of knowledgeable hikers. The trail here is not maintained, but it is in good shape and generally easy to follow. Best of all, the scenery is wonderful, featuring steeply sloping meadows, a lot of interesting volcanic rock formations, excellent spring wildflowers, and extensive views. Even though the area’s highest elevation is only 2864 feet, the open terrain provides the look and feel of much higher mountains.

Since the trails here open as early as March, this hike is a great way to smell the flowers and get a taste of the High Cascades early in the hiking season. To protect the unusual botany of Horse Rock Ridge, one of the last remaining grassy “balds” on the west margin of the Cascade Range, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has set aside this place as a research natural area. The agency does not promote or manage the area for recreation, and visitors are strongly encouraged to tread lightly and to faithfully remain on the trail. Larger groups are asked to coordinate their visit with the BLM office in Eugene.

©  Douglas Lorain/The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Crawfordsville
Length: 3
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Moderate
Duration: 1.5 hours
Season: March to early December
Local Maps: USGS Crawfordsville, Union Point
Topo Map: Horse Rock Ridge Topographic Map
Guide Book: 100 Classic Hikes in Oregon Guide Book
Driving Directions: View Directions
Trail Directions: View Guide

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Recent Trail Reviews

7/18/2010

A bit off the path, McDowell Creek Falls is a real find for waterfall lovers. Not only are there three impressive and distinct waterfalls throughout the 1.7 mile hike, but there are even some educational signs if you're curious about what different types of waterfalls there are. The trail is very pretty and green throughout and has a nice covered, secluded feel. Not much of a fitness challenge, and it loses some luster when you have to cross the road mid-hike, but for any hikers or water lovers going through the Lebanon/Sweet Home area, this is only 10 minutes from either city and definitely worth the detour.

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