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  1. #1
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    Horse Butte - Bend - Routes & Maps

    Anyone have links to an online map of the area? Suggested routes would be helpful as well. I read about 20+ mile rides in the area. I just don't want to end up LOST! Thanks in advance.

    I noticed that the COTA Team just did some blowdown clearing in the area based on an update on the Worklog.
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    Go to ormtb.com/Central_Oregon/CO_Trails/HorseRidge.htm
    They have a map and a link to the "Official" BLM map

    Have a good ride.

    -gary

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    Gary thanks that is the best map I have seen yet thanks! Just found a new loop to make I think.



    Horse Ridge

    This should be of some help. The map would lead you to thing the green area is the fence, but that is not even close. My blue area would dictate a closer estimate. Of note is where the intersections are in relation to the blue borders. This would have helped me A LOT in my explorations out there.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Horse Butte - Bend - Routes & Maps-horse_ridge_fence_blue.jpg  

    Last edited by thuren; 01-10-2012 at 08:55 PM.
    Bend, Oregon

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    Quote Originally Posted by dirt farmer View Post
    the horse ridge and horse butte trails are two completely different things. Willem mentioned (and the cota worklog mentioned) horse butte.
    doh!!!!
    Bend, Oregon

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    The Horse Ridge and Horse Butte trails are two completely different things. Willem mentioned (and the COTA worklog mentioned) Horse Butte.

    While not a map, here's the general lowdown on the Horse Butte trails

    Mountain Bike Trail Guide; Horse Butte | | The Bulletin

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    Quote Originally Posted by dirt farmer View Post
    Thanks DF!!! Horse's Rear End, not the a spine... Horse Butte is near the "dump". I know Horse Ridge well. Much appreciated. These two areas are often confused.
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    The newer adventure maps (although not online) include the Horse Butte area. It also shows trails in addition to and outside the standard Coyote Butte and Arnold Ice Cave loop, like Swamp wells, etc. This allows for a 30 mile loop. You can also ride from Horse Butte to Horse Ridge for longer routes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DRTTherapy View Post
    The newer adventure maps (although not online) include the Horse Butte area.
    Awesome. I will pick one up today.
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    This is out riding distance from my house I'm going to have to make a spin over there.
    Bend, Oregon

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    delete

    edit...oops. Thought I started my own thread

  12. #12
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    Your welcome
    Lots of good maps and gps data on ormtb.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by MetalArtGate View Post
    Your welcome
    Lots of good maps and gps data on ormtb.com
    Agreed, but, alas, not Horse Butte

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    Just picked up the Adventure Map at REI. Looks like a lot of trails in the Horse Butte Area. I am going to hit the area tomorrow afternoon to check it out. Lots of miles out there!! Looks cool.
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    Ride report. Hit Horse Butte this afternoon. Started out at Bessie Butte Trailhead and rode the Bessie Butte Trail East toward the intersection with Swamp Wells Trail. Headed South on Swamp Wells. Awesome experience. Not at all what I expected. Solid climb. Total for the day on my Strava App on my iPhone showed 2,150 feet climbing for the ride. The trail was in great shape. Firm conditions, narrow singletrack, and some short rock sections. Even encountered some snow and iced frozen sections for good measure. I rode all the way out to the junction with Coyote Trail. Then rode back by going down Coyote. Next time I plan to ride back down Swamp Wells. The trail conditions are better and the trail is also well marked. Not so much for Coyote. Lots of sand and some really primitive singletrack. Also tough to follow. Swamp Wells is an awesome trail and a "best kept" winter secret in Bend. A true gem in my opinion. Look forward to riding down it next time. This area will work for me through March. Fun area with awesome views. We should encourage more people to ride in the area as opposed to leaving ruts on Phil's. Extra kudos to the saw team for cutting out the blowdown. Thanks guys!!!
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    Overall 24 miles for the ride....
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    I remember last winter I hiked about a mile south on Swamp Wells, starting immediately south of Horse Butte (at the little parking area). It seemed like it had lots of potential. I've not ridden there yet.

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    Hmm, I was looking for the Horse RIDGE thread to post that i FINALLY made it out there for the first time, and found this thread... i'll have to give this a try too.

    I was out for a road bike ride the other day on China Hat Rd and was taking a break at the end of the pavement before heading back, when i heard voices, then I noticed a group of mtbers out in the sage. I didn't realize there was a trail there (not surprised either i guess, there are 2-ruts and trails all over the place out there). I'll have to check that out too. Sounds pretty good in Willem's report.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TroyS600 View Post
    Hmm, I was looking for the Horse RIDGE thread to post that i FINALLY made it out there for the first time, and found this thread... i'll have to give this a try too.

    I was out for a road bike ride the other day on China Hat Rd and was taking a break at the end of the pavement before heading back, when i heard voices, then I noticed a group of mtbers out in the sage. I didn't realize there was a trail there (not surprised either i guess, there are 2-ruts and trails all over the place out there). I'll have to check that out too. Sounds pretty good in Willem's report.
    It is actually quite outstanding. Also a LOT closer to town!! I really have enjoyed my rides out there. A little exploring the first couple of times and after that smooth sailing! I will be out there again as soon as the snow starts to melt in town.
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    The ride reports seem great and I would really enjoy getting out there as well. Are these loops on the adventure maps or any better maps (other than the ones published in the bulletin)? Are these trails open to equestrian traffic as well? any insight is appreciated!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ttrd View Post
    The ride reports seem great and I would really enjoy getting out there as well. Are these loops on the adventure maps or any better maps (other than the ones published in the bulletin)? Are these trails open to equestrian traffic as well? any insight is appreciated!
    They are technically Horse Trails. However, with the winter season the moisture has packed them down nicely. You can find the trails on the Adventure Maps. The cool thing about Swamp Wells is that it has a nice mix of climbing and is actually nice narrow singletrack. Enjoy!
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    FYI Treadmaps Central Oregon Part 2 has good coverage of the Horse Butte area.

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    Any further info. on the Swamp Wells Trail conditions? I'm going to hit it tuesday, and just ride as far south as my legs - or the trail conditions - allow. Bob Shaw promises 67 degrees!

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    Quote Originally Posted by dirt farmer View Post
    Any further info. on the Swamp Wells Trail conditions? I'm going to hit it tuesday, and just ride as far south as my legs - or the trail conditions - allow. Bob Shaw promises 67 degrees!
    By Tuesday this should be in good shape. I plan on heading out there tomorrow. We have a couple of warmer days ahead of us. I say.. Go for it!!
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    Ran the Horse Butte ten miler yesterday. There are patches of mud (it's like cake frosting) but over all the trails look pretty good.

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    Swamp wells

    Just got in from riding to Swamp Wells.
    Trails are dry until just before Kelsey Butte. I would suggest taking the road around Kelesy Butte rather than the switchback up and around. It is snow and mud going up, as you go around the butte it is very slippery pumice mud about a 20deg off camber slope in places. Trail after that is dry intermixed with wet and snow. About 5 miles from Swamp Wells you start to hit larger patches of snow which you will have to walk or bushwhack around.. TAKE dry socks for the ride down as your feet will be wet . Coming down Coyote loop after you cross road 350 it is pretty much dry as you are out of the shade. several VERY soft sandy corners.


    -gary

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    Wow! I just experienced Swamp Wells Trail for the very first time. It's excellent!

    I had done Coyote Butte trail several years ago, and did not care for it at all, so I've really avoided this area. Big mistake.

    Swamp Wells from the Horse Butte or Bessie Butte trailheads on up to Kelsey Butte, and back, - especially back down - is one of the best 5-7 miles of singletrack in Bend, IMO. It's in the top 5. It reminds me very much of Mrazek up to the canal. And riding up Kelsey Butte is strikingly similar to riding Kiwa Butte, in both trail and vegetation. There was very, very little horse damage.

    How is the trail beyond Kelsey Butte? Is it as nice all the way to Swamp Wells campground? To Newberry Crater?

    I hope someday COTA takes this ball and runs with it. It's that good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dirt farmer View Post
    Wow! I just experienced Swamp Wells Trail for the very first time. It's excellent!

    I had done Coyote Butte trail several years ago, and did not care for it at all, so I've really avoided this area. Big mistake.

    Swamp Wells from the Horse Butte or Bessie Butte trailheads on up to Kelsey Butte, and back, - especially back down - is one of the best 5-7 miles of singletrack in Bend, IMO. It's in the top 5. It reminds me very much of Mrazek up to the canal. And riding up Kelsey Butte is strikingly similar to riding Kiwa Butte, in both trail and vegetation. There was very, very little horse damage.

    How is the trail beyond Kelsey Butte? Is it as nice all the way to Swamp Wells campground? To Newberry Crater?

    I hope someday COTA takes this ball and runs with it. It's that good.
    100% agreed. I have not ridden beyond Kelsey. Would like to try it someday. Awesome trail. Nice narrow singletrack. Good stuff!!!
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    Great all the way to Swamp Wells. When I last road trail past Kelsey was wet and or snowy in places.
    Never gone all the way to Newberry but I am plotting to do it as an over nighter once the snow is gone or get someone to pickup at the other end.

    Riding out to Swamp Wells tomorrow Friday if you want to join me.

    -gary



    Quote Originally Posted by willem3 View Post
    100% agreed. I have not ridden beyond Kelsey. Would like to try it someday. Awesome trail. Nice narrow singletrack. Good stuff!!!

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    Swamp Wells N. trail/61 just a few patches of snow in the shade closer to the Horse camp. Heading North from Horse camp on Arnold Ice Cave trail/63 snow/wet for the first 1/2 mile then fast trails all the way back to Horse Butte.

    GO ride it before it turns to dust!

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    Bumping this up for the folks that need directions and map info

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    I also started out at Bessie Butte with my wife today, but we felt like we needed to climb up Bessie first. Pretty good climb. Fairly Short but steep. Only 1 section I was unable to ride as it was too sandy.

    I'd guess there was some amazing views from the top, but we hit it on a storm day, so all we could see was clouds. started raining on us, and by the time we got back to the car, we figured we would call it a day.

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    Horse Butte route - Grand Loop

    Here is a great route and probably still open now. Adventure Maps is a good thing to carry along. Also good to just go up Swamp Wells or Arnold from Horse Butte parking and back down as a way to start getting to know the area. There are lots of possibilities out there but it can be confusing to cross over between trails. A bunch of trees down between Bessie and Kelsey due to last storm. Easy walk arounds.
    Attached Files Attached Files

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    I cannot open that map for some reason, and really want to try this place out.... is there a link to this map anywhere?

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    No online link. That is a google earth file.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shugarbear View Post
    I cannot open that map for some reason, and really want to try this place out.... is there a link to this map anywhere?
    Download/install Google Earth (everyone should have this! it's amazing)
    right click olderandslower's .kvz file> "save link as..."
    in Google Earth: File>Open...>.kmz file (whatever you named it)

    file will overlay the track in GE
    good stuff!
    Time wounds all heels...

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    That's my favorite loop out there either direction!

    Quote Originally Posted by olderandslower View Post
    Here is a great route and probably still open now. Adventure Maps is a good thing to carry along. Also good to just go up Swamp Wells or Arnold from Horse Butte parking and back down as a way to start getting to know the area. There are lots of possibilities out there but it can be confusing to cross over between trails. A bunch of trees down between Bessie and Kelsey due to last storm. Easy walk arounds.

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    Here's a good link to map of the Swamp Wells, Arnold Ice Cave and Coyote Loop trails. Hope this helps! Arnold Ice Cave Mountain Biking and Hiking Trail #3963

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    Yesterday, rode from Horse Butte TH up Coyote Loop to Swamp Well HC and down the Swamp Wells trail. A few blow down above Kelsey Butte. Had a loose branch pull into my derailluer and spokes, which ruined my chain just below Kelsey.Thank you to whom ever cleared the blow down below Kelsey Butte...there were at least 20 trees down from last Monday's wind storm when I rode the up to Kelsey Butte and back on Thanksgiving day. Had to coast, run, walk and scoot back to China Hat road...about 3 1/2 miles where I could be picked up. Having to go around all those down trees would not have been fun. Still had a great day anyways!

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    GPS Visualizer can convert the map on that .kmz file.

    It was recently posted on this recent Horse Butte area thread..

    I hope to get back out to Swamp Wells real soon. Does the elevation get quite high (read: too much snow) towards the Swamp Wells campground?

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    Swamp Wells is about 5400 so probably snowy right now. Base of Kelsey butte is about 4800 you could go that far then there are a couple for roads you can take to connect you over to the Arnold ice cave side of the loop. They are shown on the Adventure map.



    Quote Originally Posted by dirt farmer View Post
    GPS Visualizer can convert the map on that .kmz file.

    It was recently posted on this recent Horse Butte area thread..

    I hope to get back out to Swamp Wells real soon. Does the elevation get quite high (read: too much snow) towards the Swamp Wells campground?

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    Quote Originally Posted by MetalArtGate View Post
    Swamp Wells is about 5400 so probably snowy right now. Base of Kelsey butte is about 4800 you could go that far then there are a couple for roads you can take to connect you over to the Arnold ice cave side of the loop. They are shown on the Adventure map.
    That's what I thought, thanks. When I got to Kelsey Butte two weeks ago, there was not a lot of snow on the initial climb, but what was there was hard and crunchy and quite rutted. Wasn't very ideal.

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    Did a late afternoon rip from home yesterday and rode the main loop. It's pretty cool out there! I like how there is no real LONG sustained climbs, so you can keep your speed up, and hammer to short punches.

    Only thing that scared me a little, was the thought of rocks behind the tall grass bunches right on the trail. I had a death grip just in case, as I have been launched over the bars like that a few times lol.
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    Quote Originally Posted by thuren View Post
    Did a late afternoon rip from home yesterday and rode the main loop. It's pretty cool out there! I like how there is no real LONG sustained climbs, so you can keep your speed up, and hammer to short punches.

    Only thing that scared me a little, was the thought of rocks behind the tall grass bunches right on the trail. I had a death grip just in case, as I have been launched over the bars like that a few times lol.
    Ha! Yeah that grass all bunched into nice little mounds so close to the trail was pretty entertaining. I was hitting my petals constantly! Doesn't help that I have a 29er with lower bottom brackets either!

    I think I registered around 2500 or more feet of climbing from Kelsie butte to the horse camp. But nice and gradual. Nothing very intense at all.

    However about half 70% of the way to the horse camp there was a little cutoff to the left (I rode CCW). I took this little turn thinking it might cut across the loop. It was super technical and hardly used at all. I just kept going and it ended up going out and then curving back to the main trail. That was the hardest part of the ride and it wasn't even on the proper trail. There was a steep part I had to walk even.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sketchbook View Post
    Ha! Yeah that grass all bunched into nice little mounds so close to the trail was pretty entertaining. I was hitting my petals constantly! Doesn't help that I have a 29er with lower bottom brackets either!

    I think I registered around 2500 or more feet of climbing from Kelsie butte to the horse camp. But nice and gradual. Nothing very intense at all.

    However about half 70% of the way to the horse camp there was a little cutoff to the left (I rode CCW). I took this little turn thinking it might cut across the loop. It was super technical and hardly used at all. I just kept going and it ended up going out and then curving back to the main trail. That was the hardest part of the ride and it wasn't even on the proper trail. There was a steep part I had to walk even.
    You didn't ride up Buzztail Butte, did you? Was that it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by thuren View Post
    Did a late afternoon rip from home yesterday and rode the main loop. It's pretty cool out there! I like how there is no real LONG sustained climbs, so you can keep your speed up, and hammer to short punches.

    Only thing that scared me a little, was the thought of rocks behind the tall grass bunches right on the trail. I had a death grip just in case, as I have been launched over the bars like that a few times lol.
    Had the same experience. Although, overall, the trail is in superb shape. There are actually some interesting sections. Plan to hit this area a lot this winter/spring. I combine it with a ride from my house for some decent mileage. Better than driving out to Horse Ridge or Maston. With these gas prices, we are trying to minimize our mileage in the car.
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    Just checked my GPS. Nope that's not where I took a diversion. I was not on a trail that is on that map.
    Last edited by sketchbook; 12-10-2012 at 04:31 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thuren View Post
    Did a late afternoon rip from home yesterday and rode the main loop. It's pretty cool out there! I like how there is no real LONG sustained climbs, so you can keep your speed up, and hammer to short punches.

    Only thing that scared me a little, was the thought of rocks behind the tall grass bunches right on the trail. I had a death grip just in case, as I have been launched over the bars like that a few times lol.
    hahaha, totally! I was trying to keep up with willem and got dropped like a hot cake after I caught my pedal and went over the bars...

    Quote Originally Posted by willem3 View Post
    Had the same experience. Although, overall, the trail is in superb shape. There are actually some interesting sections. Plan to hit this area a lot this winter/spring. I combine it with a ride from my house for some decent mileage. Better than driving out to Horse Ridge or Maston. With these gas prices, we are trying to minimize our mileage in the car.
    that was some mileage yesterday! thanks for riding Willem, you are fast!

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