The Broken Top Loop is one of my all-time favorite rides. The scenic views are stunning and the trail is fun to ride. You'll need a permit to ride this loop, though, so see below for details.
The loop begins and ends at Todd Creek Horse Camp, 25 miles west of Bend. To ride it counter-clockwise, pick up the Metolius-Windigo Trail on the east side of camp and follow it uphill beneath huge hemlock trees. On this stretch of trail you can expect to see mountain bikes, so keep an eye out.
At the junction with the spur trail to the 380 Road, turn left and follow the 380 Road to the Broken Top Trail, entering the Three Sisters Wilderness. The trail runs along the base of the volcano's blown-out crater, with its yellow, green, and ochre striations clearly visible in the rock walls above you.
The trail also features good views of Mt. Bachelor to the east, and Sparks Lake and the Cascade Lakes basin to the south. It seems like every time you go around a corner, you encounter something new to delight the eye.
In early summer, the stream banks teem with a spectacular array of wildflowers: monkeyflower, Indian paintbrush, goldenrod, daisies, asters, bog orchids, bistort – the list goes on and on.
Then you'll follow the Soda Creek and Todd Trails to return to Todd Creek Horse Camp. What a terrific ride!
You can get a permit for the Broken Top Loop at www.recreation.gov. Search for "Central Cascades Wilderness Permit - Day Use," and then scroll to either the Broken Top Trailhead (to the loop counterclockwise) or the Todd Lake Trailhead (to ride it clockwise). Permits are limited, with some becoming available 10 days before your trip and the remainder becoming available 2 days before.
Todd Creek Horse Camp
Todd Creek Horse Camp offers day-use parking, plus seven campsites with 2- or 4-horse corrals, a toilet, and manure bins. Stock water is available from a hand pump and from nearby Todd Creek.