In the spring, Cyrus Horse Camp is a popular destination because the horse camps is open and the trails are rideable very early in the season, with good footing, expansive desert vistas, and warm spring sunshine most of the time. The seasonal wildflowers are a delight.
The 25-mile Cole Loop endurance trail runs right past the camp and explores the area around Gray Butte and Pine Butte. By connecting the endurance trail with the dirt roads that lace the area, you can create several moderate-length loops, including the Pine Ridge Loop, the Scales Corral Loop, the Skull Hollow Loop, and the Trail Crossing Corral Loop. In addition, the Warner Loop trail connects to the Cole Loop for a 12.5-mile ride across sagebrush flats and low hills with panoramic views of Gray Butte, Pine Ridge, Haystack Rock, and Grizzly Mountain.
Several of the trails run past the historic McCoin Orchard, site of the homestead that Julius and Sarah McCoin established 120 years ago. Their home is long gone, but poplar trees still line the yard and the apple orchard still blooms in the spring and bears tiny fruit in the fall.
All of the trails are on gentle, open terrain and are suitable for trotting, gaiting, and cantering. In several locations along the trails you’ll find spring-fed water troughs.
If you want to do a day ride instead of staying at Cyrus Horse Camp, you can access the various trails from the parking area adjacent to Skull Hollow Campground, from Scales Corral, or from Trail Crossing Corral.
Facilities: Cyrus Horse Camp has 7 large campsites with 2-, 3-, or 4-horse corrals and parking for 2 vehicles, plus stock water in season, a vault toilet, picnic tables, and fire rings. Scales Corral has parking for 4-6 trailers, Skull Hollow has parking for 50+ trailers, and Trail Crossing Corral has parking for 4-6 trailers. The latter 3 trailheads have no other facilities. No fees at the campground or at the trailheads.
Getting to Cyrus Horse Camp: From Redmond, take Hwy. 97 north for 5.5 miles and turn right on Smith Rock Way in Terrebonne. Drive 4.9 miles, turn left on Lone Pine Road, continue 7.4 miles, and turn left on Hwy. 26. Go 2 miles and turn left on Laurel Lane. Continue 3 miles and turn left on Road 5750, then follow it 1.2 miles to the horse camp.
Getting to Scales Corral: Follow the directions to Cyrus Horse Camp above, but 2 miles after turning onto Laurel Lane you’ll come to Scales Corral on your left. The parking area is next to the corral.
Getting to Skull Hollow: From Redmond, take Hwy. 97 north for 5.5 miles to Terrebonne. Turn right on Smith Rock Way. Drive 4.9 miles, turn left on Lone Pine Road, and continue 4.2 miles, then turn left on Road 5710 into the dirt parking area east of Skull Hollow Campground.
Getting to Trail Crossing Corral: From Redmond, drive north on Hwy. 97 for 10 miles and turn right on Park Lane. Continue about 2 miles, past McPheeters Turf, to Road 57. Turn left and drive 0.5 mile to the parking area. Note that an ATV staging area is nearby, but ATVs are not allowed on the horse trails.
More Information: Cyrus Horse Camp and its nearby trails are covered in the Gray Butte chapter of Riding Central Oregon Horse Trails, by Kim McCarrel, (Ponderosa Press, 2012).