Central Oregon's Cyrus Horse Camp is a popular spring destination. 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 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, the site of the homestead that Julius and Sarah McCoin established 120 years ago. Their house is long gone, but poplar trees still line the yard and the apple orchard still blooms in the spring and the trees bear tiny fruit in the fall.
Cyrus Horse Camp features 9 sites with corrals and parking for two trailers. It has a vault toilet, manure bin, picnic tables, and fire rings.
If you want to do a day ride instead of staying at Cyrus Horse Camp, you can access the various trails from the Skull Hollow Trailhead, Scales Corral, or the Trail Crossing Corral Trailhead.
Cyrus Horse Camp and its nearby trails are covered in the Gray Butte chapter of Riding Central Oregon Horse Trails, by Kim McCarrel, available at www.nwhorsetrails.com.