For a great spring or early summer ride on gentle terrain with splendid views, look no further than Fourmile Butte. This volcanic cone not far from the town of Sisters was once excavated as a source of road cinders. Today its treeless summit offers a panoramic 360-degree view of Central Oregon and the snow-capped Cascade Mountains.
The Fourmile Butte Loop is a fun, easy ride that follows the Metolius-Windigo Trail and several forest roads. The route is signed with trailblazer diamonds on the trees (yellow diamonds along the Metolius-Windigo Trail and white diamonds the rest of the route), so it’s easy to find your way.
You’ll start at Graham Corral, a fabulous destination for long weekends of spring and early summer riding and camping. Whether you ride along the Metolius-Windigo Trail (which runs right past the camp) or on the other area trails, you’ll find easy, accessible riding that explores the beautiful ponderosa forest under sunny Central Oregon skies.
Because Fourmile Butte’s summit was once an excavation site, it looks a bit like a red-tinged moonscape. But the views from the top of this cinder cone are spectacular! You’ll see North and South Sister, Mt. Washington, Three-Fingered Jack, and Mt. Jefferson, as well as sweeping vistas out over the Sisters-area forest toward the Central Oregon desert to the east. What a panorama!
The Camping or Parking
The Graham Corral has 11 campsites, four of which have 4-horse corrals. It also has four large central corrals. All sites have a fire pit, picnic table, and room for 2+ trailers. The camp has a vault toilet, potable water from a spigot, and a manure dump. Camping reservations are available at www.recreation.gov. Fee for overnight camping; no fee for day-use parking.