The Metolius River Loop is a beautiful ride at Sheep Springs Horse Camp in sunny Central Oregon. The trail features an open ponderosa pine forest, bubbling creeks, and panoramic river views. This fun trail is one of many good reasons to consider making Sheep Springs a destination for your next summer vacation.
The Metolius River
Less than 5 miles away, the Metolius River gushes from giant springs at the rate of 50,000 gallons of water per minute. Before the river reaches its intersection with the Metolius River Loop, its flows are bolstered by several good-size creeks. By the time you see it, the river is an impressive 150-200 feet wide and flowing fast. However, it's only a couple of feet deep.
The Metolius River Loop follows the Metolius Windigo Trail, the unsigned Brush Creek Trail, and an unsigned loop that flanks the Metolius River. It may sound complicated, but the route is easy to follow. In addition to beautiful views of the river and its lush riparian vegetation, you’ll ride beside Roaring Creek, Canyon Creek, and Brush Creek.
The loop offers a variety of sensory delights. You’ll enjoy seeing the creeks and the green vegetation they support, of course. And you’ll savor the views of the mighty Metolius River.
In addition, you’ll be treated to the soothing sounds of the creeks flowing over rocks and swirling around fallen logs. Your ride will be shaded by stately ponderosa pines, with their thick reddish bark and distinctive vanilla scent. Seasonal wildflowers are plentiful. And the green grasses and shrubs along the waterways contrast nicely with the tawny grass, sagebrush, and bitterbrush of the more arid stretches above the creeks.
And the Metolius River Loop is only one of several fabulous rides out of Sheep Springs Horse Camp. Don’t miss it!
The camping facilities at Sheep Springs Horse Camp are excellent, with corrals, potable water, manure bins, toilets, garbage cans, picnic tables, fire rings, and plenty of shade. Reservations are recommended (www.recreation.gov).
You’ll find more information about the Metolius River Loop and other trails near Sheep Springs Horse Camp in Riding Central Oregon Horse Trails by Kim McCarrel, available at www.nwhorsetrails.com.