Nestled between Mt. Bachelor and South Sister in Central Oregon’s high Cascades, Quinn Meadow Horse Camp is the gateway to the Three Sisters Wilderness and some of Oregon’s best horseback trails. Quinn Meadow fills up fast, so now is the time to make your reservations for summer fun at this popular horse camp.
Set beside pretty Quinn Creek, Quinn Meadow is a top-notch horse camp with excellent amenities. And the riding at Quinn Meadow is fabulous. The terrain is horse friendly, with no steep hillsides or drop-offs. From the horse camp you can do eleven different rides of varying lengths, and you’ll find several other rides that are just a short trailer drive away. Many of the rides are loops, and all will take you to lakes, creeks, and/or splendid mountain views.
For example, from Quinn Meadow you can ride to the impressive Quinn Springs, the headwaters of Quinn Creek. Make a loop on the Appaloosa Trail to the Metolius-Windigo Trail and return along Quinn Creek. Ride to picturesque Sisters Mirror Lake. Go over Koosah Mountain, with its impressive views of the surrounding peaks. Travel to Sparks Lake, with majestic South Sister reflected in its surface. Head to Wickiup Plains, a vast pumice plain at the foot of South Sister. Or ride the Elk-Devils Trail to Elk Lake Resort for a nice meal, an ice cream cone, or a cold drink at the midpoint of your ride. So many trails to enjoy, it’s hard to choose.
The soil around Quinn Meadow is volcanic pumice so it can get pretty dusty by late summer, but if you ride in groups of two or three the dust isn’t a problem. Because of the area’s proximity to Bend, the most popular trails can be crowded with hikers on summer weekends. And the Metolius-Windigo Trail near Quinn Meadow is frequently used by mountain bike riders, but the lines of sight are generally quite long so there’s little danger of your horse being spooked by the sudden appearance of a speeding cyclist.
Getting to Quinn Meadow Horse Camp: From Hwy. 97 in Bend, take exit 138 (Colorado Avenue) and head west. Follow the signs to Mt. Bachelor, which will put you on Century Drive/Cascade Lakes Hwy./Hwy. 46. You’ll go through 3 traffic circles as you drive through Bend. At the first circle, take the 2nd exit. At the second circle, take the 3rd exit. At the 3rd circle take the 2nd exit. Continue 28 miles on Hwy. 46/Cascade Lakes Hwy. and turn right at the sign for Quinn Meadows. The horse camp is ahead in 0.6 mile.
Reservations: www.recreation.gov or call 877-444-6777.
Facilities: 26 sites with two- or four-horse corrals, picnic tables, fire rings, and parking for two vehicles. The campground has a camp host, potable water from a hand pump, and vault toilets. Reservations are highly recommended.
More Information: Quinn Meadow Horse Camp is featured in the guidebook Riding Central Oregon Horse Trails, by Kim McCarrel, (Ponderosa Press, 2012)