The trails from Todd Creek Horse Camp offer some of the best scenic vistas anywhere in Central Oregon. You’ll enjoy stunning mountain views, sparkling alpine lakes, rugged lava outcroppings, and pretty wildflowers on the banks of tumbling creeks.
Located less than 25 miles west of Bend, Todd Creek Horse Camp doubles as a trailhead and an overnight camping spot. It provides access to excellent high-country riding both within and outside the Three Sisters Wilderness.
The nearby trails leading into the Three Sisters Wilderness are being damaged by overuse. To limit the number of people using the trails, you are now required get a permit to ride into the Wilderness. You can get day-use permits for $1 per person by doing an internet search for “Central Oregon Cascades Wilderness Permit - Day Use.” Then search for permits for the Todd Lake or Broken Top Trailheads (which you’ll ride through on your way to the Wilderness.)
The Non-Wilderness Trails – No Permit Needed
You have plenty of options for non-Wilderness riding from Todd Creek. The 150-mile Metolius-Windigo Trail runs through the horse camp, and takes you to some fun destinations. If you head south on the Met-Win, you can make a fun 8-mile round trip to Sparks Lake, where you’ll see an impressive view of South Sister over the lake.
The southbound Metolius-Windigo Trail also takes you to the Appaloosa Trail, then on to Quinn Meadow Horse Camp, a 13-mile round trip.
Or, if you stay on the southbound Metolius-Windigo Trail, you can go to Hosmer Lake, a 14-mile round trip that offers a view of the lake but doesn’t take you to the lakeshore.
A 16-mile out-and-back trek north on the Metolius-Windigo Trail takes you to Happy Valley, an idyllic spot with grassy meadows along the North Fork of Tumalo Creek. It’s a pretty lunch spot for you, with plenty of grass for your horse. This stretch of the Met-Win is popular with mountain bike riders, so keep a sharp eye out.
The Wilderness Trails – Permits Required
The stunning 13-mile Broken Top Loop is an equestrian bucket list ride, for sure. It takes you north on the Metolius-Windigo Trail, then across a pumice plain at the base of the Broken Top crater. The mountain is so close you can almost touch it.
You’ll also have views of Mt. Bachelor, Todd Lake, and Sparks Lake. Best of all, in mid-summer, the wildflowers that line the creeks are fabulous.
A 15-mile round trip ride takes you to the beautiful Green Lakes, nestled between Broken Top and South Sister. Hordes of hikers travel to the Green Lakes via the Falls Creek Trail, but you’ll avoid the crowds by following the less-congested Todd Lake and Soda Creek Trails.
Todd Creek Horse Camp features seven sites with steel 4-horse corrals, picnic tables, and fire rings. The camp has a vault toilet, water trough, and stock water from Todd Creek, which runs along the east edge of the campground. Todd Creek also boasts a huge day-use parking area. A Northwest Forest Pass is required for camping or day use.