There are few places in the Pacific Northwest where an official Wilderness Area is as accessible and horse-friendly as the Diamond Peak Wilderness near Whitefish Horse Camp in Central Oregon. And you don't need a permit to ride here!
Whitefish is a wonderful horse camp located near the shore of Crescent Lake, a popular boating and fishing spot off Hwy. 58 south of Eugene and Bend.
You can ride a variety of delightful trails from Whitefish Horse Camp. For example: You can ride the Metolius-Windigo Trail south toward Windigo Pass. (Fun fact: Windigo is the Algonquin name for a cannibalistic giant that has been turned into a monster by consuming human flesh. WoooOOOooo…) Fortunately, this trail isn’t the least bit monstrous, and in fact it goes to several pretty lakes.
You can travel to the Windy Lakes, a string of shallow lakes along the crest of a ridge.
You can explore a scenic lollipop loop to Fawn Lake and its tiny neighbor, Pretty Lake.
You can ride along Whitefish Creek to Diamond View Lake, with its beautiful view of Diamond Peak.
You can travel an old dirt forest road to visit Meek Lake, Snell Lake, and the impressive Summit Lake.
As an added bonus, these out-and-back trails are linked by connector trails that create loops with additional views of lakes and mountains along the way.
Some of the trails are suitable for green horses and inexperienced riders, and none of the trails are very challenging (though some of the loop rides are long). You’ll find that while many of the trails ascend into the Diamond Peak Wilderness, their elevation gain is fairly gradual. You won’t experience any steep drop-offs, shale, or challenging water crossings.
You’ll love the trails out of Whitefish Horse Camp, so make plans now!
Whitefish Horse Camp has 17 campsites, all of which have corrals. The sites are all back-ins, most are level, and all have room for 2 trailers. The camp has potable water spigots next to each campsite, vault toilets, garbage dumpsters, manure bins, picnic tables, and fire rings.
The trails out of Whitefish Horse Camp are covered in Riding Central Oregon Horse Trails, by Kim McCarrel, available at www.NWHorseTrails.com.