You’ve got a reservation at Quinn Meadow Horse Camp this summer, but you just found out you must have a permit to ride into the Three Sisters Wilderness. Yikes! What do you do?
Don’t worry! Oregon Equestrian Trails worked closely with the Forest Service to prevent equestrians from having to reserve a campsite months in advance, only to find that they can’t get a permit for the Wilderness trails they want to ride. The resulting solution is a little clunky, but it works:
If you camp at Quinn Meadow and you ride into the Wilderness via the Quinn Creek Trail (that is, you ride through the underpass), you DO NOT need a permit. That means you can ride to Sisters Mirror Lake, Moraine Lake, Wickiup Plains, or wherever you like, but you must enter the Wilderness via the underpass. If you follow the Sink Creek or Katsuk Pond Trails instead, you’ll enter the Wilderness via the Sisters Mirror or Wickiup/Devils Lake trailheads, and a permit will be required. (You can exit the Wilderness via these trailheads without triggering the permit requirement.)
You can ride to Elk Lake or Horse Lake without a permit because a permit is not required at the Elk Lake trailhead.
Note that Quinn Meadow does not have any day-use parking, so the special carve-out described above applies only to riders staying overnight at the horse camp.
So, make your camping reservations at Quinn Meadow today and plan to ride the nearby Wilderness trails while you’re there. Happy Trails!
Find out more about the fantastic places to ride out of Quinn Meadow Horse Camp in Riding Central Oregon Horse Trails, by Kim McCarrel, available at www.NWHorseTrails.com.