Box Canyon Horse Camp. located about 80 miles east of Eugene, is the gateway to several scenic trails in the Oregon Cascades. From Box Canyon, you can ride into the Three Sisters Wilderness, the Waldo Lake Wilderness, and the Chucksney Mountain Roadless Area.
- Trails are moderate to challenging
- 30 miles of trails
- Elevation 3,750 feet
The Chucksney Mountain Loop is an impressive 10-mile loop to the summit of — you guessed it — Chucksney Mountain. This trail has some steep side hills, but it rewards you with great views of the Three Sisters from the mountain’s summit.
You can ride an 11-mile loop into the Three Sisters Wilderness by following the McBee and Crossing Way Trails and a forest road. The first half of the loop is steep and rocky, but the second half is easy. In season, the wild rhododendrons add a froth of pink to the forest.
A short trailer drive from the horse camp, you can ride the 8.5-mile Erma Bell Lakes Loop, which travels into the Waldo Lake Wilderness and past six pretty lakes. This ride is much easier than the other two above, and the scenery is wonderful.
Box Canyon Horse Camp is across the road from the historic Box Canyon Guard Station, built in 1933 by the Civilian Conservation Corps. At the horse camp, you’ll find eleven campsites, nine with 4-horse corrals, and all with picnic tables and fire rings. The camp also features a toilet, stock water from a trough, and a day-use parking area. Camping is free at Box Canyon Horse Camp.
On Highway 126 between the towns of Blue River and McKenzie Bridge, turn south between mileposts 45 and 46 on Aufderheide Road (Forest Road 19). Continue 28 miles and turn right into the camp.
You’ll find more information about Box Canyon Horse Camp in Riding Northwest Oregon Horse Trails, by Kim McCarrel, (Ponderosa Press, 2017), available at www.nwhorsetrails.com.