Are you starting to dream about fabulous summer riding? If so, and you want to go to Joe Graham or Clackamas Lake Horse Camps this summer, you need to make your reservations now. These popular camps on the south side of Mt. Hood have fabulous riding and they are relatively close to Portland, so the campsite reservations get snapped up early.
Both of the horse camps are near the shore of Timothy Lake, a sapphire jewel sitting at the foot of snow-capped Mt. Hood. They feature all the amenities you want at a horse camp, including log corrals, potable water, vault toilets, picnic tables, fire rings, and easy access to the trails.
The trails in the surrounding area offer forest solitude along with beautiful vistas. You can ride all the way around Timothy Lake and take in its picture-postcard view of Mt. Hood. You can make a loop using the Pacific Crest Trail and the Old 1916 Trail to reach the fascinating Little Crater Lake, which has a constant temperature of 34 degrees year round. You can ride south on the PCT to the Warm Springs River. Or, if you’re into distance riding, you can go as far as you please either north or south on the PCT. The terrain is gently rolling, with moderate elevation changes and no steep hillsides to traverse. And the forest you ride through is both pretty and varied. You’ll find plenty of riding at Joe Graham and Clackamas Lake Horse Camps for a long weekend summer of fun.
Getting to Joe Graham and Clackamas Lake Camps: From Sandy, OR, take Hwy. 26 west past Government Camp to the junction with Hwy. 35. Follow the signs toward Bend to stay on Hwy. 26. In 8.7 miles after the Hwy. 35 junction, turn right on Skyline Road (Road 42), drive 8.3 miles, then turn left into Joe Graham Horse Camp. Or continue past the Joe Graham entrance for a short distance and veer left to stay on Road 42. In another mile, turn left into Clackamas Lake Horse Camp.
Campground Facilities: At Joe Graham, there are 14 sites with 2-, 3-, or 4-horse corrals. Clackamas Lake has 19 sites that allow horses, and 11 of these have 2-, 3-, or 4-horse corrals. All sites have picnic tables, fire pits, and parking for 1 trailer. You’ll find potable water and toilets at both camps. Camping fee.
Reservations: Advance reservations are strongly recommended. Go to www.recreation.gov or call 877-444-6777.
More Information: Joe Graham and Clackamas Lake Horse Camps and all the nearby trails are described in detail in Riding Northwest Oregon Horse Trails, by Kim McCarrel, (Ponderosa Press, 2013).