Riley Horse Camp is located just 45 miles from Portland, on the west side of Mt. Hood. The camp is a delight, with corrals at most sites, plenty of shade, and lots of peace and quiet. Because Riley lies between steep ridges, the nearby trails can be challenging. However, the views from the trails are breathtaking, and it’s worth the exertion to reach them.
Mt. Hood from the Zigzag Mountain Trail.
- Moderate-to-challenging trails
- 35+ miles of riding
- Elevation 2,100 feet
The trails around Riley take you to the beautiful Ramona Falls, run through dense forest and flower-filled meadows, and offer spectacular views of Mt. Hood. However, to reach these visual delights, you’ll need to cross a glacier-fed river, or traverse some steep side slopes and contend with large elevation gains/losses.
Ramona Falls cascades over a ledge of columnar basalt.
Most of these trails are not suitable for green horses or riders. But if your horse is in good condition and you and your horse are experienced, you will love the riding around Riley Horse Camp.
On the Sandy River Trail, with Mt. Hood in the background.
Riley Horse Camp has 14 campsites, 11 with corrals and the rest with tie stalls or hitching rails. The camp has a vault toilet, manure bins, and stock water.
Riley Horse Camp has sturdy corrals.
From Portland, take Hwy. 26 east toward Mt. Hood. In the town of Zigzag, turn north on Lolo Pass Road (Road 18) and continue 4 miles, then veer right on Road 1825 and drive approximately 0.7 mile. Turn right, cross the Sandy River bridge, then continue another 0.5 mile to Road 382. Turn right again, cross the bridge over Lost Creek, and turn right into the campground.
You’ll find more information about Riley Horse Camp and its nearby trails in Riding Northwest Oregon Horse Trails, by Kim McCarrel, (Ponderosa Press, 2016), available at www.nwhorsetrails.com.
Reprinted with permission from Northwest Rider Magazine, October 2017.