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Spring Basin via Pine Creek Ranch

Intermediate
 4.0 (1) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

An easier access to the eastern section of Spring Basin and Horse Mountain for fall thru spring hiking


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Map Key

5.9

Miles

9.5

KM

Point to Point

2,544' 775 m

High

1,458' 444 m

Low

1,115' 340 m

Up

1,108' 338 m

Down

7%

Avg Grade (4°)

21%

Max Grade (12°)

Dogs Unknown

Features Birding · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Overview

Trail follows an old jeep road approximately 3 miles up a ravine to a saddle. Ahead of you due south is Horse Mountain and its 360 view of the surrounding country. To the west you have access to all of Spring Basin. Deer and Elk are commonly seen in this area.

Need to Know

Make sure you do not trespass on the Pine Creek Ranch. Across Highway 218 from the Clarno Arch you'll see a small building with a small parking lot and picnic table. This is not the start of the trail. The trail is 0.1 mile west of this building. Keep to the old jeep road as it heads for a couple hundred feet south, then turns back east for almost 0.1 mile then once more south up the ravine.
There is little cover from the sun and no water on this trail. It is best suited to cooler months of the year.

Description

Head towards the Clarno Unit of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. Parking is available at the smaller Clarno Arch parking area or the larger parking area at the fossil beds. From the Clarno Arch parking area hike west a short distance (approx. 0.1 mile) to a dirt road which circles behind the Pine Creek ranch.

This road is the trail up to Spring Basin. Continue on this road and it will take you in a generally southern direction to the saddle next to Horse Mountain. From here you can continue up Horse Mountain. No real trail to the summit exists but if you keep to the east side of the mountain you should be able to pick a route to get you to the top.

A great place for lunch and then explore the rest of Spring Basin as much as you want. With sparse trees hiking cross country is no problem and relatively difficult to get lost (but have a GPS on hand anyway).

Flora & Fauna

Lots of elk and deer. Flowers in spring.

Contacts

Shared By:

Chris S

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 1 vote

#1

in Clarno Unit

#4184

Overall
  4.0 from 1 vote
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Recommended Route Rankings

#1

in Clarno Unit

#137

in Oregon

#4,184

Overall
4 Views Last Month
31 Since Mar 5, 2021
Intermediate

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Photos

Horse Mtn from north trailhead. (01-02-2019)
Feb 27, 2021 near Fossil, OR
Flock of turkeys along northern entrance to Spring Basin. (01-02-2019)
Feb 27, 2021 near Fossil, OR

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