Horsepasture Mountain Trail is a short, challenging hike with amazing views! Located near the small town of McKenzie Bridge, the trailhead is accessible late spring through fall, and not too heavily used.
The hike starts out with a gradual grade and almost immediately intersects with the Olallie Trail. Take the far left to continue up the trail through the shady forest. It steepens as it opens up into meadows and is almost completely exposed at the summit. During late June and early July this is a wonderful area to view wildflowers like columbine, Indian paintbrush, and bear grass. Butterflies flutter about and bees buzz from bloom to bloom. On a clear day the impressive Three Sisters are in full view, along with Mount Bachelor, the Willamette Valley, and sometimes even Mount Hood and Diamond Peak.
Forest rangers used to let their horses graze in the peak’s meadows, hence the mountain’s name. There are a few remains from an old fire lookout at the summit. Look closely and you’ll also find the USGS survey marker near there.
There is a small area for parking near the trailhead. The trail is also open to mountain bikers, but with other more popular trails in the area, mountain bike use isn't frequent.