Horse Creek Trail

MODERATE 34 reviews
#1 of 2 trails in

Horse Creek Trail is a 6.9 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Seal Rock, Oregon that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 6.9 miles Elevation Gain: 1,486 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dog friendly

kid friendly



horseback riding

nature trips


bird watching




wild flowers


7 months ago

I loved this hike, even though the climb out was pretty brutal for me. A couple notes: The trailhead is not where All Trails nav places it - instead, continue to the end of the road, there is a a parking area and the start of the trail is marked by spray painted rocks. Also, our group was carrying four GPS units, afterward our track logs agreed that the RT distance was around 9.3 miles, rather than the 6.9 listed on All Trails. As others have noted, access to the water from the main campsite is sub-optimal. Instead, take the overgrown trail left (east?) from the main campsite for a short distance, there is a second campsite and a much better place to enjoy the creek. The area itself is beautiful, and the creek was teeming with crawdads and small fish, which provided amusement for the kids and dog.

7 months ago

Awesome hike though gorgeous old growth forest. It was a little confusing once reaching the bottom. There is a large clearing with a several campsites but lacking easy access to the water. The trail degrades significantly after this but keep going until you reach the 2nd campsite for the best views and access to the water.

10 months ago

Not much recent traffic on the trail, and it was quiet and cool. Overall the trail is in good shape. Like everyone else says, the hike in is an easy stroll downhill to a nice camp site overlooking the river. The hike back out is a good workout.

Fri Jan 11 2019

Hiked this trail Labor Day weekend and there was not a lot of traffic on it at all. The foliage was grown up in several places that you could barely see the trail. It’s a a nice workout hiking back up and out.

Mon Jul 23 2018

Trail is overgrown at the beginning. Bring long pants or a machete. Other than that nice hike.

Tue Jul 03 2018

Great trail and nice campsite approximately 0.25 mile up river from trail ending. The climb out is killer. 1200 feet in 2 miles. Good hike to get ready for the season.

Tue Jun 26 2018

Oregons oldest old growth, you will see things here that you haven't before unless you have been to a temperate rain forest.

Fri May 25 2018

Trail signage is minimal, and is currently a spray-painted message on a rock. The stroll through the woods is definitely a nice one, with old growth and new growth combined and lots of foliage. The trail bed is covered in moss in some places. The descent to the creek is moderate, definitely spent some time in the front of the boots. Upon reaching the creek, it was mid-afternoon, I had a bite to eat and took some photos. Saw 2-3 crawfish hanging out in the creek. A beautiful spot if someone wanted to spend a night or two. The hike back up was strenuous, as expected, with the majority of your elevation gained in about 1.5 miles. Lightly trafficked is an understatement as I never saw or heard another person during my whole trip. Overall, a nice trail but I probably wouldn't do it again unless the goal was backcountry camping.

Fri Jul 07 2017

Great trail! Only saw 2 other hikers, nice creek at the bottom for my dog to play in. Steep coming back out but well worth it

Mon Aug 01 2016

This was a wonderful hike! You'll have to take a somewhat secluded, beat up road to get to the trailhead. Heading down the mountain consisted of beautiful, fairytale like scenery with old trees, wildlife, mushrooms, and clovers everywhere! At the bottom, you will reach a creek full of snails and crawdads. We had a lot of fun hanging out down there for a few hours. Bit of a steep hike back up, but worth every step!

Sun Jun 05 2016

Definitely "lightly trafficked". When I got there, there was a man leaving. Then I had the trail to myself until I was on my way back out some people were hiking in. The forest views were lovely with lots of huge trees. The path is clear. Do not forget to bring bug repellent. Lots of flying bugs and a ton of spider webs in the trail. When you get to the creek there does not appear to be a good access point. My pup and I slid down a hill with loose dirt but the "bank" was no bigger than 2 ft in width. My dog enjoyed playing in the water and definitely needed to cool off. Also this is not a trail to take horses on.

Sun May 08 2016

Neat river at end w mini lobsters and salamanders

Mon Apr 25 2016

nice trail, very easy to follow. did it in the rain, will go back on a clear day

Wed Apr 13 2016

Path is wonderful. No issues. Can see that a big tree had just been recently cleared. Thank you whoever you are for doing that. The way back up was pretty tough for a new hiker. But we made it back up in an hours time. The trillium were in full bloom. Very nice hike. Next time may hike in to camp for the weekend.

Sun Mar 06 2016

I've only been down the trail 2 miles, however the trees and forest are beautiful. At two miles in there is a huge fallen tree. Be careful of that. I look forward to going further another time.

Thu Dec 31 2015

Best part of our trip

Mon Aug 24 2015

I did the piece between Seperation Lake Trail and Horse Lake as part of a larger loop. It's a mostly forested trail with a variety of interesting flowers. There are some views, but only on the piece near horse lake. Nice trail.

Mon Aug 17 2015

We just did this hike for the second time. Except for a few extraordinary giant firs there is not too much in the way of views until you get to the creek. The creek is a great spot to hang out and poke around for crawfish. There are several really nice campsites along the creek side. Perfect places for pitching your tent and people have placed log seating around some big rock fire pits. Though I don't think these pits would qualify as sanctioned fire pits during fire closures. We saw a couple family groups with kids abotu 10ish hiking back up with backpacks so kids can do this too. It is a pretty stiff climb back up out though.

Fri Nov 15 2013

Harris Ranch Trail is a nice hike in, a steep hike out, but this is the feature of all three Drift Creek Trails. There are generally nice camping areas creekside at the end of this trail. I first hiked by the site way back in the 1950s when the Harris Ranch house was still nice and upright on the south bank. The trail can be a bit muddy during wet weather. Some folks hike in and fish for sea-run cutthroat trout and chinook salmon. It's a long hike out with a couple of chinook salmon. Both bicycles and stock are prohibited in the Drift Creek Wilderness Area (NO HORSES).

Thu Sep 27 2012

One of my favorite hikes! We used to hike with packgoats here at Drift Creek Wilderness back when it was just the end of an old logging road. The trail runs the length of a ridge down to the valley floor. The hike was always overgrown with salmon berries that we're up to 10' high in places. Very neat! Once you get to the bottom, there is a trail that crosses the river and heads up the other side of the valley. There are no waterfalls, like the one in the picture, but thousands of crawfish and cutthroat trout. If you bushwhacked around the area, you would find old model "T" type cars out on old overgrown log roadbeds.

Wed Aug 08 2012

The hike is nice and quiet. Not much use. Great little creek at the end. But from the parking lot this is a 8.8 mile round tripper per map my hike. Also it starts at about 2000' and goes to about 500' at the creek. Really enjoyed the peacefulness. Trail was a little overgrown in spots but that was part of the charm.

Wed Mar 07 2012

The photo is not correct, that is from Drift Creek Falls, near lincoln City. Drift creek wilderness is in Waldport and there is no large waterfall.

5 months ago

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Mon Jan 07 2019

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Tue Aug 08 2017

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