Horse Lake Trail

MODERATE 8 reviews
#66 of 127 trails in

Horse Lake Trail is a 8.6 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near La Pine, Oregon that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is best used from June until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

8.6 miles
780 feet
Out & Back

dog friendly



Directions from Bend: Horse Lake Trail begins from Elk Lake Trailhead, located 33 miles west of Bend on Century Drive. Northwest Forest Pass required.

20 days ago

I came into Horse Lake from the west on the Horse Creek Trail (3514) out of McKenzie Bridge - about a 13 mile hike (one way). After an initial 3 mile, 1,500 ft climb along Roney Creek, the trail is fairly level and is a pretty "green tunnel" kind of hike thru the forest. The trail gets little use so it could also use some maintenance before it disappears. There is also no water after mile 5 so fill up at the Separation Creek intersection. The skeeters were pretty bad - especially at the lake - to the point you are confined to your tent. You should definitely wait until late August or Sept to tackle this one. From Horse Lake, I did the loop down to Elk Lake - it kind fun to have a big fat juicy burger right in the middle of a backpacking trip!

1 month ago

Lots of mosquitoes out today and we missed the trail we meant to take so ended up on the 8.6 mile hike. Beautiful forest with some lovely wildflowers and a swim in the lake was nice but - when you are expecting a 4 mile hike and end up with an 8.6 mile fight with mosquitoes - it can be disappointing.. Probably won’t do it again anytime soon.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Tried to stay overnight at the lake last weekend but the mosquitoes swarmed us starting about halfway to the lake, just west of the PCT junction. There were patches of snow and one big wet spot about where the mosquitoes started getting bad. It was a beautiful area and would have been a great trip if it weren't for the biters. We ended up turning back at the lake and hike most of the way back to the trailhead before setting up for the night. When we stopped the mosquitoes had died down, but when it started getting dark they returned and we hid away in the tent. Come morning we packed up quick and got outta there.

All in all it wasn't a great experience, but like I said it was a beautiful location. I suggest a different time of year maybe (we went early July). At least bring tons of bug spray, it won't stop them from swarming but may keep bites to a minimum.

Monday, May 15, 2017

We love Horse Lake. It's an easy pack in and there are great camping spots around the lake. There are usually a few day hikers that come through but overall it's a pretty quiet trail.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Beautiful, varying scenery through woods and meadows and nothing beats arriving at the lake itself for a nice, private swim before you head back. Beware mosquitos and horse flies for the 20-30 minutes nearest the lake.

23 days ago

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Sunday, August 23, 2015