Oxbow Park


2 p.m.


0d 2h 0m


5.54 miles


50°, overcast, calm


This trail is one of our favorites because it’s only a couple of miles away from our house, and we rarely see other people during our monthly hikes. The footing is soft and well-maintained. This particular post documents our Christmas Eve hike down to the river.

We follow the equestrian trail, which starts out at the top the Sandy River bluff, and winds its way down to a plateau through a series of switchbacks about half-way to the river. You can do the 3 mile plateau loop and head back up, or continue down into Oxbow Park and follow the loop along the Sandy River. We’ve done this hike dozens of times, and we’ve yet to encounter horses or riders.

The trail winds through stands of old-growth cedar and fir trees. Waist high ferns blanket the forest floor. Every shade of green is present and the dense forest overhead provides shelter, even in the wettest weather. We usually spot a few deer along the way.

For years, I rode horses on this trail with friends several times a month, in all kinds of weather. It’s a great workout for horses and humans alike, because it’s pretty much straight down to the river then right back up to the top.

Gear and supplies

His Gear

  • Easton CTR 60 Trekking Poles
  • Lorpen merino socks
  • Marmot Scree pants
  • North Face hiking shoes
  • Patagonia Houdini wind shirt
  • Platypus Big Zip SL 3L
  • Prana fleece pullover
  • REI Flash 18 day pack
  • Stoic merino t-shirt

Her Gear

  • Asolo Stynger GTX boots
  • GoLite Demaree Canyon Down Jacket
  • Icebreaker 150 GT Baselayer Tee
  • Icebreaker Beanie
  • Smartwool baselayer lightweight tights

Other Gear

  • First Aid Kit
  • Swiss army knife


  • 0.5 Liters

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