Arnold Ice Cave Tr3963

3D view of Arnold Ice Cave Trail #3963

Overall: 6

Aerobic: 5

Technical: 4

Steepness: 4

Flow: 7

Singletrack: 100%

A good early or late season ride, Arnold Ice Cave Tr3963 can become a pathfinding expedition, due to low usage and lack of forest cover to help define and protect the trail.




Avg: 28mi



Elevation Change

Avg Ascent:2600'

Ascent Incline



Avg: 5hr





Several long loops can be created by combining Arnold Ice Cave Tr3963, Coyote Loop Tr3962 and Swamp Wells Tr3961, with some connector trails such as Boyd Cave Tr3966 to shorten the ride if desired.

There are three trailheads, at Horse ButteView of the Horse Butte TH
View of the Horse Butte TH
, at Arnold Ice CaveView of the Arnold Ice Cave TH
View of the Arnold Ice Cave TH
and at Swamp WellsView of the Swamp Wells TH
View of the Swamp Wells TH

As FR18 is the only paved road in this area, Horse Butte TH gets the most use, but the Arnold Ice Cave TH is equally good.

Dings: Some of the local quarries are used as shooting ranges, so don't be too alarmed if you hear gunshots (unless of course you see bullets whizzing by). These trails get some equestrian use as well, so can become chewed up in wet, early season conditions. This trail system is near Bend and there is an extensive Orv trail system southeast of Arnold Ice Cave and the hundreds of fireroads in the area are popular with Orv as well.

Due to the lack of tree cover, expect high temperatures in August on Arnold Ice Cave Tr3963 and Coyote Loop Tr3962.


Arnold Alternative: A 25.5mi (2500' ascent) Swamp Wells Tr3961 to Coyote Loop Tr3962 CCW loop spends more time in the forest and avoids some of the pathfinding needed on the Arnold Ice Cave Tr3963 north of FR18.

Directions: 4mi on US97S from Bend, then go left onto FR18. Horse Butte: Go on FR18 for 5.9mi, then go left onto FR1815 and drive for 2.1mi, then go left to the Horse Butte parking area. Arnold Ice Cave: Go on FR18 for 12.1mi then go left on the Arnold Ice Cave Rd to the TH. View Larger Map. No Map?.

Arnold Ice Cave Trail #3963 Topo Map

Loop Directions

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Arnold Ice Cave Area Topo Map

  • TH: Head south from the Horse Butte TH on Swamp Wells Tr3961, passing the upper Coyote Loop Tr3962 TH at .5mi and crossing FR18 at 2.3mi. Pass the Bessie Butte Tr3968 intersection on the right at 2.4mi, a spur ride option. Cross several marked and unmarked doubletracks, including the FR1814 crossing at 5.5mi.
  • 6.5mi: Ascend the northern Kelsey Butte flank (250' climb), then switchback and ride around the butte. Ride around a smaller, unnamed butte at 9.5mi. Cross FR1816 at 11.6mi, then pass the Swamp Wells Loop Tr33961.1 (a Coyote Loop Tr3962 connector trail) intersection at 12.1mi.
  • 13.8mi: After riding around the base of a large butte (the ride summit), go right at the Coyote Loop Tr3962 intersection (another return loop option). Pass the Swamp Wells TH, then cross Swamp Wells Rd and go left onto Arnold Ice Cave Tr3963 (near the base of Swamp Wells Butte).
  • 17mi: After crossing Orv20 several times, cross FR1820 then Swamp Wells Rd. Cross the Charcoal Cave Rd at 19.6mi then pass Arnold Ice Cave at 19.9mi and cross FR1820 at 20.2mi.
  • 21.4mi: Cross a doubletrack then merge with it, just prior to crossing FR18. See Topo Map for this area, as there are a large number of unmarked double roads, so some pathfinding is required. Remain on doubletrack and go right at 22.1mi. Go left onto the singletrack at 22.3mi, towards Skeleton Cave, crossing the Skeleton Cave road at 23.6mi.
  • 24.1mi: After merging with doubletrack, reach the Boyd Cave Tr3966 intersection on the left. Go straight then find the singletrack on the right at 24.3mi. Follow a drainage, then go west at 25.5mi and head back to the TH.




Trail Rankings

Ranking consistently applied to all of the listed trails.

  • Overall Rating: Ride quality and challenge
  • Aerobic: Ascent challenge
  • Technical Difficulty: Terrain challenge
  • Steepness: Average incline
  • Flow: Uninterrupted riding
  • Elevation Change: Total elevation gain
  • Ride Difficulty: Terrain challenge






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