Horseback riding is a great activity to enjoy when you’re visiting the national parks in the American West (and it’s also a sure-fire way to satisfy any dreams you might have of feeling as though you’re the star of an old western movie). With the grandeur offered by multiple mountain ranges, magnificent red rocks, lush forests, and sprawling deserts as your backdrop, when you saddle up in the national parks, you’ll be sure to quench your thirst for adventure while traveling back in time to the days of cowboy explorers and pioneer trailblazers.
Recommendations regarding attire for any horseback riding excursion include long pants and closed-toe shoes, so dress accordingly. Many trips will also offer saddle bags in which you’ll be able to keep water and other small personal belongings during your journey. To ensure that safety considerations are followed and environmental regulations adhered to, always go horseback riding in a group. Preferably, you’ll go with a trained guide who can point out all of the natural beauty you’ll encounter, while keeping you from veering onto dangerous paths off the beaten track, getting up close and personal with an unfriendly wild animal, or disturbing and trampling the nature around you.
So you’ve got a good idea of what to expect on a horseback riding trip. But now it’s time for the big question: where should you go?
For horseback riding in the national parks themselves, Yosemite and Yellowstone can’t be beat. But if you’re willing to venture outside of the parks, you’ll find plenty of dude ranches. Most of them are not too far from the national parks to host your exploration. Try running wild in Bar W Guest Ranch’s nearly 1 million acres by Glacier National Park in Montana. Alternatively, get your fill of stunning mountain vistas in Gros Ventre River Ranch near Wyoming’s Grand Teton. Other options include to frolic amid Colorado’s Drowsy Water Ranch (near Rocky Mountain National Park) and Elk Mountain Ranch (by the Great Sand Dunes).
Ready to include horseback riding in your first or next trip to America’s national parks? Contact our experts at Visit USA Parks. They can offer you more information and advice on where to go and how to plan the best itinerary for your location. Then, saddle up for adventure and enjoy the ride of your life!