9 Unique Horseback Riding Adventures throughout Colorado


Riding at the beautiful Snow Mountain Ranch in Granby, Colorado.(Photo by Liana Moore.)

Ever wondered about one of the most unique ways to see the beautiful landscapes of Colorado? Well… horseback riding provides a way to get out further into the mountains, canyons or even deserts of the Centennial state. Colorado horseback riding may even provide you with the feeling that you’ve stepped back in time to the wild west.

There are so many exciting outdoor activities that allow you to get deep into nature in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. It seems as though often horseback riding gets overlooked. But it shouldn’t. Trail rides are a unique way to experience the spectacular mountain views. Here’s a handful of our favorite horseback riding destinations in the state of Colorado.

Snow Mountain Stables

Snow Mountain Stables is located on the beautiful expansive Snow Mountain Ranch in Granby, Colorado, very near Rocky Mountain National Park. Located on this expansive YMCA of the Rockies property, the stables are independently owned and operated. Horseback is a beautiful way to see as much of the property as possible. You will walk through aspen groves and wide open fields with the Rocky Mountains as the backdrop.

Open year-round, Snow Mountain Stables offers a variety of horseback ride, pony rides, as well as wagon and sleigh rides.

Insider Tip: Snow Mountain Ranch, YMCA of the Rockies is a beautiful expansive property with all kinds of activities and lodging options suitable for families of all sizes and ages.

Horseback riding at Palisade Ranch at Gateway Canyons in the fall.(Photo by Liana Moore.)

Palisade Ranch

Palisade Ranch is a part of the Gateway Canyons Resort and is located at the base of the Uncompahgre Plateau, a picturesque desert with red rock canyons. We took the hour and a half trail ride. The ranch manager and wranglers clearly take good care of the horses. Each horse followed the horse in front of them but also listened to the rider’s commands. The scenery is beautiful and diverse. The colors of fall here are vibrant reds and oranges.

Palisade Ranch is open seasonally for horseback riding.

Riding horse at Beaver Creek Resort.(Photo by Liana Moore.)

Beaver Creek Stables

We took the one hour trail ride with Beaver Creek Stables which takes you through Aspen groves and provides beautiful views of the slopes and village below. At times we felt as though we were in the middle of nowhere but then would come around a bend to be able to see Beaver Creek Village below.

Beaver Creek Stables is open seasonally for the summer.

Bearcat Stables

Bearcat Stables offers trail rides and sleigh rides in another spectacular area of Colorado. But perhaps what makes this outfit most unique is its Four day Vail to Aspen ride. This four day, three night trip traverses some of the most spectacular backcountry nestled in Colorado. Riders spend the night in Tenth Mountain Division Huts and private guest ranches.

Bearcat Stables operates year-round.

Glenwood Adventure Company at Bair Ranch

This ranch is one of the oldest family owned and operated sheep ranches in Colorado. It is also is home to High Canyon Adventures which offers guests adventures such as horseback riding, ATV and Jeep tours and customized hunting excursions. Bair Ranch is located at the entrance to spectacular Glenwood Canyon. Horseback riding at Bair Ranch offers unique views of this special place. The wranglers and activities directors are mostly long-time locals and extremely knowledgeable of the area and history of the land.

Insider Tip: Be sure to stick around the Glenwood Springs area for hot springs, adventure parks and so many other fun family activities.

Sombrero Stables

Located North of Denver in Estes Park, Sombrero Ranches offers year-round horseback riding trails along with some of the best alpine scenery around. Just be sure to have your appetite ready for their delicious Cowboy breakfast once your riding is over.

Lost Valley Ranch

If you’ve ever heard or been interested in staying at a dude ranch, Lost Valley Ranch in Sedalia is a great place for you and your party to kickback. But that’s a whole other story. The ranch also has horseback riding that they offer in the morning and the evenings as you trek the Pike National Forest.

Rimrock Adventures at McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area

While you’re visiting Rimrock Adventures, not only do they have horseback riding for you and your family but river rafting for afterward. It’s a great horseback riding experience for your first time and you’ll be sure to come across desert wildlife including the flowering cacti, the collared lizard, and the occasional jackrabbit. We recommend that you book a sunset tour for spectacular views at this point of the day.

Zapata Ranch

As you head out on your next horseback riding adventure at the Zapata Ranch, your guide will lead you to the Great Sand Dunes National Park. The scenery is incredible and will surprise you that you’re still in the great state of Colorado. You’ll be sure to see hundreds of bison grazing in the open fields and when your tour is over, make sure you stop and check out the amazing food that will fill you up afterward.

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Insider Families is a Colorado-based family travel publisher. We love the great outdoors. We feel grateful to live in the mountains of Colorado and see first hand how climate change is impacting our winters. It is important to us that we share with our readers and followers how they can help preserve what makes a place special. We make a point to learn about the local history and environment of the places we visit. When we visit the Golden Isles of Georgia you will find us making a stop at the Sea Turtle Sanctuary and learning about this endangered species. We return home with books on the subject and a desire to share that knowledge. We love nature and like to spend as much time in it as possible whether hiking a mountain, riding the BMX track, soaring down an alpine coaster or trying a new sport at the beach or lake.

Vail, CO

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