Let me tell you, no two horseback rides are the same. You can find yourself saddleback going down the side of a mountain overlooking the beach, or in the depths of the Grand Canyon experiencing the beautiful valley in all its glory up close and personal.
One thing stays the same with every experience, though. Horseback riding is unforgettable, always unique and widely loved by many.
I have been lucky enough to horseback ride in some of the most beautiful, unique locations in the United States. Here’s the absolute coolest places to schedule a guided ride on those beautiful creatures. 🐴
🌟 Daly City, CA- Mar Vista Stable
Words do not describe how beautiful this ride truly was for us. You are saddleback down the side of a lush green mountain that overlooks never-ending blue skies and the vast Pacific Ocean. When you get down to the ocean, you get to take it in for a while, watch your horse get excited about the ocean just like you are, and capture the memory with photos.
At the INCREDIBLY affordable price point of only $60 for a one hour ride, $70 for an hour and a half, and only $55 for the early bird ride you will 120% get what you paid for and more. Reservations are required, as of January 2021, so be sure to click their website linked above to make a reservation.
We went back in 2016 on a whim, when it was not required to make a reservation. After simply looking for an activity that would be memorable, we found Mar Vista Stable offering $50 cash rides to the ocean. HOW COULD WE PASS IT UP?🤩
Credit: Mar Vista Stable
They greeted us, had us on horses in no time, AND the ranchero who led the tour didn’t yell at me when I dropped my phone into the brush. Instead he stopped, got off the horse and found my phone for me. THAT is customer service. (Please abide by their rules on cell phone use, unlike me at the time.)
They make time for you to take photos, but must ensure you keep both hands on the horse for safety reasons. You are on the side of a mountain, after all.
I would say that this unique, hidden gem of a horseback riding location is one of the coolest places I have ever been. 10/10 👌🏼
🌟 Fairplay, CO- American Safari Ranch
First off, let me start by saying that Fairplay is 30 miles from Breckenridge, and offers the most authentic Colorado experience. When we stayed there, we were at 10,000 ft. above sea level, and had the honor of witnessing two different black bear sightings. 🙌🏻
Horseback riding in Fairplay delivers the same authenticity. American Safari Ranch is an authentic historic ranch nestled at the end of a scenic ride from Breckenridge in the Colorado Rocky Mountains.
They pride themselves on offering horseback riding, and other activities, that out beat traditional nose-to-nose guided trail rides. I wouldn’t have necessarily believed this if it wasn’t for the experience we had.
We ended up getting to tour the aspen trees and take in the fresh air with just our fabulous, personable tour guide. It was a beautiful, soothing and intimate experience.
They offer rides throughout the entire year, but understandably stay busier in the Summer months. They do require reservations for all their activities which also include: ATV Tours, BBQ Cookouts, Group Events and even lodging.
To me the best part was being able to interact with the animals, who were well taken care of.
No animal experience should sacrifice the livelihood of the animal, and I do not waiver on my feelings about this. 👍🏼
My horse was having the time of her life taking me around the mountains. Often she would get going too fast and make almost a purring sound. Our guide assured us that this meant she was excited to be out and about. They all responded well to human touch and it was heartwarming to get to interact with them. ❣️
I recommend going off the beaten path to check out the American Safari Ranch if you ever find yourself in Colorado looking for something special to experience amongst beautiful creatures.
Although I have yet to experience this for myself, I can’t imagine a more exhilarating and unique horseback riding experience. This one’s on the bucket list for sure. Stay tuned. 🤞🏼
The Grand Canyon's South Rim and North Rim both have opportunities for unique horseback riding here in the United States. 🤗
If you are in or near the South Rim it is recommended to go to Apache Stables, via mygrandcanyonpark.com. Here you can enjoy a stroll through the pines of the beautiful Kaibab National Forest on one of their gentle horses.
I wanted to make note of two things about researching Apache Stables.
- Their website says they have both horses and mules for rides. I personally love all animals and wouldn’t mind riding a mule, but if you are dead set on riding a horse only, take note.
- Their website lists “no video cameras or backpacks.” As a blogger, and photographer this would be a deal-breaker for me. Be sure to call and ask about their policy on photo and video.
In the North Rim your safest bet for a fabulous ride is Canyon Trail Rides, who have been in business for over 20 years, via mygrandcanyonpark.com. They claim to be the only ride actually IN the National Parks; Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon, and the North Rim Grand Canyon. You can access each park’s reservation here.
All rides are with experienced guides and their mules are selected for their gentle temperament, being trail wise and sure footed. Rest-assured, you will be safe and have a great time. I would choose Canyon Trail Rides if I was headed to take a unique guided horseback ride tour in the Grand Canyon.
I wanted to take note of some key points I found, again:
- For the Grand Canyon rides, you WILL be on a mule. At Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park you will be on a horse.
- The season runs from May 15th-October 15th within the Grand Canyon.
- The season runs from March- October in Zion National Park.
- The season runs from April 1st-October 31st in Bryce Canyon.
- The experiences range from 1 hour to 3 hour amongst each park.
Ultimately, wherever you end up saddleback, I can guarantee you won’t regret it.
Horses are incredibly intelligent and gentle animals and they have the ability to help us feel or see new things and reach new heights, literally. 😌
I can’t wait to go horseback riding in more beautiful places very soon. I will report back when I get to do so. In the meantime, drop a comment below about the best place you have ever rode a horse. 👇🏼