The US is, without a doubt, one of the best countries to go horseback riding in.
It is full of breathtaking scenery, pleasant weather, and western ranches that tell the tales of cowboys. In many ways, it is one of the only countries that still offers a peek into the cowboy lifestyle.
Yet, a venture on horseback is also an incredible experience for a person to have. It unites man and beast and exemplifies the bond that humans have with animals. After just one journey, many new riders instantly become hooked.
So whether you are looking to experience your first ride, or explore some new areas, then saddle up and visit any of the remarkable ranches listed below.
Western Pleasure Guest Ranch, Idaho
Ride off into a golden sunset and experience the cowboy lifestyle with a trip to the Western Pleasure Guest Ranch, in Sandpoint, Idaho.
The Western Pleasure Guest Ranch lies in the northern tip of Idaho near the Canadian border. There, the trees are green, the rivers are clean, and the prairies are silent. For many, it’s the perfect place to get away and reunite with nature.
As a result, horseback riding in the area is simply phenomenal. Riders pass through endless grasslands which lead into untouched forests that whistle as the wind blows.
Whilst the scenery itself is top-notch, so, too, are the ranch amenities. The log cabins, lodges, and facilities all contain beautiful interiors which welcome guests into a traditional western lifestyle. And that lifestyle is further complemented by the three country-style meals served daily. Riders never go hungry after munching on tasty Idaho cuisine.
Sylvan Dale Ranch, Colorado
Enjoy some of Colorado’s finest nature by horseback at the Sylvan Dale Ranch in Loveland.
The Sylvan Dale Ranch is located in the centre of the Rocky Mountains and is surrounded by numerous types of nature. The facility originally opened around the turn of the century to provide outdoor excursions for wealthy doctors but eventually became a children’s summer camp. However, as funds were running low, the camp had no choice but to sell at an auction.
It was at an auction when a former employee scribbled a bid on a torn-up piece of paper and ultimately won the property. After his acquisition, Maurice Jessup and his wife turned the 125-acre property into a 3,200-acre ranch that could, once again, host visitors looking for outdoor excursions.
Today’s guests can saddle up and explore the superbly beautiful landscapes that can be found on the ranch. The property consists of prairie wetlands, high desert shrublands, pine forests, wispy grasslands, and so much more. And of course, with all that comes a handful of wildlife which can often be spotted from the backs of the horses.
Tanque Verde Ranch, Arizona
Whilst Tanque Verde Ranch may be known for its horseback riding, the site provides far more than just that.
Visitors of Tanque Verde won’t be bored for a single second. The facility contains 125 horses, tennis courts, swimming pools, spas, and natural sceneries that are textbook cowboy. However, it wasn’t always an elaborate resort like it is today.
Tanque Verde got its roots from the Mexican rancher Don Emilio Carrillo, who acquired the land in 1868. Shortly after, he brought in livestock and started operations, even though the local Apache tribes were fairly active in the area. Carrillo was promised protection from the natives by Tucson’s Fort Lowell, yet he eventually found himself at the end of an Apache noose. Miraculously, he survived but died 4 years later due to complications from the event.
After his passing, the property was purchased by Jim Coverse who expanded operations and truly branded the site as a dude ranch. However, after a drunken endeavor in a bar where he killed a man, he, too, had to sell the ranch.
Finally, the property fell into the hands of Brownie Cote whose son transformed the facility into the thriving nature ranch that it is today.
Today’s visitors can ride off into the sunset between the saguaro cactus, gorge themselves on delicious ‘cowboy’ food, or just lounge by the pool. Whatever guests choose to do, they will certainly fall in love with the ranch by the end of their stay.
The Resort at Paws Up, Montana
Like many of the other high-end horse ranches, the Resort at Paws Up offers far more than just a brief pony ride.
Situated in the Montana countryside, the Resort at Paws Up simply couldn’t be located in a more beautiful area. Sprawling hillsides dotted with pine trees and boulders cover the vast prairies which are home to countless species of wildlife.
Riders mount up and cross through dusty plains, gentle rivers, and even rocky hillsides whilst on one of the guided adventures. And once finished, they return to a luxury resort that cuts no corners for quality. Artisan cuisine, world-class service, and organic products are provided to guests in all areas of the resort.
Whilst at the ranch, guests can choose to stay in luxury homes, lodges, or camps that are all ideal for a weekend away.
Yet even with all of its fancy amenities, the Resort at Paws Up is still a place where equestrians can find dusty trails and paths to let their inner cowboys loose.
Silver Falls Ranch, Hawaii
There are already dozens of reasons to plan a trip to Hawaii — scuba diving, hiking, and surfing. But if horseback riding wasn’t already on your list, then you better add it.
It makes perfect sense that Hawaii would have splendid horseback riding trails. It’s warm, tropical, and beautiful (with lots of scenery to die for). So, it was only a matter of time before someone opened a ranch and started giving tours.
Whilst there are plenty of ranches throughout the state, Silver Falls Ranch is certainly one of the best. The estate, which is located in Kauai, takes riders on an adventure through some of Hawaii’s greatest natural beauty. Riders pass through stunning botanical gardens, meandering streams, gorgeous waterfalls, and magnificent forests which all provide unparalleled views of the local mountains.
However, perhaps the most essential aspect of the ranch is just how well the horses are treated. Each animal is given special attention from a young age to ensure that it lives a long and fulfilling life.
Green Acres Beach & Trail Rides, Oregon
Numerous Americans may argue that the Pacific Northwest is the most beautiful region of the country. The natural landscapes are full of sweeping beaches, misty forests, rolling hillsides, lava caves, and jagged mountaintops. So for many, the chance to take a horseback ride through the area is a real treat.
Therefore, the Green Acres Beach & Trail Ride in Oregon may be the very treat that equestrians have been searching for. The coastal horseback venture takes visitors through some of Oregon’s finest nature — a journey that will leave riders breathless.
Adventurers start their journey in Pacific City and head north along the coastline towards Bob Straub State Park. Once in the state park, riders can witness the outright beauty of the crashing waves and pacific tides.
From Bob Straub State Park, the journey continues on alongside the Nestucca River and into the seaside sand dunes. Riders can choose their mount from 12 different horses which all have their own unique traits and personalities.
Regardless of prior experience, riders are certainly going to have a great time exploring the Oregon Coast with Green Acres Beach & Trail Rides.
Tombstone Monument Guest Ranch, Arizona
The high plains and deserts of Arizona make for an incredible horseback riding experience. And thanks to Tombstone Monument Guest Ranch, eager riders can experience the very best of the scenic area.
Any movie buff would likely know that Tombstone is the home to the famous frontiersman Wyatt Earp. The former marshal brought the town into the national spotlight when he engaged in what would likely become the most famous gunfight in American history. So naturally, the town has had to preserve its western image in order to honor Earp and the fellow frontiersman of the time.
As a result, those visiting the Tombstone Monument Guest Ranch can take in all of the splendid histories of the past whilst also enjoying first-rate horseback riding. The facility itself is an immaculate western-style lodge that offers quality amenities and top-notch services.
Yet, the horseback riding adventures are truly what steal the show. Each journey takes riders through the scenic Arizona countryside and the historic center of Tombstone. Along the way, guests witness high desert shrubbery, rocky plateaus, cattle ranches, and breathtaking skylines.
Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch, New Mexico
Horseback riding meets incredible history at the Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch in Winston, New Mexico.
Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch is located in one of the most fascinating parts of the US for countless reasons. The southwest corner of the United States not only has wild and untamed nature but also a beautiful and intriguing history. It is one that is, in fact, wildly different from any of the other regions.
The landscapes of New Mexico have been home to a variety of inhabitants, including Native Americans, Mexican ranchers, and now American farmers. As a result, there are artifacts from each culture littered across the lands.
Those who explore the Geronimo Trail via horseback witness a handful of those artifacts that have been left behind.
Riders often stumble upon clay pottery, cave writings, and frontier buildings throughout the high desert journey. However, the scenery that accompanies the journey is also truly spectacular as green pastures and rocky canyons contain beautiful vegetation and wildlife. After all, the land is the same area where the famous Native American Geronimo once lived.
Whether riding off through a field of flowers, checking out ancient cliff dwellings, or exploring forests, visitors are sure to have a great time at Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch.
Bitterroot Ranch, Wyoming
Wyoming is often a dark horse when it comes to tourism in the US. The state is landlocked, surrounded by prairies, and often overlooked for its neighbours. But make no mistake – horseback riding in Wyoming is simply phenomenal, especially at Bitterroot Ranch.
Bitterroot Ranch lies along the border of the Shoshone National Forest, one of the most untouched pieces of land in the entire US. The mountainous region is full of crisp pine forests, stone hillsides, and grassy meadows which welcome horses and riders alike.
Riders set out on a journey throughout the landscapes which truly let them escape into nature. Along the way, adventurers can witness incredible wildlife such as deer, elk, bears, coyotes, moose, owls, and wolves. A trip to a zoo is no match for a ride in Bitterroot Ranch. But beware — those animals aren’t as cute and cuddly as they may appear.
Nevertheless, the ranch itself is a true nod towards the western era of America. The lodging is comprised of rustic cabins and facilities whilst the cuisine is sourced fresh from the local farm and ranch.
Zion Canyon Trail Rides, Utah
To many folks, Zion Canyon may look like a snapshot right out of Jurassic Park.
The remarkable canyon, which lies along the southern border of Utah, is nothing short of magnificent. Red rock walls, flourishing vegetation, and winding streams hide around every corner, making even a short adventure spectacular.
Subsequently, it is a truly special place to go horseback riding. And that is where Zion Canyon Trail Rides steals the show.
Zion Canyon Trail Rides take visitors through the heart of the canyon to see some of the greatest natural views. Over the course of a three-hour journey, riders get the chance to meander through cactus gardens, observe the Beehives, and witness the Three Patriarchs.
Whilst on the adventure riders also ascend the Sandbench Trail to observe the southern end of the canyon and witness amazing views. However, due to seasonal weather, trips can only be booked from March to October.
If you’re interested in trying out horseback riding or perhaps you’re already a seasoned rider looking for a new place to explore, you should consider the places mentioned above! They will truly be an adventure of a lifetime.
Here’s a bonus location: Kualoa Ranch in Oahu, Hawaii!