The state of Colorado is certainly a colorful place to visit, with majestic mountain scenery and gorgeous landscapes. But have you ever stopped to consider seeing it while riding on a horse? Colorado horseback riding may even provide you with the feeling that you’ve stepped back in time to the wild west.
Brush off your dusty boots and pull out that cowboy hat you’ve been dying to wear for ages. Even if this will be your first time riding, each one of these destinations will make it an experience that you never will forget. Several of these Colorado destinations have other activities and opportunities that await.
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 through are a unique way to experience the spectacular mountain views. Here’s a handful of the best horseback riding destinations in the state of Colorado.
Snow Mountain Stables
1101 Co Rd 53, Granby, CO 80446 Granby, Colorado | 970-509-9089
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 an expansive property with all kinds of activities and lodging options suitable for families of all sizes and ages.
43200 CO-141, Gateway, CO 81522 | (970) 931-2458
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.
Beaver Creek Stables
Elk Track Rd, Avon, CO 81620 | (970) 845-7770
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.
2701 Squaw Creek Rd, Edwards, CO 81632 | (970) 926-1578
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
Bair Ranch Rd – Private, Glenwood Springs, CO 81601 | (970) 945-7529
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.
1895 Big Thompson Ave, Estes Park, CO 80517 | (970) 533-8155
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
29555 Goose Creek Rd, Sedalia, CO 80135 | (303) 647-2311
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.
387 County Road, Kremmling, CO 80459 | (970) 724-1123
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to go out on a cattle drive? Now’s your chance. At Rusty Spurr, you can rest assured that they’ll bring you the best memory while on your family vacation. Most horseback riding tours will keep you close in line but while you’re visiting this ranch they’ll encourage you to “Get Outta Line” for a more intimate horse and rider experience.
Rimrock Adventures at McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area
927 CO-340, Fruita, CO 81521 | (970) 858-9555
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.
5305 CO-150, Mosca, CO 81146 | (719) 378-2356
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.
Academy Riding Stables
4 El Paso Blvd, Colorado Springs, CO 80904 | (719) 633-5667
Visiting the Garden of the Gods is an amazing breath-taking experience all on its own, but venturing through it on horseback will only enhance your visit. Choose between a one or two-hour trail and ride past stunning red rock formations with a real cowboy as your guide. Academy Riding Stables is something to check out.
These are just a few sneak peeks at some of the best horseback riding opportunities that you’ll find in the state of Colorado. If you’ve already been to one of these or to one that did not make our list, we’d love to hear about your experience and whether you would recommend it to others. Let us know your favorites in the comments below!