vail horseback riding

When you think of Vail, you probably associate it with skiing. Boasting one of the largest ski resorts in the world with over 5,000 acres of skiable area, it’s no wonder. But did you know that Vail, due to its elevation, actually has not only snowy winters but warm beautiful summers full of wildflowers and aspen trees with a backdrop of the Gore Range mountains? And what better way could there be to view these mountains in the summer than on Vail horseback riding adventures?!

The town of Vail is surrounded by the White River National Forest which comprises more than 2,000,000 acres. With its twelve ski areas, White River National Forest is the most visited recreation forest within the United States. 

Header photo courtesy VLMDAC/ Jack Affleck.

In order to fully appreciate the views surrounding Vail, you have to get out onto the trails. What better way to explore the gorgeous backcountry of the Rockies than on horseback? You’ll be able to traverse the terrain with skilled horses and experience scenic panoramic views like never before.

Horseback riding amongst the wildflowers on Vail Mountain. Photo courtesy VLMDAC/ Jack Affleck.

Interested in some adventure, a little relaxation, and some unimaginable peace in nature? Here are some options for horseback riding in and around Vail, Colorado.

Vail Stables

Vail Stables offers one hour, one and a half hour, or two-hour trail options for ages five and up. The trails offer beautiful views of thick foliage, wildflowers, creeks, and of course, Vail Mountain. Don’t be surprised if you see all kinds of wildlife such as deer and elk, mountain sheep and mountain goats, trout, and many other types of wildlife.

They also offer private horseback rides for any occasion. Whether you’d like an exclusive experience for your family, an intimate and romantic date, or if you’re an experienced rider looking for some peace and quiet, private horseback rides are available on all the trails.

Beaver Creek Stables

Just 15 minutes outside Vail in Avon, Colorado, you’ll find Beaver Creek Stables. Offering rides ranging from one hour to three hours, riders from ages eight and up can enjoy horseback rides while riders seven and younger can have fun riding the ponies!

A family horseback riding adventure on Beaver Creek Mountain.

The one-hour ride will give you a taste of the beautiful scenery, but won’t take all day. The two-hour ride takes you to the top of a ridge to see some of the most undisturbed natural landscapes in all of Colorado.

Beaver Creek Stables also offers a two-hour picnic ride up Beaver Creek Mountain to a meadow or an evening trail ride to Beano’s Cabin for dinner. Either are unique and enjoyable options for mealtimes.

An exclusive ride to Beaver Lake will take an hour and a half. You’ll have time to explore the beautiful area before enjoying the hour ride back to the stables.

Bearcat Stables

Located in Edwards, Bearcat Stables may be the local’s favorite for horseback rides. Explore terrain that includes wide open meadows full of wildflowers in summer, as well as groves of aspen trees. Sightings of wildlife include mule deer bucks, red tailed hawks and more.

Rides vary from one to six hours. Of course the longer rides include lunch and will offer breathtaking views of Bellyache Ridge and a glimpse of the New York and Gore Mountain Ranges.

Lakota Guides

Also located in Avon, Lakota Guides offers all sorts of outdoor adventures. The one-hour ride will take you through Glenwood Canyon and is an easy ride for beginners or youngsters. The two-hour ride boasts views of the Colorado River and Glenwood Canyon from the Western Rocky Mountains. The two-hour ride is also available in the evenings so you can enjoy the spectacular sunset over the canyon.

For a three-hour adventure, you can also enjoy a ribeye dinner in the wilderness! You’ll get to see a lot more of the amazing landscape, possibly sight some wildlife, and learn all about the history and folklore of the area, too.

Experiencing the terrain on horseback is a fantastic way to enjoy all the spectacular views the Colorado Rockies have to offer. Whether you only have time for an hour-long ride or if you opt for as much time as possible, the adventure will be well worth your time.

Vail Horseback Riding Adventures
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