Skip to primary navigation Skip to content Skip to footer

Dark Timber Trail

Quick Details

Users Private rides available (three-person minimum)

Adults Ages 14 and up
Children Ages 7-13

A Fantastic Horseback Ride Through Vail’s Lush Aspen Trees

The wildflowers are a riot of color, their petals reaching for the sky in a joyful celebration of life. Butterflies flit from flower to flower, and the air is sweet with the scent of blossoms.

The lodgepole pines tower above you, their trunks straight and true, their branches reaching towards the sky. Their needles create a dappled shade that is cool and refreshing, and you feel a sense of awe at the majesty of these ancient trees.

Wildlife abounds in these mountains, and you may catch a glimpse of elk, deer, or even a black bear as you ride through the forests. The animals seem to sense your presence and regard you with a wary eye, as if wondering what this strange creature on horseback is doing in their territory.

And then there are the aspen trees, those quaking sentinels that stand guard over the mountains. Their leaves shimmer and shake in the breeze, creating a music all their own, and you are struck by their beauty and grace.

Riding a horse through the mountains, through meadows, wildflowers, lodgepole pines, and aspen trees, is an experience that will stay with you for a lifetime. It is a journey of the soul, a communion with nature that is both humbling and inspiring, and it is something that every person should have the opportunity to experience at least once in their lifetime.

Age limit 7 yrs and older and the kids will do very well!!!!!  (Better than the adults at the end.).

It’s possible for anyone to do this ride as long as your general level of fitness is good for an hour of uphill and an hour of downhill navigation.  Check your core strength and double it before you ride!!

$200 for children 7-13yrs and $220 for adults 14-99yrs.  But, No No Double Double Riding Riding.

Adult Only $260 per person.  No screaming kids, just screaming adults.

Private Ride  $440 per person (min. 3ppl to book)

The Dark Timber trail includes both the Rocky Point trail and the Bear Hollow trail.  The giant cow parsnip crowds the trails and towers over the heads of the horses, with its large green leaves and delicate, white flowers. Vibrant indigo monkshood grows in a very special damp area of this trail, and only this trail. Wildflowers of all colors take turns crowding the sunny areas of the trails. This is a scenic trail ride like no other!

You must be in good general fitness to ride and 7 yrs or older.  The trail climbs 1000ft in elevation and then comes back down the whole 1000 feet, which is where people find themselves fatigued and struggling.  If you are not fit, select the Rocky Point 1 hour trail ride and you will still experience a beautiful, scenic ride.

The views from the lookout points are perfect for the landscape photographer in the bunch. A short section of beetle-kill mixed with new growth offers a cool respite from the summer sun. Come join us for a relaxing ride through nature.  The trails are 70% shaded.

What to Bring

  • What to wear: long pants, sturdy shoes
  • Helmets are provided, and we have many loaner cowboy hats.
  • Take an Advil before you arrive.
  • We suggest bringing a camera, sunglasses, selfie stick, sunscreen, and a book.

Weight Limit

  • 220 if you are under 6′ tall
  • 240 if you are over 6′ tall.

Age Limit

  • 7 yrs and older

Cancellation Policy

  • 48 hours and 5 minutes