Horseback Riding: The Ultimate Colorado Adventure

1-2 Hours   |   Various Times   |   $75-210pp   |   Mountainous Terrain   |   Gentle Horses   |   Guided   

  225lb Weight Limit*   |   5 yrs +      

Adult-Only Option   |   Private Ride Option   

Fun & Safe for All   |  Small Groups   |   Trotting Allowed   |   48 Hour Cancellation Policy   

Parent-Led Pony Rides   |   Check the Schedule and Book Online

Overview

Claim your all-access pass through the beautiful backcountry of the Rockies on horseback.  The trails are truly awe-inspiring with wide-open scenic views of the Gore Range, Vail Mountain and Beaver Creek ski slopes and dense Aspen glades with stunning white trunks and a leafy green canopy that casts a rainbow of colors onto the forest floor made of lush green undergrowth including giant Cow Parsnip with their large, delicate flower towering over the heads of the horses.  Everything is organic!  

The rides are a mix of adventure, relaxation and quiet for the ultimate horse experience in the mountains.  Safe enough for beginners, satisfying for advanced riders.  The horses climb trails that change 1000ft in elevation the first 30 minutes with a mix of sun and shade.   Common wildlife sightings include deer that stare with unblinking eyes as their fawn rest at their feet, cow Elk with nearby calves, whistle pigs and singing birds that soar above blankets of wildflowers under bluebird skies reserved for 2-legged-riding 4-legged, visitors.  The horses are gentle, yet perky.  The guides are knowledgable, chatty and/or quiet at your request.

 

Riding not for someone in your group?  Check out GOGA!, Goats & Wine (or Soda), or click here to answer the burning question,  What Happened to the Kids Program?

Open 7 days a week May 18th-September 28th.  Possible dates available in May and October depending on snow and weather.  Check back after May 15th for the executive decision. 

The trail is only 12″ wide so the horses walk single-file unless walking on the jeep trail.  All rides are walking and trotting rides.  No cantering (galloping, loping, running) as the horses must climb 1000ft in elevation the first 30 minutes and would get too skinny.  Cliffs and steep trails are not a problem and beginners are encouraged to ride.  Advanced riders are welcome to trot.

Spectacular Horseback Rides (5yrs+) $75-210pp     Book it here.

20% auto-gratuity added to groups of 6 or more.

Cancellation Policy:  48 Hours and 5 Minutes for a full refund.  We are genuinely sorry that we must have a strict cancellation policy.  We realize that this policy may come as a real disappointment.  We hope that you will understand that the policy reflects an extraordinary range of determining factors. 

Where do the horses go during the winter months?

  • Chevron down Rocky Point Ride - 1 Hour
    • Family Rides include kids 5yrs+
    • Upgrade to an Adult Only Ride (18 Yrs+)  for an additional $30pp (18yrs+)
    • Cash Price (deduct $10pp). Must call direct to receive this offer. Not available with online booking.
    • There is an abundance of sunshine, and a scarcity of cliffs and Mountain Lions on this multi-dimensional ride.
    • Anyone and everyone, 5 yrs and older can do this ride. We have many alternate routes to mitigate any fears or to accommodate riders with special needs
    • Enjoy the unobstructed views during the first 30 minutes as the horses climb 600ft. in elevation up to Rocky Point.
    • As the trail switchbacks through the high mountain meadow, grind some fragrant sage between your fingers and apply liberally. It’s so refreshing! It also works well if you’ve forgot to apply your deodorant that morning.
    • Once at Rocky Point, riders are privy to a spectacular 360 degree-ish view of the Vail Valley, Gore Range, Beaver Creek, Bald Mountain and the Vail Ski Slopes. Holiday card photos happen here.
    • From there, the trail follows the edge of a shady, ancient Aspen glade where the trail splits. A right turn leads to the Bear Hollow and Dark Timber rides for full immersion in “Forest Bathing”.
    • For this ride, we continue heading straight ahead and begin the slow descent back the corral. Grassy meadows, and brushy areas conceal deer and their fawns. Watch them until they blink. We promise, they are not decoys!
    • If all riders were able to keep your horse’s head in the ‘alert’ position and the hooves in a general forward direction, the guide will take the longer route, to where a rustic, old cabin sits. It was once the site of many cowboy dinners.
    • What to wear: long pants, sturdy shoes, helmets are provided and we have many loaner cowboy hats
    • We suggest bringing a camera, sunglasses, selfie-stick, water, sunscreen and your singing voice.
  • Chevron down Bear Hollow Ride - 1.5 Hour
    • Family Rides include saddles for kids 5yrs+
    • Upgrade to an Adult Only Ride for an additional $35pp (18yrs+)
    • Cash Price (deduct $10pp). Must call direct to receive this offer.
    • Giant Cow Parsnip towers over the heads of the horses.
    • Riders are immersed in the magical garden of an Aspen glade with intensely white trunks, and a leafy green canopy that changes color with the moving sun. Enjoy your “Forest Bathing” time which reduces heart rate, blood pressure, stress hormones and depression while boosting energy.
    • Deer stare at the passersby with unblinking eyes, hiding their fawns in the thick, green underbrush.
    • Scenic views of the Gore Range, Vail ski slopes and Beaver Creek ski slopes.
    • What to wear: long pants, sturdy shoes, helmets are provided and we have many loaner cowboy hats
    • Make sure your pants aren’t too tight!
    • We suggest bringing a camera, sunglasses, selfie-stick, water, sunscreen and a beautiful smile.
  • Chevron down Dark Timber Ride - 2 Hour
    • Family Rides include kids 5yrs+
    • Upgrade to an Adult Only Ride for an additional $40pp (18yrs+)
    • Cash Price (deduct $10pp). Must call direct to receive this offer.
    • Scenic, Mountainous Terrain, Guided, Trotting Allowed, 18yrs+.
    • The giant Cow Parsnip crowds the trails and towers over the heads of the horses, with its large green leaves and delicate, white flower.
    • Vibrant purple/blue 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.
    • 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. •
    • However, you will not see the same area twice.
    • Regular contact with nature really does improve our well-being.
    • What to wear: long pants, sturdy shoes, helmets are provided, we have many loaner cowboy hats and take an Advil before you arrive
    • We suggest bringing a camera, sunglasses, selfie-stick, water, sunscreen and a stick
  • Chevron down Cancellation Policy
  • 48 HOUR and 5 MINUTE CANCELLATION POLICY

    We are genuinely sorry that we must have a strict cancellation policy. We realize that this policy may come as a real disappointment. We hope that you will understand that the policy reflects an extraordinary range of determining factors. It is painful that we must upset any of our superb guests. If you must pay the full cancellation fee, it is our hope that your overall vacation delight will soon erase any disappointment regarding our cancellation policy, and that you will go on to create a beautiful vacation slideshow.

    Please do not book a ride on your travel day. Travel dilemmas are not an exception to the cancellation policy.

    A full 48 hours and 5 minutes notice required to cancel, change, alter, subtract people, change your mind, get sick, stub your toe, eat too much, develop bad gas, find something better to do, have a brooding teenager, double-book yourself, have your plane delayed, or ANY, ANY, ANY other reason to avoid a cancellation fee equaling the entire ride price. Calling with an exceptional story, will not an exception make.

    You are guaranteeing your arrival, and usage of the horse blocked out of the schedule, with your credit card. Calling to bluster and spout will not change this strict policy even if you “just called 30 minutes ago”. It’s highly probable someone wanted the saddles and were turned away.

    And, you wouldn’t want to miss out on the greatest adventure offered in the Colorado Rocky Mountains.

  • Chevron down *Weight Limit
  • 225lb Weight Limit

    For riders 6’0″ and taller, the weight limit is 250

Lesson 1:  Mounting a Horse

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Lesson 2:  Steering Your Horse

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Steering-on-the-move-2

Lesson 3: Dismounting a Horse

Dismounting-Solo-2

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Vail Stables is uncompromisingly Colorado, specializing in beautiful mountain horseback rides near the town of Vail.  We have been the leading provider of tours on horseback for over 17 years and offer adventurers an all-access pass into the backcountry of the White River National Forest.  Our gentle horses, friendly, experienced guides, and awe-inspiring trails await your arrival. The spirit of the Old West rides on the breezes flowing through the quaking Aspens and echoes in the squeaking leather saddles.  Our passion is to create transformational experiences through horseback riding.