: : : : Horseback riding : : : :
Riders on trail near ranchDuring your stay at the ranch, you should, at least once, go on a horseback ride. You can take a horse out for a half day, a full day, or for a pack trip lasting several days. Or you can put your little kid on the back of one of our steady, trustworthy, calm, gentle stalwarts and lead him or her around in the corral. It’s always a thrill for the little ones because it’s a REAL horse, not a quarter-horse (you know, the ones in front of the supermarket that you have to put a quarter in).

So where do these horses take you? Down to the meandering waters of Blayney Meadow for a day’s fishing. Up the river to the gorge for a day’s fishing. Across the river to Warm Lake for a day’s fishing. Over and up to Sallie Keyes Lakes for a half-day’s fishing. Down to the Florence Lake Store for a can of tuna.

Or, if you couldn’t care less about fishing, we’re sure you will think of someHorses relaxing in Blayney Meadowthing else to do. Such as just enjoying the scenery. Taking pictures. Breathing the wonderful fresh air. Rolling in wildflowers. Spying on wildlife (when you’re on horseback, they don’t shy away as readily). Some guests just hug their horses and give them carrots. Bring carrots.

By the way, our horses aren’t the tired old nags you’re likely to find at a riding stable. Most of them were raised by us right here in the mountains, and are sure-footed and strong. They know the area better than you could ever hope to, so you’ll never get lost (especially since all rides are accompanied by a guide who only occasionally gets lost).

We treat the horses well. When their day’s work is done, they dash off to the western part of the ranch where they eat their fill of meadow grass. In the morning they’ll be rounded up and brought in to the corral for a feeding of grain and any other nutritional supplement they need before being saddled to ride off into the wilderness. Guests enjoy watching us train the new horses, first to carry pack saddles, then to ride. Since we train all our horses ourselves, we know each one’s capabilities and personality so we match the rider to the horse perfectly.Horses on trail near river.

You don’t have to be an expert rider, either. We have horses for novices, professionals, kids, and dogs (just kidding). Before coming to the ranch we ask that you fill out a form that tells us your height and weight, riding experience, and any considerations you have about horses (such as “I love them!” or “They scare the daylights out of me!”). That way we can have a horse ready for you when you arrive that will give you a wonderful ride. Find the rates here.

We have an absolute weight limit for riders—250 pounds (113 kg), and the rider must be in very good physical condition with an athletic build, not overweight.

Children have to be at least 6 years old and 46" (120 cm) tall to ride, and we don’t allow double riding – it’s one person per horse. Helmets are required on riders from age 6 to 12. Bicycle helmets are acceptable.

If you want an overnight pack trip, you will need to contact us several months in advance so we can arrange with the Park Service or Forest Service. You will need to arrange for the necessary wilderness permits in advance also. It all comes down to: Plan Ahead.