Horseback Riding in Denver, Colorado: Trails and Tips


Did you know Denver, Colorado, has over 85 miles of scenic trails perfect for horseback riding? Whether you’re a seasoned equestrian or a first-time rider, the Mile High City offers plenty of opportunities to saddle up and explore the great outdoors.

If you’ve ever wanted to experience beautiful Colorado scenery from the saddle, keep reading our guide to horseback riding in Denver.


  • Denver and the surrounding areas offer various horseback riding options for all skill levels.
  • Guided trail rides, lessons, and cattle drives are available at local ranches and stables.
  • Riders can enjoy stunning views of the Rocky Mountains and diverse wildlife while on horseback.

Where to Go Horseback Riding in Denver

Bear Mountain Stables

Located just 45 minutes southwest of Denver in Conifer, Bear Mountain Stables offers guided trail rides through beautiful mountain terrain. Their experienced wranglers will match you with a horse based on your riding ability, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience. A one-hour trail ride costs $60 per person, and reservations can be made by phone or text.

Sylvan Dale Ranch

For a more immersive experience, head to Sylvan Dale Ranch in Loveland, about an hour north of Denver. This family-owned ranch offers a variety of activities, including horseback riding, hiking, swimming, and even line dancing. Riders of all skill levels are welcome, and the ranch’s wranglers will help you find the perfect horse for your needs. Prices vary depending on the package you choose, but a six-day, five-night stay starts at $4,195 per person.

Rusty Spurr Ranch

If you’re looking for a more authentic Western experience, check out Rusty Spurr Ranch, located about an hour and a half northwest of Denver. Here, you can participate in cattle drives across 10,000 acres of open range or choose from 1, 2, or 3-hour mountain trail rides. The ranch keeps group sizes small, allowing for a more personalized experience. Prices vary depending on the activity, but a 2-hour trail ride costs $120 per person.

12 Mile Stables

Nestled against the picturesque backdrop of the Rocky Mountains, 12 Mile Stables in Aurora, Colorado, embodies the essence of equine elegance and adventure. With sprawling pastures dotted by majestic horses grazing under the Colorado sun, this tranquil haven offers more than just a riding experience; it’s a journey into nature’s embrace. 27 miles of trails wind through 3,000 acres in Cherry Creek State Park, inviting riders of all levels to explore the beauty of the surrounding landscape. Whether galloping through open fields or meandering along wooded paths, 12 Mile Stables promises an unforgettable horseback riding adventure in the heart of Colorado’s enchanting wilderness.

National Park Gateway Stables

National Park Gateway Stables beckons with the promise of unforgettable journeys into the heart of Rocky Mountain splendor. Located in Estes Park and surrounded by the majestic peaks of the Rockies and the whispering pines of Roosevelt National Forest, this haven for horse lovers embodies the essence of wilderness exploration. From seasoned riders to first-time adventurers, the stables offer an array of trail options, each leading to breathtaking vistas, hidden alpine meadows, and cascading mountain streams. The rustic charm of the stables blends seamlessly with the natural beauty of the landscape, creating an atmosphere of tranquility and excitement. Whether venturing into the rugged backcountry or enjoying a leisurely ride through scenic valleys, National Park Gateway Stables invites visitors to embark on a journey of discovery amidst Colorado’s untamed wilderness.

Winter Park Trail Rides

Set amidst the pristine beauty of Winter Park, Colorado, Winter Park Trail Rides offers an unparalleled equestrian adventure in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. With snow-capped peaks framing the horizon and alpine meadows stretching as far as the eye can see, this idyllic setting provides the perfect backdrop for exploration on horseback. From leisurely rides through pine-scented forests to exhilarating excursions along mountain ridges, the trails cater to riders of all levels, promising unforgettable experiences for both seasoned equestrians and first-time adventurers alike. The friendly guides and well-trained horses ensure a safe and enjoyable journey, while the crisp mountain air invigorates the senses and rejuvenates the soul. Whether seeking a peaceful escape into nature or a thrilling ride through Colorado’s winter wonderland, Winter Park Trail Rides invites visitors to discover the magic of the mountains from a unique perspective.

What to Expect on Your Ride

No matter which ranch or stable you choose, you can expect stunning views of the Rocky Mountains and the chance to spot some of Colorado’s diverse wildlife, such as deer, elk, and even the occasional bear or mountain lion. Your guide will provide a safety briefing and help you mount your horse, adjusting the stirrups to fit your height.

During a guided trail ride, your horse will follow the lead of the guide’s horse, walking along well-maintained trails through forests, meadows, and along mountain streams. Depending on the terrain and the skill level of the riders, you may have the opportunity to trot or even canter.

Be sure to dress appropriately for the weather and wear sturdy, closed-toe shoes. Most ranches provide helmets, but you may want to bring your own for a better fit. Don’t forget to bring sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat to protect yourself from the sun at high altitude.

Tips for a Successful Ride

  • Listen to your guide's instructions and follow their lead at all times.
  • Stay calm and avoid making sudden movements that could startle your horse.
  • If you're unsure about something, don't hesitate to ask your guide for help.
  • Remember to tip your guide at the end of the ride (15-20% is standard).


Do I need to have experience to go horseback riding in Denver?

No, most ranches and stables offer rides for all skill levels, from beginners to advanced riders. The wranglers will match you with a horse based on your experience and comfort level.

What should I wear for Colorado horseback riding?

Wear comfortable, weather-appropriate clothing that you don’t mind getting dirty. Avoid loose-fitting clothing that could get caught on the saddle or brush. Closed-toe shoes with a heel are best, such as boots or sneakers.

Can children go horseback riding?

Yes, many ranches offer rides for children as young as 6 years old. Some may require children to be accompanied by an adult, so be sure to check with the ranch before booking.

How long do trail rides typically last?

Trail rides can range from 1 hour to a full day, depending on the ranch and the package you choose. Most ranches offer a variety of options to suit different schedules and skill levels.

What if I’m afraid of horses?

It’s normal to feel a bit nervous if you’ve never been around horses before. Let your guide know if you have any fears or concerns, and they will do their best to make you feel comfortable and safe. Remember that the horses are well-trained and used to working with riders of all skill levels.

Hit the Trails on Horseback in Denver

Horseback riding in Denver is a unique and exciting way to experience the beauty of the Rocky Mountains. With a variety of ranches and stables to choose from, riders of all skill levels can find an adventure that suits their needs. So why not saddle up and explore the rugged terrain of the Mile High City on horseback? You’ll create unforgettable memories and gain a new appreciation for the majesty of the American West.

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About the author

Simone Weisman

My deep appreciation for nature and active living strongly aligns with the vibrant outdoor culture of Colorado. My enjoyment of yoga, hiking, and exploring scenic trails provides me with a unique perspective that I bring to This personal passion enriches my ability to connect with and inspire our audience, whether they’re local residents or visitors seeking to explore all that Colorado has to offer.