Summit County is one of the state’s most popular vacation destinations thanks to its close proximity to the mountains and amazing natural sights and attractions. There is simply no better way to experience this area than through horseback riding!
There are approximately 260 miles of trails open for both commercial and private horse use, which represents about 80% of the total trail network in the park. This means you have tons of options to choose from, from trail rides through sprawling networks to open ranges.
When Should You Go?
Sure, the most popular times for horse riding are usually during summer and fall. The weather tends to be great and you’ll have far more options. That being said, horseback riding in Summit County is a year-round activity!
Who Should Go?
Horseback riding is a universally appealing activity! Whether you are just getting started or are an experienced rider, there are plenty of options for you in Summit County!
If you are a beginner, Breckenridge has an easy trail that offers great views which you can explore in open ranges. For experienced horseback riders, Breckenridge has you covered, as well! You can choose from cattle drives to open range excursions and everything in between.
Horseback riding is also family-friendly. You can rest assured that everyone will be able to participate regardless of each person’s fitness level.
However, please note that products offered to child riders differ depending on the ranch. Before setting out, it’s a good idea to call the ranch and inquire about their product range based on your child’s age.
Where To Go For Horseback Riding?
As already mentioned, you’ll have plenty of options for horseback riding in Breckenridge, CO. The following are the most popular options you’ll want to check out when you visit.
1. Breckenridge Stables
Breckenridge Stables is one of the larger horseback riding operators in Summit County and can accommodate large parties and groups. They have over 100 horses to choose from, and guides will match you to a horse based on your ability and experience.
Rides normally last one and a half hours and take place at the In-Town summer trail. The In-Town summer trail will allow you to explore the beautiful scenery between Peaks 9 and 10 located on the 10-mile range just above the Breckenridge Ski Resort.
While here, you’ll get to encounter beaver ponds, and experience river crossings and captivating views of the continental divide.
Normally, Breckenridge Stables offers trail rides between late May and late September.
2. Rusty Spurr Ranch
Breckenridge Stables isn’t the only option to choose from when you want to go horseback riding in Summit County! Rusty Spurr Ranch is another reputable service provider. The ranch is centrally located between the world-renowned ski resorts in the quaint area of Kremmling, CO.
Kremmling is conveniently located at the confluence of the Muddy, Colorado and Blue Rivers. In addition to horseback riding, Rusty Spurr Ranch is also known as a sportsman’s paradise for rafting, hiking and off-road adventures.
If you’re looking for a more wide-open space to experience horseback riding, Rusty Spurr has you covered! This ride will enable you to experience breathtaking views of Colorado’s wildlife.
Generally, Rusty Spurr Ranch provides several options for horseback riding. They include authentic Colorado cattle drives, 1, 2 and 3 hour scenic aspen and mountain top rides, as well as Saddle and Paddle – an all-day riding and rafting adventure!
Group sizes are usually small and you may be allowed to go off-trail whenever the terrain permits. Rusty Spurr Ranch is normally open from mid-May through to late September.
3. American Safari Ranch
American Safari Ranch will also give you one-of-a-kind riding experiences. This ranch is located 29 miles south of Breckenridge and 6 miles from the town of Fairplay. Their suite of services includes horseback riding, ATV tours, and corporate retreats.
When it comes to horseback riding, the ranch offers 1.5 hour, 2 hour and private guided rides.
What Should You Do Before Venturing Out?
1. Dress for the Occasion
During the hot summer months, you’ll want to wear light-colored apparel. This will guarantee that sunlight bounces off you, ensuring you remain cool during your ride. Also, wearing light-colored apparel will help you easily notice ticks, giving you an opportunity to remove them before they reach your skin.
In addition to wearing light-colored apparel, you may also want to look for breathable fabrics. These work by wicking perspiration from your skin away. Manufacturers offering these sorts of textiles include Coolmax, TuffRider, Equine Couture, and Tailored Sportsman.
During the colder months, you’ll also want to dress appropriately to ensure a smooth and enjoyable horseback riding experience. The key to having comfortable rides is dressing in layers. The base layer you use should be made of breathable and moisture-wicking fabric.
A turtleneck is ideal, as it’ll help cover your throat and prevent cold air from penetrating your clothing. Add a shirt that’s long-sleeved overtop and a winter jacket and you’ll be good to go!
As for pants, avoid anything slippery! This can make riding an unpleasant activity, as you may struggle to stay on your horse. Go for winter riding breeches instead – and don’t forget to sock up inside your winter riding boots!
2. Carry Some Sunscreen
With over 245 days of sunshine in Summit County, this should be a no-brainer. Bring a hat and sunglasses, too. Whether you prefer a cowboy hat or a baseball cap, it’s important to protext yourself from the sun!
3. Carry Cash for Tipping
Whichever ranch you choose to go to, chances are you’ll find an amazing guide! Not only do they offer riding lessons, but they will also teach you about the area’s history, fauna and wildlife.
Where possible, we recommend tipping your guides for their fantastic service!
Horseback riding in Summit County is the best way to have a true Colorado western experience!
Bighorn Rentals is here to help. We can make your vacation experience fun and enjoyable. Our Summit County rentals and condo inventory are some of Colorado’s best!
Regardless of your lodging needs, Bighorn Rentals has you covered.