Bryce Canyon Country trails are more enjoyable when the comforting sounds of a trotting horse accompany you along the way. Horseback riding is one of the awesome perks of traveling to Bryce Canyon Country. The area has many horseback riding outfitters ready to size you up for a saddle and take you on an unforgettable ride. Where are the best places for you and your new hairy friend to explore? Check out four great places below:
1. Kodachrome Basin's Panorama Trail
This 2.9-mile trail leads you through the state park’s spectacular rock formations and makes you want to horse around the giant orange, yellow, pink, red and brown sand pipes and vivid red sandstone canyons. The view from your saddle is one of the best ways to discover Kodachrome Basin’s diverse landscape. Along with the sounds of neighing, enjoy the beautiful wild flowers and get out your bird map to identify the many birds in the area. Explore legendary geological wonders of Kodachrome’s Cool Cave and Secret Passage. You’ll begin clopping away on an old wagon route as you ascend to Panorama Point, an unparallelled scenic view of the colorful terrain. Be spontaneous and take detours along the way to see The Hat Shop and Shakespeare Arch.
2. The Escalante River Trailhead
Take in the fresh scent of the air as you trip trap through the heart of the Escalante Canyons in Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. Enjoy a canopy of cottonwoods, ponderosa, sagebrush and wildflowers guarded inside the tall, shimmering sandstone wall, looming over the river. Get a close-up view of the 130-foot high Escalante Natural Bridge (the largest natural arch in the Grand Staircase area), a petroglyph panel, Anasazi ruins, Escalante Natural Arch and Skyline Arch. Thanks to your high perch, only your hoofed companion will come out with wet feet.
3. Thunder Mountain Trail
Not lacking in popularity, this horse trail follows a dry wash before climbing a series of switchbacks. Gallop through ponderosa pines and various shades of red rock, which will lead you to a breathtaking scene overlooking Red Canyon and the Sevier River Valley. Enjoy this picture-perfect ride with a Bryce Canyon backdrop that both man and beast will enjoy. The entire loop is 15.6 miles long. There are connecting trails for incredible views of Red Canyon, the Sevier River, Brian Head, the Markagunt Plateau and Losee Canyon.
4. The Tropic Reservoir
The reservoir has a couple of outstanding, long horseback riding trails for those ready for a true adventure. The Fremont Trail is a high-elevation, 50-mile trail that winds through forests and plateaus. The trail’s high elevation that ranges from 7,880 feet to 9,030 feet provides views of the incredible red rock canyon vistas. The Fremont Trail begins at Tropic Reservoir and heads north across Highway 12 to the Paiute Trail.
The Paunsaugunt Trail provides 75 miles of optimal riding through the Kaibab Plateau. You can trot around for hours with some of the best views of Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, such as the Pink Cliffs. This trail also begins at 7,880 feet located near Tropic Reservoir and ends at 9,200 feet, which is the highest point of Seiler Creek.
Horseback riding is a popular pastime in Bryce Canyon Country , and it’s not hard to see why. Whether you are looking for short trails like Kodachrome Basin’s Panorama Trail or long trails like Paunsaugunt Trail, Bryce Canyon Country has it all. Come make a new hoofed friend and trot around one of the most beautiful places on earth.