Horseback riding is a fun activity to do in Zion National Park. You can enjoy the scenery, splendor, and healthy exercise regimen from horseback riding. Here is a list of the best places to go horseback riding in Zion National Park.
Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort
The Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort is a great place to stay in Springdale. This resort has an on-site restaurant and bar, two outdoor swimming pools, and a Jacuzzi. In addition, there’s an outdoor grilling area with fire pits and picnic tables.
Zion Ponderosa Resort offers four horseback riding tours:
Twin Knoll Horseback Riding (1 hour 30 minutes)
All beginners and intermediate riders can book this ride. The rides start from Pine Knoll through the desert forest to view Zion National Park.
Pine Grove Horseback Ride (1 hour)
This ride is the most suitable ride for beginners since the trails have little elevation. In addition, the guides are trained to keep you at ease and guide you during rides, making you become a horse expert.
Zion Sunset Horseback Rides (1 hour 30 minutes)
This sunset ride is for you if you are looking for rides to bid the day farewell. The horse will take you through the park to soak the beautiful Zion sunset. This package is suitable for beginners and intermediate riders.
Kids Horseback Riding (10 minutes)
Kids below eight years can opt for this package for kid-friendly rides. They will ride regular horses. However, the wranglers are trained explicitly for little riders to keep them safe.
What To Expect
- Riders should be eight years or up
- Rides duration from 1 hour to 1.5 hours
- Reservations are required
- Cabins, glamping, and camping are available
- Lodging and dining services
- Groups and special events like corporate, reunions, and weddings
Bear Trap Canyon
Bear Trap Canyon is a slot canyon in Zion National Park, which is easy to find. The hike down into the canyon can be dangerous. Thus, you and your horse should be well-prepared.
It’s best for experienced horseback riders who have been through such areas with high elevations and hardtails. In addition, remember this trail has no shade from trees or rocks, so make sure you bring lots of water on your trip.
What To Expect
- Hard and challenging trails
- Flat bottom with towering walls
- Colder water during spring
Deertrap Mountain is a popular place to visit, especially for those who love challenging trails. It’s located just west of the park’s main road, which makes it easy to get there by car or foot.
Several trails lead up this mountain, and all have different views of Zion National Park.
Deertrap Mountain has many different types of animals living on its slopes, including bighorn sheep and elk, as well as raptors like eagles or hawks looking down upon them from above!
If you’re lucky enough to see any wildlife while riding horses through this area, ensure they stay away from your horses to prevent them from spooking.
Top Trails in Zion National Park for Horseback Riding
There are so many trails in Zion National Park to explore and sights to see, but if you only have a few days, these hikes are perfect for an overview of this stunning park.
Observation Point has two trails that are strenuous, steep, and rewarding. It has the best beautiful views of the canyon and surrounding landscape and some of the best sunrises and sunsets in Zion National Park.
In addition, it’s an excellent place to hike and see wildlife, including deer, elk, coyotes, and many other species you may not expect to see at this elevation.
Zion Canyon Overlook Trail
This trail is a great way to experience Zion National Park. Horseback riding across the desert landscape of Zion Canyon will give you a fantastic view of Bryce Canyon.
If you’re not experienced in horseback riding, this trail is strenuous. Ensure you bring plenty of water and sunscreen. So you can take time as well.
The Pa’rus Trail is a 3.5-mile trail that starts at the Zion National Park Visitor Center, ends at the trailhead, and then back. It’s a strenuous trail, but if you’re fit enough to complete it, this is worth doing.
The trail travels through some beautiful scenery: canyons with cliffs overlooking them, rivers flowing through them, waterfalls crashing down into pools below them; and if you take your time on this trail, there are also opportunities for views of the Virgin River or Bryce Canyon.
So even though it’s not overly complex or lengthy compared with other trails in Zion National Park, this one offers excellent views without having to climb too high up into mountainside areas where things could get dangerous for you and your equine friend.
When you’re looking for a quick and easy trail, Riverside Walk is an excellent choice. This trail is wheelchair accessible, so it’s great if you have mobility issues and can’t ride the horses.
Riverside Walk is also a great place to see wildlife. You can spot bighorn sheep grazing on the cliffs above the riverbed or watch eagles soar overhead while they wait for fish to swim by their feet. Also, the spectacular view at sunset will leave you craving for more views.
This trail is the most visited in Zion National Park because it offers something for everyone – it is a family-friendly trail with plenty of breathtaking views.
Emerald Pools Trails
The Emerald Pool trail is another excellent place for horseback riding near Zion lodge. It was created in 1926, with hanging gardens and a water stream running from the canyon to the Virgin River, which has enchanted visitors since then.
The pool is a beautiful pool that has a blue tinge due to its water source – a spring fed by underground cracks in shale rock formations from ancient lava flows.
The pool is more extensive than it looks from above because many small streams feed into it. However, only one stream does so directly, the one you’ll see when you’re standing next to your horse.
Hidden Canyon is a short, easy trail that offers excellent views of the Virgin River and its tributaries. The trail is shaded and calm and not crowded.
There are several waterfalls along the way, so you can take some time to stop and enjoy them if you like taking pictures or just relaxing in nature. The trailhead is at the Weeping Rock, Zion Canyon Shuttle 7th stop.
The Watchman Trail is a moderate trail connecting the Visitor Center with the South Campground with an elevation of 4,420 feet. This 3-mile round trip will take you about 2 hours to complete if you’re in good shape and have plenty of time on your hands.
Angels Landing is a strenuous trail that will test your physical strength and stamina. The trail is 5.2 miles round trip and gains 1,000 feet of elevation in that time, so you’ll have to fit if you want to make it up.
The last part of the trail has chains installed at intervals. You can use them if you like, but they are not required. However, there are still some sections where it’s too steep for chains, and there are sections where there are no chains at all.
What To Expect In Zion National Park
The best way to ensure you get the most out of your guided tour is to book directly with the park service or through an authorized concessioner.
Zion National Park usually organizes guided tours, so ensure you’ve got all your questions answered beforehand when booking one of their guided tours.
If there aren’t any online answers, ask ahead of time when scheduling an appointment so that staff members have enough time during busy seasons like summer (when many more people travel) before answering questions effectively. Otherwise, these might end up being canceled due lack of staff availability.
Duration And Distance
The horseback riding tour of Zion National Park is a group ride that lasts 1.5 hours and covers around 2.5 miles between the park and Grand Canyon.
Riders must be at least eight years old and weigh less than 220 pounds before embarking on the adventure.
Shorts are not allowed, so you’ll want to be sure to pack some pants that will fit over your boots or shoes. Most tours take two hours, and shorts will set your legs and groins to discomfort.
Horseback riding in Zion National Park may be fun, but it’s also very educational. In addition to seeing some beautiful scenery, the guide will give riders information about the park’s history and wildlife.
If this is your first time visiting Zion National Park, it’s recommended that you take one of their guided tours to introduce what makes this place so unique. You can also ride a shuttle through the park. It will allow you to visit its main attractions and avoid traffic jams.
If you enjoy horseback riding in national parks, you should take advantage of Zion National Park’s opportunities. There are many scenic trails to explore, much wildlife to observe, and some breathtaking views both along the trails and from elevated lookouts.
It would be best to take advantage of several horse rental options here since they will make the horseback riding experience more convenient and exciting.
Hopefully, this travel planning tool will make it easier for you to plan your next trip and maximize your fun in Zion National Park.