Nothing evokes the West quite like a horseback ride through the Rocky Mountains. Celebrate Colorado’s western heritage from the cowboy’s point of view as you travel through the beautiful backcountry on horseback. You’ll enjoy gorgeous trails through pines and aspens, scenic views, wildflowers, and maybe even spot some wildlife as you immerse yourself in nature. For beginners to advanced and kids to adults, the two outfitters below can provide an experience you’ll always remember.

Vail Stables

For over 17 years, Vail Stables has been providing horseback rides and more at their outpost just across the highway from Vail Village. Their 1, 1.5 and 2 hour rides are a mix of adventure, relaxation, and quiet for the ultimate horse experience in the mountains. The horses are gentle, yet perky and the guides are knowledgeable and engaged. If you’re looking for something more intimate or for more advanced riders, check out their private horseback rides.

Vail Stables also offers goat yoga (read about Leslie’s experience here) and pony time for the kids. When you’re ready to unwind, don’t miss the Happiest Happy Hour. Grab a cold beer (or wine), play lawn games, or just relax in their hammocks with a stunning view of the slopes on Vail Mountain. The goats come out to mingle, too!

For more information, visit

Bearcat Stables

Located down valley in Edwards at the historic Bearden Homestead, Bearcat Stables offers rides that cater to those who would like to experience the beautiful Colorado Rocky Mountain scenery, but have limited time or riding experience. The terrain is easily navigable and can be enjoyed by people of nearly all ages and skill levels.

They, too, offer 1, 1.5 and 2 hour rides. Terrain includes wide open meadows full of wildflowers in summer, as well as groves of aspen trees. Sightings of wildlife, including red tailed hawks and trophy size mule deer bucks, are frequent. Your guide will share with you the history of the homestead and the surrounding area, while a gentle, trusty horse navigates the mountain trails for you. If you are an advanced rider, ask about their 3 or 4 hour backcountry/ advanced rides.

For more information, visit

Useful tips…

  • What to wear: long pants and sturdy closed-toed shoes or boots. Helmets are provided and Bearcat Stables has loaner cowboy hats.
  • Make sure your pants aren’t too tight!
  • Bring a camera, waterproof jacket, extra layers, sunglasses, water, and sunscreen.