Winter Horseback Riding

3 spots to enjoy a magical outdoor experience in the snow



Photo courtesy of Triple Creek Ranch

Even though I love horses, my first experience riding in the snow happened during a recent visit to Montana’s Triple Creek Ranch—it was magical. Although I was worried that I might be cold, the wranglers at the Rider’s Roost outfitted us in anoraks and boots and hand warmers in our gloves that kept us toasty warm. The horses had grown their thick winter coats and they seemed oblivious to the big flakes falling as we slowly made our way through the Ponderosa pines. 

Many guest ranches offer winter horseback rides and sleigh rides—a wonderful way to see beautiful winter mountain scenery. Below are a few of my favorites:

Triple Creek Ranch

Photo courtesy of Triple Creek Ranch

Triple Creek Ranch is an award-winning, all-inclusive luxury ranch resort in western Montana, approximately 75 miles south of Missoula in a serene forested setting surrounded by endless miles of National Forest Service land. The ranch offers daily horseback trail rides through wilderness.

Vista Verde Guest Ranch

Photo courtesy of Vista Verde Ranch

Located near Steamboat Springs, Colorado, Vista Verde Guest Ranch provides winter trail rides as part of its winter offerings, keeping a few trails around the ranch packed down. The ranch also has a full-sized heated indoor riding arena for anyone who’d like to work on improving their riding skills, and offers sleigh rides for added fun.

Devil's Thumb Ranch

Photo courtesy of Devil's Thumb Ranch

Devil’s Thumb Ranch Resort & Spa was named #1 Best Cross-Country Ski Resort in the 2018 USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards, but it provides many activities in addition to skiing. In the winter, the ranch staff lead riders on a 45-minute tour through the ranch’s winter wonderland. And each day, guests can also take a sleigh ride out to feed the horses.

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About This Blog

Darla Worden, Editor On Location

Travel "On Location" with Editor in Chief Darla Worden as she provides a behind-the-scenes look at the people, places and events featured in Mountain Living magazine.

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