Horse and Sleigh Rides in the West

It may seem like something out of a movie, but dashing through the snow in a one-horse open sleigh is an activity you can participate in at mountain locations around the western United States.

Photo: Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer

Sleigh ride in the Colorado Rocky Mountains

Whether you’re looking for a romantic sleigh ride or an outing with the entire family, look no further than Nordic Sleigh Rides in Breckenridge, Colorado.

Last winter, Ryan and I went on an “exclusive ride” with Nordic. A beautiful, black Percheron named King pulled us through the snowy, sun-dappled woods in a gorgeous sleigh. It was a true, one-of-a-kind experience.

Nordic Sleigh Rides also provides family sleigh rides and dinner theater sleigh rides. These involve a much larger sleigh pulled by two horses. Dinner theater shows pay homage to the area’s history with characters such as the Unsinkable Molly Brown and rough and tumble Mountain Men.

Just 30 minutes from downtown Breckenridge, this is a winter activity your family won’t soon forget.


Photo: Courtesy of Borges Sleigh and Carriage Rides

Sleigh ride in the Sierra Nevada 

Borges Sleigh and Carriage Rides has been entertaining visitors in South Lake Tahoe for 46 years. Weddings are their specialty, and they perform ceremonies year round; but sleigh rides are a wintertime tradition here.

Their sleighs can accommodate a party of two up to a party of 20, and the rides literally go “over the meadow and through the woods.” At the top part of the trail, riders enjoy a spectacular view of Lake Tahoe before heading down along the old Pony Express Trail.

If there isn’t enough snow on the ground for a sleigh ride during your visit, visit the Borges’ North Shore location. Here they offer one-hour narrative tours via horse and carriage with spectacular views of Lake Tahoe.


Photo: Lori Iverson/USFWS

Sleigh ride in the Wyoming Rocky Mountains

Perhaps one of the most unique sleigh rides in the western United States is near Jackson Hole, Wyoming. National Elk Refuge Sleigh Rides takes visitors on to the National Elk Refuge, which preserves, restores, and manages habitat for the nationally significant Jackson Elk Herd, as well as habitat for endangered species, birds, fish, and other big game animals.

On this excursion visitors will see thousands of elk and may also encounter coyotes, foxes, wolves, a variety of bird species, and more. And of course they will be mesmerized by the scenic vistas of Wyoming’s majestic snowcapped peaks.

A National Elk Refuge sleigh ride is a true “only in Wyoming” kind of experience.

Categories: The Heidi Guide