Horseback Riding in Yellowstone National Park
Xanterra Parks & Resorts offers horseback rides of one and two hours in length at Mammoth, Tower-Roosevelt, and Canyon. Advance reservations are recommended. Guides (and horses) catered to beginning riders (they estimate 90% of riders have not been on a horse in at least 10 years), but let them know if you're an experienced rider and would like a more challenging pace or ride.
Private stock can be brought into the park. Horses are not allowed in front-country campgrounds but are permitted in certain backcountry campsites. For information on planning a backcountry trip with stock, call the Backcountry Office (307/344-2160).
Outfitter and Expeditions
About 50 area outfitters lead horse-packing trips and trail rides into Yellowstone. Expect to pay $250 to $400 per day for a backcountry trip, including meals, accommodations, and guides. A guide must accompany all horseback-riding trips.
Wilderness Pack Trips. Mike and Erin Thompson at Wilderness Pack Trips have led small-group trips exclusively in Yellowstone National Park for nearly 20 years. Popular destinations include the spectacular remote waterfalls and wildlife-rich regions often closed to the general public. Families are welcome for these small-group trips. 172 E. River Rd., 59027. 406/848–9953. www.yellowstonepacktrips.com. From $275 per day.
Rimrock Dude Ranch. Outfitter Gary Fales has been leading multiday pack trips into Yellowstone for decades, operating out of Rimrock Dude Ranch west of Cody. Trips last from overnight to a week and include backcountry camping, fishing, hiking, and horseback activities. All food and camping items are provided. Weekly all-inclusive rates start at $1,875 per person. 2728 Northfork Rte., Cody, WY, 82414. 307/587–3970. www.rimrockranch.com. $300–$350 per night.
Gunsel Horse Adventures. Since 1968, Gunsel Horse Adventures has provided four-day pack trips into the Yellowstone backcountry. The trips are a great way to see moose, bear, deer, elk, and wolves in Yellowstone's forests, but they will customize trips throughout the Black Hills and Badlands. Bring your sleeping bag. 605/343–7608. www.gunselhorseadventures.com. $350 per day.
Xanterra Parks & Resorts. Xanterra Parks & Resorts offers one-hour horseback rides at Mammoth, and one- and two-hour rides at Tower-Roosevelt and Canyon Village. Mammoth Hot Springs, 1 Grand Loop Rd. 307/344–7311 or 866/439–7375. www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/horseride.htm. $40–$60.
Yellowstone Wilderness Outfitters. Exclusively dedicated to trips inside Yellowstone National Park, Yellowstone Wilderness Outfitters employs musically inclined Jett Hitt as its multi-talented guide. Trips range from half- and full-day family rides to three- to 6-day pack trips in every area of the park. Trips feature wildlife biologists and lecturers. P.O. Box 745Yellowstone National Park82190. 406/223–3300. www.yellowstone.ws. $110 for half-day trips; $190 for full-day trips.
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