Looking for fun activities to do this summer with your family? Have a birthday party to plan and looking for something a bit different? Why not take the crew on a horseback riding adventure? There are so many great stables located all over the Denver area, you won’t even have to make a long drive to find a place to go. With plenty of places to learn to ride, guided rides and even specialized rides for more experienced riders, there is something for everyone and every experience level.
11500 N. Roxborough Park Road
Littleton, CO 80125
Located in Chatfield State Park, Chatfield Stables is a great place to take in some horseback riding and enjoy a fun outing as a family. It has both horse and pony rides, although the pony rides are just for kids under seven. The trail is a diverse path through rivers, plains and forested areas. Plus you are very likely to see wildlife including coyotes, deer, beavers, prairie dogs and more. A guide will accompany you on all trail rides, and Chatfield Stables offers riding lessons for all ages.
American Safari Ranch
1484 Park County Road #7
Fairplay, CO 80440
At American Safari Ranch, you can get a customized ride that is tailored to you and your group’s skill level. From children and new riders to folks with more experience around horses, there is something for everyone. The rides range in duration from an hour and a half to all-day rides. American Safari Ranch specializes in groups, so it is a great spot to bring a big party or host a special occasion. Plus, if horseback riding isn’t your thing, it also offers ATV tours. When you are done on the trails, enjoy the local lodging or the saloon and restaurant and make a full weekend of this fun activity.
Bear Creek Stables
15600 W. Morrison Road
Morrison, CO 80465
Located in Bear Creek Lake Park near Lakewood, the Bear Creek Stables have offered a traditional western experience for more than 26 years. Your ride will take you through several natural habitats and you are sure to see plenty of wildlife including deer, foxes, coyotes and maybe even a bald eagle or two. More than 2,600 acres of trails make up the area, so there is always something new to see, and the experienced wranglers will make sure you have a safe and fun trip with the whole family. Plus, at Bear Creek Stables you can also enjoy hay rides, lessons and day camps.
12 Miles Stables
4201 S. Parker Road
Aurora, CO 80014
Looking for something right in the heart of the city? Then check out 12 Miles Stables, located inside Cherry Creek State Park. With more than 3,300 acres and over 27 miles of riding trails, you are sure to have a fun adventure with the whole family. This is another fun spot for big parties or special occasions, you can even let 12 Miles customize a pony-themed party for your kid’s next birthday – complete with cowboy hats, pony rides and games. For something a bit different, try the sunset rides, not only is it a cooler time, there’s also a better chance to see wildlife which tends be more active at dusk.
A&A Historical Trails
188 Alpes Hill Road
Idaho Springs, CO 80452
A&A Historical Trails offers something a bit different in the world of horseback riding excursions. With pony rides, horseback rides, pack trips and more, A&A will take you on one of several fun trips. From full moon rides at night to graveyard rides of 1800’s cemeteries, or even a gambling spree ride that takes you to Central City casinos, there are a lot of specialized trips. A&A offers both guided and non-guided trips, so if you have a bit more experience, this is a great place to start. Or just have A&A personalize a trip or overnight weekend for you and the family. This is sure to be a memorable family vacation.
Deborah Flomberg is a theater professional, freelance writer and Denver native. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.