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A Guide to Horseback Riding in Aspen

Posted: 8 Sep 2017

Life on the frontier has always captivated travelers, and Aspen offers iconic Western experiences, whether it's an afternoon horseback ride or a multi-day pack trip. Our trusted outfitters provide authentic Western forays into Aspen's easy-to-access wilderness, making this activity one of our guests' summer favorites. From the nostalgic pace of a horse's gait to the natural scenery that's unchanged since the Ute Indians roamed the mountains, and even local guides who are born-and-bred cowboys, an Aspen horseback riding excursion gives guests a taste of the Old West that's still alive and well.


Aspen horseback riding outfitters offer a variety of excursions that range from half-day trips close to town to overnight pack trips. There are plenty of options to plan the outing of a lifetime, but here are a few tips to get you started. For a more detailed recommendation, contact the Frias Properties Concierge.

To experience iconic Aspen scenery, ride through the majestic Maroon Creek valley on a half-day lunch tour or an overnight pack trip with Maroon Bells Outfitters. Their stables are located at the T Lazy 7 Ranch, near the base of the Bells, and their tour options explore the White River National Forest surrounding the Maroon Bells.

Set out into the Snowmass wilderness with Snowmass Creek Outfitters. Their cowboys lead short rides through the Snowmass foothills with views of Mt. Daly as well as overnight trips to Snowmass Lake, a spectacular alpine lake surrounded by rugged peaks.

Saddle up for a breakfast ride with Capitol Peak Outfitters, where a hot meal awaits riders after a trip through the dramatic Capitol Creek valley. Or sign-up for a day of horseback riding and fishing; this family-favorite ride ends at a catch-and-release alpine lake.


Professional outfitters, including the companies mentioned above, provide gear and information you'll need, but these tips can be helpful in getting yourself trail-ready.

  1. Break out your Wranglers. Even on hot days, denim does the trick to protect your legs from chaffing as well as stray bushes and branches.
  2. Boot up (but leave the spurs at home). Wear footwear with a slight heel to help you stay in your stirrups.
  3. Bring a brim. Cowboy hats aren't just a novelty item; those 360-degree brims are a lifesaver when you are on a sunny trail for hours.
  4. Stretch it out. Yes, you'll just be sitting, but horseback riding requires a great deal of isometric exercise to stay in position and balanced on the horse.
  5. Be honest with your guide. Tell your friendly cowboy about your horseback riding experience, so they pair you with a suitable steed.

If you're ready to step into the Old West on an Aspen horseback riding adventure, book your lodging with Frias Properties and consult with our Concierge to plan all your details before you arrive.