There are so many amazing ways to explore the alpine beauty of Telluride—hiking and biking popular trails, exploring old mining routes and winding mountain roads with an off-road vehicle, and descending the mountain on a thrilling ski or snowboard trip—to name just a few.


However, the breathtaking landscape and majestic mountain backdrop is somehow even more magical on horseback. Much of the mountainside is horse-friendly, and horseback riding is a great activity for groups and couples alike. This affordable and engaging experience is a truly memorable way to make the most of your trip to Telluride!


Contrary to popular belief, horseback riding is a year-round mountain activity. During the summer and fall, riders can enjoy scenic tours through winding mountain trails that are hidden under snow during the winter. And when the snow does hit the ground, enjoy charming sleigh rides across the winter landscape, an experience you won’t soon forget.


Tours are available for riders of any experience level, from first timers to seasoned experts, and any duration, from quick one-hour rides to full-day excursions. Private lessons and rides are also available for guests that prefer a more intimate experience.


As for the horseback riding experience, rest assured that you’ll be in great hands. Upon being paired with a horse companion, the instructor will go over the basics and then the group will set off for the adventure. The trails in Telluride are well worn, so feel free to settle in for a safe and comfortable ride. Trails vary from wide-open meadows with uninterrupted views of breathtaking wildflowers to rolling hills and endless vistas of the San Juan mountains. Depending on the tour, you might also encounter babbling creeks and bustling mountain rivers. Winter views and sleigh rides, of course, present a snowy wonderland and are equally, if not more, beautiful.


For a unique mountain experience, we recommend booking a picnic tour. These all-inclusive rides are usually 3 hours long and include a full homemade meal that’s enjoyed in the heart of the mountains. These tours are the perfect length and are a great way to meet and mingle with fellow horseback riding enthusiasts!



If you’re convinced and wondering where to book your adventure, here are a few highly recommended area purveyors that are located within an hour of Telluride:

Telluride Wranglers


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Box 561, Placerville, CO 81430 | (970) 759-3183


Telluride Wranglers is the perfect experience for aspiring cowboys and cowgirls. This full-service ranch is located just 25 minutes outside of Telluride offers a wide array of horseback experiences for every season. Trail rides are the most popular option and the best way to explore the mountain; enjoy a one-hour, two-hour, half-day, or full-day adventure. Pricing starts at $80 per person and tops out at $250 per person. For a truly unique experience, book a wagon or sleigh ride. These relaxing tours are perfect for small groups and a truly magical way to explore the landscape.

Circle K Ranch


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27758 CO-145, Dolores, CO 81323 | (970) 562-3826


Located about 45 minutes outside of Telluride, the trip to Circle K Ranch is well worth the effort. This incredibly scenic private ranch offers a horseback riding adventure for everyone! Options range from kiddie rides and various guided tours to picnic excursions and private rides. For group tours, choose from eight unique experiences that range from 2 hours to five hours in length. Pricing varies per trip, but starts at $35 for kiddie rides, $95 for group trips, and $195 for private rides.

Telluride Horseback Adventures


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4019 County 43ZS Rd, Norwood, CO 81325 | (970) 728-9611


Perfect for groups or couples seeking a short, intimate trail ride, Telluride Horseback Adventures is the area’s most experienced and established horseback outfitter. The small, local company specializes in one- and two-hour trail rides, in addition to custom private packages. The company also offers lively wagon and sleigh rides in the winter, a fun and engaging activity for groups and couples alike! Pricing varies seasonally and reservations are recommended, so please call in advance for more information.

Bach’lers Stable


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1222 Gold Mountain Trail, Ouray, CO 81427 |


Family owned and operated, Bach’lers Stable invites guests of all ages to enjoy an exciting and educational horseback ride through the scenic San Juan Mountains. The small stable is located just north of Ouray in the heart of mining country, about an hour minutes outside of Telluride. Open seasonally, Bach’lers offers one hour ($40), two hour ($75), and three-hour excursions ($125). Half-day and full day trips can also be arranged.


It’s time to book your adventure! Before you do, check out a few FAQs to help you plan your trip:

What should I wear?

Long pants and riding boots or sturdy walking tennis shoes are recommended. A jacket, hat, scarf, gloves, and additional outerwear might be necessary depending on when you ride.

Should I bring anything else?

Nope! Your horseback riding excursion will come with all of the equipment and supplies you need. For longer trips or for warmer weather excursions, inquire about snacks and beverages in case you need to pack a small bag. Sunscreen and bug spray are also recommended for summer adventures.

Can I pick my horse?

Maybe! Typically, horses are selected on a ‘best fit’ basis per rider based on experience, size, and how the horses are feeling on any particular day. However, if you find a horse you’d like to ride, you can always make a request with the instructor.

Is experience required to go horseback riding?

No experience necessary! Be sure to mention that you are a first-time rider when booking your trip so the instructors will know in advance and can pair you with a gentle, seasoned horse. You can also book a horseback riding lesson if you’d prefer to have hands-on instruction prior to the ride.

Is there an age or height requirement for horseback riding?

Yes, most purveyors will have a minimum age and size requirement for solo horseback riding. This varies per vendor, so call in advance if you have any questions. Also, rest assured that kiddie rides are available for children that do not meet the requirements for a solo adventure.

How much does it cost to go horseback riding in Telluride?

The price of a horseback riding session will vary based on duration. Typically, a one-hour ride will start at around $35 per person and increase from there.


Be sure to visit our blog for more Telluride vacation inspiration or contact us directly for a personalized vacation recommendations!


Featured image credit: dangerouscarny via Instagram