Thursday, August 16, 2012

Wild Wild (Mid)West: Horseback riding at Pahaska Tepee Lodge

One of the best parts of our trip out west was the morning we did a two hour horseback ride through Shoshone National Forest in Wyoming. We started out at 9:30am and headed up a trail that took us up to 10,000 feet. The employees at the stables were really nice, even though there had been a miscommunication about what time we were starting the ride. 

Our horses: Weatherby, Bear Claw, Blimpy, and Rapid

 Me on my horse, Blimpy!

The two hour ride cost $55/person, which was the standard for a two hour ride in the area (I checked several different locations for prices). We booked ahead of time because it was the busy season, but it seemed like they also had availability for last minute rides as well. 

 Getting underway!

The trail was gorgeous! Of the four of us, three of us had ridden horses before, but years and years ago, and one had never even been on a horse! Yet the ride was enjoyable and worked for all of us.  

Our tour guide, Mel, was great - he was informative and friendly, and helped us out when our horses wanted to stop to snack on grass instead of following the trail! While we didn't see any wildlife on our ride, Mel pointed out where bison had rubbed/scraped up against tree trunks, and where grizzly bears had rooted around in dirt and tree stumps. It was a really beautiful, educational ride, and the views from the top point were out of this world! 

The four of us at the top!

Caution: horses like to wander!

Mel, leading the way back down to the stables.

The way back down was the only part that was a bit tricky - there were parts where the trail was pretty steep and narrow, but the horses knew exactly what they were doing and basically operated on "cruise control." 

We were much more comfortable with the horses by the time we got back towards the bottom, so Mel brought us on a little side trail to wade through the Shoshone River. It was really fun to watch the horses splash through the water!
 The Shoshone River

We had a blast on our ride through Pahaska Tepee Lodge, and I would definitely do any of their rides again.

Thanks, Mel!

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