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Riding in southern Utah?

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  • Riding in southern Utah?

    I'm going to do part of the grand loop at the end of November and would love to find some nice half day or day rides. The only fixed details are that we will go to Bryce canyon and Zion. We probably won't bother with the north rim of the Grand Canyon or Lake Powell as we'll have 7-8 days and want to hike and explore a bit in depth. Anyone been riding out there? Any nice lodging with riding available from the lodge?

  • #2
    Capitol Reef has some awesome riding. We did a trip for 4 days with these people that was incredible. The horses were very nice and it was not cookie cutter head to ass riding. Plus there were only 6 of us- me, my SO, another tourist, the guide, a cook and an assistant. I believe they do day trips as well. They don't have lodging but there are good places to stay near there.


    In the same area there is a place called the Boulder Mountain Ranch. They are under new management, but the old owners used to take you out on INCREDIBLE full and half day trips. Again, awesome horses. They took out just me and my SO and we went on some incredible trails- slot canyons, slick rock, aspen groves. They are also not a head to ass trip. We galloped through pinyons, traversed slick rock, slid down ravines, multiple creek crossings. Awesome horses. They have new owners now and seem to have changed the lodge so not sure about the quality.


    Have fun I am very jealous.


    • #3

      This is a very nice lodge in the area with a fantastic restaurant. The food is seriously awesome.


      • Original Poster

        Thank you!

        That lodge looks like a place wit perfect place with great rates. Unfortunately we'll be arriving at the tail end of Thanksgiving weekend and they close the restaurant which is a shame because it sounds great. But it is certainly on the short list of a place to stay!


        • #5
          You do know that the weather is going to be iffy at best by then, don't you?


          • #6
            Can't offer any information on places that have horses. For what it's worth though, for many years our Spring trip was a backpacking trip to the Grand Gulch wilderness in Utah. It's not too far from Lake Powell (but you don't have to go all the way out to Lake Powell).
            The last time we went though, it had been "discovered" But it was still a magnificent backpacking trip, with waterfalls and cliff dwelling ruins. Really quite an amazing place.
            You would have to check about the propensity for flash flooding as it is a serious danger in some seasons. Spring works, Summer does NOT work, but I don't know about November.


            • Original Poster

              Originally posted by atr View Post
              You do know that the weather is going to be iffy at best by then, don't you?
              What is iffy? I don't mind cold.


              • #8
                You might also see snow in the high elevations by then. We were there in early october and there was snow on the road between Boulder and Cap Reef. It was beautiful that week as the aspens had peaked so all golden and incredible. The canyons were still quite hot.

                I'd try and book things in advance as a lot of places do close down that time of year and there are not a lot of options for lodging and dining. You might have more luck towards Moab that time of year. ARches and Canyonlands are neat and I am sure they have riding out there.


                • Original Poster

                  I went to the south rim of the grand canyon in January and it was beautiful with snow at the higher elevations.

                  We are looking just for a nice drive with some hiking and inexpensive lodging and not a lot of people. If it is still available and the weather is cooperative then we'll go riding.

                  My diet is extremely restricted due to food allergies and ongoing treatment so (unfortunately) eating out really isn't a concern. We will likely rent a SUV, shop at the grocery store and keep a big cooler packed. We plan to hit the road, if we find a nice place to stay, then maybe stay 3 or 4 days and do day trips or move on to the next place - we'll have placed lined up ahead of time that we know are open that time of year.