Canyons are large formations, created by moving bodies of water, that look like large gouges in the earth’s surface. Throughout the United States and beyond, there are many impressive canyons to be seen. The reason so many people enjoy viewing canyons is the unique landscape they offer. The exposed rock shows millions of years of rock layers, transporting visitors into the distant past. They also offer rare rock formations, like hoodoos, that seem to defy the laws of gravity. There is so much to be seen when visiting one of the world’s many canyons, and Southern Utah has a huge concentration of canyons.
The canyons of Southern Utah and the surrounding areas draw in a huge crowd year after year. Visitors enjoy peering over the edges of the canyon, pointing out different rock formations, and, for the more adventurous, taking hikes down to the canyon floor. Yes, canyons are an incredibly exciting thing to experience, even for those who have seen many before. However, there is one way to experience and explore canyons that will give a completely different view and appreciation for the massive structures.
Ride through the canyons
Many guests will tell you that horseback riding through the canyons was the most unforgettable portion of their trip. There is a whole host of reasons for this. But mainly, riding a horse or mule through the canyons is the only way to enjoy the entirety of the canyon without strenuous hiking or rappelling. This means that canyon rides are great for pretty much every age, allowing it to be the perfect activity for a large family or group.
There are a lot of different types of rides, places to ride, and ride lengths throughout Southern Utah and the surrounding areas. This presents potential riders with a series of things to plan and prepare for before heading out on a canyon ride. The following will help visitors to understand just how different each canyon ride can be. Visitors may want to take more than one ride during their stay. No matter how many rides are taken, each one will offer terrific views and memories that last a lifetime.
Places to ride
This may be one of the most important things to decide upon for those hoping to explore the canyons on horseback. While each canyon is magnificent, they all offer different views, experiences, and riding difficulty levels. So, choosing the best canyon to ride can be a daunting task. Visitors who know what they would like to get out of their ride may have an easier time deciding, but for those who are not sure how they would like their ride to be, the following is a breakdown of the different places to ride in the areas around Southern Utah. No matter which canyon is ridden, it will be a magnificent experience for the entire group.
Zion National Park
Zion National Park is a true gem in Southern Utah. From March to October, visitors can go on a guided horseback ride through this impressive park. On horseback, riders will travel along the Virgin River, through fields of cactus, and alongside many unique rock formations.
One of the spectacular views that can be seen is the Court of the Patriarchs, which consists of three prominent rock formations named Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. These high peaks tower over the area and are a truly magnificent thing to see. Another impressive view that can be seen during a horseback ride is the Beehives. These rounded mountain peaks look like huge rock beehives thanks to their mounded characteristics. These are just a few of the incredible views that can be seen while on an exciting horseback ride in Zion National Park.
Bryce Canyon National Park
From April through October, guests can explore the wonder of Bryce Canyon National Park by horseback. The tours through Bryce Canyon are packed full of park facts and views of prehistoric rock formations. Over millions of years, the landscape of Bryce Canyon has been created, and riders will get to immerse themselves in the middle of that incredible history.
Rides through Bryce Canyon lead to the floor of the canyon. This means that even if riders are going on the two-hour-long trip, they will have the opportunity to descend into a canyon, which can usually only be done on a longer ride. For those hoping to really get into the middle of a canyon, Bryce Canyon National Park is a terrific place to ride.
The Grand Canyon- North Rim
While visiting Southern Utah, it is just a short trip to get to Arizona, which is home to the well-known Grand Canyon, specifically, the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. From May to October, visitors can hop onto a mule and explore the North Rim in an unforgettable way. These surefooted and gentle animals will provide riders with a safe and comfortable ride.
The Grand Canyon provides breathtaking views, being the largest canyon in the United States. Riders will notice the different rock layers as they ride along. Also, depending on the ride, they may descend into the Grand Canyon. This thrilling trip is something riders talk about for years and remember for their entire life.
Types of rides
Another important thing to consider when planning a canyon horseback ride is the length and difficulty level of the journey. The riders experience levels will play a large role in the type and duration of the ride. More experienced riders will have more options, but even those who have never ridden will find an excursion that is perfect for them.
The one-hour-long ride, provided at most riding locations, is the perfect chance to test out horseback riding without committing to a long ride. For riders who have never ridden, or have limited experience on horseback, this can be the perfect trial run before heading out on a longer excursion.
Even experienced riders may enjoy an hour-long ride. Sometimes there is just not enough time in the trip to do everything we would hope to do. An hour ride will be enjoyable and give the horseback riding experience without taking up an entire day. No matter the reason for the one-hour-long ride, it will be extremely enjoyable and give riders the chance to see many impressive things and have a unique experience during their trip.
Rides that last two hours are a great middle ground for both experienced and inexperienced riders. These rides provide a nice duration without being strenuous. Larger groups, especially, might appreciate the comfortable timing of a two-hour-long ride. These rides will generally take riders along horseback riding trails, and, in some cases, a small descent toward to canyon floor. Two hours is the perfect timing to fit a horseback ride into a busy vacation schedule.
For those who want to get a true horseback riding experience, a three-hour-long ride may be the perfect option. These rides usually descend toward the floor of the canyon, allowing riders to get a completely different perspective of the canyon. Riders will have a better chance to see all the rock formations, plant life, and wildlife that makes the area so unique.
These rides usually include a little break for riders and their horses. These breaks are strategically taken at an area with fantastic views. This means that riders will have a great opportunity to see, and take pictures of, the beautiful landscape without feeling rushed. This is one of the many perks of taking a horseback ride through the canyons.
Saddle up and explore the canyons
Those who choose to go on a horseback riding adventure while spending time in one of Utah’s beautiful areas will not be disappointed. These trips are different than any other activity available. Riders will have the chance to get up close to rock formations, which are millions of years old. They will also get to see the canyon from an entirely different perspective. This is all done by horseback, meaning that riders do not have to exert nearly as much energy as those who choose to hike along the canyons. No matter where the ride takes place, how long it lasts, or who they are riding with, every visitor will cherish the memory of taking a horseback ride through one of the amazing canyons in the Utah area.