Colorado is a state renowned for its jutting mountain peaks, deep valleys, and open blue skies. There is perhaps no state that offers a more beautiful backdrop for trail riding.
For the equine enthusiast who also loves the outdoors, a ride amongst the Colorado pines is a must. With rewarding views and fresh clean air, these five top horse trail rides in Colorado are sure to inspire you to trailer your horse and head for the mountains.
1. The Loch Vale Trail
Rocky Mountain National Park
The Rocky Mountain National Park is a Colorado gem located just outside of the quaint but bustling town of Estes Park. People travel from around the globe to take in the park’s majestic sites and to hike its expansive trails.
The great news is that for equine enthusiasts, many of the park’s trails are horse-friendly.
When visiting the park, the one trail you must experience is the Loch Vale Trail, commonly referred to as the Loch Lake Trail.
The Loch Vale Trail can be accessed via the Glacier Gorge Trailhead. From here, it is 5.4 miles round trip to access the lake.
The trail not only offers the incredible view of Loch Vale but also features stunning open vistas and the chance to spot prominent nearby peaks. The lake itself is nestled in a canyon and opens up to a view of Andrew’s Glacier.
This trail is best used between the warmer months of March and October. Be prepared for heavy foot traffic in the peak of summer, and make sure to pack plenty of water as the trail reaches over 11,000 feet in elevation.
2. Chasm Lake
Rocky Mountain National Park
Also located in the Rocky Mountain National Park, Chasm Lake is a true wonder to behold. This trail is 8.2 miles round trip and is accessed off the famed Longs Peak Trailhead. The trail begins along Longs Peak trail for around 3 miles and then diverges to the left.
Chasm Lake is an incredible trail that starts in deeply wooded subalpine forests, slowly but steadily climbing past the treeline to the alpine tundra. From here, the trail summits an incredible field of rocks where it is not uncommon to see marmots scampering above the treeline enjoying a morning snack. Eventually, the trail wanders along a cliffside where you will be greeted with beautiful shimmering views of Peacock Lake below.
Finally, the trail scrambles to a summit where Chasm Lake is tucked away at the base of the momentous Longs Peak. The view is nothing less than breathtaking, and the vistas along the way allow you to see across the plains of Colorado.
This trail is best visited between June and October, as late snowfall is common on Longs Peak. Most hikers and trail riders begin this hike in the early hours of the morning to avoid exposure to potential afternoon thunderstorms. Additionally, bring plenty of water and rest as needed, as the trail reaches an incredible 11,760 feet in elevation.
3. Herman Gulch Trail
Arapaho National Forest
Located only an hour west of Denver, the Herman Gulch Trail is one of Colorado’s finest horse trail rides. The views are scenic and varied, and the summit is well worth the journey.
The trail is located within the Arapaho National Forest and is also a small piece of the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail.
During the summer, expect stunning wildflowers as you journey through wide meadows. While the trail starts out steep, much of the trail is level and flanked by snow-capped mountains. Gurgling alongside you is the Herman Creek, offering a crystal clear water source for your equestrian companion.
Eventually, the trail takes you past the treeline and leads you to Herman Lake. Here Pettingell Peak towers above, offering a stunning vista for relaxation and recharging. The highest point of this trail is above 12,000 feet in elevation, which makes it critical to pack water, rest often, and use the trail during the summer months.
4. Maxwell Falls Lower Trail
Arapaho National Forest
Located near the beautiful town of Evergreen, Colorado, the Maxwell Falls Lower Trail is a 4.4-mile-long loop. This winding trail features multiple waterfalls, a lush forest, and beautiful rock outcroppings.
The trail itself ends at the Upper Maxwell Falls, which is the perfect place to stop for a rest and picnic. This horse trail’s highest point is only around 8,000 feet in elevation, making this a great pick for those who might not yet be acclimated to higher elevations.
This hike can be enjoyed year-round and makes for a peaceful afternoon in the beautiful mountains.
5. Mount Sneffels via Blue Lakes Trail
Mount Sneffels Wilderness
A longer ride at 13 miles round trip, Mount Sneffels via Blue Lakes Trail is located near the famed Telluride, Colorado. This stunning trail takes you across numerous terrains and showcases incredible views that will leave you in awe. During the spring and summer months, you’ll be greeted by beautiful wildflower-filled meadows as you traverse along the trail.
Located in the San Juan Mountains, Mount Sneffels towers above the trails famed lakes at an incredible 14,150 feet.
The trail’s showcase is the arrival at the Blue lakes, which are located in a glacial basin in the Mount Sneffels Wilderness. There are three stunning lakes, each with its own unique set of beautiful views, making this the perfect place to rest after a long ride.
Be sure to pack food, water, and plenty of sunblock for this ride, as the trail will take you to nearly 12,000 feet of elevation. Due to the length and altitude of the trail, it is long enough to require a few rests along the way.
Visit Us at Transwest for All Your Horse Trailer Needs
Colorado is known for its incredible beauty, and there is no better way to access its many trails than by horseback. As you look to explore horse trail rides in Colorado, be sure to prepare for the journey with the right horse trailer.
At Transwest, we offer a quality inventory of horse trailers, each designed to ensure the safe and comfortable transport of your equine companion to any trailhead.
We also offer horse trailers with living quarters, allowing you to camp at your favorite trail and get an early start to beat the summer crowds. Many public and private campgrounds require RVIA certification for access, but few manufacturers meet those industry standards for living quarters horse trailers. Transwest is proud to carry RVIA certified Outlaw Conversions in Cimarron Trailers, including living quarters horse trailers.
Talk to us today about finding the ideal horse trailer for your next adventure.
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