The mountains near Bass Lake and Yosemite National Park in California are jam-packed with breathtaking views, giant sequoia trees, and scenic trails. Tourists and locals alike flock to the area to partake in hiking, biking, and even skiing. However, those looking for a truly unique experience should consider exploring the Sierra National Forest via horseback. Keep reading for tips and tricks for an unforgettable horse-riding experience near Yosemite National Park.
Horseback Riding Tours Near Yosemite
Where to book a tour: Bass Lake is home to many different amazing horseback adventure companies. You will want an instructor/tour guide with lots of experience. Here are a couple businesses that ensure a safe and exhilarating ride:
- Yosemite Trails Horseback Adventures is a family owned and operated business that will allow you to explore the Sierras on horseback. You can book a 1, 2, or 5-hour ride, and there is no experience necessary. Yosemite Trails is kid friendly, so you can bring the whole crew along! Visit http://yosemitetrails.com/ for more information on horseback riding near Yosemite National Park. (Yosemite Trails has taken extra measures to stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.)
- Shaver Stables is located about an hour away from Bass Lake, but the views are well worth the drive! Shaver Stables offers guided horseback rides in the beauty of the Sierra at Shaver Lake in California. The outfit is well-known for friendly guides and well-behaved horses. Horseback riding at Shaver Stables is guaranteed to be a fun experience for children and the scenery is unbelievable, so bring your camera along! Visit https://shaverstable.horse/ for more information on guided horseback tours near Yosemite National Park.
What to wear: When riding a horse, it is imperative to wear long pants to protect your legs from rashes caused by friction against the horse’s saddle. Long pants will also protect your skin from getting scraped as your horse rides through tight trails with wayward branches. Close-toed shoes are necessary for fitting in the horse’s stirrups and staying safe in varying nature conditions. If possible, shoes with a small heel are ideal to keep from slipping out of the stirrups. Yosemite National Park trails can often be dusty, so a bandana or mask may be helpful. Lastly, winter is coming so don’t forget a jacket and gloves!
First time riding? Don’t worry! Yosemite Trails Horseback Adventures (and most other companies) will teach the basics in an arena before departure. However, here are a few pointers to help you prepare in advance:
- Start with a walk to get comfortable. The saddle and stirrup may take a little getting used to, so it is best to start slow before climbing to a trot. Never ride at a speed you are uncomfortable with, after all these tours are meant to be leisurely.
- Horses may occasionally get spooked. There are plenty of other animals that inhabit the great Yosemite National Park. It is smart to be proactive and stay on the lookout for other animals that may scare your horse.
- All control of your horse is in the reins. The reins are used to steer your horse in the direction you are wanting to travel. The instructions are simple: pull left to go left and pull right to go right! The reins will also be used to stop your horse.
- When greeting and leaving your horse, take slow movements. Do not walk directly towards them or behind them and talk to the horse as you approach to calm them down.
Horseback riding near Yosemite National Park promises to be a memory you’ll cherish for years to come! Don’t forget to have fun and snap a few photos for the gram – you’ll be the envy of all your friends!