Laramie River Dude Ranch - Horseback Riding

Horseback Riding

If you love to horseback ride, you'll love our ranch! We offer walk, trot, and canter rides across tens of thousands of acres in Colorado's spectacular Rocky Mountains. You'll fall in love with beautiful vistas, hillsides dotted with wild flowers, shaded groves of Aspen, and abundant wildlife.

Climbing the Granny Creek drainage

An experienced wrangler accompanies each small group to provide the personal attention necessary to make your ride safe and enjoyable.

Wranglers take care of opening gates, answering your questions, and usually squeeze in a tall tale along the way.

Morning rides start mounting at nine and return for lunch. Afternoon rides leave the barn at one-thirty and return between four and five.

Pack a lunch and spend the whole day exploring the sage plains, the aspen topped ridges, or the dark timber of the Roosevelt National Forest.

Riding the fringe of the Roosevelt National Forest
Cantering across a meadow with our neighbor's Buffalo herd in the background

The Laramie River Valley is home to cattle and bison ranches. Our neighbor's buffalo can be seen in the background of this photo.

The valley is also home to a wide variety of wildlife including antelope, elk, moose, eagle, and coyote that you'll often see while horseback.

Wow! That's the only way to describe the views, horses, food, and the staff. We had a great family vacation.
View of Red Mountain from Dempsey Dome
Wranglers take the time to answer your kid's questions.

Kids six and over are provided with a complete riding program. In addition to spending lots of time in the saddle, kids and adults will have the opportunity to learn the parts of a horse and to groom and saddle. Real horse enthusiasts can get up early and head for the barn with our wranglers to saddle their own horse.

Children under the age of six enjoy pony rides in the corral and around the ranch. It's a great way for young riders to learn about horses and develop confidence.

It was awesome! Every day we rode our horses - saw scenery we thought could never be topped and every day we finished our ride and said 'That was the best ride ever!'
Pony rides at the corral for kids under six.

The Program :


You'll learn about horses and their natural instincts, important safety information, and we'll demonstrate the basic skills you'll need to know. Next you will meet your horse and head to our arena for a little practice. As you ride, we will look to see that you are safe and comfortable before heading out on the trail.

Horseback orientation.

Daily Horseback Riding

We ride every day at LRR and never run out of interesting terrain to explore. You choose from walk, walk-trot, and walk-trot-canter rides as well as rides focused on instruction, gathering cattle, and even wildlife viewing with our naturalist. Sunday is a day of rest for our horses and our wranglers.

A beautiful ride through the wildflowers in June.

Horseback Riding Instruction

Beginning, intermediate, and advanced instructional rides are scheduled during the week so you can work on your skills. Instruction typically begins in our arena and progresses to the trail where you can practice what you've learned.

Instructional rides are available throughout the week.

Working Cattle

Twice weekly we gather our steers from their Bull Mountain pasture. Doesn't seem like a complicated task, but positioning your horse to encourage the steers to move in the right direction can be a challenge. We don't always come home with all the steers, but we always come home with a story!

Gathering steers on the Laramie River Dude Ranch
Team penning our steers.

Once in the corrals, riders form teams and try their hand at "team penning." You'll separate (or "cut") selected steers out of the herd and do your best to coax them into a pen. They rarely cooperate.

A couple of times a year in June and September we get the opportunity to help our neighbors move their larger herds from pasture to pasture. Working cattle on horseback is an awful lot of fun.

You can read all about cattle options, details, and dates on our cattle page.

Driving cattle down from the forest to Hohnholz Ranch

Cookout Rides

For the all-day cookout ride guests can choose between a long ride through the Roosevelt National Forest and a shorter more direct route along LaGarde Creek.

Kids participating in our children's program and non-riding guests are driven to the picnic site to join their families.

Riding across the Laramie River is lots of fun.
Climb down from your horse for a delicious picnic lunch.

You'll be greeted with ice cold lemonade and tea, hot cowboy coffee, lunch from the grill including vegetarian options, and goodies sent by our baker.

We've found a beautiful spot and furnished it with picnic tables, hammocks, and even a bathroom tent for your comfort.

After lunch you can pull off your boots and refresh your feet with a dip in the cold waters of nearby LaGarde creek. Or just kick back and reflect on your week's adventures.

For the return to the ranch, you will have several rides to choose from including a route along LaGarde Creek's hay meadows, or cantering on "the airport" where you might get a glimpse of the Diamond Tail Ranch's bison herd next door.

You'll find ample time for reflection.
Red stops in for a cup of Joe.
This stay at your ranch has been not just a relaxing retreat from regular life, but a truly enriching and expanding experience. Something I will always treasure! I was completely comfortable with all the accommodations, relaxed with everyone's warmth, exhilarated by the riding experiences.

Learn to ride bareback

Many local ranch kids get their first solo riding experiences bareback. There is no better way to feel a connection to the horse and improve your balance and posture. It's exhilerating.

Our wranglers are happy to give you a leg up for a little bareback time in our arena. It's quite an experience and definately a good opportunity for a picture or three!

Getting the feel for bareback horseback riding.

Overnight Pack Trip

Overnight pack trips are quite an adventure! It's the only activity for which there is an extra charge. Space is limited to seven guests, so it's best to let us know when you reserve your stay that you are interested in a night under the stars. We require a minimum of five overnighters to run this event.

Chad prepares the evening meal on an open fire.
We supply the tents, sleeping bags, and bathroom tent!

Our overnight site is on the back side of Bull Mountain. The ride there takes you across beautiful sage plains, up Horse Ranch Pass, and to camp.

After a hearty breakfast, you'll ride back along forest roads through timber and around the opposite side of the mountain. It's a beautiful ride.

In addition to 1300+ deeded acres which make up the Laramie River Dude Ranch, our operation is conducted on public lands under special permit from the U.S. Bureau of Land management and the U.S. Forest Service.