Visiting Las Vegas can be like taking a trip back in time. Stepping from the glitter of the lights on the Strip onto a working ranch can give you a true feel for the history of the original cowboys, complete with wranglers, cowpokes and meals from the chuck wagon all served by warm, inviting guides and ranchers. To enjoy horseback riding with all the amenities while taking in a vista second to none, there’s no where like Las Vegas to head for the hills or hit the Ol’ Spanish Trail.
Cowboy Trail Rides
Red Rock Canyon Stables
Las Vegas, NV 89124
Cowboy Trail Rides is located in the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. Within minutes of the Strip, you will find miles of riding trails in an awesome desert setting. The horses are perfectly trained for experienced riders or novices, and your wangler guides will welcome you to Red Rock Ranch for an unforgettable experience with true western hospitality. You can select Canyon Rim Rides with its natural wonders; the Sunset Trail Ride and Western BBQ; Red Rock Canyon Overlook with an unbelievable view; the WOW ride (the ultimate back-country horseback experience); the Red Springs Ride into the gorge; or Coyote Canyon Ride through the wash and among the cacti. Revisit history and experience the thrill of an adventure that can only be found at the Cowboy Trail Rides.
Wild West Horseback Adventures
2470 Chandler Ave.
Las Vegas, NV 89120
www.wildwesthorsebackadventures.comWild West Horseback has a number of unforgettable adventures available to the hearty traveler. All experiences include pick-up at your hotel with transportation to the ranch. Here you will be greeted by the friendliest ranch hands around. Soon enough, you will be on the saddle to undertake the ride of your choice. The most popular ride is the Wild Wild West Scenic Sunset Dinner Ride complete with a dinner of steak or mesquite grilled chicken with all the fixin’s. The Ol’ Spanish Trail brings you on dusty paths with some of the most famous western outlaws with a return to the ranch for an authentic cowboy lunch with your choice of a hamburgers and sides. The Maverick adventure takes you on an early morning breakfast excursion just like real cowboys, featuring awe-inspiring vistas, an authentic western-style breakfast with eggs, flapjacks, bacon, sausage and orange juice and a trip to cowboy town, and petting zoo (perfect for little wranglers who will be provided with helmets). Whether you prefer the still beauty of a desert morning or the spectacular colors of a Nevada sunset, you will find it all at Wild West Horseback Adventures.
Bonnie Springs Ranch
16395 Bonnie Springs Road
Blue Diamond, NV 89135
For a taste of the Old West, complete with an entire town to explore, a petting zoo, shops and a restaurant with shows to enjoy during the evening (perhaps even a good ol’ fashioned shootout or two?), you can’t beat this amazing family attraction. And yes, Bonnie Springs has horseback and pony rides of all types for all ages. There’s also live music on Friday and Saturday evenings, so make a weekend of it at Bonnie Springs.
Sandy Valley Ranch
1411 Kingston Road
Sandy Valley, NV 89019
Located just 45 minutes from Las Vegas, Sandy Valley Ranch is the place to “play cowboy for real.” For 10 years, it has fulfilled folks’ dreams with exciting adventures including round-ups, cattle drives and even the opportunity to be a “cowboy for a day,” the ultimate fantasy. Located ”45 minutes and 100 years from Las Vegas,” the ranch’s friendly wranglers and caterers invite you to join them for a day on the range, complete with some of the finest dining possible for any cowboy. This ranch honors the horse cultures of the Mexican Vaquero and the American Cowboy, with multi-cultural events and trail rides of all types. You can enjoy a western BBQ for lunch or a delectable cowboy campfire (for dinner trail rides). And then there’s the delectable Cowboy-Style Afternoon Tea, a unique experience with scones, finger sandwiches, delicious desserts and the best tea around. After tea, you can sit back and take a 30-minute “Surrey with a Fringe on Top” ride across the Mojave Desert or simply relax while wandering the ranch or rocking on the porch.
Sharon Damon is a preschool specialist, avid reader, passionate writer and creative baker/ cook. She has been a cooking instructor at a local Rec Center in Henderson, NV since 2011, and has written for Examiner and other publications since 2010. She knows her way around the keyboard and the kitchen! Sharon moved from a small city in Canada to Las Vegas 6 years ago, to marry the love of her life, and has since been swept up in the whirlwind known as Sin City. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.