Four Great Vacations for Winter Horseback Riding in the Snow

It's a dream for many... bounding through the snow on a horseback. While some ranches close during the winter, others are open for winter activities and guests can enjoy horseback riding through the snow. We've picked out four ranches in Montana and Colorado where you can horseback ride this winter.

by Darley Newman

Many dude ranches and guest ranches that offer horseback riding also offer other winter snow activities, including cross country skiing, ice skating, horse drawn sleigh rides and have downhill skiing nearby. Check out the below photos and get inspired to get outdoors in the crisp winter air for a horse ride.

#1 The Resort at Paws Up in Montana

resort at paws up horseback riding in the snow

The Resort at Paws Up is located just east of Missoula, Montana on a sprawling 37,000-acre working cattle ranch. This is a great destination for horseback riding in the snow for travelers who want to combine the great outdoors with gourmet food and luxury. This luxury guest ranch resort is complete with two restaurants, one of which was recently named "one of the 100 best wine restaurants" by Wine Enthusiast Magazine. Other winter fun activities include dog sledding, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing and nearby downhill skiing and snowboarding.

#2 Bar W Guest Ranch in Montana

Bar W Guest Ranch winter horse riding

Bar W Guest Ranch is a year-round ranch located in the resort area of Whitefish, home to the Whitefish Mountain Ski Resort. Guests can saddle up to ride horses in the snow and also enjoy sleigh ride dinners,  snow shoeing, ice skating, cross country skiing, snowmobiling, dog sledding and ice fishing. The ranch also square dances for those still looking to move after being outside all day and a hot tub for those who would rather soak after a day on the trails.

#3 The Home Ranch in Colorado

home ranch horseback riding

The Home Ranch in Clark, Colorado is a good fit for riders looking to combine winter riding with a luxury ranch vacation. This Relais & Chateaux dude ranch offers fine cuisine by executive chef Clyde Nelson and individual cabins decorated with antiques, plush down comforters, and wood-burning stoves. The ranch also runs daily shuttles to the slopes at Steamboat Ski Area for ski enthusiasts-- packed lunch included-- and offers backcountry skiing in the nearby Medicine Bow - Routt National Forest.

#4 Vista Verde Ranch in Colorado

vista verde ranch horseback

Another Colorado option for those who want to be pampered, as well as play in the great outdoors is Vista Verde Ranch. This luxury ranch vacation destination in Steamboat Springs offers horseback riding for the whole family. Other winter activities include cross country skiing, snowshoeing, sleigh rides, wine tasting and cooking classes, yoga, snow biking and sledding. For those who want to focus on horseback riding, but also want time indoors, Vista Verde Ranch has a full-size heated Indoor riding arena.

Learn more about more great ranches for winter vacations in the Equitrekking Vacation Guide, an online guidebook focused on dude ranches, guest ranches and horseback riding vacations.