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Top 14 Horseback Riding Spots in Phoenix

Top 14 Horseback Riding Spots in Phoenix

Pro tip: one of the best ways to explore the beauty of Phoenix, its desert, flora, and fauna is on horseback! Whether you’re a seasoned rider or a curious beginner, it’s a great way to appreciate the city.

From sun-drenched deserts to misty mountains, this guide will walk you through our favorite horseback riding spots that cater to every kind of rider. So, grab your chaps, and let’s unleash your inner cowboy!

1. Cave Creek Trail Rides


Address: 37019 N 32nd St, Cave Creek, AZ 85331

Contact details: 623-742-6700

Operating hours: Monday to Sunday – 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM

Cave Creek Trail Rides will take you on a ride through the Sonoran Desert while learning about Cave Creek’s history as a mining town. You can choose from hour-long loops or 2.5-hour adventures ending with sunset views of the desert. 

Cave Creek takes pride in its well-trained and gentle horses, known for their calm demeanor. They also have experienced guides highlighting exciting flora and fauna and sharing historical tidbits about the area.

Pro tip:
Visit Cave Creek with your family. Children as young as six can join rides, and the ranch offers pony rides and petting zoos to keep little ones entertained.

2. Arizona Horseback Adventures


Address: 44029 N. Spur Cross Road, Cave Creek

Contact details: 480-488-9117

Operating hours: 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Arizona Horseback Adventures sits on the edge of Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area. Visitors can choose from various rides through the Sonoran Desert led by professional wranglers, from sunset rides to cattle drives!

In their desert trails, you’ll see towering saguaros, vibrant wildflowers, and the dramatic backdrop of Black Mountain. They cater to all skill levels, and their well-trained horses ensure a safe and comfortable experience for every rider. 

Pro tip:
Try their 90-minute “Sunset Sensation” ride for breathtaking panoramas and vistas.

3. Arizona Horses Ranches


Address: 10215 S Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85042

Contact details: 602-268-1261

Operating hours: 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Arizona Horses Ranches, formerly Ponderosa Stables, is a great horseback riding spot in Phoenix because its trails wind through miles of stunning Arizona scenery. It’s South Mountain Park’s only guided horse rental concessionaire.

Their wranglers are knowledgeable and friendly, and they’ll share their passion for the desert and the “Cowboy Way” with you as you ride. You can choose from breakfast, steak, dinner, and lunch rides to fit your Phoenix itinerary.

Pro tip:
Bring at least two water bottles for each rider to stay hydrated while exploring Arizona amid the desert heat.

4. KOLI Equestrian Center


Address: 6940 W Broken Ear Road, Chandler, AZ 85226

Contact details: 480-982-8188

Operating hours: 6:30 AM to 5:00 PM

The KOLI Equestrian Center is in the heart of the Gila River Indian Reservation. It boasts miles of awe-inspiring trails winding through Sonoran Desert landscapes, panoramic vistas of cacti-studded plains, and dramatic buttes. 

They offer gentle walking rides, private adventures, and even sunrise adventures for couples. Their knowledgeable wranglers ensure your safety and comfort, sharing fascinating insights about the desert ecosystem and the history of the land.

Pro tip:
After a horseback adventure, enjoy a post-ride meal around a campfire with KOLI’s friendly staff.

5. Western Destinations Canyon Creek Ranch


Address: 22100 E. Tara Springs Road, Black Canyon City

Contact details: 623-374-5245

Operating hours: By appointment only

Western Destinations Canyon Creek Ranch offers trail riders the chance to explore the Agua Fria National Monument, which has more than 450 known Native American structures that are thousands of years old, and the Sonoran desert. 

It’s a great place for team-building events, as horseback riding can help to improve communication, cooperation, and trust among team members. They also offer rides for all experience levels, from beginner lessons to advanced overnight trail rides.

Pro tip:
Wear comfortable clothing and shoes. Always bring sunscreen and a hat since the Arizona sun can be harsh.

6. MacDonald’s Ranch


Address: 26540 North Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, Arizona 85255

Contact details: 480-585-0239

Operating hours: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM (Closed Tuesdays, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Easter Sunday)

MacDonald’s Ranch offers gentle trail rides through scenic cactus forests, arroyos, and challenging terrain with breathtaking vistas. They also have a petting zoo with donkeys, goats, and miniature horses, keeping kids entertained for hours. 

Other activities in the ranch include hayrides, stagecoach rides, and gold panning, which add to the Western charm, making it a true family-friendly destination. After your ride, refuel with a hearty cowboy BBQ cookout under the desert stars. 

Pro tip:
Book your horseback riding adventure in advance, especially during peak season. This ensures you get the ride and guide that best suits your skill level and desired pace.

7. Crossroads Farm


Address: 460 E Ray Rd, Gilbert, AZ 85296

Contact details: 480-895-0955

Operating hours: Tuesday to Sunday – 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM

Crossroads Farm is known for training horses and riders in the hunter or jumper discipline. They also have a top-tier breeding program that produces high-quality sports horses. 

They cater to riders of all levels, from beginners to experienced competitors, so you can find a program that is right for you. The farm has a team of professional trainers who can provide personalized instruction and feedback to help you improve your skills. 

Pro tip:
Let the trainers design an individualized training program based on your abilities for you and your horse. This will also help you get the most out of your riding experience and ensure you ride safely.

8. Trailhead Ranch 


Address: 35013 N 49th St, Cave Creek, AZ 85331

Contact details: 480-488-2251

Operating hours: 24 hours a day

The Trailhead Ranch is located in the foothills of the Sonoran Desert and takes pride in its well-trained and well-matched horses. They offer comfortable and enjoyable rides for every rider, from nervous beginners to seasoned pros.

You can explore scenic trails with their diverse trails, from desert washes and cactus forests to mountain vistas and hidden canyons. Their knowledgeable guides will lead you on safe adventures, sharing their insights about the desert, flora, and fauna.

Pro tip:
Book your ride in advance, especially during peak season, and ensure you get matched with the perfect horse for your skill level. You can opt for private lessons to hone your skills with personalized instruction from expert trainers.

9. Saguaro Lake Ranch Stable


Address: 13050 N Bush Hwy, Mesa, AZ 85215

Contact details: 480-984-0335

Operating hours: 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM (Closed on Wednesdays)

The Saguaro Lake Ranch Stable was established in 1930 and was once a work camp to construct the Stewart Mountain Dam. Today, it offers trail rides along the banks of the Salt River with views of the Goldfield Mountains and Saguaro Lake. 

The stable is nestled against the stunning backdrop of the Tonto National Forest and Saguaro Lake. You can choose from 60-minute and 90-minute guided trail rides, traversing diverse terrains like cactus-studded ridges, dry arroyos, and the riverbanks. 

Pro tip:
Make sure to request your guide to bring you to see the Bulldog Cliffs, adding an extra layer of adventure to your ride.

10. Betty’s Trail Rides


Address: Castle Hot Spring Rd, Morristown, AZ 85342

Contact details: 928-925-2488

Operating hours: Tuesday to Saturday – 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Betty’s Trail Rides offers off-the-beaten paths for visitors to historic ranching areas. They have special permits to access hidden gems like Hell’s Canyon Wilderness and the seldom-seen regions of Lake Pleasant Regional Park.

Betty’s is a real working ranch steeped in generations of cowboy tradition. Their guides will also take you to the saguaro cacti, ancient trails, rugged canyons, and desert wildlife like bighorn sheep or elusive coyotes. 

Pro tip:
Wear long pants, closed-toe shoes, and a hat for sun protection, especially during the hot summer. 

11. Dan Donnelly Stables


Address: 5371 E Ojo Rd, Gold Canyon, AZ 85118

Contact details: 602-810-7029

Operating hours: Monday to Saturday – 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Dan Donnelly Stables is located in the foothills of the Superstition Mountains on 5,800 acres of pristine Sonoran desert and offers trail rides with memorable views. Riders can book off-trail outings through the desert terrain. 

Dan Donnelly’s is also a working cattle ranch, so guests may see longhorn cattle, coyotes, javelina, and mule deer while riding. The ranch also offers horse boarding and camping activities.

Pro tip:
You can try their cookouts and camping activities in addition to horseback rides. 

12. Bumble Bee Adventures


Address: 23925 Bumble Bee Rd, Mayer, AZ 86333

Contact details: 928-777-4833

Operating hours: By appointment

Bumble Bee Ranch is a 5-star horse campground, working guest ranch and horse motel available to the public for western adventure. They boast over 20,000 acres of varied terrain, from scenic desert washes and mountain foothills to towering cacti forests.

Beginner lessons and guided trail rides ensure a safe and comfortable ride. You can also go on a cattle drive around the ranch or spend the night beneath a blanket of desert stars after a campfire dinner.

Pro tip:
Bumble Bee Adventures offers seasonal events and themed rides throughout the year, from spooky Halloween hayrides to festive holiday celebrations. Plan your visit around these special occasions for an extra dose of desert magic!

13. Circle Z Ranch


Address: 1476 Highway 82, Patagonia, AZ 85624

Contact details: 520-394-2525

Operating hours: By appointment

The Circle Z Ranch offers an all-inclusive vacation, from lodging, horseback riding, bird watching, nature walks, and guided stargazing. With over 100 miles of diverse trails, you’ll gallop through canyons, meander by Sonoita Creek, or climb scenic mountains.

It’s a genuine working ranch where you can help with morning chores, learn about cattle drives, and soak in the ranch’s rich history. The ranch is family-friendly, as kids can learn horsemanship basics and participate in ranch activities.

Pro tip:
After a long ride, drop by the Circle Z restaurant and enjoy delicious home-cooked meals featuring local ingredients. 

14. Kay El Bar Guest Ranch


Address: 2655 S Kay el Bar Rd, Wickenburg, AZ 85390

Contact details: 928-684-7593

Operating hours: Open 24 hours a day

The Kay El Bar Guest Ranch is an authentic Western dude ranch listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Their trail rides explore abandoned gold mines along the rocky mountain trails or ride through the sandy Hassayampa Riverbed. 

Kay El Bar has well-trained and well-loved horses that cater to all skill levels, ensuring a comfortable and confident ride for everyone. If you want to immerse yourself in ranch life, you can also learn the art of cattle sorting and team penning on the ranch. 

Pro tip:
For an extra memorable experience, book a twilight trail ride to enjoy the desert in fiery hues and then under the blanket of stars.
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