Horseback Riding Destinations

Horseback Riding Destinations

From north to south, Idaho is teeming with outdoor recreational opportunities and stunning scenic views. As the weather gets warmer, finding things to do outdoors becomes endless. Idaho's incredible topography, towering mountain ranges, and blue skies are ideal for spending hours exploring the vast wilderness. Take the road less traveled and consider horseback riding the backcountry to take in some of the most breathtaking scenery in the state!

Saddle up for an adventure and spend an afternoon trotting through Idaho's far-reaching wilderness or embark on a scenic sunset dinner ride with expert guides leading the way. For those seeking an extended getaway, consider a vacation at one of the many local guest ranches in the area. Unplug and unwind while enjoying horseback rides, rustic cabin lodgings, and more.

Best Horseback Riding Trails in Idaho

Explore some of Idaho's most popular horseback riding trails or check out Idaho state parks' abundant horseback trails and camping opportunities. Several parks include paths especially suited for horseback riding and camping sites for horse travel and care. Below are a few popular trails worth checking out. 

Ashton-Tetonia Trail 

Length: 29.6 miles

Trail surfaces: Dirt, Gravel

Trail category: Rail-Trail

Description: 

The Ashton-Tetonia Trail travels 30 miles through Aston & Tetonia, Idaho. The route occupies a former rail spur once operated by Union Pacific. The trail includes a total of five bridges and restored rail trestles. Connected to a more extensive network called the Greater Yellowstone Trail, the developing 180-mile trail system plans to connect Jackson Hole and Wyoming to West Yellowstone and Montana via rail trails traversing Victor, Driggs, Tetonia, Ashton, and Island Park.

North Valley Rail Trail 

Length: 5.9 miles

Trail surfaces: Asphalt, Dirt

Trail category: Rail-Trail

Description: 

The North Valley Rail Trail runs between McCall and west of the small community of Lake Fork, following a portion of a long-abandoned Union Pacific Railroad corridor. The scenic trail extends for more than 5 miles through countryside once used as summer pasture for livestock and aims to run more than 30 miles from the mountain towns of McCall to Cascade. The path is mostly paved near McCall, while the southern half features a natural surface ideal for equestrian users. 

While in the area, check out McCall, Valley County's largest city and famous all-season resort town. Local restaurants, shops, and a historic hotel can be found along E. Lake Street in McCall, just a few blocks north of the North Valley Rail Trail's trailhead. In the summer, Payette Lake attracts a variety of watersport enthusiasts, while the winter transforms the city into a hub for alpine and cross-country skiers.

Stoddard Pathway

Length: 2.78 miles

Trail surfaces: Asphalt

Trail category: Rail-Trail

Description: 

The Stoddard Pathway spans nearly 3-miles along the eastern half of Nampa, Idaho. Built on a former rail corridor, the trail has since been converted into a paved pathway and one of the city's most popular and immaculately landscaped trails. Equestrian users are welcome but encouraged to stick to the natural terrain alongside the trail.

Interested in a longer adventure? Continue on the Wilson Pathway, offering another three scenic miles through tranquil neighborhoods. Access the Wilson Pathway via the Stoddard Pathway by taking the Partridge Pathway trail north, where the Stoddard Pathway crosses East Locust Lane and continues west on York Ave for 600ft to the entrance of the Wilson Pathway. 

Weiser River National Recreation Trail 

Length: 84 miles

Trail surfaces: Asphalt, Ballast, Gravel

Trail category: Rail-Trail

Description: 

Featuring rocky desert canyons, lush evergreen forests, and alpine meadows sprawling over the countryside, The Weiser River National Recreation Trail follows the former Union Pacific Railroad line that crosses through Tamarack and the town of Weiser. Discover 62 historic rail trestles and abundant wildlife throughout the trail, including deer, waterfowl, quail, turkeys, herons, and eagles. Running alongside the rail, the Weiser River highlights the valley's natural beauty and offers incredible fishing opportunities. 

Recognized as the longest trial in Idaho, The Weiser River National Recreation Trail comprises two sections; the southern end, encompassing rolling hills and open canyons, and the northern end, full of dense forestland. The further north you travel, the closer you will get to the Weiser River Canyons, framing the banks of the Weiser River between Weiser and Midvale. Just north of the canyons lies the town of Midvale. Located just 8 miles from Midvale lies the deepest gorge in North America, Hells Canyon. Its 10-mile wide expanse showcases the variety in terrain, climate, and elevation of the rural landscape. Consider checking out the Galloway Dam, a part of the lower canyon and a popular fishing site on the trail.

About 21 miles into the trail, you'll reach the community of Council. The surrounding valley encompasses a beautiful open green space with wooded hills, farms, and ranches. North of Council, the Weiser River National Recreation Trail passes through the mill town of Tamarack, and farther north, you will find the trail's end on Whispering Pine Road, past Rubicon. Four communities along the route provide services, including Weiser, Midvale, Cambridge, and Council. Consider planning a trip around the annual spring bike ride along the trail and the 4-day wagon train event beginning in Weiser and ending in Council.

Latah Trail 

Length: 16 miles

Trail surfaces: Asphalt, Gravel

Trail category: Rail-Trail

Description: 

The Latah Trail extends nearly 12 miles through Moscow and Troy on a 10-foot-wide paved pathway. Running parallel to State Route 8 until Howell Road, the trail winds north to Troy's City Park. From Troy, the route continues on another 4 miles on a gravel bed through scenic Bear Creek Canyon. Additionally, the trail follows the former historic Moscow to Arrow railroad. 

NorPac Trail 

Length: 22.2 miles

Trail surfaces: Concrete, Dirt, Gravel

Trail category: Rail-Trail

Description: 

The NorPac Trail follows the old Northern Pacific Railway in western Montana and the Idaho Panhandle, passing through Lookout Pass. The trail extends from Idaho near Mullan at the trailhead, past the East Portal of the Route of the Hiawatha, and towards the small town of Saltese. The route offers spectacular views of the densely packed forests covering the Rocky Mountains, alpine lakes, and streams.

Starting at the trail of the Coeur d'Alenes, the NorPac Trail is paved and follows primarily quiet country roads for the first four or so miles. Continue to follow the signs for the NorPac Trail and Shoshone Park crossing through the community of Mullan. About three miles in, you'll reach the fish hatchery; turn left off the pavement and resume on to the gravel Forest Service Road 133. When you reach Mullan Pass Road, dart across and follow Forest Road 3026.

At mile 5, the trail heads under I-90 and leads to the junction of Forest Road 3026 and Willow Creek Road, taking a hard left and uphill on the switchback. The route continues toward the top of Lookout Pass, located on the Idaho–Montana border and past remnants of trestles. At Lookout Pass, find access to food, drinks, restrooms, and a bike shop, open seasonally from May through October. Find several camping options throughout the area or continue through the parking lot to head back on the trail. 

About 15.5 miles in, you'll reach a tunnel that heads back under I-90 eastbound to the junction of Forest Roads 4208 and 507. From there, head left onto 507 around Exit 5 on I-90. Around mile 20.5, you'll find signs for the Route of the Hiawatha. To continue the trail, take Forest Road 506, 2.5 miles or so uphill toward the route's trailhead at Taft tunnel's east entrance. The NorPac Trail follows parallel to the Route of the Olympian and provides an alternative route for ATVs and other recreational vehicles during restricted summer months.

Guffey Railroad Bridge Trail 

Length: 0.4 miles

Trail surfaces: Boardwalk, Dirt

Trail category: Rail-Trail

Description: 

Guffey Railroad Bridge in Celebration Park- Idaho's only archeological park—is a historical crossing reaching over Idaho's Snake River. Previously constructed in 1897 to carry ore from Silver City to Nampa for smelting, the now-renovated bridge allows access via pedestrian and equestrian pathways traveling between the southern half of the river in Owyhee County and the northern half in Canyon County. While the bridge is undoubtedly the highlight of the Guffey Railroad Bridge Trail, several fishing access points can also be found along this stretch. Additionally, the park headquarters offers visitors the opportunity to hike the Petroglyphs Trail, showcasing the park's ancient rock engravings.

 

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