Horses traditionally have been used to explore the terrain of Zion National Park. Guided trips are available starting at the corral near the Emerald Pools Trailhead, or you can inquire with a horseback riding concessionaire. For private stock use, see the Zion National Park Service’s Wilderness Guide (page 8 – Stock Use) or inquire at visitor centers.
Horses offer a special means to see the backcountry of Zion and the surrounding region. Rides begin close to the Zion Lodge and are suitable to everyone from small children to old ladies. At least that’s what we equestrians believe. We took our Zion horse tour when I was pregnant (not showing) and my youngest (at the time) was four. Of course, I wasn’t THAT pregnant or they probably wouldn’t have let me on. However, these easy trail rides are perfect for the whole family and lets you see places in Zion that you might not get to otherwise.
In-park trail rides follow the course of the Virgin River or expand out into Sand Beach Trail. Horses can be ridden in many areas and trails, as well. Backcountry permits allow horse camping in some of the most remote and scenic locations (bring your own horse or hook up with a guide). Ask a ranger for the free booklet, “Pack Animal Use.”
Favorite trails include the connector trail between Casto Canyon and Fremont ATV Trail, Cassidy Trail, the Casto Canyon Trail, Losee Canyon Trail, Rich Trail and Thunder Mountain Trail. Horseback riding tours can be as challenging as you like. The Zion Ponderosa Ranch is located at the east rim of the park.
La Verkin Creek, Wild Cat Canyon, the west rim above Canyon Springs, Deertrap Mountain, and Cable Mountain are all accessible to riders. Backcountry areas include Coal Pits Wash, Crater Hill, Scroggin’s Wash, and Huber Wash. Animals must be kept a hundred feet from all water and fed with certified weed free hay at least one day prior to entering the park. Horses must also be hobbled when not ridden.