Tuesday ยท July 11, 2023
Coconino National Forest: Top Horse Trails | July 2023
Author: Admin

The Coconino National Forest is a stunning and expansive wilderness located in northern Arizona. With its diverse landscape of pine forests, sandstone cliffs, and high desert plateaus, it offers some of the most picturesque and exhilarating horseback riding trails in the country. Horse enthusiasts and nature lovers alike can explore this vast wilderness on well-maintained trails that wind through breathtaking scenery. In this article, we will take a closer look at some of the top horse trails in Coconino National Forest.


1. Soldier Pass Trail:

Located in the mesmerizing red rock country of Sedona, the Soldier Pass Trail is a favorite among horseback riders. The trail leads through towering sandstone formations, stunning vistas, and the famous Devil's Kitchen sinkhole. It is a moderate 4.6-mile loop that takes approximately two to three hours to complete and offers a unique and unforgettable riding experience.


2. Mormon Lake Loop Trail:

For riders seeking a longer and more challenging outing, the Mormon Lake Loop Trail is a fantastic option. This scenic 13.7-mile loop takes riders through beautiful ponderosa pine forests, open meadows, and along the shores of the picturesque Mormon Lake. The trail is well-marked and offers a mix of rocky sections and smooth pathways, making it an exciting and diverse riding experience.


3. Kendrick Mountain Trail:

If you're looking for an adventure that combines stunning views with a bit of a challenge, the Kendrick Mountain Trail is an excellent choice. This 9.3-mile out-and-back trail takes riders to the summit of Kendrick Mountain, the second tallest peak in the San Francisco Volcanic Field. The trail is steep and can be demanding, but the reward of panoramic views of the surrounding forests and mountains makes it all worthwhile.


4. West Fork Oak Creek Trail:

For a more leisurely and relaxing ride, the West Fork Oak Creek Trail is a must-visit destination. This enchanting trail follows the babbling Oak Creek through a lush canyon shaded by towering cliffs and ancient trees. It is a gentle and easy trail that offers plenty of opportunities to stop and enjoy the serene beauty of the forest. Wildlife sightings are common, and the autumn foliage makes this trail particularly breathtaking during the fall season.


5. Fisher Point Trail:

Located near Flagstaff, the Fisher Point Trail offers horseback riders a unique perspective of the surrounding landscape. This 2.7-mile out-and-back trail winds through a dense ponderosa pine forest and ends at Fisher Point, a stunning sandstone overlook perched high above the surrounding area. From this vantage point, riders can take in sweeping views of the surrounding canyons and mountains, creating a magnificent and memorable experience.


Before embarking on your horseback adventure in Coconino National Forest, it's essential to check trail conditions and obtain any necessary permits or passes. The forest service provides up-to-date information on their website, which can help you plan your ride accordingly.


Remember to always practice Leave No Trace principles while exploring the forest by horseback. Respect the natural environment, pack out what you bring in, and be considerate of other trail users. With responsible riding, you can help protect the natural wonders of Coconino National Forest for future generations to enjoy.


So saddle up and hit the trails of Coconino National Forest. Whether you're seeking a thrilling challenge or a serene escape into nature, these top horse trails are sure to provide an unforgettable riding experience amidst the beautiful Arizona wilderness.