The Best Horse Trails at Grand Mesa National Forest
Nestled in the heart of western Colorado, Grand Mesa National Forest offers some of the most breathtaking horseback riding trails in the state. With its expansive landscapes, diverse ecosystems, and stunning natural beauty, horse enthusiasts are in for an unforgettable adventure. Here are the best horse trails at Grand Mesa National Forest:
1. Flowing Park Loop Trail: As one of the most popular horse trails in the forest, Flowing Park Loop Trail offers a 10-mile loop through stunning meadows and dense forests. Riders will be treated to panoramic views of wildflowers, aspen groves, and the iconic Grand Mesa itself. With a moderate difficulty level, this trail is suitable for riders of all experience levels.
2. Mesa Top Trail: For those seeking a longer expedition, the Mesa Top Trail is a must-try. Stretching over 28 miles, this trail takes riders on a challenging trek through aspen groves, coniferous forests, and alpine meadows. As riders ascend the mesa, they will witness stunning vistas of the surrounding landscapes and maybe even spot some wildlife along the way.
3. Ward Lake Loop Trail: Perfect for a leisurely ride, the Ward Lake Loop Trail is a 3-mile loop around a picturesque lake. The trail offers a relatively easy and flat riding experience, making it ideal for beginners or riders looking to enjoy a relaxing horseback outing. The serene lake and its peaceful surroundings add to the charm of this trail.
4. West Bench Trail: The West Bench Trail is a fantastic option for more experienced riders seeking a challenge. Spanning 22 miles, this trail takes riders through dense forests, impressive canyons, and open meadows. The trail's diverse terrain and breathtaking scenic views make it a favorite amongst horse enthusiasts.
5. Crag Crest Trail: Considered one of the most beautiful trails in Grand Mesa National Forest, the Crag Crest Trail promises an unforgettable horseback riding experience. This 10-mile loop offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains, deep canyons, and pristine lakes. Riders will be rewarded with mesmerizing vistas and the feeling of being on top of the world.
Before embarking on any horseback adventure, it is essential to be adequately prepared. Make sure to bring plenty of water for both you and your horse, as well as snacks and sunscreen. It is also essential to pack a first-aid kit, a map of the trails, and a compass or GPS device, as some trails may be less marked than others.
To ensure the safety of both riders and the natural environment, it is essential to follow a code of conduct while on the trails. Stay on designated equestrian paths, maintain a respectful distance from wildlife, and be aware of any fire restrictions in the area.
Grand Mesa National Forest is a true paradise for horseback riding enthusiasts. Whether you're seeking a challenging adventure or a peaceful ride amidst stunning landscapes, the horse trails in this national forest will not disappoint. So saddle up, enjoy the Colorado wilderness, and create memories that will last a lifetime.