The Best Horse Trails at Kaibab National Forest
Kaibab National Forest is a true paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, especially those who love horseback riding. Located in northern Arizona, this sprawling national forest covers nearly 1.6 million acres of diverse landscapes that are perfect for exploring on horseback. With numerous trails crisscrossing the forest, horse riders can enjoy breathtaking views, tranquil meadows, majestic forests, and abundant wildlife. In this article, we'll highlight some of the best horse trails at Kaibab National Forest.
1. Bill Williams Mountain
Bill Williams Mountain Trail is a popular choice for horseback riders in Kaibab National Forest. The trail is named after a famous mountain man and the famed Williams Brothers—pioneers of this region. This trail offers a moderate-to-challenging ride through dense forests of ponderosa pine and scrub oak. The views from the top of Bill Williams Mountain are simply awe-inspiring. On a clear day, riders can enjoy panoramic vistas, spanning from the San Francisco Peaks to the Grand Canyon.
2. Sardine Point Trail
If you're seeking an easier horseback riding experience, the Sardine Point Trail is a fantastic option. This trail is family-friendly and is suitable for both beginners and experienced riders. The trail starts near Dogtown Lake and winds its way through peaceful pine forests and open meadows. Riders will be treated to stunning views of Sardine Point and the surrounding area. This trail is particularly picturesque in the fall when the trees showcase their vibrant autumn colors.
3. Kendrick Mountain Trail
For a truly challenging and rewarding horseback riding experience, look no further than the Kendrick Mountain Trail. This trail gains significant elevation as it climbs to the top of Kendrick Mountain, reaching an impressive peak of 10,418 feet. Riders will pass through towering ponderosa pines, aspen groves, and vast open meadows. Apart from the breathtaking scenery, riders may also spot various wildlife species, such as elk, mule deer, and golden eagles. This trail is best suited for experienced riders due to its steep inclines and rocky terrain.
4. Buckskinner Trail
The Buckskinner Trail is a long-distance trail that spans over 50 miles, offering horseback riders plenty of opportunities to explore the diverse landscapes of Kaibab National Forest. This trail winds through ponderosa pine forests, aspen groves, and showcases stunning views of the Grand Canyon and the surrounding valleys. Depending on your preference, riders can choose to explore a portion of the trail or embark on a multi-day adventure, camping along the way.
5. East Rim Trail
The East Rim Trail is situated on the eastern boundary of Kaibab National Forest, offering riders an unforgettable journey through dense forests and along the edge of the awe-inspiring Marble Canyon. This trail provides breathtaking views of the Vermilion Cliffs, Echo Cliffs, and even the Colorado River snaking through the dramatic landscape. It is recommended for intermediate to advanced riders due to the occasional steep climbs and narrow passages.
Before embarking on any horseback riding adventure, it is essential to check the conditions and regulations of the trails, as some may have seasonal closures or require permits. Additionally, it's crucial to ensure that both horse and rider are adequately prepared, with proper equipment, riding skills, and provisions.
Kaibab National Forest truly offers a diverse range of horse trails, catering to riders of all levels. From leisurely rides through tranquil meadows to thrilling treks up towering mountains, there is an adventure waiting for every equestrian enthusiast. So, saddle up, explore the wonders of Kaibab National Forest, and create unforgettable memories on horseback.