Roosevelt National Forest is a hidden gem nestled in the beautiful state of Colorado. Known for its breathtaking landscapes, diverse wildlife, and vast wilderness, this national forest offers a unique experience for all nature enthusiasts. For those seeking adventure on horseback, Roosevelt National Forest boasts some of the best horse trails in the area. Whether you're a seasoned equestrian or a beginner rider, the following trails should be at the top of your list.
1. Crosier Mountain Trail:
Situated in the northern part of the national forest, Crosier Mountain Trail offers an exhilarating ride for experienced riders. Spanning about 8 miles, this trail takes you through dense forests, wildflower meadows, and eventually to the summit of Crosier Mountain. The panoramic views from the top are truly breathtaking and make the ride well worth the effort.
2. Little Yellowstone Trail:
Located in the southern section of the national forest, Little Yellowstone Trail offers a more moderate ride suitable for riders of all skill levels. This 10-mile trail winds along the Cache la Poudre River, providing stunning views of waterfalls, rock formations, and lush vegetation. The trail also offers access to some great fishing spots, so make sure to pack your fishing gear if you're interested.
3. Lion Gulch Trail:
For a serene and peaceful horseback riding experience, Lion Gulch Trail is an excellent choice. This trail is located near Estes Park and takes riders through a tranquil valley surrounded by aspen groves and stunning rock formations. The 7-mile loop also features a picturesque waterfall called Homestead Meadows, perfect for a refreshing break or a quick picnic.
4. Pingree Park Road:
If you're looking for an easier ride that still showcases the beauty of Roosevelt National Forest, Pingree Park Road is ideal. This scenic horse trail stretches for 16 miles and is open to horseback riders, cyclists, and hikers. The trail boasts incredible views of the Mummy Range and is a great opportunity to spot some of Colorado's wildlife, such as elk, deer, and foxes.
5. Comanche Peak Wilderness:
For those seeking a more challenging horseback riding adventure, the trails in the Comanche Peak Wilderness will surely satisfy your cravings. With miles of rugged terrain, alpine meadows, and enchanting lakes, this wilderness area offers an unforgettable riding experience. The West Branch Trail is especially popular, leading riders to Lakes Emmaline, Comanche, and Lady Moon.
Before you embark on any horseback riding adventure, remember to check with the local Forest Service office for any trail updates, permits, or seasonal closures. Safety should always be a priority, so ensure that you have the necessary gear, such as helmets, proper riding boots, and ample water supply for both you and your horse.
Roosevelt National Forest is a haven for horseback riders, offering a variety of trails suitable for riders of all levels. Whether you prefer a challenging mountain ride or a peaceful meandering trail, you'll find yourself immersed in the beauty and tranquility of this remarkable national forest. So saddle up, hit the trails, and get ready to experience nature at its best at Roosevelt National Forest.