Palo Duro Canyon State Park encompasses only one-tenth of the entire canyon, but boasts 1,500 equestrian-friendly acres. Experiencing the rugged beauty of Palo Duro Canyon close up from the back of a well-trained horse is a special experience that not everyone has the opportunity to enjoy.
Along with blooming wildflowers and cactus, trail rides will take you past mesas, hoodoos and caves as your mount climbs the spectacularly-colored trails that traverse the canyon walls display over two million centuries of geologic history. At the right times of the day you may be lucky enough to see some of the canyon’s plentiful wildlife.
While those who live close by can bring their own horses to ride, riding stables will take you and your family on guided trail rides. Some stables offer short rides for an hour or two with others offering half- or full-day excursions.
The Old West Stables offers hour-long guided trail rides for reasonable rates from March through November.
Cowgirls and Cowboys In the West is a tour outfitter that takes visitors on extended rides on the canyon’s north rim and also offers week-long equestrian vacation packages.
Palo Duro Riding Stables, the longest operating riding stables around the park, has been offering trail rides since 1962. Located just before the park entrance, here the wranglers dress in 1800s attire, including six guns, and practice old-fashioned western kindness.